Ostia is the beach for Romans who want to escape the big city heat. In summer, the population of the beach resort doubles, as ... More
Ostia is the beach for Romans who want to escape the big city heat. In summer, the population of the beach resort doubles, as locals and tourists fill the restaurants (whose specialties are, of course, seafood-based). The Via delle Baleniere, the main street, is where you will find delicious home-made gelato in dozens of imaginatively named flavors. Some pastry-shops near the beach still sell the famous Bomboloni con la Crema, fried doughnuts that are shot out of the fryer like a missile into a container with caster sugar. At night, there are discotheques and open-air parties. In winter, contrary to other seaside towns, Ostia remains lively.
If you want to hang out with the locals visit Ostia. Don't get a lot of tourists there. Although, alot of airline pilots and flight attendants do stay at the Satellite Hotel (one of the primary hotels) because the hotel has a free shuttle back and forth to the airport. There is train service in and out of Ostia but it takes approx 1 hr and one train transfer to get to Rome's Termini station, so it is out of the way. If you have never been to Rome do not stay in Ostia as it is far from the tourist attractions. In the summer Ostia has a lot of locals hanging out at the beach. During the rest of the year, not much going on. There are a lot of "ordinary" clothing stores where the locals shop, but they close for a few hours mid day. There are some restaurants and gelaterias, but most folks don't eat dinner until 9 pm at night. A good portion of the folks who live in Ostia live in condos, and the locals say Ostia is a nice area. However, by USA standards it is "just ok" and they have a major graffitti problem. If you have a lot of time to kill, then go ahead and visit Ostia, but if you are limited on days then don't bother. Not much to do there, but you will get away from the tourists if that is what you want.
Ostia Lido is a standart resort town. There is nothing to do there in other time of the year but in hot season when beaches and hotels are open. Do not mistake it with Ostia Antica, it is different place.
Ostia is a great place to go to get a taste of the local Roman culture without all the tourists and street vendors. It is a beautiful city with character and history, as well as cute shops and wonderful Italian cuisine. The people are friendly and the train ride to Rome is less than half an hour. When you're there, check out Fru-La-La, a little Gelateria with the best Gelato in town!
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