With the splendid ruins of Ostia Antica, an entire ancient Roman city, just a 20-minute train-ride away, why do a rushed day-trip to Pompeii?
Unlike its Neapolitan counterparts (i.e. Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Oplonti–to name a few), Ostia did not perish overnight in the destructive wake of a volcano. Ostia simply followed Rome in its downward economic trajectory in the 400s A.D. After hundreds of years of prosperity as a naval base and then a harbor, the port town situated between the Mediterranean Sea and the Tiber River 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.