While Italy’s capital itself offers so many amazing places to see and things to do, why not plan for at least a few day trips from Rome on your Italy vacation?
You can always spend one day or 2 days in Rome to tick off many of the things you have added to your Rome bucket list, and afterward, head outside in the countryside or to see some less crowded places.
After spending a few months in the Eternal City, I can easily say you can never see it all, but it is worth taking at least a few day trips. Plan your perfect itinerary with some of these amazing ideas I’ve gathered from fellow bloggers based on their experiences.
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Beautiful day trips from Rome you will want to take
By Noele Morata at This Hawaii Life
One of the easiest day trips to do outside of Rome is to visit Hadrian’s Villa, a large complex and basically, a city on its own that was the outside retreat of Emperor Hadrian from Rome.
Located close to Villa D’Este, you can do both trips in one day and enjoy the gorgeous outdoor historic ruins of the villa. This Unesco World Heritage site is impressive with ruins and archaeological remains of this vast complex that is located in the Tivoli area outside of Rome.
Built around 120 AD, the vast complex had a series of public and private buildings and public functions that included housing for the many dignitaries and visitors the emperor would entertain and house his guest while also running official functions of the government.
You’ll find many Greek and Roman elements to the architecture along with large pools, baths, fountains, and expansive gardens along with growing gardens that made the village self-sustaining on its own.
The visit is impressive and you can take a tour with a docent to give more highlights and details to what daily life was like, the major structures, and other interesting facts and stories about the emperor and his reign. You definitely will enjoy the visit especially to see beautiful ruins in their natural settings.
To get to the Villa, you can take a van shuttle or do a special group tour from Rome and it takes about an hour to get there and at least half a day to tour the entire property.
By Stéphanie, Bey Of Travel
If you are looking for a place to disconnect from the busy city, the ancient city of Sorrento is the perfect place. With only a 3 hour ride, Sorrento is one of the best day trips from Rome to fully unwind.
Nestled in the Sorrentine Peninsula, the Italian city of Sorrento basks in one of the world’s prettiest and most visited coastlines. Looking out over Mount Vesuvius, the isle of Capri, and the bay of Naples, no other destinations in the world rival the breathtaking Sorrento area. The region is famous for its lemons and limoncello and beautiful beaches.
Make sure to visit the abandoned place the Mill’s Gorge (Vallone Dei Mulini). This place offers an evocative and mysterious landscape that attracts artists and photographs from all over the world. Go for a boat ride on the clear water and visit the Grotta Azzurra. A blue cave with cristal blue waters. After a day at the beach, you can enjoy some souvenir shopping in the old town.
Visit the harbor of Marina Grande to enjoy a walk along with the docked boats and for dinner.
Extra tip: Rail Europe – The one-stop shop for train travel – the #1 distributor for European TRAIN TICKETS & RAIL Passes, covering over 50 European train companies, including Italy. On top of that, they offer sightseeing products making it, even easier to plan your trip around Italy by train. I always love to travel by train while I’m in Italy, and if you’re in the Northern part, chances are it will be even super easy to do so. Get your train ticket from Rome to Sorrento here!
By Annabel, Smudged Postcard
Frascati is a brilliant place to escape from Rome for a day trip or even for just an evening.
Frascati is one of the Castelli Romani – a collection of hilltop towns that have been occupied for centuries by wealthy Romans and popes. These destinations, high on the hills above Rome acted as a summer escape from the intense heat of the city.
Frascati is just 30 minutes by train from Rome, 20 kilometers southeast of the city. It’s a pleasant town to explore by day with its elegant streets and a handful of interesting sights but the main reason to visit is its culinary appeal – and not just its famous wine. Frascati is packed with pop-up eateries serving local pork delicacies. There are lots of stalls with charcuteries where diners collect plates of food, picking up a carafe of the local Frascati wine from one of the many cantinas, and join communal tables to enjoy an informal evening of eating and drinking.
If you’re visiting Rome with young children in the summertime, Frascati is an excellent base for visiting Italy’s capital – there are plenty of affordable family-friendly places to stay in and around Frascati and nearby Lake Albano is a great place to cool off after a day of sightseeing.
Saturnia Hot Springs
By Jürgen & Martina, PlacesofJuma
One of the most amazing day trips you can do from Rome is a visit to the Saturnia Hot Springs. These natural baths are located in the North of the Italian capital, around 150 kilometers away, and can be reached the best way by car.
Visting this hot spring a picture-perfect panorama awaits you here. Turquoise blue pools, steaming white sinter baths and an intact nature at the hot river enchant visitors from all over the world.
