Ostia Antica

Address: Via dei Romagnoli 717, Ostia Antica, 00119, Italy
Telephone: 06 5635 8099

- Mid-range


The remains of Ancient Rome’s port town are as evocative as Pompeii – but far less touristy.

For me, the remains of Ancient Rome’s main port town, around 18 miles south-west of the centre, are as impressive as Pompeii. Sure, they lack the dramatic background of Vesuvius and the eruptive end that gives a visit to Pompeii such a frisson. Ostia Antica also has less in-situ artworks than its southern neighbour. But this lovely, flower-strewn site has a magical atmosphere; it really does convey something of what life must have been like in a Roman town in the 1st or 2nd century AD.

There’s an open-air theatre, a forum with mosaics depicting the lines of work of the various guilds that had their offices here, a thermopolium or tavern – complete with fresco advertising the house menu – and a communal latrine, its seats arranged in a horseshoe shape to allow users to discuss the day’s news while relieving themselves.

If you’re without wheels, the best way to get here is to take the train (around every 15 minutes) from Roma-Lido station, next to Piramide metro stop, and get off at Ostia Antica station: from here it’s a pleasant 10-minute walk to the entrance to the site.

Value for money

Price advice

Full admission is 6.50 euros.

Expert tips

Recommended for

  • Families with teenagers
  • Families with younger children
  • First-time travellers
  • Escaping the crowds
  • Romance