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Lido Di Ostia – One Of The Best Beaches Near Rome

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My wife and I went to Ostia on my birthday in order to enjoy the nearest and one of the best beach from Rome, a place full of mystery and history.

The call from the sea

I was born in a town a few kilometers from the sea where I could easily reach it by car or bike. I feel connected to those beaches where I went as a child with my grandfather to hunt for crabs and small fish. The best beaches in the world often fail to impress me because of these memories.

wave lighthouse rocks ostia italy

Despite this close bond, I cannot say that I am a lover of the sea. Many Italians say that they cannot move to an inland city because they would miss the sea. I am not in this way and I can live without the sea.

people play beach ostia rome

After spending months in chaotic Rome, I succumb to the call of the sea. I feel the need to see the waves ripple, listen to its noise, and watch the water disappear into the shore.

On my birthday, which is celebrated among the coldest moments in winter, I asked my wife to accompany me to Ostia. The locality represents the closest beach for Roman citizens. The name Ostia means mouth because the mouth of the River Tiber is nearby.

wave winter mediterranean sea ostia

We went to Ostia and found two completely different situations of nature in the last two years. The first time, the rain fell lightly, while the wind howled and the sea was aggressive as if in a storm. The sunset blended into the menacing clouds. The second time, we met a spring day. Young couples took selfies while professional photographers prepared to capture a wonderful sunset.

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How to reach Ostia

Driving along the via del Mare which runs along the Tiber, we reached Ostia by car in about 40 minutes. If you prefer to use public transportation, the railway is available.

Travle tips: the train leaves from Porta San Paolo station, just outside the “Piramide” stop of Metro B. Trains towards Ostia leave approximately every thirty minutes. You can get off at the “Lido Centro” station and from here you can reach the sea in about ten minutes on foot.

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Since July 2022, the line has been managed by Cotral that is the public transport company of the Lazio Region, which replaced ATAC that is the company of the Municipality of Rome. With this change, the Lazio Region has tried to make a railway with a bad reputation more efficient. Users have in fact named it as the worst Italian route several times.

A tourist can purchase train tickets directly at the train station from the self service machines because Cotral doesn’t provide online tickets yet. You can also buy train tickets in some selling points like tobacco and newspaper shops listed here.

neptune lights sun rocks ostia

Ostia is not a very small town in Italy, theoretically there should be many job opportunities. But the reality is not very positive, most of Ostia’s inhabitants have to use the railway to get to Rome to work. These commuters say that the transportation service is bad.

Travelers don’t have the tight commute schedules and can use the railway safely. We used it on Saturday to go to the archaeological excavations first and then to the coast. We can’t complain. The ticket costs only 1.50 euros per person. Trains take about half an hour to reach Ostia from Porta San Paolo.

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Cotral, the new management company, changed the name of the railway to “Metromare”. The company intends to improve the service by buying new trains and guaranteeing a flow of journeys every fifteen minutes during peak times.

Ostia in popular culture


The serious problems faced by commuters are reflected in the image of the seaside town. Ostia has in fact recently made headlines for its infamous side. The town is often portrayed as a place where the mafias share the profits of seaside resorts and drug dealing.

people sunset lights beach ostia

In 2017, an incident disturbed the lives of residents. The mafioso Roberto Spada attacked a journalist of RAI public television with a warhead. The bad fact had a strong emotional value because reality mixed with fantasy stories. The Spada family is in fact allied with the Casamonica clan, protagonist of the film “Suburra” and the subsequent TV series produced by Netflix.

window decoration architecture ostia rome

“Suburra” narrates the clash between two mafia clans inspired by two families active in Rome, the Casamonica and the Fasciani. The Casamonicas live in the Tuscolano district. The Fasciani are instead hegemonic in Ostia. The film and the TV series present the Fasciani as a powerful family, dedicated to many trades and able to intimidate the population, but too emotional to compete with those holding the reins of Roman power.

Other Works

The mass media have created the myth of a criminal Ostia. Today you can visit the Roman coast thinking about the literary and cinematographic works that have used the town as an ideal set without fear of being involved in the wars between mafia clans.

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For example, Pier Paolo Pasolini, the greatest Italian intellectual of the twentieth century, set part of his first and most important novel “Ragazzi di Vita” (The Street Kids) in Ostia.

love decoration center ostia rome 1

The director Nanni Moretti shot some scenes of “Ecce Bombo” on the beach of Ostia, a 1978 film that narrates the hardships of his idealistic but disorganized generation. In one of the most famous scenes, a group of friends wants to sleep on the beach in Ostia to watch the sunrise. Unluckily, the sun rises on the opposite side. Only splendid sunsets can be observed on the Roman coast.

Pontile (Jetty)

On our second trip to Ostia we witnessed a placid, almost unreal sunset, as if painted on the sky, together with birds and clouds. The jetty is the best spot to watch the sunset. The fascist regime built the wharf in 1940, as the final point of the Via del Mare which starts from Rome. You can cross the splendid Piazza de Ravennati to access the platform that starts from the mainland and ends in the sea.

fisherman lighthouse harbor ostia rome

Initially, the wharf represented the access point to the seaside resort called “Roma”. The resort was an eclectic-style building in the shape of a panettone, unfortunately destroyed during the retreat of the German army during the Second World War.

