Scavi Archeologici di Ostia Antica
Scavi Archeologici di Ostia Antica information
Ostia's ruins are spread out and you'll need a few hours to do them justice. Note also that the site gets busy at weekends but is often empty during the week.
From the Porta Romana near the ticket office, the Decumanus Maximus , the city's main strip, runs over 1km to Porta Marina , a gate which originally led out to the sea.
On the Decumanus, the Terme di Nettuno is one of the site's highlights. This baths complex, one of 20 that originally stood in town, dates from Hadrian's 2nd-century renovation of the port and boasts some superb mosaics, including a stunning depiction of Neptune driving his sea-horse chariot, surrounded by sea monsters, mermaids and mermen. In the centre of the complex are the remains of a large arcaded courtyard called the Palaestra , in which athletes used to train.
Next to the Terme is a good-sized Teatro (amphitheatre), built by Agrippa and later enlarged to hold 4000 people. Climb to the top and look out and you’ll get a good overview of the site.
Behind the amphitheatre is the Piazzale delle Corporazioni (Forum of the Corporations), the offices of Ostia's merchant guilds, which sport mosaics depicting the different interests of each business.
The Forum , Ostia's main square, is dominated by the huge Capitolium , a temple built by Hadrian and dedicated to the main Roman deities – Jupiter, Juno and Minerva.
Nearby is another must-see: the Thermopolium , an ancient cafe. Check out the bar, surmounted by a frescoed menu, the kitchen and small courtyard where customers would have sat next to a fountain and relaxed with a drink. Across the road are some spectacularly well-preserved latrines, set in a sociable crescent, part of the Terme di Foro complex.
For more modern facilities, there's a cafeteria/bar complex with toilets, a giftshop and a museum displaying statues and sarcophagi excavated on site.