I have not been to Pompeii yet, but for now, Ostia Antica is definitely my favorite place to explore Roman ruins. This phenomenal archaeological site used to be a harbor city during ancient Roman times. The oldest remains date back to the 4th century BC. Conveniently, Ostia Antica is only a 30-minute Metro ride away from Porta S. Paolo in Rome. And it costs you only 1.50 euros each way.
Among the various types of archaeological remains in Ostia Antica, I was most impressed with the mosaic floor of Baths of Neptune and the hand-painted menu at an inn called the Insula of the Thermopolium, something which I have never seen anywhere else. Other interesting sights are the theater, The Forum Baths, and the House of Diana.
A visit to Ostia Antica can easily be done in half a day. Some obvious but necessary tips are wearing comfortable shoes, bringing water, wearing hats and sunscreen during summer time. If you do not read about the site in advance, take an audio guide to enhance your visit.
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