I cannot stress how great of a value a visit to Ostia Antica is. My husband and I went to Dublin, Rome, and Paris on this trip--and we both agreed Ostia Antica blew any other attractions out of the water. It's only 8 euro to get in if you are a non-EU resident adult. We easily spent 4 1/2 hours touring it and only saw about 60% of it during that time.
Transport: It's very easy to get to from Rome. (Note: if you will be using public transit in Rome, I HIGHLY recommend downloading "Rome Map offline-Your ultimate Italy Roma Pocket..." by Fun Ying Fong. Nothing else was comparable, and transport in Rome is extremely difficult to understand.) Just get off the train at the Ostia Antica stop. Use the pedestrian bridge to cross the road. Continue walking straight for about 4 minutes, cross a two lane road, and walk alongside a restaurant (straight) till you reach the site.
Logistics: Technically you are not allowed to eat or drink anything in the site, but we saw many people doing so anyway. To be fair, you really can't go this long without needing some water and food. If you will be consuming such, please do so away from the tiles and buildings and do not leave any trash. You will need sunscreen and extremely comfortable shoes (I was fine in well-supported ballet flats). The ground is mostly gravel/dirt, cobblestones. In some places it is a little overgrown, so maybe leave the dresses/short shorts at home (unless it's very hot). Dress in lightweight, removable layers for best comfort.
The site opens with the necropolis which I found to be utterly fascinating and spent entirely too much time in. Miraculously, the rest of the site is even cooler. There are mosaics, paintings, entire houses still standing--everything I ever dreamed of when thinking of Roman ruins. Wander EVERYWHERE. There's always something wonderful waiting to be discovered.
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