Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ostia Antica

Day three we trekked from Rome to Ostia Antica. I'd never been before and heard it described as a less-crowded, more-accessible Pompeii. Ostia Antica is a huge area of ruins from a town founded about BC 200, though much of the sites are AD. We began at the outside of its main street and walked past some ruined tombs. Everyone took tons of photos and marveled at things like a half-destroyed wall.

Little did we know what lay ahead! Everyone began dispersing and I followed Max, Nicky, and Ryan down an unkempt path between some old foundations. Soon the boys were poking around through doors and windows and climbing around on top of the ancient ruins. Climbing up and around and through the buildings I discovered an underground tunnel. We found the others and showed them, spending the next 40 minutes or so groping through the pitch dark tunnels scaring each other.

After lunch in the cafeteria, Greg (Ryan's dad) bought a map of the ancient city and we realized we'd only seen a small fraction of the ancient city. We climbed around and trekked through multi-story ruins, explored underground chapels, and even found a wall-less kitchen. There was more to see, but we were exhausted. The energizer bunny half of our group went back to Rome to see another Cathedral, but the rest of us retired to the hotel for a shower and wine on the balcony. I didn't even think about how old the dirt was I washed off my feet.

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