9 Awesome Day Trips From Rome

rome

There’s probably enough things to do in Rome itself to last you a lifetime, however if you are spending more than a few days in the eternal city there’s lots of cool stuff and spectacular scenery to explore in the surrounding area too. So simply choose the best place to stay in Rome and make use of Italy’s excellent public transport systems.

Here are 9 awesome day trips from Rome, how to get to them and the best things to do there.

 

Ostia Antica

These beautifully preserved ruins, less than half an hour journey away from Rome, are a lot like a smaller version of Pompeii. Located along the mouth of the River Tiber, Ostia was ancient Rome’s port city, but due to silting now actually lies 3km from the sea. Abandoned in the 9th century, you are completely free to wander around the excavated sites, exploring the old buildings and intricate mosaic designs.

ostia-antica

There’s an amphitheatre, restaurants, baths, bars and even a brothel. Options are available for personal guides or audio guides to learn more about the function and history of the city. To get there, take the metro line B to the Piramide stop and follow signs to the Roma Porta San Paolo train station. From there you can jump on a Lido train and get off at Ostia Antica. Then walk up the stairs, over the bridge and straight ahead you’ll spot the ruins.

 

Tivoli

This picturesque town is no more than an hour away from the city of Rome and has not one, but two stunning UNESCO world heritage sites. Your first stop should be Hadrian’s Villa, a sprawling complex of 30 ancient roman structures providing you with a glimpse into a bygone lavish Rome. The 250 acres of palaces, libraries, theatres and baths connected by marble pavements will leave you in awe.

villa-deste

Your next stop is the gorgeous house and extraordinary gardens of Villa d’Este. Wander around the winding maze like paths of the grand formal gardens and prepare to be captivated by the hundreds of majestic fountains and statues. To get to Hadrian’s Villa hop on a regular Cotral bus from Ponte Mammolo metro station, then from Largo Garibaldi in Tivoli historic centre catch a local CAT bus or 4X for the few minutes ride to Villa d’Este.

 

Castelli Romani

Just 20km from Rome are the vibrant green Alban Hills, amongst which lie 13 pretty towns collectively known as the Castles of Rome or Castelli Romani. Probably the most well-known is Frascati, which is famous for its delightful white wine and porchetta (herbed spit roasted pork). The grand Villa Aldobrandini and the small museum, Scuderie Aldobrandini, running through the history of the area are worthy of your time.

frascati

Castel Gandolfo with its dreamy views over crystal clear Lake Albano is a favourite town of many and also the home of the Apostolic Palace, the summer residence of the Pope, which has recently just opened for public viewings. There are direct trains that serve both Frascati and Castel Gandolfo on the Albano Laziale from Rome Stazione Termini and the journeys take around 30 and 45 minutes respectively.

 

Necropoli di Banditaccia

The site of Necropoli di Banditaccia in Cerveteri is another UNESCO world heritage site and is rather unusual. Otherwise known as the haunting city of the dead, thousands of grass topped tombs called tumuli are organised in a city like grid system stretching over more than 2km. An interesting insight into the ancient Etruscan culture, the most powerful society in pre-roman history, each tomb in the dead city is designed as a house with furnishings and several rooms.

cerveteri

These resting places were apparently a way for aristocratic Roman families to show off their wealth and ensure the highest quality of afterlife for their loved ones and many were found with an abundance of riches inside. To get there only takes around an hour and it’s a simple journey on a regular Cortal bus from Cornelia metro station.

 

Orvieto

This charming clifftop town situated halfway between Rome and Florence is one of the oldest settlements in Italy and is a very popular day trip from Rome. Above the medieval streets are fine restaurants, the magnificent Orvieto Cathedral and outstanding views from the Torre del Morro clock tower. But down below is a 3,000 year old elaborate labyrinth of underground tunnels built as escape routes for nobility back in the day.

orvieto

Endless tunnels, huge rooms, wells and even stairs take you on a underground ancient adventure right into the heart of a fascinating period in Italy’s history. A regular train from Rome Termini will take around an hour and a quarter, then you will just need to take a funicular up to the town on the hill where Orvieto is located.

 

Pompeii

If you’re heading to this region of Italy and don’t have plans to visit Pompeii, quite frankly you must be crazy. It’s just one of those things you have to do and although it’s a long day, it’s perfectly possible on a day trip from Rome. Frozen in time by a volcanic eruption in 79AD, in this city you will see what remains of 2,000 year old shops, restaurants, public baths as well as important political and religious sites.

pompeii

The city is massive and is best explored over a whole day. Be sure to check out the Forum, Lupanare and the amphitheatre. Within the cities ruins are also plaster body casts of the actual residents of Pompeii who died there doing the catastrophic tragedy. Take the fast train to Napoli Centrale in Naples from Stazione Termini in Rome, then a Circumvesuviana train to Pompei-Scavi-Villa dei Misteri. The journey should be around 2 hours.

