Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Top 10 Reasons Why Ostia Antica is Better Than Pompeii

10. It's flat.

9. There are second, and sometimes even third floors to walk up to.

8. It's only 1/2 hour from Rome.

7. The merchants' guilds' mosaics are awesome.

6. There are fewer tourists.

5. You can crawl around the ruins.

4. None of the buildings are closed or locked.

3. They have a restaurant that's open and good bathrooms.

2. Playing "What god am I?" on a column base is fun.

1. It wasn't ruined; it was only abandoned so it's in better shape.

Yes, Friday was Ostia Antica day and it was fabulous. I always forget how much I like going to Ostia Antica. It's a great archaeological site, and I enjoy it more than Pompeii for several reasons (see above). There was nobody there, so I got a lot of great pictures of the site without people in my shot (I hate people in my shots!). There's plenty of info about the site on my 7/16/04 blog called "Ostia Antica is Really Cool" and at this website if you're interested. We spent a half-day at the site and then had a group lunch at a restaurant closeby. They served us family style and it was very good, especially since we were all very hot and tired after the site. I rested in the afternoon and then got ready for our gang's last night dinner. Tatyana, Chris, Ramona and Kathy trusted me to take them to a special place I found in my 2004 explorations (see . It's called Antico Arco and is up near the top of the Janiculum Hill. You can read my detailed experience on June 30, 2004 and suffice it to say that it has changed, as things often do. The place no longer looks Italian, but like something you'd find in Manhattan, including the techno background music. The prices were much higher as well, so I felt bad suggesting the place, but I had had such an awesome experience last time I couldn't help it. Luckily, the food was still excellent and everyone enjoyed a memorable meal. I had mozzarella di bufala and tomatoes wrapped in phyllo dough and baked for a starter. For my main course, I had anatra, or duck, cooked medium rare in a honey glaze with roasted potatoes. For dessert, a trio of different profiteroles served over hot fudge with a burnt sugar topping. Everything was amazing. Other highlights of the meal included Kathy's beef tartare tasting appetizer, Chris's sesame-seared tuna, Ramona's chocolate lava cake, and Tatyana's hilarious sense of humor. Even the cab ride home was fun since the driver was playing Totally 80s music and I asked him to turn it up so we could dance a bit. That got him going, and eventually, he gave me his card and said he'd take me to the airport Thursday morning for a discounted fare of 35 euro. He even penned me into his appointment book! So it was another successful evening and all is well in the land of the Ancients. More later...

No comments: