Ben's Photo Blog

Photos from my various adventures

The Tombs

Posted by Ben on July 4, 2009

Post for Sunday June 28:

With a slight change in our schedule, we decided to go to Ostia this morning.  Ostia was the port city of ancient Rome, located about 20 miles down the Tiber River.  After taking the Metro a few stops, we boarded a train bound for the coast.  It was such a beautiful day that the train was packed with beach-goers.  Unlike most of the people on board, we got off a few stops before the coast, at Ostia Antica.  We had a short lesson right inside the gates at the Necropolis.  Bill and I set off on a slightly different path than everyone else and spent a lot of times exploring the tombs in the area.

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While we were wandering around, I saw a staircase that led up to a small clearing in the woods.  From the clearing was a fairly hidden path back through the bushes that led to a dark old crypt.  This was one of the only times on the trip that I had to use the flash on my camera.

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From there, we made our way further into the ruins, and found a way up onto the top of the walls in the area (probably about 15 ft up).  We spent a lot of time in areas off of the main path.

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We also found a couple of ancient bathhouses.  The cool thing about these was that you could see the heating system that the Romans used.  There was a hollow space beneath the floors into which hot air would be pumped to keep the waters warm.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time in Ostia to see the entire city.  We headed back to Rome around lunch time and had the rest of the afternoon to ourselves.  I used this time to explore several places around the hotel.  My first stop was the monument on which I had written my pre-departure report: The Column of Trajan.  Standing in Trajan’s Forum, the column is over 100 feet tall and has a continuous narrative frieze wrapping around it that would stretch 625 feet if unwound.

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My next stop was across the street at the Monument to Vittorio Emmanuele II, first king of unified Italy.  This is just one of the many statues on the monument

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The last place I went was a museum about the Imperial Forums and Trajan’s Market.  This is a view down into the market area.

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