 

Naples

This energetic and exuberant city, a short train ride from Rome, is a window into Italy’s grittier side. A visit here is all about experiencing brilliant art, divine pizzas and magnificent architecture. Definitely one for the art lovers, contemporary, urban, ancient, renaissance, you name it, Naples has it. At nearly every turn in this larger than life city you’ll be awed by the city’s imposingly lavish churches.

naples

Then there’s the pizza, oh the pizza. Be prepared to pack on a few pounds. If you do need a break from the chaotic an intense vibes of Naples you can always take a walk along the calmer pedestrianised seafront promenade. There are two fast trains that run to Naples, both from the Rome Termini, the main train station. There’s the cheaper, but less frequent, privately owned Italotreno trains and the Trenitalia national rail network. Both take just over an hour.

 

Florence

The Renaissance capital of Italy, Florence is consistently up there with the favourite day trips from Rome. It’s great to explore for a longer period, but if you are short on time, the day trip it is well worth the effort. Take a fast and direct AV train before 9am from Rome Termini station, it’s an hour and a half journey. You will need to book tickets and reserve seats in advance and should also buy tickets online to some of the more popular attractions so you don’t waste time queuing.

florence

Prioritise the sights of the Duomo, Campanile and Battistero di San Giovanni in Piazza del Duomo and Palazzo Vecchio in Piazza della Signoria. Galleria degli Uffizi and Galleria Academiei are fabulous museums and lunch at Mercato Generali is a must. Get your chops around a famous Tuscan steak or a bowl of ribollita, a hearty bean and bread stew. Followed of course by a gelato or two throughout the day.

 

Capri

Jumping on the train from Rome to Naples and then a scenic boat ride across the Gulf of Naples to Marina Grande port will land you on the chic Italian island of Capri. The entire trip should take around 2 hours so make an early start. It’s an adventurous day trip from Rome with a funicular up to the summit of Mount Solero offering breathtaking panoramic views.

capri

A further short boat ride out to the beautiful Blue Grotto where the sea glows electric blue is also high on the list of activities to do there. For something to eat, head up to the hilltop village of Anacapri and sip Limoncello with more enchanting views of the bay below. If you love gardens Villa San Michele is for you, it’s serene outdoor spaces are like paradise, and San Michele Church with its hand painted ceramic tiled floor is also a lovely treat.

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By James and Sarah



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James & Sarah of TheWholeWorldOrNothing are full time backpackers and part time thrill seekers. It all started with a conversation about wanting more from life and a desire to travel the world. Now they are living their dream and hope to inspire you to put your fears aside and go follow yours. Follow them on social media to keep up with their journey and awesome travel tips.


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45 Comments

  1. I’ve done three of these day trips from Rome, Pompeii, Ostia Antica and Naples. Pompeii was my favourite – seeing how the Romans lived over 2000 years ago changes your perspective. What stood out most was a picture of a dog made of tiny mosaic in the hall way of a house, with the inscription in Latin ‘beware of the dog’!

  2. What true beauty can be found around the world. You selected some prime visiting spots that I dream to travel to in this life. I can not wait to be able to explore that place myself.

  3. Some amazing recommendations and places. I have been to Rome and I went to Florence for a day trip. Florence is so beautiful. I am going to consider your recommendations for my next trip to Rome.

  4. Rome is a beautiful and historical place. I see some familiar places on your list, and the unfamiliar ones are equally beautiful as well! I want to visit that mansion with mazes. It sounds beautiful.

  5. I’ve been there 2 years ago and I really miss Rome and always wanted to visit this place again. Your photos are truly amazing. I am sure that you really had a great day on your 9 awesome days in Rome.

  6. I always wanted to explore Rome before and until now. and that’s on my travel lists this 2018. and Pompeii is one of the interesting places to visit because of its history. I am looking forward to visiting this place.

  7. Never been to Rome but it is an ultimate dream destination. I was only aware of Pompeii, Naples and Florence. The Capri looks absolutely splendid with stunning landscape. I’d love to explore all these amazing destinations someday in my life!

  8. Your post just took me to the beauty of Rome. This place is one of my destination dream since when I was a child, it has lots to offer and its very historic. Good photos too, very interesting place indeed!

