Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Honeymoon X – Ostia Antica

You may recall that after we first left Rome, we wanted to visit the ancient Roman port of Ostia Antica. Through a series of errors, we ended up in strange coastal town before abandoning our plans and heading for Naples.


This time, back in Rome we found an actual bar where we gathered intelligence which allowed us to make the trip to Ostia Antica. Keep in mind that such bars are rare in Italy. Unlike Americans, Germans, Irish and the English, Italians aren't known for what a guide book called "dedicated drinking." They don't pony up to a bar and get drunk.

They have coffee shops with pastries and ice cream and perhaps a bottle of Jack Daniel's on the shelf. You can order a drink, and you could get drunk if you wanted to. But it would be like getting tipsy at the local Denny's or Starbucks. It's more likely that you'll have your cocktail, eat something and leave relatively intact.

The exception was the Druid bar, above, near our B&B. It was a real bar, with barstools and a wall of liquor (a rarity in Italy.) It was inhabited by drunken English & Irish lads, and a few drunken sailors from some northern European countries. We enjoyed some Guiness.

We also found a charming Welshman who worked as a tour guide. As he sucked down a jug of white wine and smoked endless cigarrettes, he told us how how to get to Ostia Antica and highly recommended a place that Kim was already determined to see.


We took the subway, transferred to another train and exited near this castle right outside the ruins.


The castle was closed, dammit. But we still enjoyed looking at it and exploring the adjacent village.

The buildings were pretty.




A nice place for a kitty, don't ya think?


We then entered Ostia Antica. This time I skipped petting the dog, who looked like he was ready for a good fight.


Here's one of many, many incredible mosaics. Ostia Antica isn't mentioned much in the guide books, but I'll tell you this – if you go to Italy and don't have a lot of time, forget Pompei and Herculea. Ostia is just as good, and it's a day trip from Rome! It will more than satisfy you if you want to explore an ancient Roman village.


Some of the buildings are two stories in height.


Here's the theater.



Here's a theater face. By the way, the temperature is beginning to plummet at this point and I'm freezing my balls off. That's why you're now seeing me in that wool hat.


It's neat to explore the second floors in an ancient Roman village. I wonder who climbed these same steps 2,000 years ago?


WTF? Where are we?


Oh, here we are at a bar. A 2,000-year-old bar!


Here's the original menu. What would you like?


Here's a temple.


After Ostia, we returned to the subway. Turns out that there was a strike of all transit workers, which meant we had to sit and enjoy cocktails and snacks at a local joint. Then, several hours later, we got on the subway along with half the country all headed to Rome. It seemed as if we were within moments of a riot. Good fun! Later I may post my video.


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