Why do a rushed day-trip to Pompeii, when the splendid ruins of the ancient city Ostia Antica are just a 20-minute train-ride away?
Just like its Neapolitan counterparts (i.e. Pompeii and Herculaneum), Ostia is an ancient city. It enjoyed hundreds of years of prosperity as a naval base and then an import harbor. Unlike its Neapolitan counterparts, it did not perish overnight in the destructive wake of a volcano. Ostia simply followed Rome’s downward economic trajectory in the 400s A.D. Situated between the Mediterranean Sea and the Tiber River, it eventually lost its importance and slowly silted in.
But Ostia’s vacation-town and working-class spirit is unbroken! After excavations in the early 1900s, Ostia still feels like a living, thriving city, with its warehouses, theaters, baths, apartment buildings, temples, villas, restaurants, bars and cafes! For example, in the photo, you’ll see a road lined with buildings, one of which was once a hotel, the other a cafe.