  9. Our neighbors visited Rome last summer and literally haven’t stopped talking about it sense. Not only all of the historical places, but the food, the people, everything. One of their favorite day trips was to the Sicily-Rome American Cemetary. It’s hard to even wrap my mind around the stats. The site contains the graves of more than 7,800 war dead and nearly 3,100 names on the Walls of the Missing. All of the crosses, the memorial, the grounds are all truly amazing. x

  10. Oh I so love Italy! Been there 15 years ago and love every single day exploring! Rome, Florence, Venice and Verona are my faves! So nostalgic, hope to go again in the future. Btw, Pompei is interesting, should include it next time, thanks!

  11. This is a great blog post! The thing is, people usually just visit Rome and don’t plan on day-trips from Rome to different places. But if you plan on spending some more time in Rome than just few days, it’s great to travel around! Naples seems a great option! I’ve been to Pompei so I would agree – you can’t miss this amazing destonation! It left me speechless on how things and human bodies got preserved somehow in the lava or dust… Would love to go to Capri too!

  12. I’m in love with the architecture, perfect for Instagram. Haha. Tivoli is breath taking, Capri looks awesome too. Pompeii & Castelli Romani looks nice too. Ahh, almost all the places look beautiful. Rome is probably one of my dream destinations.

  13. Pompeii is breath taking, one of my favourite places in the world (I worked there for a while). I’ve never experienced Pompeii in terms of a day trip from Rome but I agree, it would be a long day! Worth every second though.

  14. I will finally visit Rome in March! 🙂 These are all great suggestions. I would love to also visit Orvieto and Capri. I was in Naples a year ago and I honestly loved it!

    Tadeja

  15. So many places to explore. I really need to get back to Italy. I went to rome, florence, & Milan back in 1998 and absolutely loved it there. But I need to return. I would love to explore Pompeii & Naples and everything south of Rome.
    As for your day trips, sign me up for Necropoli di Banditaccia & Ostica to explore the ancient cultures in their ruins or the city of the dead. Being from New Orleans where we bury our dead above ground, I always find these “cities” to be very interesting in their history. Also I think Darcee would love to “Rome” around Orvieto. That cathedral sounds right up our alley.
    Love all the Awesome Day Trips from Rome you shared.

  16. This was a wonderful read for me. I really feel like taking a trip myself… I have always been interested to see Pompeii, for its tragic history. And I hope I’ll be there soon! Great help this post is,for sure!

  17. I’ve never been to Rome (or any other part of Italy for that matter) but it’s always struck me as a beautiful city. And, pizza! I love pizza and you can’t get any more authentic than in Italy, right? In Naples, if I remember correctly. Some of my relatives are in Rome though, they might find this helpful for when they’re taking breaks. 🙂

  18. Rome! This is one of my dream country really. And seeing all the photos you shared in each places makes me wanna book a flight now. This is my least priority. But I think I need to save for it now.

  19. Going to Rome is in my bucket list. I would certainly make time to visit Tivoli, Naples, Florence and Pompeii. It would be calming to marvel in front of the fountain in Tivoli. I would love to soak in Rome’s culture in Naples and visit the historic Pompeii. Last but not least, it would be lovely to enjoy some gelato in Florence after admiring the magnificent Renaissance structures of the place.

  20. I am so glad I did 3 of these places. But just a day for Florence is injustice to the beautiful city I will say from my experience. It surely deserves more attention. Pompeii was touching. Tivoli was done quick. Hopefully I get a chance and return to Rome again for these other day trip destinations.

  21. Oh my, one of my dream cities to visit is Rome! Pompeii has really a lot to offer. I’ve seen the movie starring Kit Harrington yet I want to feel and experience it personally. Also, this place: Necropoli di Banditaccia. I feel that it’s really nice to learn how they and why they had those traditions. Well, let’s not forget about Florence! Ah, so excited to visit Rome!

  22. You’ve just turned us around Rome. It is one of the many places I would want to visit with my family. At first, I thought Rome is just for lovers. But after reading your post, I have come to realize that the place is more for family. A nice way to reconnect with my teens, rekindle the old love with my husband, and just bond with my mom.

  23. I’ve always wanted to go to Italy but I cannot think of any other places to go there but Rome. I have never known that Italy has this much splendor to offer. Everything is just so beautiful, and you have captured each places’ beauty so well! 🙂 If I were to have a favorite, it would be Capri, which is indeed breathtaking! I wish I could go to all these places someday with my loved ones! <3

  24. Every true history lover should definitively go to Italy and especially the fabulous Rome. I have been there more than a few times but there are still so many cool places I have missed to visit. My plan for this year is to visit Pompeii or at least Herculaneum. I have never been to the southern part of Italy or any of the islands. Sicily is one of the places I will definitively visit in the near future.

  25. I was reading this thinking that there would one or two places I would fancy. Then I found myself liking most of the trips you suggested. I love the idea of Naples and Tivoli. Florence always sounds appealing this is a very good guide. Thank you 😊

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