Ancient Ostia: a Day in the Life of the Romans
Bigger than Pompeii, the port city of Ancient Ostia lies at the mouth of the river Tiber a few miles east of Rome. It was founded as the very first colony of Rome in the 6th century BC and was completely abandoned in the 6th century AD. Its buildings, blocks, villas, thermal baths, temples of all religions, restaurants, public toilets told us the story of common people day to day day life in the Roman age. The tour of the Scavi may take from a minimum of 2 hours for a general sightseeing of the most important public buildings as the Forum, the Thermal Baths, the Horrea and the Bakeries of 2nd century AD, from an entire day. Some of the highlights are the Mithreum of the Thermae, an underground temple for mysteric rituals, the domus, roman villas of the rich families, and the insulae, the mid-classe homes, very well preserved.
We’ll enter Virtually the city form the Porta Romana, partially preserved, and walking along the Decumano our guide will illustrate some of the aspects connected with the roman day life, as thermal baths, which were also used for sports, like boxing and swimming, personal care as waxing and massage, and of course for the baths including sauna. We’ll call in a roman “bar” called caupona where wine and snaks were offered to guests, or the thermopolium or popina, where the romans could buy a meal and eat it standing at the bar or seating outside on some benches.
The bakeries including the well-preserved mills and the oven are always an highlight of the trip and after seeing the Forum, the central square where all the main religious services and the political ceremonies took place, we will stop by the original “restrooms” of roman times. A visit to Ancient Ostia may not be complete without a stop in the Roman Theatre, build in I century BC, one of Ancient Rome’s best preserved theatre still in use today.
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