Friday we headed out to Ostia Antica — one of my favorite things in Rome. My friend Leslie had tipped me off to it. It’s a little like Pompei (without the volcano).
It was built up in the 4th century BC as a port city and then rebuilt in the first century AD after being sacked by pirates. It had a theater, school, a forum, and mint, and a synagogue — the oldest one found in Europe. In the 2nd and 3rd centuries, it reached a peak of 75,000 inhabitants. It was abandoned in the 9th century.
Not only was it stunningly beautiful, but it afforded a chance for the girls to run and climb and play (which the Vatican didn’t exactly).
JA exploring the theater.
One of many gorgeous mosaics.
All through Rome, we have been accompanied by Molly’s “invisible” horse Maximus. He even went through “invisible horse security” at St. Peter’s and got in, but he could read, we were informed by Molly, so he knew that there was no neighing inside. Here’s a picture of Molly and Maximus (he’s on her left, if you have trouble seeing him). He was really fond of Ostia because there was lots of grass to eat.
On the way there, we hit the Protestant Cemetery, where Keats and Shelley are buried.
So, this was one of my favorite Rome days — sunny, warm, away from the crowds, beautiful scenery. And then, on the way home from Ostia my dad was pickpocketed on the Metro. It was rush hour — packed full — and I’m pretty sure they targeted us at the beginning of our route, pushing us on to the car. When we were getting off, the two (at least) people were pulling JA and Bill apart and my dad reached and grabbed her. We’re pretty sure that it was then that they grabbed his wallet — passport, credit card, driver’s license, Starbuck’s card… In fact, as soon as I got off the train I said “something really weird just happened.”
Yesterday morning when Mom, Bill, the girls and I left my dad at the airport and we headed back to London, I was a little teary. I know he’ll be fine. The embassy opens tomorrow morning, and he should be back in London Tuesday, back in the states Wednesday.
In the whole scheme of things, not a big deal. He only lost about 10 euro in cash, and we were all fine, which is all that matters, but it certainly deflated us a little.