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Monday, January 7, 2013


I am breaking Thursday into two parts so that it won't be a loooong post. Since we didn't have time to travel to Pompeii or Herculaneum, we decided to visit Ostia Antica instead. Ostia Antica is now an archeological site but it was an ancient Roman port of 30-40,000 people at its height. It is easy to get to with a 45-minute trip by metro and train and a short walk through the town.

The first section we passed was the Necropolis (city of the dead) complete with a carving to identify it.
Here are some of the niches for ash-filled urns.

We think of modern cities as being jam-packed with buildings but these foundations show that Roman cities were just as crowded.

The town was important enough to have its own theater.

Near the theater was the Square of the Guilds, with more than 60 offices of ship owners and traders.  Along the sidewalk, mosaics from the second-century A.D. advertise the services offered by the various companies.

One of the mosaics

Another mosaic

These little lizards were all over the place but it was hard to get a good photo. As soon as they felt the shadow of the camera, they would scoot for cover.

There was a nice little museum housing some of Ostia's finest statuary.

Here's a close-up photo of the floor, which was made of various slabs of marble.

There was a nice cafeteria and museum shop behind the museum in a modern building so we stopped to have lunch and look at the shop.

This was one of the buildings we discovered after lunch.  There must have been 6 or 7 such
buildings with pieces from the excavation stored out of the weather.

Remember all of those lovely umbrella pines you saw in earlier photos?  Well, this is a pine cone from one of the trees.

As a testament to the hard work that it took to excavate this site, here is a wall that hadn't been treated yet.  Those are roots covering the bricks.

That was it for our tour of the ancient port city so it was back to Rome  for some bead shopping.



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