Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ostia Antica

Pompeii is better known and it is better preserved but Ostia Antica is just fifteen miles from Rome by scooter and....well, let me rephrase that: if your GPS gave you enough warning you'd be fifteen miles to Ostia but miss just one teeny weeny turn and the nasty voice starts having fits and spasms which send you miles out of your way.

We ended up cruising off towards I don't know quite where and for the first time As I got the MP3 up to 70miles an hour t keep up with freeway traffic my wife's hand gripped my shirt with a certain urgency as she tried to not let go of the GPS and not let go of the scooter at the same time. Amazingly enough we both spent much of the time laughing and not much of the time cursing me or the sign posting or the bitch in the GPS, though she did get the blame for our lengthy detour through the industrialized suburbs of eastern Rome.

Ostia Antica was a very large port city on the mouth of the Tiber River and it was responsible for sending and receiving all ocean trade serving the capital of the Empire.The city was flooded and filled with silt and was thus relatively well preserved though with none of the fiery drama of Pompeii.

The main street through Ostia is lined with the characteristic and lovely pines of Rome we have all heard so much about and these trees are what I think of when I walk Cheyenne among the spindly little trees of Big Pine Key.

Ostia was well equipped with baths which were gathering places for the various guilds,these were the public baths of Neptune:

While others were dedicated to civic groups, and guilds like this for the carters who hauled goods to Rome like the city's daily bread. They had their baths and you can see the cart at the top of the picture:

Plus there was a theater holding an audience of 4,000 people and is still used today for performances under the stars.

We walked and walked and ended up spending two and a half hours wandering the ruins.

The ride home was actually very straightforward on a very straight road and as we were traveling against the commute I for once had no cars to pass or lane split and we enjoyed a smooth straight run at 45 sedate miles per hour. I wish we had found this road on the way out!

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1 comment:

Chuck and the Pheebs said...

thank you for posting a la Italia.

It makes me want to go back again; perhaps next year!