Oasis of PortusThe Oasis of Porto in Fiumicino: history, opening hours, prices and plenty of useful information about how to get there and what to see during your visit to the Harbour of Trajan
Less than 5 km away from Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport and not far from Rome, there is the enchanting Oasis of Portus, a small paradise, ideal to disconnect and relax for a while, surrounded by nature.
The Oasis extends around the Harbour of Trajan, old port basin built by emperor Trajan, replacing the preexisting Port of Claudius, which was useless because it was continuously buried under sand.
The lake, with a perfect hexagonal shape and spread along 3 hectares, was used to supply Rome, to storage goods and for ships mantainance, taking advantage of the connection with the Tiber river.
The lake's catchment area today is artificially supplied by the Tiber. Besides being an important historic and archaeological site, it has a great environmental value.
In fact, the Oasis is a privileged point to watch migratory aquatic birds in their long non-stop long-haul flights from Mediterranean to Nordic regions.
Over 130 species of birds, like ducks, little grebes, grebes, common stilts, grey herons, coots, cormorants, seagulls and common terns can be found.
Of particular interest are also the fish, consisting of sturgeons, perchs, pikes, eels, mullet, cat-fishs and carps as well as the plants, including oaks, plane trees, pines, ashes, holm oaks and eucalyptus.
VISITING THE OASIS OF PORTUS
The visit to the Oasis takes around 1 hour. In order not to play havoc with the animals and the environment, the visit is done riding a horse-car. Moreover, during the whole route, you will be accompanied by very well-prepared guides from the Italian environmental organization Legambiente.
The visit is planned with two parts: in the first one, you will visit the lake with the House of Ducks, the so-called Butterfly Garden, where particular flowering bushes tend to bait different butterfly species, and a bar for a pleasant coffee break.
Riding the horse-car you will go through an area where, if you are lucky, you will catch sight of a small herd of deers.
Finally, in the second part you will get to a hut where, binoculars in hand, you will be able to practice a little bit of birdwatching with the birds in the lake and in the two adjoining basins.
The Oasis of Portus is really the perfect place for both adults and children: entertainment, culture and history blend perfectly together to offer an unforgettable hike out.
Away from the city smog and chaos, you will seem to be in a small paradise!
Besides, if you wish you can book the whole Oasis for a whole day and visit it riding a country wagon or an old horse-car.
A suggestion... close to the Oasis, you can also visit theremains of the Basilica of Saint Hippolytus and Lucy.
Built between the end of the fourth century and the beginning of the fifth century, this early Christian church devoted to the port martyr Hippolytus, stands over a Roman thermal complex, of which only the rooms, the bell tower and the old water tanks remain.
When the old church of Saint Lucy in the Bishop's Palace of Portus was replaced by a new chapel ordered by cardinal Flavio Chigi in honour of S. Erasmus in 1990, the Basilica took finally a double name "of Saint Lucy and Saint' Hippolitus.
The building, with three naves with apse, preserves some traces of the Bishop's chair and the Baptistery built later. Used during the whoel Medieval period, it was abandoned in the fifteenth century after the depopulation of the diocese. In the nearby Antiquarium you can still see epigraphic elements and sculptural finds from the building.
If you are willing to visit the area and the nearby Antiquarium placed against the bell tower, refer to the staff of the Museum of Roman Ships of Fiumicino.
Besides, the whole area is rich with really interesting archaeological sites and real hidden treasures to be discovered.
If you have got here by car from Via Portuense you will surely have noticed the Bishop's Palace of Portus in all its grandeur. It is also known as Castle of Portus, and it is characteristic because it looks like a Medieval fortified village. Not far form here can be found the Necropolis of Portus, and the wonderful Ruins of Ostia Antica and much more.
Enjoy your trip!
- HOW TO GET THERE
The Oasis of Portus is located in the town of Fiumicino about 1.5 km away from Leonardo da Vinci Airport. It can be easily reached driving along via Portuense of the road Ponte Galeria-Fiumicino: the entry is on the right side of the Oasis, street number 2264.
Alternatively, driving along the highway Roma-Fiumicino, once you go beyond the airport, continue on the flyover to Ostia and take the first exit on the right to Fiumicino. Turn immediately left on via Portuense towards Rome: you will find the entry to the Oasis at km 2.80 on your left.
- The oasis opens Thusday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm (last entrance at 14:00) from mid October to mid June and prior reservation is not needed.For groups over 10 people reservation is required.For information and booking:Landline phone: +39 06 5880880 (Monday to Thursday)Fax: +39 06 5880885
- Full ticket: €12€Reduced ticket: €10 over 65, €3 children 3-10, €8 boys 10-18 and school group*On Sunday, free admission for all children under 10
Information for visitors: pets are not allowed within the facilities of the Oasis.