Why Ostia is important?
Ostia is the only place in Italy where one can follow the growth and decline of a city starting with a fortress in the fourth century B.C., study the full expansion under the emperor Hadrian in the second century A.D. and be witness of the decline in the following centuries.
Since all religions of the roman world were represented at Ostia and could peacefully live together the city teaches us a lesson in tolerance and understanding.
We even dare to say that Ostia is more important than Rome for the start and evolution of our western civilisation. Rome was indeed highly dependent on the imports of all kinds of supply from outside. The port of Ostia played the most important in these activities. Without the harbour of Ostia Rome, as city, could not have survived.