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Which would you pick?

Just when I thought I had our trip all planned out, up pop the I-love-Orvieto posts and I get all confused again :-)

I've planned a half day visit to Ostia Antica, and another to Tivoli. We're taking the train to Florence after Rome, but we're only going to be there for a day (husband wants to see the David, and I want to see Lake Como more than Florence. COMPROMISES!!!)

Should we go to Orvieto instead of one of the other half-day trips I have planned? That would, of course, mean losing half a day of seeing other Rome sites.

Opinions???

Posted by
1883 posts

Ok...don't second guess yourself. You've got your holiday planned, and probably have been working on it for some time. Just go with your plan. There will always be someplace else that you will read about that someone has been to.

I've been to Orvieto 2x now. I'd go back...but then I've never been to Tivoli, and I want to see that!

Each place in Italy is amazing to us....you can't see it all in one trip.

Take in all of Rome that you can...if you have time to see Orvieto, then go. if not, it's really not a big deal - you've seen other things. Spending the time in Rome is worth it...

Posted by
927 posts

You can't do Ostia Antica in a half day.
Ostia is one of the few sites that pre-dates the Imperial era. Ostia is the surviving portion of a complex harbor system that was moved slightly to the north in the later Imperial times. An over view of this has not really been developed as a tourist attraction since there isn't good access to Portas which is being re-discovered in current times.

Unlike Pompeii, and other sites that were frozen in a much later time and in a particular time, Ostia Antica has the entire history going back even further than most sites in Rome. Ostia is older than The Forum of Rome and held its own as a residential area even after it was by passed by Claudius and later Emperors. A half day doesn't do it justice.

Posted by
8293 posts

A few years have passed since we visited Ostia Antica, but I believe a half day would suffice and do it justice.

Posted by
102 posts

merritt take the good advice above and plan a return trip, many return trips. i loved ostia, been three times and will go again. fellow eugenian frances has it right, so you will not go wrong, keep those plans.

Posted by
7737 posts

Ostia Antica is very cool and worth the trip. If you're REAALLY into ancient Rome, you should allow more than half a day. If not, half a day is about right. It is large, though. Almost as large as Pompeii, if memory serves.

And do stop second-guessing. Enjoy the places where you'll be. Any combination of these sites you named will be wonderful.

Posted by
5 posts

Tivoli is so memorable. But I don't think it's a half day--more like 3/4 of a day. There's Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este--both must sees. We signed up for a bus tour out of Rome for this and it was worth it.

Posted by
137 posts

Thanks for all the replies - it is alot of fun planning a trip when you have all these helpers to guide you!

I have a car coming to pick us up and drive us to Tivoli. My plan is for them to pick us up at the hotel early the last day we're there, put our suitcases in the car, drive to Tivoli (45 minutes is their quoted time) spend three hours there, 45 minutes back. Have them drop us at Termini, put our stuff in luggage storage, visit the last few minor places on our "want to do to" list that are near Termini, return and catch the 5 something train to Florence.

Doable?

How much time would you give the Baths of Dioclesian and the National Museum of Rome?

Thanks!

Posted by
157 posts

I was in Ostia Antica two weeks ago and it took me from 10 to 2 to get through it and i did not go through everything. If you are really into its history, it would take more than half a day. You can take the blue line from Termini to get there.

Posted by
137 posts

Thanks Jennifer! I'm not sure how much we're going to be into history - we're traveling with our three kids, so I imagine they will surprise us by what they're "into". Their favorite part of Washington DC was the art museum - you could've knocked me over with a feather at that!!

I am glad you had a fun day there. I can't wait!! One month and three days!!! Whoopee!!

Posted by
927 posts

I do tend to get carried away with the archeology. So forgive me. Three Kids will have a blast in Ostia Antica. You are pretty much free to roam anywhere on the site other than the orange roped off barriers that are work sites in progress, or the signs that say not to walk on the mosaics.

Ostia is interesting in that it is ROME in miniature and much more intact than Rome is now as a historic site. A half day with kids, I can understand that, I have nephews and nieces. Half day, I would still show them Ostia as being on the top of the list. They can run around and touch things. Things they would never be allowed to touch in a more controlled area of antiquity. There is even an original Mithreum to enter.

The main streets they may walk, are the same main streets most historic figures in Roman History walked to board ships for travel. That isn't true of Pompeii or any other site aside from Brindisi - the end of the Appian way. But there's nothing left of Brindisi and what was old.

So Ostia Antica IS a must see. It calles one back to see again, and again...