This magical is a natural bathing place, which is even accessible free of charge. Especially families with children, but also couples and older ones meet here to bath together and later have a picnic just near the river.
But not only the scenery is ingenious, but the water that you will enjoy is also very healthy. Thanks to its high sulfur content, it works well against inflammatory diseases such as rheumatism and arthritis. And, this spa is also said to have rejuvenating effects.
You can visit Saturnia Springs all year round. But you should avoid the weekends, as this is definitely the busiest time. The most beautiful pictures can be taken in the early morning, then you have this natural spring almost all to yourself!
Extra tip: Discover Cars is a great aggregator that will help you find and book the best option for renting a car during your trip, helping you save up to 70% on your car rental. You will most probably need a car to get to most of these places, especially if you want to keep a schedule. Get your best offers here!
By Jackie, Jou Jou Travels
Positano is one of the most beautiful destinations on the Amalfi Coast. It is known for its colorful buildings, incredible views, great beaches, and amazing food. To get there, take a train from Rome to Naples then hop on a ferry from Naples to Positano.
The entire journey should take around 3 hours by car or by train and ferry as described.
The Spiaggia Grande is the most famous beach in Positano. If you prefer a quieter and lesser-known beach, be sure to book ahead and go to the Arienzo Beach Club.
You will need to take a short boat ride to get there! For some of the most amazing food, try Chez Black for seafood, pizza, or pasta or right next door is Le Tre Sorelle with delicious food as well. Franco’s Bar is a great place to stop for a drink before dinner and to admire the most gorgeous sunset ever.
Be prepared to shop locally as there are many great ceramic shops and boutiques including Theodora Positano and Antica Sartoria for clothing.
Hotel Buca di Bacco is a great mid-range hotel to stay for a 3 day or more trip and it is perfectly situated in the center of the main town and you can still see very nice views.
By Menty at Gustobeats
Like Rome, the small towns around Rome are full of stories. Sometimes, the locals love to call them “The Legends”. On the way from Rome to Montefiascone in Viterbo, lies a small medieval old town. Its name is Sutri.
The Romanesque amphitheater and the Etrustran heritage make Sutri special among the others. Every time we drive by, I stare outside the window, watch those empty small-or-big caves, and ask “What are originally in those tombs?” No one knows. The tombs were calved in the tuff stones since Estrucan time (earlier than Roman’s). The most impressive tomb was turned into a church. Thanks to this work, we can admire the ancient rock architecture in this Madonna del Parto. Maybe we can guess what the ancients’ life was like more than 2000 years ago.
As part of the Sutri Archeologic park, you can visit the Romanesque amphitheater made by local tuff stones. A secret bird view from Villa Savorelli is perfect. Savorelli lost this small while elegant villa when the last generation went bankrupt. But, if you pay attention, you can still discover the old glory. Try to find the fine marbles. You can also enter the amphitheater from the main entrance.
The whole archeologic park is free to visit. A few restaurants and bars are along the main street to host the random stop-by travelers like us. Of course, if you have time, feel free to climb up to the old town and visit the main square (piazza) and Duomo. I am sure you will be happy if you are a foodie. Because Sutri is exactly an off-the-beaten-road Italian town, where a random restaurant can wow you easily.
By Kate, Our Escape Clause
While the Cradle of the Renaissance certainly deserves more than a one-day visit in a perfect world, if a day trip from Rome to Florence is the only feasible way to see the city, it is absolutely worth the effort to go!
Stunningly beautiful and fairly compact, taking a day trip from Rome to Florence will allow you enough time to visit the beautiful Duomo (and, if you book your tickets in advance, climb the cupola), stroll across the Ponte Vecchio, eat gelato in the city of its birth, enjoy a decadent lunch, and explore the Mercato Centrale to shop for some of the best food in Florence (some of which can even be shipped home).
If you plan well, you may even be able to squeeze in a visit to the statue of David!
Be sure to make your way to the stunning Piazzale Michelangelo before you go, too, to enjoy one of the best views of Florence.
The only feasible way to visit Florence as a day trip from Rome is via the fast train, which takes about 1.5 hours each way. The regional train is simply too slow.
Be sure to plan ahead, as pricing on the fast train is dynamic and tends to increase as your date of travel gets closer!
See what other destinations you should add to your Italy bucket list
By Erki, Genem Travels
Naples is just a one and half hour train ride away from Rome. It’s a big city with a vibrant Italian lifestyle, exceptional cuisine, and several interesting sights.
There are many things to see and do in Naples with the highlights of castles, unique underground tunnels, and caves, and a lot of historical buildings.
