The summer heat is arriving, and everyone is tuning in the top tunes of the moment, led by J-Ax with his summer hit “Ostia Lido”… so let’s plunge into the “sea of Rome,” too… perhaps jumping off the famous Kursaal diving platform designed by Pierluigi Nervi, with its original circular shape. Today the diving platform has been restored but has maintained its shape … so let’s leave our sandals by the pool, and climb up, step by step, phew!
The Milanese rapper is right, forget about the tropical seas, those closest to home are just as enjoyable. Ostia is your summer destination!
Immortalized in the settings of Pasolini’s novels, immolated in movies starting in the 1970s with Sergio Citti’s film Ostia, and then soaring at the box offices with the trashiest “cinepanettone” comedy films that took it to the top of the box office charts, Ostia is the “sea of the Romans.”
Founded in the early twentieth century, in the 1930s it was twinned with Rome, becoming a real suburb of the capital, where architects and engineers created modern buildings, squares and bathing establishments that are still the center of the summer nightlife.
In the last few years, a new Tourist Port has also been built which welcomes boats of all sizes, offering travelers from around the world the opportunity to debark in Rome and enjoy its wonders, without having to abandon the charm of the sea. Also in the area of the port, precisely at the Idroscalo seaplane facility near the monument dedicated to Pier Paolo Pasolini, there is the Lipu, a nature conservation center where to date more than 200 species of birds have already been recorded, with rare nesting species such as the purple heron (here present with the most important colony in Lazio), easily observable along with, among others, grebes, little bitterns, little crakes, bitterns, marsh harriers, stilts and many waders and ducks, such as the rare ferruginous duck.
Leaving the port behind, the seafront promenade, at sunset or in the early hours of the morning, is ideal for a bike ride or, for those who don’t like working too hard, for taking a ride astride a fashionable electric scooter. For true sportsmen, beach volleyball facilities in Ostia are open all year round!
Once you reach the pier, one of the most famous symbols of Ostia Lido, stop with a glass of prosecco and enjoy the light breeze that will bring you some relief from the summer heat.
Don’t miss a “vintage” stroll with your nose in the air to admire the elegant Italian Liberty-style palazzine and villas of the historic center, and the tenements on Via della Marina that reveal the human history of this place. Then there is Corso Duca di Genova and the Palazzo del Pappagallo, with its bright colors, found on Piazza Anco Marzio.
Also dating to the 1920s is the Palazzo del Governatore, designed by architect Vincenzo Fasolo in 1924, as well as the former Colonia Marina Vittorio Emanuele III, built between 1916 and 1920 on a project by architect Marcello Piacentini and initially intended as a hospital using heliotherapy to treat children suffering from tuberculosis. The modern architecture of this period is also visible in public works. It is possible to notice “Futurist” suggestions in the Post Office realized by architect Angelo Manzoni, which at the entrance presents a group of columns arranged in a semicircle, a reference to the pines in the park of Castel Fusano. Ostia was intended to be a “garden-city,” every single aesthetic detail had to convey the idea of leisure and vacations. Now we will continue our journey by leaving the Roman coast and going on to discover the heart of Ostia’s “hinterland.”
Have you prepared a picnic basket? The pine forest awaits you with its scents and its humid coolness.
Continue walking and you will reach the archaeological area of the ruins of the Villa of Pliny the Younger in Castel Fusano.
For lovers of archaeology, we continue our “journey” amidst the excavations of Ostia Antica, not far from the Lido. It can be reached by car or aboard the little Freccia del Mare train. Amidst the markets, the domus, the forum, the temple, the basilica and the theater you will be thrust into an exciting journey through the history of Ancient Rome. Summer evenings offer numerous theatrical performances, made even more fascinating by the location.
Located at the entrance to the excavations of the Archaeological Park is the Castle of Pope Julius II: of considerable interest, also for its excellent state of conservation, it was used to control the course of the Tiber river, which in the past had already produced catastrophic floods. Around the castle, a delightful medieval and Renaissance village was later built, with narrow streets, ancient inscriptions and especially a quiet atmosphere that will take you back five hundred years.
In the fishing village of Ostia, the Sagra della Tellina clam festival awaits you every year. Spaghetti are served with these small clams cooked in an enchanting, divine manner. In the evening, you will be entertained with various musical performances. In addition to the classic spaghetti, there are also specialties such as fried squid and shrimp, all accompanied by good wine. Usually the festival takes place from 20 to 25 August; it is worth going there just to taste this typical dish of the Roman coast.
Complete your visit to Ostia by reaching the sand dunes, in particular the dune area of Capocotta, which is of considerable environmental, but also anthropological and social interest: the beach is, in fact, recognized by the international naturist movement, and is a meeting place for the Roman LGBT community.
Le dune si sono formate grazie ai depositi sabbiosi trasportati dalle acque del Tevere, che attraverso la forza del mare si distribuiscono lungo la costa. Fatevi coccolare dalle sue morbidezze che accompagneranno la vostra passeggiata in questo splendido angolo della costa tirrenica che si estende per 5 chilometri, un tratto regalato dal Presidente della Repubblica ai romani.