Ostia Antica, Ostia
Tel: 39 06 5635 8099
Concierge.com's insider take:
Ostia Antica is Rome's answer to Pompeii, and though it lacks the volcano backdrop, it is every bit as impressive. In fact, when it comes to atmosphere, ancient Rome's port, which reached its peak in the first and second centuries A.D., wins hands down. It's an intimate, lived-in kind of place. You can wander into the neighborhood taberna (bar), where wall paintings depict some of the dishes on offer and the refrigeration system consists of huge jars sunk into the floor. There are corn mills, their grindstones still in place. Offices of shipping companies in the Forum of the Corporation have floor mosaics showing the commodities dealt in, while the public latrine must have been a great place to pick up the day's gossip. During the summer, plays and concerts are staged in the towering Roman theater (bring mosquito repellent and a cushion for the stone seats). The program of events can be found at www.cosmophonies.com. To reach Ostia Antica, take the train from Roma–Lido station (20 minutes), which is next to Piramide metro station.
Open Tuesdays through Sundays 9 am to one hour before sunset.