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Ostia Antica: the ruins, Roman theater and the castle of Julius II

Ostia Antica: the ruins, Roman theater and the castle of Julius II
Archeology Culture What to do

The ruins (archeological park) of Ostia Antica

The ancient roman settlement was developed under the reign of Anco Marzio, during the second half of the 7th century B.C. Thanks to its strategic position, the settlements becomes relevant for commerce, trading and exchanges of goods with other countries. This allows Ostia to grow as an autonomous town.

Nowdays Ostia Antica is one of the most important archeological parks in the World. Entering the about 50 hectars big park allows the visitors to take a leap in a magic environment where the past blurs with the present.

The Roman theater

The realization of the amphiteather is likely thanks to Agrippa. Through the centuries, the building underwent several remodellings and restaurations. Currently it can host up to 4000 people and specially in Summer is a set for suggestive theatrical performances and shows. Besides the theatre itself, a value added to the experience is the beautiful view from the stands that overlook the piazzale delle Corporazioni (the square of the Corporations) rich in archeological elements that evoke the picture of what was the daylife at those times.  

The Castle of Julius II

A tour not to be missed is definitely the one through the impressive fortress from 1400’s.
Baccio Pontelli, the experienced architect from Florence, was entrusted with the project, while the construction was completed by Giuliano della Rovere, pope under the name of Julius II.
The works where officially finished in 1486. The position of the castle within a bend of the Tiber was of fundamental importance for the defence of the surrounding territory.

In 1557 though, the most unpredictable event happened: the abundant rain flooded the river and dramatically changed its route, creating a new river bed, over 1 kilometer more to the North.

The castle suddenly lost its defensive role thus was converted into a penitentiary at first then a private residence for the pope and eventually into a storage facility for the numerous archeological findings.



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