DAY TRIP TO THE SEASIDE TOWN OF OSTIA, ITALY
ENJOY THIS guide TO the small seaside town of Ostia, located 30 minutes from Rome! Easily accessible by train, Ostia consists of two parts, one being the ruins of the ancient Roman city Ostia Antica and the second one being the modern seaside town of Ostia Lido.
Summary Of The Day Trip
Ancient City of Ostia Antica & the Modern Seaside Town of Ostia
5-6 hours, including train rides
Adult tickets to ancient city: €8 Train rides: €4.5 Personal spendings €5-10 TOTAL: €17.5-22.5!
STOP 1: THE ANCIENT CITY OF “OSTIA ANTICA”
Ostia Antica is one of the most attractive albeit under-appreciated ancient sites in Italy. It was founded in the 4th century as a military base. However due to its advantageous strategical location, in subsequent years this beautiful town grew quickly and became an important port city for trade. At its peak, it is presumed that the city had 50,000 inhabitants. It is assumed that the name of the town is derived from the word “ostium” which means mouth in Latin. According to some historians, the city was named that way because it is built at the spot where Tiber River meets the Mediterranean Sea.
This ancient city is HUGE! When I got there I thought I would cover all the spots in an hour but it actually took me 3 hours to see the ruins! If you are a history enthusiast like I am then you might even spend more time but, in normal circumstances, 2 hours should be enough for an elaborate visit.
The Main Sights At Ostia Antica
Ostia Antica is a very impressive archeological site! However, surprisingly, the tourism organization is disappointing. Due to the lack of sign boards, I will write down the major spots of this ancient town that you should not skip! Google Maps links are attached!
STOP 2: THE SEASIDE TOWN OF OSTIA
Upon visiting Ostia Antica, what you should do is to freshen up at the seaside town of Ostia. As mentioned above, it is only a 10 minute train ride from the Ostia Antica Station. There are two stations in the town, however, the convenient one is Lido Central. Do not get off at Lido Nord! Once you get off at Lido Central, it is easier to access the beach.
First thing I would recommend is for you to give a short visit to St. Maria Regina Church. The size of this church surprised me quite a lot for I was not anticipating to stumble upon such a big religious complex in a small town like Ostia. Italians are staunch Christians! If you are planning to chill at the beach (and you should definitely do that) you can get some snacks and beverages from Carrefour which is on the right side of the exit of the train station. They have the most varieties and most reasonable prices. Then, just go and have a picnic alongside the sea.
The beach area is quite lively and you will love it! Piazza dei Ravennati is at the center of the beach and the view is very picturesque from that point. Go all the way to the tip of the coast Pontile di Ostia! Watching the sunset from this pier can not be described in words! You have to experience it!
The most convenient entrance to the beach is on the sides of Piazza dei Ravennati. Also, I think that the sand is better and the area is cleaner there. The sound of the waves, seagulls and wind really gives so much peace.
After chilling at the beach, you can take a walk on Via Dei Masenati. This is my favorite street in Ostia where you can find many small cafes, gelato shops and authentic Italian seafood restaurants. Even if you are not stopping by anywhere here, just take a short walk along the street and witness the relaxing atmosphere. If you get hungry, I suggest you to stop by Toastamore Lido di Ostia which is a small sandwich shop. Sandwiches and toasted breads are their specialities and the prices are pretty reasonable in comparison with the alternatives around.
And of course, coffee! You should not leave here without having a cup of delicious Italian coffee! I would recommend the café Osteria Toscanelli for that. Right near the beach they have a very cozy outdoors area. For me it was pretty fun to sit outdoors and slowly sip my coffee while feeling the cool spring breeze.
HOW TO GET AROUND?
The commuter line you have to take is Rome Lido which is shown with grey line on the Rome Metro Map below. In order to get in the Rome Lido commuter you have to go to one of 3 stations on the Blue Metro Line: Piramide, Basilica St. Paolo or EUR Magliana. Once you reach one of these stations, just follow the signs and they will take you to the Rome Lido commuter. Transferring between the Blue Metro Line and Rome Lido is free! Depending on the station you transfer from, it takes around 30-40 min to get to the Ostia Antica Station. Once you reach the Ostia Antica Station, just follow the signs and they will take you to the entrance of the ancient city!
After covering the ancient city, come back to the Ostia Antica Station and take the commuter to seaside town of Ostia. Get off at Ostia Lido! Many people actually get off at Ostia Nord which is once stop before Ostia Lido. So make sure you get off at the right station 🙂 It is actually pretty short and takes something like 10 minutes. If you want, you can also walk from Ostia Antica to the seaside town (it takes something like 45 min) but the road is not very suitable for walking. Of course it is your day trip so do as you see fit!
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