|Ruins of the Terme dei Sette Sapiente, the baths of the wise seven in Ostia Antica.|
|Striking mosaic floors remain in many buildings.|
|Fresco of a chariot racer.|
|An evocative residential street.|
|The gateway to Ostia Antica is this 1930s railway station near the Piramide in Rome.|
If you have time, check out the murals carved into the stucco walls in the main hall.
“Park” is the right term to describe Ostia today. The ancient city had about 50,000 inhabitants, so it covered a lot of territory. Today the exposed ruins are set off by a pleasant scattering of iconic Roman umbrella pines and cypresses, and, aside from a few modern roads and incursions, the unexcavated fields are currently dressed in green winter grass.
|The Decumanus, the main east-west street of Ostia Antica.|
Comfortable shoes and flexible ankles are recommended.
|Above, the theater, which was half again higher in ancient times.|
Below, the Tiber River just north of the central Forum.
|It looks like a modern Roman cafe bar, but it's an ancient Roman cafe bar.|
|A row of shops faces the Decumanus street.|
|The theater looks out over the Piazzale delle Corporazioni. The offices around the perimeter are sign-posted by graphic mosaics. The one below is thought to have been a vendor of wild animals.|
|Above, a sailors' guild with two ships headed toward a lighthouse.|
Below, the elephant advertises ivory from traders in Sabrata (Libia).
|The inscription refers to shipowners from Karalitani (Cagliari, Sardinia).|
|The view from one of the warm rooms in the Forum Baths.|
Below, a soaking tub with some marble facings remaining on the steps up to it.
|A marble-clad bench in the Forum Baths backs up against a heated wall. The terracotta conduits (also visible in the photo below) carried hot air from the furnace fires below, up behind the marble facings and out chimneys openings in the roof.|
|Half of the public toilet facility near the Forum. Water flowed continuously in a channel below the benches. The hole in the doorway floor stone is the pivot point for a door.|
|A niche for the lares, or household gods.|
|Climbing to an overlook platform we found that what were once ancient warehouses now store bits of antiquity—column capitals and bases, inscriptions, parts of statues.|
|Cupid and Psyche in the house of that name.|
|Peering through an iron grating in the back of Ostia's largest temple (to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva),|
I found a cache of ancient Roman lead pipes recovered from around the city.
|A statue of Mithras sacrificing a bull is the highlight of this subterranean mithraeum.|