Ostia

Long day exploring the Roman port town of Ostia.  We walked down the Decumanus (the main road, originally the main road of a small castrum set up to defend the mouth of the Tiber), starting at the Porta Romana (a gate set up after a pirate attack in 67 B.C. and which apparently had competing inscriptions by Cicero & Clodius).  We saw the Baths of Neptune, which contains a wonderful mosaic of Amphitrite (the one of Neptune was covered), then headed to the Forum (the old castrum) to see a nymphaeum, the Capitolium, Temple to Rome & Augustus, and Basilica.  We then saw the House of Diana, which has a mithraeum in the back corner and a room which was converted to a stable.  The Insula Delle Volte Dipinte has a neat painted vaulted ceiling (from which the Severan  painting is falling off and revealing the Antonine painting) and a fun erotic painting in one of the bedrooms.  We also visited the Insula of the Muses and the Apartment House of the Priestesses (one of the garden houses).

After lunch (I supplemented my banana, apple, and granola bar with a lemon soda and zucchini/cheese panino), some of my colleagues performed a skit in the theater.  We then talked about the theater and explored the so-called Piazza of the Corporations (much of the theater and portico are restored).  We saw a thermapolium (basically, a fast-food joint), and then a house which seems to have served as a men’s dining club (many private triclinia, or dining rooms).  We explored the Forum Baths (including the hypocaust underneath) and finished with the House of Cupid & Psyche (which has some neat opus sectile floors).  The train ride back to Rome was a bit stinky (no AC and many Italians, especially older ones, don’t seem to shower much or use deodorant).

After some down time, we went out for dinner (I had pasta with bacon & cream sauce), a walk along the river, some drinks at a hookah bar (I did not partake of the hookah—I know, party-pooper), and hanging out at the Girabaldi.

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About saholc

Latin Teacher at The Hill School Atlanta Braves & US Soccer Fan
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