One of the most prominent buildings in Naples is their castles. Castel Sant’Elmo, Castel Nuovo, Castel dell’Ovo are one of the most visited landmarks in the city. These all castles are extremely well-preserved. There are small fees for the entrance, but for example, Castel dell’Ovo is free to visit.
A huge network of underground tunnels was constructed in the 4th century. Back then the underground was named Neapolis (New City). Nowadays there are still several underground tunnels for tourists. The most visited one is Underground Naples (Napoli Sotterranea), but also worth visiting are Fontanelle Cemetery and Catacombs Of San Gennaro.
In Naples, it’s also impossible to look away from delicious Italian cuisine. It’s one of the most authentic cities to try a variety of pasta, lasagne, cannelloni, and pizza. In fact, in Naples, the world-famous dish pizza was invented. From the street food section also try out Cuoppo with several ingredients. For sure it’s one dream spot for foodies.
The best way to visit Naples from Rome is by train. It’s even faster than by car.
Bologna is one of the best day trips from Rome if you want to see the real and authentic Italy. It is the 7th biggest city in Italy and is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region. It is iconic for its incredible food scene and because it is home to the oldest university in the world. The reputation of this great institution has meant that the city is full of students, young people, and full of life. Especially in the historic piazzas, where you will see locals relaxing, drinking, and socializing.
Bologna is perfect for a day trip because the city is compact and you can access all the main attractions on foot. Some of the best things you can do include the following: visiting the vibrant Piazza Maggiore, exploring the narrow alleyways and markets, climbing the 500 steps of the Torre degli Asinelli, and admiring the grand Basilica of San Luca.
Bologna is well known for its excellent food, and some of the best places include Bocca Buona, Dell’Orsa, and Al 15, where you can try the local delicacies. Bologna is where the famous Ragu sauce, lasagne, and tortellini were first made.
The city is best reached by fast train from Rome to Bologna Centrale Railway Station, and the journey will take just under 2 hours.
Include Bologna on your one week in Italy itinerary!
By Claudia Tavani, Strictly Rome
Located 32 kilometers northwest of Rome, Bracciano is one of the nicest small towns in the region and a perfect destination for a day trip. The small medieval town is actually right on the shore of the homonymous lake – Lake Bracciano; a volcanic lake that is one of the largest in the Lazio region and provides drinking water to the city of Rome and its surroundings.
Mostly unknown to international tourism, Bracciano is actually a favorite of locals who enjoy spending their weekend browsing the small town, whose main feature is the Orsini – Odescalchi Castle, built in the 15th century. Another place of interest is the Duomo, a beautifully kept church that dates back to the 13th century.
If you are visiting the region in the summer, you’ll be glad to know that Lake Bracciano is home to some of the best beaches near Rome. The most popular one is La Marmotta Beach, which is nicely equipped for a fully relaxing day. The area is a nature reserve. so you’ll also find some lesser developed places. If you need a bit of action, you can enjoy kayaking or windsurfing on the lake too.
Getting to Bracciano from Rome is really easy. Hop on a train from Rome Tiburtina station and get off at Bracciano. The train ride lasts about 45 minutes.
By Debbie Fettback from WorldAdventurists.com
Pisa is home to one of the most iconic sights of Italy, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The white marble bell tower comes with some fascinating history to discover, after taking 199 years to complete it. The tower started to lean during construction when there was an uneven settling between the foundation of the building and the ground.
A twin spiral staircase lines the tower’s interior. You can climb the staircase to get great views of Pisa and the countryside from the outside ledge. If you want to climb the steps, try to purchase your tickets ahead of time. There is only a limited number available each day.
While the Leaning Tower of Pisa is the most popular attraction, you will want to take the time to check out the Cathedral and the Baptistery in the Piazza del Duomo. There you will find some of the greatest examples of Gothic architecture in Italy. Pisa also has 20 other historic churches, palaces, and bridges that span across the River Arno.
The best way to get to Pisa is by train. From Rome, the journey is about 2.5 – 3 hours by high-speed train. The Tower of Pisa can be reached by a half-hour walk from the train station. If you prefer, you can also take the bus or a taxi.
By Catalin Geangos from www.traveltrained.com
Thirty-two miles south of Rome, Italy sits the Ninfa Garden, built on the ruins of the medieval city of Ninfa. Ninfa has been around since at least 1159 when Pope Alexander III was crowned there. Then in 1171, it was destroyed by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. While the history of the area is interesting, the Gardens that were built by Gelasio Caetani in 1921 are what draw visitors from all over the world. The New York Times declared the Ninfa Garden one of the most beautiful and romantic gardens in the world.
