Pompeii vs Ostia Antica

Sep 22nd, 2006, 11:34 AM
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Pompeii vs Ostia Antica

My wife and I will be going to Rome next June. We'll be staying 5 nights. I want to take a day trip to either Ostia Antica or Pompeii. Would appreciate any comments on why I should pick one or the other. Thanks.
aw2risin is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 11:43 AM
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You really can't go wrong with either. There is so much to see at both sights that to me the deciding factor would be time. It does take at least 2.5 hours to get to pompeii from rome. It is a whole day trip. Ostia is about an hour and could be done in the morning and still have time in the evening to do other things. Other than that, these sights are both worth the trip.

monorailgold is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 12:01 PM
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I think that you will be amazed in Ostia Antica; even if Pompei is bigger and better in shape than Ostia, the fading atmosfere of the latter is a real experience,
marcolino is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 12:11 PM
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It does not take a full hour to reach Ostia Antica from Rome. It could very well take more than 2.5 hours to reach Pompeii if you hit traffic or miss a connection. If time permits Pompeii is probably more stunning due to the violence of its end. But Ostia is wonderful too and much more convenient from Rome.
bobludlow is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 12:13 PM
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Pompeii(although harder to get to and longer) is in my opinion, the one to go to if you only can see one. They are really different in terms of excavations,size and what happened.Pompeii is massive and the view of Vesuvius with the trip on the train along the coast down there is gorgeous.
dutyfree is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 12:13 PM
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Hadrian's Villa, a short hop west of Rome near Tivoli is another excellent ruins, especially due to the stories of the mad things the emperor did here.

PalenqueBob is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 12:15 PM
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I can't compare, having only been to Ostia Antica. But we loved it. There was hardly anyone there both times we went, and hardly any areas were roped off. You could just walk among the buildings as you liked. Also, you can take the local train line and be there relatively quickly.

One caveat -- the taped tours weren't available in English when we went. The Rick Steves Rome book gave extensive explanations of what we were seeing and really made the second trip far more informative.
5alive is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 06:54 PM
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Hi Aw2risin,

I was Ostia Antica in October last year and loved it. I've also been to Pompeii twice (and would go back for a 3rd time). Yeah, I'm a Ruins Freak!

If your time is limited, then go to Ostia Antica. In fact, taking the train is almost worth it, just for the pizza at the tavola calda across from the station (where you change trains); it was absolutely the best pizza I've ever had in my life! (walk out of the station and look across the street).

Don't bother buying the map at the entrance; you don't really need it and it doesn't add anything to the experience. Ostia was actually larger than I expected and very enjoyable to walk around; less crowded and peaceful.

There was talk of a boat transfer from Rome but it hadn't been put into effect.

Doing a one-day trip from Rome to Pompeii makes for a long, but satisfying day.

Hope this is helpful!

wlzmatilida is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 08:03 PM
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We've been to both as well, and they are both great.

That being said, Ostia offers something different from Pompeii in that its much less crowded so you can really do some exploring. Its ruins are very interesting. Although not quite as big as Pompeii (I believe), the site is still rather large and there is a lot to see.

With only five nights in Rome, I would choose Ostia. There is so much to do in Rome. I've been numerous times and still have quite a list. Doing Ostia will give you an extra half day in Rome that you would miss if you were going to Pompeii.

tcreath is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2006, 06:28 AM
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Thanks everybody. I would love to do both but obviously one will have to wait until the next tiime. I guess the time factor really favors Ostia. Is there anything else around there that's worth seeing or should I just see Ostia and head back to Rome?
aw2risin is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2006, 06:51 AM
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We went to Ostia in early July this past summer. If you are a first time visitor to Rome, it is the more feasible alternative (though Pompeii is very alluring). The train is easy, the ride is short, and at Ostia you can literally walk all over and through the ruins. Pompeii, I understand, is more protected. Two things to be aware of: one: you will pay a "stranieri" rate to enter. I thought my children would get the student rate, but that's only for Europeans. (Kind of petty, in my opinion. Not a big deal, just one of the little rip-offs you will endure in Italy.) two: the train line that stops at Ostia is also the one to the beach (Lido). We went on a Sunday. Bad choice as the Italians were all headed to the beach and the train was unbearably crowded. None of our party got seats the entire way back and forth. Since the weather was hot, hot, hot (about 95-100 degrees), this was very fatiguing. It also leaves you vulnerable to pickpockets because you must hold on to a pole the entire time. Definitely go during the week; it has top be a little better then. After that ride, my husband made us walk almost everywhere even though there was a very convenient Metro stop nearby.

Also, I don't get much out of reading exhibit signposts, so when a freelance archeologist approached us for a $25/hour tour, we hesitated and then accepted the offer. It was well worth it.

It is nice to get out of Rome for a change, but with onlyh 5 nights, I wouldn't go too far. Rome is just packed with sights and atmosphere...
victoria_reynolds is offline  

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