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Next to the jetty you can see a beautiful statue of Neptune, the god of the sea. Anonymous artists raised the statue one night in 2019. Subsequently, poor Neptune was left empty-handed twice. First a strong storm and then an act of vandalism took away his trident. Fortunately, the artists promptly restored the trident in both cases.

neptune sculpture rocks ostia italy

District of Ostia

Between Ostia and Roma

Ostia is not only a coast full of seaside resorts. The district extends from the sea and includes part of the Roman countryside excavated by the Tiber. The dictator Benito Mussolini planned to create a Third Rome that extended from the EUR district along a new street, supposed to be called via Imperiale that would reach the sea.

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The EUR district was supposed to host the Universal Exhibition of 1942. The Universal Exhibition was never realized due to the outbreak of the Second World War. Mussolini’s delusional projects were therefore short-lived. After the war, the Italian authorities completed the road up to Ostia and named it via Cristoforo Colombo. Various settlements such as Casal Palocco and Acilia expanded considerably around Via Cristoforo Colombo.

The Fascist authorities sketched the center of Lido di Ostia. The buildings in Ostia have a rationalist style mixed with the more traditional Baroque, a purely Roman style that can be observed in various districts of the capital, such as Garbatella and Monte Sacro.

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We recommend the Krapfen Paglia pastry shop , inaugurated in 1935, where the excellent donuts fall from a small airship. You can find it in the vital center of Ostia, Piazza Anco Marzio.

Archaeological Area

If you use the train to get to Ostia, you can stop to visit the archaeological excavations. The excavations are ample evidence of life at the time of the ancient Romans. Two thousand years ago, citizens seemed to enjoy life in thermal baths, theaters and pizzerias.

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The archaeological area of ​​Ostia is among the largest ones in Italy and is worth a visit. Keep in mind that it is not easy to visit it completely due to its vastness. We recommend planning your trip and choosing the main attractions to visit.

The archaeological area is open from Tuesday to Sunday. Closes only on January 1st and December 25th, as well as every Monday. Attention: if a national holiday falls on a Monday, the area will remain open on that Monday but it will close on Tuesday.

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The area opens in the morning at 08:30 am and closes between 04:30 pm (in the middle of winter) and 07:00 pm (in the middle of summer). The cost of admission is 14 euros. You can buy the ticket online but it costs 16 euros because the booking service is added . Admission is free every first Sunday of the month. Tips: you cannot pay in cash.

Pier Paolo Pasolini

The poet

On our first trip to Ostia, we didn’t go straight to the seafront. Continuing to flank the Tiber, we reached a small beach wedged between the shacks and the tourist port of Rome. That day I intended to visit the monument that pays homage to the intellectual Pier Paolo Pasolini where he was killed, a place not far from the port. The place is immortalized in a beautiful scene from the film “Caro Diario” by Nanni Moretti.

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I was hoping the park would be accessible, but the gates were closed. The memory of Pasolini lives today in full decay. Pasolini was not only a poet but also a director and writer whose death is not yet clear. The poet was a homosexual in love with the boys of the poor Roman suburbs, often protagonists of his works. He thought that poor kids expressed real life, as opposed to the bigoted and capitalist bourgeoisie.

The murder of a poet

On the evening of 1° November 1975, Pasolini was in the San Lorenzo district having dinner with his friend Ninetto Davoli. Near the Termini station, the poet lured a street boy called Pino Pelosi and accompanied him to Ostia to have sex.

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During the night, the police arrested Pelosi for stealing Pasolini’s car. The next morning, the poet was found beaten to death on a soccer field in Ostia. Pino Pelosi pleaded guilty. The writer Oriana Fallaci investigated the poet’s death and concluded that the frail boy could not have single-handedly slaughtered Pasolini, a strong and athletic fifty-year-old at the time.

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Probably, the poet was killed for having continually touched many open nerves of Italian society. His was an all-out fight against Catholic morality, against consumerism, against fascism and against the bombs aimed at establishing a fascist dictatorship. Someone may have been annoyed by his constant attacks on power from the columns of the most important Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera.

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Today, Pier Paolo Pasolini is still acknowledged as one of the most prominent Italian intellectuals. Thanks to him, Italy discovered the beauty of the lower classes and the importance of environmentalism. He was a listener that contributed to give voice to the people who didn’t have one. For example, in his movie “Comizi d’Amore” (Love Meetings) , Pasolini just travels around Italian beaches to ask common people about sexuality and morality.

Famous films by Pier Paolo Pasolini:

Accattone (1961) on Google Play and Amazon

Mamma Roma (1962)

Famous films and TV Series relate to Ostia:

Ecce Bombo (1978) by Nanni Moretti on Google Play and Apple TV

Caro Diario (1993) by Nanni Moretti on Google Play, Apple TV, and Amazon

Suburra (2015), Film by Stefano Sollima

Suburra (2017-2020), TV Series

Written by Enrico, Translated by Hua and Photo from Hua

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