Ostia Antica Rome, Italy
717 Via dei Romagnoli
+39 06 5635 8099http://en.turismoroma.it/scoprire_roma/itinerari/ostia_anticaNo
For at least 600 years this was a busy port, but the area declined suddenly following a reduction in commerce, and the onset of malaria. Covered by sand and mud that accumulated over the centuries, it was perfectly preserved and has therefore survived intact. The Baths of Cisiarii and the Baths of Neptune can be seen, with their lovely black and white mosaic floors. The theatre has been restored, a series of large masks having been set on to blocks of rock that originally adorned the building. Leaving the main street, you reach the areas where the inhabitants used to live, the style of the homes differing according to whether the residents were workers, or traders and shippers. Workmen and sailors lived in "insule", like present day blocks of flats, while the richer classes had fine homes decorated with colorful mosaics and statues. The remains that have been discovered are exhibited in the museum nearby, which also displays reliefs and objects connected to the cult of Mithra, very popular in Imperial Rome.
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