Sunday, May 19, 2013

Ostia Antica, Italy

ancient uneven roads... 
Thanks everyone for your kind comments and emails! I cannot answer now as the internet service aboard ship is very expensive! Just know that I am very appreciative! Love and miss you all!
public bathrooms....yikes!
The Temple
Pine nuts grow on umbrella pine trees, pictured right. Geppetto carved Pinocchio from the wood of an Umbrella Pine Tree. His name means wood with an eye! According to the guide.
mixing the old with the it

public kitchen and bar...

We arrived in The Port of Civitavecchia, Sunday, May 19, 2013. First morning light photo, 6:45AM. Cool and windy, with again the promise of a warmer day ahead. 
The port very large and industrial. Several cruise ships were docked, always an awesome sight.
We booked an out of town tour to Ostia Antica, through Holland America. My biggest, concern, what does one wear to an archeological dig???  Our tour left promptly at 8:00AM. There was a one and half hour ride to the sight and my expectations were dwindling! The ride very pastoral, accessorized with olive trees, umbrella pine trees, along with scattered cypress. Very relaxing and a chance to unwind, so we made the best of it. The brochure did say it was out of town! We will visit Rome on our land tour.
We met our guide Barbara, she was extremely knowledgeable and spoke decent English. Didn’t always catch everything she said, but got the gist of it. She spoke for two hours and was a plethora of information. 
The genius of the Romans was evident in every brick or stone that was laid. Intricate water systems, sophisticated engineering and a beautiful ancient city, displayed a view of Roman daily life. 
Ostia was one of Ancient Rome’s important, commercial and military ports. It had disappeared for centuries because of earthquakes and tsunamis. It was in large, preserved because of sand and mud that had covered it over. In 1932, Mussolini ordered that Ostia be excavated. The area is very large and we were able to cover half of the site. 
There were apartments, public bathrooms, Roman baths, public kitchens, a temple, Forum and a theater. Many merchants sold their wears in shops that were clearly defined by, Barbara. 
Most of the site was at ground level. This was a relief as we had been looking up for days, enjoying other European wonders. Barbara said, that most of the structures were four stories high originally. If you were wealthy you got the first level, as it was easier to carry water to your apartment. 
The roads were paved with very large and uneven stones, which made walking a mindful experience. An ankle could be twisted with any wrong move. 
We later stopped at a swanky Gelateria, in modern Ostia, a beautiful seaside resort. The gelato was excellent and refreshing.
Well folks there you have it, another day in paradise! My expectations rating, over the top!
The Amalfi Coast tomorrow, one of the many highlights of our trip. A welcomed sea day on Tuesday! 

Lessons learned: I need a wide angle lens! 

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TexWisGirl said...

love the umbrella pines! the public bathrooms...not so much!

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Seems you are having an amazing time. It's hard for me to imagine such ancient ruins. Thankfully they are rather well preserved and now reveal "secrets" of time long ago.

Gail Dixon (La.Belle) said...

Please tell me one doesn't have to actually use those toilets. :/ Wonderful shots of Italy. What a dream vacation.

hootnonny said...

Fascinating! Thanks for taking me on your cruise!

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