On Monday, after a disappointing morning spent failing to visit Ostia Antica, an adventurous journey of 3 hours into the unknown, I had cause to remember that every cloud has a silver lining- and I certainly struck silver in Ostia.
Looming over the town of Ostia is this huge castle. Castello Giulio Secondo
Hanging out for a cold drink of Spremuta D’Arancia (you get gorgeous freshly squeezed orange juice all over) and, let’s face it, some gabinetti (toilets), I struck out for the Castle of Julius 11.
But first, some lunch along the way.
The pizzeria was closed! Restaurants close between 2.00 and 6.00 but the lovely young woman cleaning down the tables took pity on me. She gave me a long glass of cool water and a lively conversation in Italian of which I caught about one word in five. “Australiana? Bella!!“. After some confusion about washing hands, she directed me to the toilet, bless her.
The castle, she said, was built in otto secolo as defense against the Saracens. (8th century? Looks newer to me but how am I to know?)
When I got closer I saw that houses were built onto the old walls.
Some of the houses are built into the old walls.
Inside the castle walls in the old bailey were little winding alleyways. I love these tiny lanes!
Following one of these little lanes I found, yes, a little restaurant in a miniature piazza. Open!
Armed with my trusty Kindle dictionary, I ordered gamberi alla griglia and bruschetta.
I’ve been so hungry here, all that walking I suppose, and I’ve been eating large lunches I wouldn’t be able to face at home.
After that longed-for fresh orange juice, I happily trekked back, burping, to the train.