A Tour of the Ancient Port Town of Ostia
The chapter members were free until Mass at 6:00 pm on Sunday, November 7, 2010. Many sisters took the opportunity to visit the city of Rome and other nearby attractions. Under the expert guidance of Sr. Mary Ann Carla from Thousand Oaks, CA, USA, thirty-two sisters traveled on two public buses and a train to Ostia, which is believed to have been Rome’s first colony founded around the 7th century BC. The oldest archaeological remains so far discovered date from the 4th century BC. The sisters packed their lunches the night before and left for their tour at 8:45 a.m. arriving in Ostia sometime after 11:00 a.m. Sr. Mary Ann Carla, distributed maps and handouts with descriptions of the areas to be visited.
The sisters entered Ostia through what was left of the city gate and made their way down the “main street” taking side trips to various sites such as the Baths of Neptune, the Barracks of the Fire Brigade (which housed about three hundred firemen). They ate their lunches at the Theatre (which could seat up to 4000 spectators) and then went on to see the Christian chapel, the wine-bar, apartments, the synagogue, the Forum baths and much more. The city is mentioned several times by St. Augustine in his confessions. It was in Ostia, that his mother Monica died and was buried. The weather was perfect for walking outdoors and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the outing. The sisters arrived home shortly before 5:00 pm and were so grateful that the downpour of evening rains did not begin until 20 minutes later.