It’s a big archeological area and not totally discovered. The Unesco has included it in the list of 100 most important archeological sites of the world. The tradition tells that the rise of the city, (which takes its name from latin “ostium”, the mouth of the river) is due to the forth king of Rome, Anco Marzio (620 B.C.), but the documents confirm its presence only from IV century B.C.
Its urban structure, which was born with the aim of a fortification to control the salt storage, had a strict structure called “cardo-decumanico”. In the age of Augusto, in this area there were the most important commercial buildings, the forum with the temple of Rome and Augusto and the theatre (still in use for performances especially in Summer time) and the square of corporations. The main urban aspect was determined by the port of Ostia; it was used to transport food from Ostia to Rome, coming from the Provinces by using the river. For this reason, there were a lot of “horrea”, a place where to store the goods. In the Imperial Age, two big port basins were built, the ones of Claudio and Traiano and the city was at its maximum splendor. The forum was restored and the “capitolium” devoted to Giove, Giunone and Minerva. A new kind of house developed called “insula”, which has more than one floor and so many families could live in there. On the ground floor there were the artisans shops, with the painted decorations and well preserved mosaics. In the Age of Antonini, great thermal baths were built; they all have a big “frigidario” and different heated places which had big windows turned towards the gym. Between the IV and the V century A.C., Ostia started to decline and it was neglected in the IX century A.C. Inside the archeological area , there is the Ostiense Archeological Museum, where it is possible to see many interesting remains.
For booking and information: