Ostia, step by step, a journey to travel together
Ostia was once the 'gateway to Rome', a crossroads for people from all over the Mediterranean Sea. Today it is an archaeological park that welcomes thousands of visitors. Visitors who every day walk its cobbled streets, cross the Decumanus Maximus, enter public and private buildings to discover the everyday life of the former Ostians. Between the ancient walls, one can almost see them, during their daily activities: making bread in a bakery, unloading grain in the town's large storage warehouses, buying or selling in workshops and tabernae, praying in the temples or relaxing in a thermal building or at the Theatre.
As if time had stood still, ancient Ostia, as well as Portus and its Necropolis in Isola Sacra, is able to return us the image of a lively and populous port city, a cultural melting pot, the main commercial hub of the antiquity. But, on the other hand, time is inexorably passing and the Park faces a daily battle to preserve its monuments and masterpieces from degradation and loss, to maintain their appearance and fascination unchanged, while enhancing the cultural offer for an increasingly interested and conscious public.
However, it is not a race, but a journey we would like to take with you. Step by step, we are asking for your help to continue the Park's daily, ongoing commitment to the management of its cultural sites.
We ask you symbolically to adopt a "basolo", one of the big stones that pave the streets of Ostia. Without roads, there can be no city. These streets, laid out over 2000 years ago, are the symbols of time we do not want to lose sight of.
Your support is finalised to help us improving our cultural offer, in order to make the visiting experience a real opportunity of discovery and knowledge.
In all the sites of the Park, both masonry structures and decorated structures (frescoes, stuccoes and mosaics) need to be constantly monitored. Scheduled maintenance is essential to preserve them from degradation due to age, natural factors (atmospheric agents, proliferation of microflora and infesting vegetation) and anthropic factors.
Our daily mission is to restore and maintain the archaeological and natural heritage: monuments, roads, sculptures and mosaics as well as trees and historic landscape. At the same time, our commitment is to welcome international and diverse audiences, in line with the objectives of the European Heritage Label, awarded to the Park in 2020.
The key word to pursue all this is sustainability.
Environmental sustainability, as our archaeological sites are also naturalistic sites, where the natural component is significant and coexists with archaeological structures in a delicate balance. This balance guides conservation decisions without depleting tree heritage, without altering the ecosystem, and by guaranteeing biodiversity.
Social sustainability, in order to make the Park's sites more and more accessible to any kind of audience, also involving citizens that for cultural, social, geographical reasons do not (yet) know the Park's Heritage;
Managerial sustainability, in the general strategies adopted to lead, protect and enhance our cultural sites.
Economic sustainability as a mid-long-term goal, in order to optimize the available resources.
We are convinced that any result in protection and conservation of our cultural heritage, which is the core of the Park’s activity and its founding value, lacks part of his significance if not given back to people. For this reason in the past year, despite the difficult situation, the Park has opened all the sites that can be visited by the public six days a week, and is undertaking important actions to expand its cultural offer and exhibitions.
All these actions are designed to develop over the long period, step by step, together with you.
This campaign is the first of many small but fundamental steps we will take together towards a sustainable caring of our cultural heritage.
Step by step, we ask for your help to carry on the daily and constant commitment of the Archaeological Park, manager of one of the largest Places of Culture, Ostia Antica.
Please contact us for further information and/or requests by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org