In Rome, you don’t need to choose between visiting the beach on a hot summer day and learning about Roman history at a well-preserved archaeological excavation site. With a visit to Ostia, you can do both. There is a modern city of Ostia, as well as the remains of an ancient one. The two are only a couple of miles apart, and both are easily accessible via public transportation. Here’s what you can see on a day trip to Ostia from Rome.
In the historic center of Rome, there is an old church with a famous tourist attraction on the outside and the relics of a famous saint inside – the Basilica of Saint Mary in Cosmedin.
Rome is far enough inland that you might not think of it as the ideal base for a day trip to an island. The port isn’t as far away as you might think, however, and there are plenty of islands close enough to make day trips easy and fun. One option is a visit to the historic island of Ponza, first settled by the Etruscans.
Whenever you let your imagination drift to what it might have been like to live in ancient Rome during the era of gladiator games, do you picture yourself as a fearless warrior battling it out in the arena, or as a spectator cheering from the stands? In modern Rome, you still have that choice, with Gladiator School or a Gladiator Show.
The old saying says that “all roads lead to Rome,” and there are still places in Rome where you can see those ancient roads that gave rise to the saying in the first place. Perhaps the most famous of these is the Appian Way, which you can visit on a bike ride.
One could argue Rome was well on its way to earning the nickname of The Eternal City at least 2,000 years ago. This worldly city has gone on to create many more historic moments over the millennia, while also being very much in the present. In the second episode of the PBS series, “Dream of Italy,” we get to see both time-honored traditions and departures from them.
A quick look at a map will tell you that Rome is not on the coast of Italy. That doesn’t mean you can’t get to the coast for a beach getaway while you’re in Rome, however, especially if you just need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. In fact, you can easily relax like the ancient Romans did with a day trip to Sperlonga from Rome.
With so many ancient ruins in Rome, it’s tempting to overlook the small church at the heart of the Trastevere neighborhood as new enough to not be worth visiting. The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is, however, one of Rome’s oldest churches.
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Many cities had defensive walls built around them, and in some cases you can still see parts of (or entire) walls. Few are as old or famous as the Aurelian Walls that once surrounded the ancient city of Rome, however.