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Ostia Path

Wednesday 2nd November

We’re back again!! The problem (one of the problems) we have is that we don’t have a sensible adult to advise us so in the end we took the easy option – do nothing. Our Camper Cheques were all prepaid and if we stayed for 6 nights we got a free night. In the end we stayed at La Flaminio for 7 nights. The last three days was beautiful weather and the shade from the trees was very welcome. Lucy carried on with her cross stitch and I did a bit of boat building, forgot to take photos of our progress, maybe next time.

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Beers of the day. We had to go back to Carrefour to get some more food since we knew all the shops would be closed on Tuesday and look what accidentally fell into my basket. Just to be contrary I started from the right. 8.6 Gold is very sweet and before I knew it I was on the Original (which is why it’s called 8.6 – thats the strength). I think I preferred the Gold to the Original but I am sure that I prefer the Red over the previous two. I can’t remember the Extreme, the can was empty next morning and my head was very painful.

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Our neighbours had a day trip out to Ostia Antica, Romes’ port from the 4th century BC to 15th century. with a short break in the middle. By 400AD trade had started slowing, malaria thrived and by 800AD the whole area was abandoned. A salt warehouse was built on the banks of the Tiber but in the 16th century a devastating flood covered the whole area in sediment and changed the route of the Tiber. In the 1930’s Mussolini dug it all out and since then they have struggled to keep the area in good condition.

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This place is vast, at one time 100,000 people lived here and the warehouses stretched for 2km.

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All the roads are laid with basalt blocks some weighing up to 200kg. You can make out the grooves cut by cart wheels. Some stretches of the road were very smooth and pleasant to walk on but stretches like this made it very easy to slip, trip or put your back out.

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Fromt he entry gate the first structures you reach are those of the graveyards. You were not allowed to buried within the city walls so this area was where you built your big mausoleum for you and your family. To the right is a sarcophagus.

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Here we can see the small niches for your urn of ashes to be placed.

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This was part of a huge tomb, someone very wealthy.

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Inside the city walls are temples, baths, government buildings and homes. This mosaic is part of the huge Saturn Baths complex. We are standing on the second floor looking down into the gymnasium.

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The back of the Amphitheatre. Part of it was reconstructed in the 1930’s but it was very well done.

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And inside the theatre which could hold 4000 people. At the back where the columns are would have been the back wall of the theatre. The semi circle area is the orchestra and the stage is in between. 

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This place is still used for open air displays. Note the marble seats at the front. There would have been another tier of seats above those you can see for the riff raff.

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Beautiful carved piece, no idea what it is or was. We had an audio guide but the signs were poor and it was all a bit hit and miss. Also the audioguide had to be returned by 3.30pm when the place didn’t close until 7.15pm!

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This would have been a tower block, three floors of flats with communal toilets. Water and waste were channeled through pipes under the pavements.

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This was the flour mill. A conical cone sat on the floor with a hollow shaped cylinder placed on top which could be turned by a donkey.

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More houses,.

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And the Capitoleum with the Forum in front.

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Public toilets.Hitch your robes up, do the business and use a sponge on a stick to wipe! There is a channel just in front of your feet to wash the sponge in. There would have been revolving doors in the entrance and exit.

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Lakeside shopping centre mark 1. At least a dozen shops on two levels with a fountain in the middle.

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One of the warehouses, privately owned.

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Amphorae each containing 1200 litres of olive oil.

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Nicely carved sarcophagus now located in a museum located in the old salt warehouse.

As I said before, this place is huge, we spent a good four hours there and barely did half of it. Had to get on and return our audioguide.


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I’m looking for places to stay, lots of places on the coast are silly money and whilst looking through the set of sostas our German friends in Montefalco gave us, I realised that there is more to life than Camper Contact. I had a look at www.searchforsites.co.uk and found loads more places. One place caught my eye with very good reviews and in my price range (€10 a night) and off we trundled (and shook, and wobbled, and banged and crashed). Lucy wasn’t too optimistic when I mentioned it was a farm but we found it in the middle of nowhere, a million miles from any church bells.

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And the first thing she says is “Mick Monk’s been here” and by jove, I think she’s right. Here is the shower block.

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Mick has made the lights – who remembers his bulb inside a drinks container?

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He has fixed up the elsan point so that methane can be extracted at source – I can’t think what else that pressure tank could be.

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And he has fitted out the unisex wash room with a generous supply of cold water.

We’ve also got a loggia where we could spend the evening with our neighbours (if we had any). Other than the facilities this is a very nice site and it is half a mile from the sea. We’ve got food for four nights (wine for only three but I have just found a full bottle of gin). We might stay a while, if only we had a responsible adult with us.

3 thoughts on “Ostia Path

  1. Giorgio

    The ancient Roman city of Ostia was in antiquity situated at the mouth of the river Tiber, about 30 kilometres to the west of Rome. The shoreline moved seawards, due to silting, from the Middle Ages until the 19th century. Therefore Ostia is today still lying next to the Tiber, but at a distance of some three kilometers from the beach. Ostia is Latin for “mouth”, the mouth of the Tiber.

    Sadly, once you reach the beach, the sea you will find is not the best of what Italians have access to in other areas. Several beach establishments are in the hands of private contractors and you will find that gaining access in their well kept premises will double your price range of 10 euro a night. Two deckchairs and an umbrella will often cost 20 euro.

    As you move south however [if that is where you are heading] the coastline and the sea will improve.

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