BSR Summer School day 4: Ostia

6/9/08 – 4.45pm

Had an amazing day.  Ostia was just fantastic – a whole Roman

Ostia street

One of the wonderfully preserved streets in Ostia

town that you can walk through, like Pompeii, with amazing frescoes and mosaics.  Saw a bakery with the mills still inside, and a Roman wine bar which had shelves for the glasses and a painting of a plate with a carrot on it!

We had ice creams, naturally, and after lunch we were given an hour and a half to explore.  It’s so amazing as hardly anything is cordoned off, so you can go in and on the buildings.  My highlight was the most fabulous mosaic in the Baths of Neptune – you just don’t expect to see so much still there, perfectly preserved.

Elephant mosaic

A mosaic of an elephant in the Forum of the Corporations

Another wonderful sight was the Forum of the Corporations, with mosaics which included one of an elephant, and one of an amphora with the owner’s initials on it!  Truly incredible.

On the way back we stopped at the Isola Sacra, a necropolis near Ostia, which was also amazing – lots of grave monuments which you could go inside, spectacularly well-preserved.  We also saw a massive black and yellow spider – urgh.

11.50pm

Just got back from a lovely evening out in Rome.  We don’t get fed on Saturday evenings so we went out en masse in search of a restaurant.  After much debate about where we were and which direction we should be going in to reach a pizzeria that one of the girls had heard about, we found it, and there was a long queue.  It had taken so long to get there that we decided to wait anyway, and even though there were 9 of us we got a table in about 20 minutes.

Madonna shrine

An old man walks past a small shrine lit up at night

I looked up the place in my guide book and it turns out that it’s the most famous place in Rome to eat pizza – hence the queue! It’s called Da Baffetto and it’s somewhere near Piazza Navona.  The pizza was great and the meal in general was lovely as everyone gets on really well.

After the meal we got gelati – I had pannacotta flavour – before trying to find the way home.  We got rather lost and somehow ended up at the Vittorio Emmanuele monument – the opposite end of the Via del Corso to the one we were aiming for!  So we got the bus back and luckily it turned up pretty much straight away.

Vittorio Emanuele Monument

The Vittorio Emanuele Monument illuminated at night

So all in all it’s been a really good day and I’m having a great time here in Rome.  It’s rather surreal to be here, spending all day looking at ancient monuments with people I only just met but whom I feel like I’ve known ages.  Anyway I’d better turn in.  We’re not leaving til 9am tomorrow and we’re buying breakfast somewhere nice so that should be good.

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About Rachel Ingram

I graduated from Oxford University in 2009 with an MA in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History from St John's College. After graduating I worked as a Geographic Researcher at Holidaylettings.co.uk, spending lots of time researching and writing travel guides to worldwide destinations, developing my copywriting skills. After working as a copywriter and content consultant at White.net (formerly SEOptimise), where I most enjoyed working with travel clients, I went self-employed. I now divide my time between freelance copywriting and running the business I set up with my boyfriend - AirExperiences.co.uk - selling aviation gift experiences. In my spare time I'm training for a Private Pilot's Licence, and I also enjoy travelling, wine and baking. My favourite authors are Charles Dickens, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Bill Bryson.
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One Response to BSR Summer School day 4: Ostia

  1. Pingback: The Tomb of Eurysaces – the man who made his fortune by baking bread | Rachel's Rome Writings

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