February 13, 2005
Ostia is the obvious choice and has always been the seaside extension of Rome since Antiquity times (Ostia Antica page coming soon). Take the metro line B to the Piramide, San Paolo, or Eur Magliana stations and follow the directions for the train to Lido di Ostia. I recommend taking the train at Piramide, as it is the start of the line. The train can get very crowded. The train there is also part of the experience. I don't think there's been a weekend where I would not find myself in a wagon with a bunch of teenagers and their boom box blasting music (usually bad techno). It's part of the package, I guess. The fare should be 2,50€. I used to go there every weekend because it's so easy, BUT it's definitely not the prettiest place! Just pick a stop between Lida and Cristoforo Colombo (I used to stop at Stella Polare, approximately in the middle).
If you don't feel like going or if it's not open, Ostia will be fine. Now, be warned, most of the beach in Ostia is privatized, which means that beach clubs get money from the city to take care of their part of the beach, but people have to pay to use it. It’s not too expensive to get in, though. Of course, loungers and umbrellas are extra. I went there for the first time in late April and it was free, but in May, you had to pay.
The advantage? You have facilities, bars, toilets... There is only ONE little slice of public beach in Ostia, and it's, of course, the one piece nobody wanted. The beach in Ostia is already not THAT spectacular.
The prettiest beach in the Roma area is a little farther: the presidential estate of Castelporziano. I discovered the Spiaggia Libera at the end of my stay and regretted not going earlier. The president relinquished part of it for the use of the people, and it's a very pristine environment. The beach has big dunes, it's free and very beautiful, and they have facilities in some areas. It's a nature sanctuary, and beside the beach, you'll find an extensive wooded area.
The beach is only open during the summer months, though, from 9am to 7pm. You'll have to take the train to Ostia until the C. Colombo stop and take bus no. 061 to the domain. Attention, that bus runs only every hour (there might be additional buses during the summer). Check out metrebus.it for schedule details.
For a list of the beach clubs of Lido di Ostia and segments of the Spiaggia Libera di Castelporziano, here's a link: http://www.ostiaonline.it/stabilimenti.htm
From journal La dolce vita a Roma.