Like Pompeii much farther south, Ostia Antica is a stunningly preserved ancient Roman city and one of the most beautiful places in Italy. This 4-hour tour from Rome brings the antique city to life as you go through archaic apartment complexes, visit a bygone restaurant and learn about a bizarre religious cult.
Begin in Rome with a short car ride toward the coast. On site, spend four hours combing through the ruins, which include some of the best examples of baths, a fantastic amphitheater and several Mithraic temples; not to mention, there is a forum with temples. The highlight and focus of the visit will be the daily life of regular, working class Romans, so well-illustrated by Ostia. Spend time in the market area with its wonderful mosaics discussing the economy of the empire and the materials and commodities that made their way through here every day.
Why would you want to visit Ostia Antica instead of Pompeii? There are two reasons many of the clients in Rome choose to visit Ostia over Pompeii. The first is that it's much closer and easier to visit. While it takes up to three hours to get to Pompeii from Rome, Ostia is a quick 30-minute car ride. The second reason is that many scholars feel that Ostia is a better example of a real, working class town of the two.