The garden sits on over eight actresses of land and is home to over one thousand three hundred different botanical species. The garden also serves as a bird sanctuary, with over one hundred species registered as calling the gardens home. A visit to the garden takes about an hour, to walk among the marked paths and drink in the natural beauty that is fiercely protected.
It is because of this fierce protection of the gardens that they are only open for specific days of the year. Before planning a trip, it is best to check when the garden will be open and to book your trip online. The gardens usually have days available from the months of March through November.
There are two methods to get to the gardens for a day trip. The most popular for tourists is to take a train from Rome to the nearby city of Latina. From Latina visitors take a short bus ride to the gardens. This trip takes a little over two hours and costs about $13 USD. Visitors who have their own car or have rented one can drive from Rome to the garden, where there is ample parking in about one hour and ten minutes.
Mount Vesuvius is one of Italy’s three live volcanoes, a fiery reminder of the power of Mother Nature. Around three hours south of Italy’s capital on the Bay of Naples, Vesuvius makes a perfect day trip when you’re visiting Rome.
You can get to Vesuvius by car or coach from Rome, it’s pretty much auto-pista all the way. Parking can be a bit challenging and the road up the side of the volcano to the car park can be really busy, so if you prefer not to drive, an organized day trip would work well. If you drive yourself, aim to get there by 9 am when the ticket office opens.
The trek to the crater takes around 30-40 minutes of fairly hard steep uphill walking from the car park – you don’t need to be super-fit but you will need stamina, especially in the summer months! You’ll need to wear trainers or walking shoes, a hat in summer (with sun protection) and make sure to take a bottle of water.
All the effort is worth it though, to look into the smoldering crater, smell the sulfur and look across the spectacular views of the Bay of Naples laid out before you. You can walk around half of the crater and there are vulcanologists on hand to give information and advice. If you’re feeling brave, you can take a rim walk all the way around with a guide – this is absolutely the best way to admire this behemoth of Italy’s landscape.
Lago di Scanno
By Deb from The Visa Project
At a first glance, a two-hour drive from Rome to a lake might seem a little far for a day trip. But it’s only when you get to Lago di Scanno, you realize that it was more than worth it. And it hits you why living in Italy is so awesome.
With its bright turquoise shades, this heart-shaped lake is one of the most stunning lakes in Italy.
You can swim there. You can also rent a pedal boat seasonally and explore the lake. There is a path that goes almost along all its circumference that takes 45 minutes to one hour to traverse. The lake offers something for everyone.
And a picnic with the vista of the lake is definitely a great idea for lunch. But if you want to eat out, there are a couple of bars where you can have panini and good coffee.
And when you are there, visit the beautiful church built right into the rock face, overlooking the lake.
The whole place has a really peaceful vibe about it, so if you just wanna lie down under a tree and do nothing else, you are most welcome.
After lunch, you can visit the nearby town of Scanno, which, with its old cobbled streets and stone houses and arches, has all the ability to take you back by a few hundred years.
By James Ian from Travel Collecting
You may decide to go to Villa d’Este because it is a UNESCO World Heritage site, but you will enjoy it for its incredible beauty and charm. There is a villa there, but it is the gardens that are the main attraction.
The Renaissance gardens, which date from the late 1500s and are laid out in a series of terraces on a steep hillside, are some of the most beautiful in all of Italy. There are lush gardens and hidden grottos and – the star attraction – over 50 fountains scattered throughout. Amazingly, all of the fountains are fed by gravity rather than mechanical pumps.
As you enter through the villa into the garden, you start on a 200-meter long terrace, the Vialone, which features a large loggia, the Fountain of the Tripod in the center (and more fountains at each end), and stunning views over the gardens below and the surrounding hills and village.
From the Fountain of the Tripod, descend to the Upper Garden and wander along Cardinals Walk, a lovely shady path that passes several secret grottos, all featuring more fountains.
One of the star attractions is the stunning Oval Fountain, designed in the 1500s as a ‘water theater’ and still delivering stunning performances today.
Walk along the straight lines of the Hundred Fountains and enjoy the spectacle – and details of the carved masks that the water spouts from.
Another showstopper is the Rometta Fountain, which is sculpted to represent a miniature display of ancient Rome. There are dozens of other fountains to discover as you explore the terraced garden.
The villa and gardens are located in Tivoli, about 45 km/ a one-hour drive from central Rome. You can drive, go on a tour, take the train (the train station in Tivoli is about a 25-minute walk from Villa d”Este), or a catch bus from the Ponte Mammolo stop on Metro Line B.
