: Ostia Lido Nord
: G.R.A. Exit 27
Car: not necessary
If you tire of geeking out at Rome ruins why not hit the surf? The heart of modern-day Ostia is one of the most popular beach daytrips among Romans during the summer months. Lungomare Paolo Toscanelli runs along the waterfront; stroll along here and you’ll be able to quickly assess your beachgoing options. There are two types of beaches, public and club or private. Both kinds are in fact accessible to visitors, but you have to pay to access private beaches. Typical entry is about €4-5 at the bigletterie by the beaches’ main gates. The premium gets you a less crowded beach with better facilities (more bathrooms, etc.) and a more upscale clientele. However, you can enjoy the same dark sand and warm sea for free if you skip a few meters over to a public beach. Some free beaches are marked “ ingresso libero ” (free entry) at the gate; others are unmarked but don’t have a ticket counter. Lido di Ostia is joined to rome with a train line: At the Ostinse metro line station, at the top of the stairs, turn left and follow signs to Ferrovia Roma-Lido. Your Metro ticket includes the train ride to Lido Centro (35min., every 15min. daily 5:40am-11:30pm).
Ostia Antica is the old Harbour of the Romans. Visiting Ostia is like visiting Tivoli and Hadrian's villa: a relaxing trip that takes you away from the noise and incessant police-sirens of Rome. Ostia was originally developed as a sea port, prior to the silting up of the Tiber's estuary. Ostia increased in importance from the fourth century BC, becoming a major naval and trading base. As Rome's port, the town had obvious commercial significance, and expanded in size and grandeur to match this position. There are impressive mosaics and columns everywhere (statues are mostly taken away for safekeeping), but highlights include the smaller domestic details: the fishmonger's marble slab, the bar with its wares illustrated on the wall, the communal public toilets.