Tivoli and Ostia Harbor
This itinerary is devoted to the Roman era, when the city was at the heart of a pioneering Republic and subsequent far-reaching Empire.
Day 1 – Our day will start visiting the nearby town of Tivoli, once a retreat for wealthy Romans in Classical times. Here we visit Villa Adriana, the lavish home of Emperor Hadrian from 135 to 138 A.D., which he designed to recreate architectural monuments that he had admired on his numerous voyages. We stroll around this vast area of temples, baths, libraries and gardens brimming with colonnades, lakes and fountains.
We go onto visit Palestrina, to the south of Tivoli, built on the site of the Roman Temple of Fortune. We climb up the steep streets, admiring the many exposed fragments of the ancient Temple in the present day buildings, to visit the Archaeological Museum with its collection of artifacts from the site. Here the most important exhibit to be seen is the Mosaic of the Nile – a beautiful depiction of the course of the river Nile with detailed scenes of Egyptian daily life. Above the museum the spectacular walk continues through the ruins of the Temple to a terrace with breath-taking views across the countryside of Lazio.
Day 2 – In the morning we will visit the well-preserved remains of Ostia Harbour, one of the finest Roman sites in Italy. Built at the mouth of the Tiber river, it was the thriving commercial town and port for Rome. The remains of the shops, baths and private houses along the “Decumano Massimo” are decorated with colourful mosaics and wall paintings depicting the trades and daily activities of Ostia’s population.
In the afternoon we will continue southwards to the coast – to picturesque San Felice Circeo to see the ruins of its spectacularly situated ancient Roman temple (c. IV-I B.C.). Further south we stop at Terracina that was an important stopover point on the ancient Via Appia. The main square and cathedral are built over the site of the Roman Forum while at the top of the hill are the remains of the Temple of Jupiter Anxurus (c. I B.C.) with panoramic views across the bay.
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*** At Auto Elite we endeavour to remain up to date with any scheduled restoration works which may affect programmed visits to historical sites. The itinerary of each tailor-made tour is checked at the time of customer reservation, in case modifications should prove necessary.