Why visit Ostia

Ostia is located about 30 or so kilometers west of Rome. It stretches on the Tyrrhenian coast and, as far as the locals of Rome are concerned, it is a favorite summer weekend or vacation refuge, given its proximity to the capital, the fast means of transport and its leisure infrastructure. Thus, Ostia, more precisely, Lido di Ostia (or Ostia Lido, as it is also known), which must not be confused with Ostia Antica, is most of the time frequented for its beaches.

Lido di Ostia was founded a few years after the unification of the Kingdom of Italy, more precisely, in 1884, and for several decades it remained an anonymous village which underwent a skyrocketing popularity starting with the Fascist regime. Its tourist appeal grew even more as from the opening of Leonardo da Vinci Airport (which is located some 2 kilometers north of Ostia Lido, Fiumicino and Ostia being separated by the mouth of the Tiber River), in the mid 20th century.

In Lido di Ostia there are both private beaches (stabilimenti) and public beaches. While swimming in the sea is occasionally prohibited, besides sunbathing and swimming, tourists can also explore other attractions: the tourist port, the excellent fish restaurants, the sports centers and gyms, the picturesque Borghetto dei Pescatori (deemed the most ancient nucleus of Ostia), the Ostia Adventure Park and, of course, Ostia Antica, which is located only a striking distance from Lido.

Ostia Antica reveals a whole different sight than Lido di Ostia. This is, next to Rome, the most ancient town in the peninsula, and it was only relatively recently that the excavations brought to light a wealth of archeological treasures, notable for their fine state of preservation. In antiquity, Ostia used to lie on the Tyrrhenian coast (one of the main reasons it developed into an important trade port), its name deriving from the Latin “ostium”, which means “mouth”, hinting on the town’s former location on the mouth of the Tiber River. It was allegedly founded by Ancus Marcius, one of the 7 legendary kings of Rome, in the 7th century, probably as a colony (which makes it the first colony ever founded by the Romans). The tourist highlights of Ostia Antica refer to sights like the vestiges of the Ancient Roman Theater, to the Shrine of Attis, to the Thermal Baths of Neptune (notable for their exquisite mosaics) and, of course, to the robust Tor San Michele, built between 1564 and 1568, following an initial design by Michelangelo, but completed under the supervision of Giovanni Lippi.

How to get from Rome to Ostia

Getting from Rome to Ostia is as simple and as straightforward as it gets. The regional trams run by ATAC are at hand in this respect, an entire line being dedicated to this connection. The Rome terminal is Roma Piramide, and the Ostia terminal is the so-called Ostia Cristoforo Colombo (in Lido di Ostia the line is pegged out by 5 stops). There’s also a station in Ostia Antica, which is only natural, given the tourist magnetism of the site. In order to see the complete list of stations, tram schedule, as well as the connection with the metro network of Rome, please visit ATAC.

Tourist information office in Ostia

In Lido di Ostia there is a tourist information office run by Comune di Roma. Visitors can turn to this office in order to learn about the tourist highlights of the town, upcoming events of special tourist interest, accommodation solutions, transportation and the like.

Ostia Lido Tourist Information Point (Punto Informativo Turistico Ostia Lido)
Lungomare Paolo Toscanelli corner with Piazza Anco Marzio, Lido di Ostia, Italy
Opening hours:
9:30am to 7pm