Ruins of Ostia Antica, Rome
Rome, Italy June 2012
Overall Grade: A-

Ostia Antica Mosaic Ostia Antica Ampitheater Ostia Antica Grape Trellis

Ruins of Ostia Antica Family Grades

Brian (Dad) - A "Not the most impressive ruins, but they seem to extend forever. The best thing is that you are left to your own devices to wander around and explore. You walk around a corner and stumble upon a beautiful mosaic floor and it is as if you are the first one to discover it."Audio Clip

Toni (Mom) - A "I give it an A for ruins because it was definitely ruined. A felt like a rat in a maze. It was interesting and fun everywhere. The kids enjoyed running around a finding treasures. Kyle was so excited about the mosaic he found, and Sean finding the tunnel and Emi would just follow them around. They were free to run around and chase each other and I was following along to see what I could find too. There was not many people and it was fun to do with children. It was hot but we went early enough that it wasn't too bad. " Audio Clip

Why Go

Ostia Antica has the best Roman ruins I've ever seen (Video). I haven't been to Pompei but the guide books say Ostia Antica is comparable. They are much better than the Roman Forum. The thing which really sets these apart is the freedom you have to explore and go anywhere. The kids found underground tunnels which the Romans must have used for storage. We were free to walk inside the ruins and climb any stairs we found.

Ostia Antica was Rome's port and is at the intersection of the Tiber and the Mediterranean. The ruins include the original warf area, but it was such a long walk we didn't make it. Walking all the way to the beach would be a great hike if you bring some water. When we were there in June, the wildflowers were in full bloom and butterflies fluttered between the brick walls.

Getting There

The metro passes cover the rail line which runs from Rome through Ostia Antica and on to the beaches on the Mediterranean. The train and metro intersect at the Piramide metro station. It is about a half mile walk from the Ostia Antica train station to the ruins. Head straight out the station door, the route is well marked.


I'd recommend going early in the summer before it gets too hot, the shade is in short supply. Also, there are limited fountains so a water bottle is a good idea. The beaches are not too great but you can easily spend the morning at the ruins and then take the train a few more stops to the beach.

We packed a lunch and bought some cold drinks at the cafeteria. However, the food at the cafeteria looked very good so you don't need to go to the trouble of packing a lunch.

If you do bring a picnic lunch look for the picnic table under the trellis. It is outside the cafteria: Ostia Antica Picnic Table. Also, it doesn't hurt to stay well supplied with Crik Croks for the kids: Crik Crok Video

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