Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center


Day Trip to Ostia Antica

Day Trip to Ostia Antica

Dr. Nicholson lecturing the students about the ruins at Ostia Antica.

On Saturday, February 6th, 35 students had the opportunity to venture the site of Ostia Antica—the ancient port city of Rome with SLA Fran & Dr. Nicholson. Dr. Nicholson led the group on a guided tour of the ancient town, his vast knowledge of the subject apparent and his passion unparalleled. The site of Ostia Antica dates back to the 4th century BC and sits at the mouth of the Tiber River. Ostia used to protect the Tiber River from unwanted intruders that sought to make their way to Rome. After wandering the ruins and having free time to explore, the students then made their way to the Catacombs of St. Domitilla. These catacombs lay on the outskirts of ancient Rome, near the Appia Antica, and span more than 80m below ground. They are comprised of more than 17 kilometers (11 miles) of underground corridors that formed a necropolis—or city of the dead. St. Domitilla is the largest catacomb in Rome, and at one point housed over 150,000 tombs. These catacombs are also home to some of the earliest known Christian art—as one tomb has the first found painted images of St. Peter and St. Paul.