What to do and what to see in Ostia Antica
Suspended between antiquity and modernity the area of Ostia Lido is full of attractions and places to enjoy unforgettable experiences: from good food to windsurfing, from a stroll through history to relaxing on the beach.
Ostia, Rome’s “gateway to the Mediterranean,” is the place where Romans traditionally escape to find refreshment on the beaches during torrid summer days or eat a good seafood dish by the sea on winter Sundays, which can provide warm weather and spectacular sunsets here. But Ostia offers much more than that, and staying at the Lido is certainly a viable alternative for those wishing to visit Rome, which is about 23 kilometers away and can be reached via the Roma-Lido train, in a decidedly more relaxing setting.
Founded ex novo at the beginning of the 20th century, Ostia is an almost unique case of particular interest in the Italian architectural and urban planning scene. In fact, the birth of the “marine” district makes it possible to analyze the transitional phase between an idea of a garden-city inspired by late 19th-century models and the instances of young planners inspired by European rationalism. Over the course of the 20th century this large neighborhood of Rome grew and today can be compared to a small city, with its restaurants, beach bars and discos, bathing establishments, stores and markets. From a naturalistic point of view, Ostia is home to the Castel Fusano pine forest (the largest green area in the capital) and the beaches of Capocotta (the largest free beach in Europe), where a variety of outdoor activities can be enjoyed, from jogging to biking and horseback riding to windsurfing and kitesurfing, ideal sports on this sandy and often windy coast. At the mouth of the Tiber River, where old taverns and brand new starred restaurants now coexist, a marina has recently been built that can accommodate up to 840 boats. The more traditional seafaring atmosphere can be relived in the delightful little fishermen’s village, overlooking the canal of the same name and dominated by the statue of St. Nicholas, which every year hosts a now famous festival dedicated to a typical product of “poor” cuisine: the tellina.
Finally, the proximity of the archaeological site of Ostia Antica and the adjacent Renaissance village complete the tourist offer of this area at once ancient and modern, just waiting to be rediscovered.
Experiences to live in Ostia Lido
Pineta di Castel Fusano (the largest green area in Rome)
Accessible by car from Viale della Villa di Plinio or on foot from the “Castel Fusano” stop on the Roma-Lido train: the Pineta di Castel Fusano Urban Park, established in 1980, has been part of the Roman Coastal Nature Reserve since 1997. Thanks to the presence of paths, drinking fountains and exercise equipment, it is the ideal place to run, exercise, ride a bicycle or take a horseback ride in one of the many riding stables. The pine forest stretches all the way to the coastline and has numerous reminders of the history of these places such as the so-called “Villa of Pliny,” parts of the ancient Via Severiana (which connected Portus with Terracina) and the Villa Sacchetti Chigi.
Gates of Castel Porziano (the largest free beach in Europe)
Ostia means sea but … where is it best to go for a nice swim, play racquetball, rent a canoe or just lay in the sun reading a good book? We recommend going a few more kilometers and getting to the free beaches of Castel Porziano, called “I Cancelli,” where you can still see the beautiful dunes covered with Mediterranean scrub. They can be reached by car or by bus from the Cristoforo Colombo station of the Roma-Lido train. A great place to go to the beach, play sports or have an aperitif.
Lipu Mediterranean Habitat Center
Via dell’Idroscalo (at the Porto Turistico di Roma parking lot).
The center, located within walking distance of Rome’s Tourist Port and the renaissance Tor San Michele, includes a successful environmental reconstruction of a coastal pond, in which, among lush aquatic, riparian and scrub vegetation, more than 200 species of birds have already been surveyed, with rare nesting species such as the purple heron.
Pier Paolo Pasolini Literary Park
Lungomare Duca degli Abruzzi, 84 (entrance from Via dell’Idroscalo, Porto di Roma parking lot)
On the site where Pier Paolo Pasolini was brutally murdered, a literary park has sprung up that has transformed this place of death and degradation into a small oasis of peace dedicated to the controversial and unforgettable writer, poet and director whose fate was inextricably linked to Ostia. The park is adjacent to the Lipu Mediterranean Habitat Center, which can be contacted to visit and receive information on upcoming events.
