From Castelfusano to Il Pontile
Reaching Ostia by train and exploring the coast: this is our proposal in this itinerary that unveils the seaside of Rome riding a bicycle from Castelfusano station to Il Pontile (the pier).
On the Roma-Lido light railway is possible to carry a bicycle. Some rules have to be observed, though: the first car has to be used and only during a specific schedule; on all holidays and all Saturdays at Summer time (i.e.: May 1st to Sept. 30th), while on working days, the bicycles can be carried along between the start of the train service (i.e.: about 05:30 am) and 12:30 pm, then from 08:00 pm to the end of the service (i.e.: about 00:00 am) traveling to “Cristoforo Colombo”.
Going to Rome city centre instead, is possible to carry a bicycle between the start of the train service (i.e.: about 05:30 am) and 07:00 am, then from 10:30 am to 01:00 pm then again from 04:00 pm till the end of the service (i.e.: about 00:00 am).
To start the itinerary, just jump on the Roma-Lido line and drop off at Castelfusano station.
Once left the station, to the left side there’s Pala Pellicone (also known as Palafijlkam), the olympic training center for wrestling and martial arts: built on a project by eng. Paolo Morelli and eng. Renato Papagni, was inaugurated in 1990 and since 2012 hosts a Museum dedicated to fighting sports. The first part of the cycling itinerary goes through an area (along via della Stazione di Castelfusano) open to car traffic so, even though the flow is minimal all year round, pay close attention there.
The alternative to skip riding along via della Stazione di Castelfusano is crossing lungomare Lutazio Catulo (a road subject to high car traffic) by the traffic light located in front of the beach resort La Vecchia Pineta; by doing so, you’ll be able to reach the sidewalk (shore side) on which is possible to ride along. The beach resort La Vecchia Pineta is definitely worth attention: was built in 1933 by Virgilio Vallot and Giovanni Sicher and remodelled in 2000s by the archistar Richard Meier to make one of the most elegant and famous resort and restaurant in Ostia, set of many movies and tv series.
By proceeding Westward the next landmark encountered is the mouth of the Canale dello Stagno (Canale dei Pescatori, Fishermen’s canal), tied to the history of Ostia for hosting the dockings of the fishing boats: on Sept. 20th 1932 Benito Mussolini emptied the fuel tank of his personal boat, just passing infront of this canal; a fisherman promptly went to help him and once on the land, Mussolini realized how poor was the condition of the people living in the shaks near by. Thus he ordered a village to be built so to give proper houses to the fishermen. Today il Borghetto dei Pescatori (the Fishermen’s village) is still there.
The next buildings of some interest are beach resorts with a glorious past: the Lega Navale (from 1937, on project by Corrado Giovannetti), the bahting resort reserved to the labourers of the Municipality of Rome (today Mami, inaugurated in 1938 but completely rebuilt after WWII), the Rex (today Le Dune beach resort and Tibidabo village, built in 1935 then completely remodelled).
On the opposite side of the road there’s the Polo Natatorio di Ostia, olympic training centre of the italian swimming federation (built in 2009 on a project by eng. Renato Papagni) where the national teams of swimming and water polo usually perform their preparation.
Continuing the ride towards the historic centre of Ostia, getting past the public beach at largo dei Canotti there are more beach resorts worth your attention: the Plinius (from 1933, by Leopoldo Botti), the Belsito (from 1949 by Giuseppe Perez Bonsignore), the Delfino and the Capanno ex Duilio (from 1936 by Luigi Moretti). On the opposide side of the road, on piazzale Magellano, the residential buildings, Villini type A and type B, by the famous rationalist architect Adalberto Libera (1932/34). The architectural aspect of Ostia makes for a very interesting cultural itinerary.
Piazzale Magellano is better known by the locals as “il Curvone” (the large curve), also a public beach with a pleasant bar-kiosk open all year round and one of the most popular meeting points for the locals, specially in the sunny days also at Winter time.
Proceeding along the promenade, the next beach resorts are Marechiaro and Lido Beach, more modern resorts built after the iconic bathing resort Roma was detroyed during the German occupation of the city in WWII, 1943.
The sidewalk is now too narrow to allow the use of a bicycle, thus you can continue along the road (paying the due attention!) for about 300 meters to reach Il Pontile (the pier), where this itinerary ends.
Particularly interesting is the urban landscape between the resorts Plinius and Lido Beach, where several architectural approaces are clearly recognizable on the residential buildings, most of which are from 1930s (e.g.: ex-Incis residential buildings ,1933, arch. Italo Mancini).
- Length: 2670 meters
- Average time needed: 15’40”
- Calories: 142 kcal
Lungomare Lutazio Catulo, lungomare Caio Duilio, piazza Sirio, piazzale Magellano, lungomare Paolo Toscanelli
Average, limited to the sections along via di Castelfusano and after the beach resort Lido Beach
- Terrain: tarmac
- Difficulty: Easy, all flat ground
- Safety: mostly safe, requires one road crossing and riding along a road with car traffic at the end of the itinerary
- Where to park a car:
free parking areas along via della Stazione di Castelfusano, via delle Quinqueremi and along the promenade