It finally started getting sunny and warm in Rome in early April. Because of this, I wanted to make sure I was spending my time wisely and exploring nearby neighborhoods and towns. So when my friend Shivani brought up the idea to check out Ostia Antica I jumped at it.
So one lovely Saturday afternoon, we got on a bus (then a metro) and headed for this lovely town in ruins. Ostia Antica is a large archeological site just outside of the city of Ostia. It’s wide and inviting so of course we decided we would have a picnic.
We arrive and looked for a nearby park to have our eclectic lunch of fruit salad (courtesy of Shivani), curry rice with veggies, and arroz con leche along with some hand fruit. There, we melted in the sun and refreshed ourselves with some cool water while taking in the views and floral scents.
We then decided to geocache for a bit before heading into the archeological sight. The map took us past this beautiful castle and into a neighborhood, past a fountain and a couple holding a wedding shoot, and to a tool shed. And while the app said it was an “easy-to-find geocache” we found it impossible and, after 10 minutes, decided to move on. Better luck next time!
It was an easy walk from there, a straight beeline to the archeological sight. The cost was 12 euros (unless you’re under 18, have a student ID from an Italian uni from a particular faculty, or some other criteria) and while that was a little pricy, it was well worth it. The site was INCREDIBLE! From the moment you walk in, it’s a conglomeration of dusty tombs, staircases that lead to nowhere, elegant statues, and mysterious mosaics. We climbed the structures (little did we know there was a ‘no climbing’ rule), mounted hills for better views, and scoured every inch we could. And the day was so warm and clear-skied, there was nothing stopping us on this afternoon adventure. My favorite were the mystical mosaics that could be found in the bath houses and temples with images of dolphins, gods, and everyday objects. I loved imagining what the city was like in its hay-day– something ordinary and loved that has now become our contemporary play-museum. It’s funny how time fools around with the land and our creations on it.
We walked and walked and walked and walked until we couldn’t walk any more, lost our way for a moment, then returned to the entrance for a ride back home. I came home to find a nice red patch on my chest from the triangle neck-line of my dress and not enough energy to move. Needless to say, it was a good escape. And it didn’t hurt having a friend along who knew so much about the area.