Ostica Antica – Ancient Roman port city

One of the hidden treasures of ancient Rome…Ostica Antica

Ostia was the port city of Imperial Rome, situated about 25 km from Rome Central.

At its peak it housed about 50,000 citizens

The city was very important to Rome receiving all the produce coming from other parts of the world or indeed Italy. It became the most important seaport in the Meditteranean. The area was occupied from the fourth century BC but really came into its own around one century BC when the walled elements of the city were constructed

 It was well planned with a parallel and vertical road grid

The city was quite wealthy and stylish and was almost fully self contained. The word Ostia comes from the latin word Ostium which means river mouth. At the time it was at the mouth of the river but today with floods and river changes it sits some 3 km from the sea

Note the Neptune mosaics that are in amazing condition considering they were laid some 2000 years ago

This particular bath house had a cold pool, two imtermediate temperature pools and one hot pool and they were usually utilised in this order

Also in the bath houses were change rooms, massage rooms and entertainment areas. Most homes at that time had limited facilities so bath houses were particularly popular

Signage for the shops was by way of a mosaic on the footpath outside. This one was clearly a seafood providore

What is surprising with this fish shop is that the table, fish tank and oven are in original condition

Even bars and restaurants were prevalent. This one was well preserved with the bar and servery in tact. The bar was built some 2000 years ago and its condition today is remarkable. Even the barmaid is in good condition

The city was impeccably presented with open courtyards, fountains and piazzas

Here are examples of some

We love this photo of a young girl drawing amongst the antiquity of Ostia

Of course every city must have somewhere to place the deceased

Pre christian days people were cremated and their remains placed in wall urns. Here is a street named in accordance with its inhabitants and the place where the urns went

Well, enough of the city. It is well worth a visit. By train just one Euro and we were surprised by the lack of people there. It was so pleasant just meandering around the ruins.


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