Tourist Port of Rome
Lungomare Duca degli Abruzzi 84
The marina, established in 2001, is a large marina located southeast of the mouth of the Tiber River, capable of accommodating 840 boats on an area of 22 hectares. It is a very large pedestrian area with numerous stores, cafes, and restaurants spread out under a long arcade.
Via delle Sirene 22
The Teatro del Lido is the first of Rome’s so-called “belt theaters,” created with the aim of bringing theatrical culture, in the broadest sense of the expression, to the capital’s outlying areas. The facility is located in a historic building, the former Vittorio Emanuele Colony (designed by Marcello Piacentini), which overlooks the Paolo Toscanelli Promenade and also houses the Elsa Morante Municipal Library. The theater boasts varied and original programming established through direct citizen participation mechanisms.
Nino Manfredi Theater
Via dei Pallottini 10
Located not far from the “Lido centro” station of the Roma-Lido train and the Regina Pacis Church, the “Nino Manfredi” was created on the initiative of a group of Ostia Lido citizens who are theater enthusiasts and have managed to convert a space formerly used as a cinema into a 300-seat theater and, above all, to channel nationally renowned actors into the area, becoming a landmark for the area.
Victoria Regeneration SPA
Lungomare Toscanelli 196
For those who want to relax, nothing beats a nice massage by the sea! All wellness services within walking distance of the Ostia pier.
Where to eat in Ostia lido
Via degli Acilii 15
The restaurant is located in the center of Ostia on one of the cross streets of the Lungomare characterized by Roman Baroque-style cottages. The restaurant offers Mediterranean cuisine with fresh fish dishes and choice meats. An original touch is given by the proposal of high quality street food.
Kite Square 4
Elegant historic restaurant inside a bathing establishment dating back to the 1930s. Seafood menu with extraordinary views literally “on the sea.”
Breakfast, ice cream and coffee
Anco Marzio Square 18
Historic Ostia eatery, opened in 1953. The recipe for the famous krapfen, always warm and fragrant, is still a secret, but there is no child on the Litoral who has not binged on them at least once. For a mouth-watering breakfast just steps from the sea.
Qui concept store
Giuliano della Rovere Square 5/A
Original concept store where food traditions are married with home furnishings, clothing and accessories. Great for a coffee break a few steps from Ostia’s Lungomare and pedestrian island, for a quick lunch, an aperitif or a good glass of wine.
Paul Toscanelli Promenade 119
Bar, restaurant, and beachvillage of Salus Village bathing establishment with wide selection of pastries and many poolside tables.
A bar, restaurant, bathhouse and nightclub, the venue is located exactly at the end of Via Cristoforo Colombo, the expressway that connects Rome with its sea. Ethnic setting.
Bar della Pineta
Mediterranean Avenue 85
Small kiosk nestled in the centuries-old pine forest of Castel Fusano, easily accessible from the Roma-Lido “Castel Fusano” train station. For a coffee, an ice cream, a smoothie or a delicious centrifuge surrounded by nature.
Gelateria Carletto al Borghetto
Carletto’s homemade ice cream has now become a classic for Ostians. In this small place you can buy excellent ice creams and slushies or the now famous “white coffee” and then enjoy them in the enchanting setting of the Borghetto dei Pescatori, a happy island where seafood traditions are still preserved and renewed every year during the Tellina Festival.
Gelateria Miami Beach
Lungomare Paolo Toscanelli 63
Wide selection of ice creams, slushies and milkshakes right on the Ostia Promenade, in a bright and welcoming environment. A truly unique specialty should be noted: ice cream for your four-legged friends!
Gelateria Le Chat
Brand new artisanal ice cream shop on the Ostia waterfront, just steps from the “Curvone”.