41:44.318N 12:14.674E Sun 12th Jun 2016, 145nm, 22½ hours.
Bonifacio high town:
Slight change of plan - instead of “somewhere in Sardinia” we are now in Porto di Roma. After 3 great days in Bonifacio, revisiting our favourite views and walks (plus the same nightmare nights - the disco music from the bar adjacent to the pontoon is just as horrendous as last time), we decided to head for Rome. The wind was forecast to be perfect for a night passage across the Tyrrhenian Sea so we took advantage of it. Apart from the odd few hours of lighter airs we had perfect conditions; a steady southerly force 4-5 with very little in the way of waves, allowing the boat to perform at its best, doing 7 plus knots for hour after hour. The night was warm and mostly light (1st quarter moon and stars, then the loom of Rome’s lights) so a good time was had by all. The final approach to the mainland was a bit disappointing as it started to rain and the wind went round to the east, giving us a bit of work to do to make the harbour comfortably. We passed the entrance to the Tiber river without really being able to see it.
The marina is in modern Ostia, Rome’s nearest and very tacky seaside resort. It is however, a stone’s throw from Ostia Antica, the ancient port of Rome which is reputed to rival the city’s main ruins, so we have several things to look forward to seeing. The marina area itself isn’t all that great as we are surrounded by dilapidated apartment blocks, but berthing isn’t too pricy, so we’ll stay long enough to get the Roman epoch out of our system.
On our first full day here we travelled into the city centre by bus, train and metro, a journey of 1½ hours at a cost of €1.50 each! We then spent the day viewing the famous sites - Colosseum, Forum, Palatine Hill and the Pantheon and also had an enjoyable walk along a section of the Tiber shaded by beautiful overhanging plane trees. Yesterday we extracted our bikes from the locker and cycled the 4 miles to Ostia Antica. The ruins of the port town really are extensive and very impressive and took several hours to wander amongst with few tourist groups and lots of opportunities to have parts of the site to ourselves. The rows of large warehouses and the bath complexes with lovely mosaics still visible were particularly worth the rather scary bike ride to reach the place! As we have read, Italy’s infrastructure seems to be tottering. The roads are incredibly potholed and everywhere there is rubbish in the filthy streets around here. The city centre was cleaner luckily.
As the winds are not favourable to continue south yet, we will probably go into the city at least once more and visit some more of its attractions. Skipper hasn’t had his fair share of pizzas yet either!
Warehouses at Ostia Antica:
Loos at Ostia (the hole in the front is for using the sponge afterwards…)
A brothel down at the port, Ostia: