Ruins and Rain: Trip to Ostia Antica

Every Friday I’m lucky enough to have an on-site lecture, usually in Rome’s city centre. We tend to look at different monuments and parts of the city, sometimes there are presentations, generally the weather is sunny; its a very pleasant and rewarding experience for us as postgraduates.

Me, presenting at Trajan’s Column a few weeks ago

However, this week we ventured out to Ostia Antica, a harbour city of ancient Rome.

After visiting Pompeii the other week, this proved a very different experience, not least due to the fact that it was MUCH sunnier in Pompeii!

Brollies all round. Image taken on my iPhone, hence the diminished quality.

For one, since the weather wasn’t great, we pretty much had the ancient site to ourselves. Unlike Pompeii which was eerily quiet, Ostia was still surrounded by the noise of cars and mopeds. It felt like there was a lot more freedom to roam than in Pompeii, which sent us excitedly clambering through the ruins, finding many well-preserved mosaics, wine amphorae, statues, etc.

Some ancient communal loos
Part of some intricate ancient flooring

The housing at Ostia was an example of more ‘modern’ ancient housing than at Pompeii. Tower blocks existed instead of lower-lying villas, inside which a microcosm of the class system could be observed; the rich lived just above the street level, with the poorer classes living higher up (since who wants to climb a load of stairs? Evidently not the Roman elite!)

With regards to my photography, the expressive and low-key setting on my camera gives good detail to things such as mosaics and statues:

Amore and Psyche kissing
A well-preserved mosaic. Slightly concerning that it was open to the elements though.
An impressively large funerary monument
More mosaics
The ruins looking very impressive due to one of the expressive settings on my Lumix. 

Otherwise, I didn’t quite manage to get a photo of the ruins that was as colourful as I wanted; I often forget that the review screen doesn’t necessarily give an accurate representation of what my photographs will look like full size. This time, the ones that looked too dark in their previews were actually fine, and those which looked okay on the preview were too overexposed.

Less impressive: definitely got too much light in this one. 

Determined I’m going to learn how to use the other settings on my camera over the next few weeks, while I have so much subject matter to photograph.

Ciao for now,

Hayley 🙂



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