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Rome Private Tours

Ostia Antica Tour: Incredible Preserved Rome City Port

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PRICE FROM

€ 240

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TOUR DETAILS

all inclusive price

PRICE

€ 240,00 for the first two people

DURATION

4 hours

SYNOPSIS

Just half an hour from Rome lie the vast ruins of Ostia Antica, an Ancient Roman town that rivals Pompeii for its size and impressive state of preservation. Ostia Antica is the perfect day trip from Rome, with so much to see and explore, and a dreamlike, peaceful atmosphere. Escape from the crowds and join us in Ostia Antica for a relaxed stroll through ruined villas and gardens, learning about the daily lives of the people who lived here and exploring the remains of the buildings where they once lived and worked. You’ll have the opportunity to climb the rows of the beautiful ancient theatre, admiring breathtaking views of the ruins - an atmospheric, Ancient Roman ghost town. In the bars, baths, bakeries and brothels you can still see ancient mosaics, and as you explore these buildings you’ll get a real sense of what it must have been like to live in a Roman town.

Explore the magnificently preserved remains of Rome's ancient port

The mysteries of this beautiful archaeological park surrounded by umbrella pines and cypress trees are endless, spanning wonderful mosaic floors, frescoes, statues and majestic buildings that remain amazingly intact even today. Here there is no modern city obscuring the secrets of these ancient ruins, and on this special private tour of Ostia Antica we can wander through this beautiful maze as if we are its first discoverers.

The ancient Roman port city of Ostia Antica is only a half-hour train journey from Rome. Though it used to be on the sea, silt build-up over the centuries means that it now lies three kilometers inland. In fact, it was this sand blowing in gradually from the coast that has preserved the city so well for our eyes today. 'Ostia' means 'mouth,' and refers to this city's important position at the mouth of the Tiber River. As Rome grew in importance Ostia grew with it into a thriving port city of 80,000 inhabitants in its hey-day during the days of the Imperial empire. The city was very well connected to Rome by the river Tiber and the ancient roads of Via Ostiense and Via Portuensis, which in those days were renowned as being the busiest in the Roman Empire.

To begin our private tour we will explore the secrets of the necropolis, an ancient cemetery on the outside edge of the city walls where columbaria and elaborately decorated sarcophagi held the remains of important families. From here we will follow the ancient basalt road through the city entrance where the twin colossal statues to the goddess Minerva guarded the entry gates.

At the Baths of the Cart drivers we will admire whimsical mosaics showing portraits of favorite horses along with their affectionate pet-names. From here we will end up at the Baths of Neptune, where we will learn of ancient bathing customs and realise just how civilised the Romans really were. Amazing mosaic floors showing the god Neptune along with his mermaids and other mythical sea creatures are on display here, which we will view from the second storey of the bath complex.

One of the most important features of Ostia were the warehouses that stored goods imported from all over the Roman Empire. With such a concentration of produce it became necessary to guard against potentially devastating fires, and so the Emperor Augustus established a Fire Station which we can still visit today. We will see its important Altar to the Emperors, as well as its bathroom with marble seats and coved ceilings. After passing a row of shops we will step inside the Tavern of Fortunatus to see the floor mosaic that welcomed his guests with the greeting "Fortunatus says if you are thirsty, drink wine from the crater." The accompanying picture of a giant drinking goblet drives the innkeeper's message home.

The next stop on this private Rome tour will be a beautiful Roman Theatre from the first century B.C., used today for evening concerts in the summer. Here up to 4,500 people were seated and entertained with tragedies, aquatic shows, music and bawdy comedies. Behind the theatre we will explore the Square of the Corporations, a rare site surrounding the Temple to Venus which housed the offices of merchants decorated with mosaics displaying their vocations, ranging from the transport of wheat to live elephants.

After lunch we will continue our private tour with a visit to the small museum with displays of many sculptures and frescoes found on-site. Next an intriguing visit to the Thermopolium, an ancient bar and restaurant that looks almost as if it could still be serving food today. Across the street we will see the famous House of Diana, one of the most important surviving apartment buildings from ancient Roman times. After visiting a bakery and seeing a field of giant pottery containers for oil and wine, we will arrive at the Curia and the Forum - the civic heart of Ostia and site of the temples to Hercules and the Goddess Roma.

Along the way we will see temples to the most important gods and goddesses of the ancient world, including a field dedicated to the worship of the great mother goddess Cybele, many Mithraic Temples as well as a rare Jewish Synagogue and an important Christian site. At the end of the tour we will visit opulent Pompey-style houses complete with beautiful interior courtyards and statues, as well as the impressive Baths of the Forum. These baths were famous for their delicate design which followed the path of the sun, their large Corinthian columns, a hexagonal gymnasium and public men's and women's bathrooms.

After an exciting day visiting these wondrous sites on this special ancient Rome private tour, your guide will return with you on the train to Rome from where you can take a taxi back to your hotel.

Classic sights included in our itinerary:

  • The House of Diana
  • The Theatre of Ostia
  • The Forum
  • The Temple of Venus
  • The Baths of Neptune

Outside the Piramide metro station, Piazzale Ostiense.

This is a walking tour through archaeological sites the ancient site of Ostia with steps and uneven surfaces. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a bottle of water

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Our strengths

Our guides are fluent in English and have a contagious passion for Rome's inspiring cultural heritage. Experts in their fields, they will immerse you in the hidden histories and intriguing lives of history's great protagonists. So much to see, so easy to miss out: with the help of our guides, visit the most absorbing sites and uncover the stories that have changed the world. Don't miss this fascinating journey!

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