My entire Rome vacation was wonderful and full of beauty and history, but the most fun we had was the day we spent at Ostia Antica.
The ruins of this ancient sea port are amazingly well preserved and the best part is that you can walk around in them, climb on them, explore and examine to your heart's content.
As you wander through the site it is easy to imagine it as a bustling, thriving port city. You can still see the murals in some of the houses. You can look down into the baths where the floors display mosaics of Neptune and sea creatures. The theater is very large and in front of it is the guild area with mosaics depicting the different types of shops and goods offered by the merchants. A bakery still has the mill stones and ovens. You can see the ruins of the oldest known synagogue outside of Israel.
There is so much to see here, I wish we had planned for more than one day. This is the type of place you could visit many times and see something different every time.
There is a cafe/gift shop/museum on the site. You can explore the site on your own or pay for a guided tour. I recommend exploring on your own, equipped with a map of the site.
In closing, if you are going to Rome, make sure you schedule yourself a day to spend at Ostia Antica. You will be glad you did.
Note: My trip was in November of 2011, not 2013.
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