From the Latin word “ostium”, witch means the mouth of Tiber. A town located at 30 km from Rome. An admirable archaeological site which is not second to Pompeii.

Ostia was for long time Rome's only river port. Freight ships arriving here from the Mediterranean Sea unloaded their cargo onto smaller boats that were able to reach Rome through the Tiber.

The inhabitants of Ostia were merchants, ship owners, craftsmen, labourers, freed-men and slaves of different languages and religions. Ostia's cosmopolitan nature can be seen in the sanctuaries, temples and shrines dedicated, to the local gods, as well as to the Eastern ones, mainly Persian, Phrygian and Egyptian.

The excavations of Ostia are quite extensive and more than rival those of Pompeii (http://www.itnw.roma.it/ostia/scavi/). The site boasts numerous marvellous mosaics, many of which are still perfectly preserved, that decorate the pavements, provide us with a goldmine of information on the cities with which Ostia carried on trade, on the goods dealt with and on the guilds working at the port.

The baths, the gymnasium and the theatre are the best sites to visit. The baths were free to all who would use them and their use was encouraged because a premium was set on health. Incredible the system by which the water was brought and heated and the system for sewage disposal.

Outside Ostia’s ruins, right in front of the entry, stands the ancient borough of Ostia, now Ostia Antica, with its castle built by Pope Julius II. Its construction was ordered by Pope Gregory IV and was named Gregoriopolis in his honour. It was only a little village, fortified to prevent the raids by the Saracens.