If you’re not going south to Pompeii on your journey through Italy, then this ancient Roman port is the next best thing. In fact, in some ways it’s better because it’s less crowded so you can really feel what daily life was like in Rome rather than the 21st century tourist vibe.
Ostia Antica was founded at the mouth of the Tiber River in the 4th century BC and became an important port city both for trade and defense. In the 5th century AD the city was abandoned after malaria and barbarians simultaneously attacked. River silt did to the city what lava did in Pompeii – covering it and preserving streets and buildings.