If you’re longing for a nice day trip, look no further than Ostia. A large suburb in Rome, it is also home to Ostia Antica and the beaches of Ostia Lido. The neighborhood was founded in 1884 by peasants coming from Ravenna, Romagna. But with the opening of the Roma-Ostia railway in 1924, the village soon became a sea resort destination for upper class Romans. Many art nouveau houses were built on the waterfront as a result and Ostia grew even more popular when Via Ostiense opened in 1907.
According to legend, Ostia Antica was once the location of ancient Rome’s main harbor and also may have been Rome’s first colonia. With archaeological remains dating back to the 6th century BC, this site is a lesser-known, small-scale Pompeii but very well-preserved despite not having any protective casing. Ostia Antica has such a long and interesting history, it’s best to be taken around by a knowledgeable tour guide. You won’t want to miss out on any of the intricate details.
Once you are finished exploring the ancient ruins, head over to Ostia Lido, where you can grab a chair (at most establishments around €8-€10) and take your siesta on the beach. And if it’s not too hot, staying to watch the sunset is highly recommended. After which you can enjoy a nice dinner at many of the cute, local restaurants nearby. Our personal favorite is Ristorante Monumento dal 1884, especially if you love fresh seafood. Or, if you’d prefer to return to Rome for dinner, it’s only a short train ride away.
The harbor near the ancient ruins and beaches of Ostia make for a perfect summer day in August.