You know you’re in Rome when you can convince your friends to wake up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday after only three hours of sleep to go to the beach.
Those of us who are Temple students are spoiled by the ability to get to the Jersey Shore on weekends when the weather is nice, in just over an hour.
Here in Rome, we have the same luxury. A metro ride to the Piramide station allows us to hop on a half hour train ride to Ostia Beach, not considered to be the nicest beaches near Rome, but hey, we’re used to the Jersey Shore.
We decided to get off at Christoforo Colombo, the last train stop for the beach. It took us a mile- long walk along the road parallel to the beach to realize that we could have taken a bus to get to the free beaches. Most of the beaches at Ostia are private, in that there is a fee associated with accessing that particular part of the beach. It was completely worth the walk once we got there though. A boardwalk with showers and changing rooms lead to the sparkling grayish black sand that leads to the calm bluish green waters of, what I believe, is the Tyrrhenian Sea.
We didn’t waste any time setting up our blankets and heading straight for the water. Sunny and about 85 degrees, the beach became significantly more crowded as the day went on. You also know you’re in Rome when your guy friends want to lie in the sun for more than just a few hours. Then I realized we were on a topless beach.
Sitting there on the blankets with my friends, watching the sailboats out in the water, the kids playing in the sand, the couples walking by with killer tans and hearing conversations going on around us in Italian, it hit me that I was on a beach in Italy. A beach, in Italy!
Full of sun and swimming and laughing and fun, I’d say our first trip to the beach was a great success; and we practiced our Italian with anyone and everyone we met. Not running into any Snookie look-a-likes or seeing any fist pumping, we’ve decided that Ostia totally beats the Jersey Shore.
One downside to Ostia is the constant bombardment of men walking around trying to bargain off hats, sunglasses, clothes, and jewelry. Two of my girlfriends, however, got bathing suits from one of the many bathing suit stands for 3 euro each. Ladies, you know that’s a deal you just can’t beat.
After the train ride back to Rome, we ran into a bunch of people from the Temple Rome program on the metro, sun-kissed in the face after a day at the beach as well. We couldn’t have asked for a better day, and we were told that the weather is nice enough to continue going to the beach up until about the middle of October. Here in Rome, we have luxury problems.
You can bet I had my camera ready for our day at beach. Below are just a few of my favorite shots.