By Clotilde, A Princess Travelling with Twins
The area to the south of Rome called Castelli Romani is much loved by the inhabitants of the Capital who on Sundays, create long queues on the Via Appia for a trip outside the city, usually to find themselves drinking and eating at the fraschette.
Fraschette are widespread but almost exclusive to the villages of the area. Although they are now comparable to very simple trattorias, their origins (which date back to Medieval times) are a simple stopping point for people to buy and drink wine while eating the food they brought with them.
The villages in the area offer a true insight into an unchanged everyday life. There are not many tourists although all the villages are extremely characteristic, full of enchanting views, good food, and countless monuments and historic buildings.
The places to visit are varied and although connected by public transport, they are much easier to visit by car. In one day you can also combine a little relaxation with a cultural visit.
Begin with a visit to Castel Gandolfo (reachable by car from Rome in 30-60 minutes depending on traffic) where, after visiting the Pope’s summer residence, you can go down to the lake below which offers pleasant equipped beaches during the summer season.
Subsequently, in 15 minutes you can move to Ariccia where, after having appreciated Palazzo Chigi a historic building of the eighteenth century, and the Church of Bernini Santa Maria Assunta, you can finish the evening tasting the typical dish of the area, Porchetta di Ariccia (slowly roasted pork with herbs and fennel) and pasta alla gricia!
By Rosie Fluskey at Flyingfluskey
Set high above Lago Albano lies the small town of Castel Gandolfo. Stroll up the pedestrianized Corsa Della Repubblica, planning where to enjoy your dinner, and you will emerge into the charming square Piazza Della Liberta.
Directly in front of you rises the facade of Palazzo Pontifico. This used to be the summer residence of the Pope but was handed over to the public and now houses a small museum all about Popes past and present. Visitors get to look around a few of the staterooms and tour the beautiful Villa Barberini gardens.
After sightseeing, head down to the water’s edge. The cold, freshwater lake has a selection of private clubs along the green shoreline. They vary between cheap and almost cheerful, to classy and overpriced.
Looking at Lago Albano on a map, it may look like a suburb of Rome but it feels a million miles away!
From the Colosseum, it is just half an hour’s drive, past Ciampino Airport to the South-West. The breeze that skims the glittering lake is a wonderful contrast to the stifling summer heat back in the city. Plus, if you visit in July, the warm scent of peaches wafts through the town for the annual festival.
By Lori Sorrentino, Travlinmad.com
The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD not only buried the famous city of Pompeii, but it also buried neighboring Herculaneum under 25 meters (82 feet) of volcanic ash. The once-wealthy city had a population of over 4000 and was located on the western base of Mt. Vesuvius just 8 km from the city of Naples.
Herculaneum, being closer to the crater, was destroyed before Pompeii. It was horrific for those who lived there, but for archeologists the deep ash sealed the city and allowed for the excellent preservation of buildings, artworks, and artifacts.
As a result, Herculaneum is much better preserved than Pompeii with impeccable mosaics and frescoes. Because of this preservation, Herculaneum is notably a UNESCO World Heritage site.
From Rome, the train will take 2.5 hours with a switch to the Circumvesuviana train when you get to Naples. From there it’s a straight shot to Herculaneum.
The other option is renting a car, but if you haven’t ever driven around a big Italian city, it’s probably not the best idea. Besides, with the cost of fuel, parking, and tolls you’re better off with the train.
To experience what was once the magnificence of ancient Rome, plan a day trip to Herculaneum. As with any trip to archeological sites, penalties for taking artifacts are rightfully severe, so photos make the best souvenirs from Italy.
By Jiayi, The Diary of a Nomad
If you’re looking for an easy day trip from Rome that’s relaxing and filled with stunning views, then look no further than Orvieto, a lovely small city famous for its wine and gorgeous hilltop views.
Orvieto is only a 1 hour and 20 minutes direct train ride away from Rome. You can buy tickets directly at the Roma Termini station. Upon arriving, visit the stunning Duomo di Orvieto, the crown jewel of the city. It is beautiful inside and out and decorated with incredible frescoes. This cathedral is known as one of the country’s greatest Gothic churches.
Be sure to also stop by Well of St. Patrick, which you can climb down for a refreshing and unique experience. This historic well dates back to the 16th century and used to supply water for the city.
The highlight of Orvieto is Torre del Moro, a tower which you can climb up to get a spectacular view of the Duomo and the surrounding green rolling hills. This view is truly postcard-worthy, so bring the good camera gear, such as some great lenses for Nikon D3400, to best capture its beauty.
Before you leave the city, don’t forget to simply wander around the cobblestone streets and visit the wine shops lined alongside them. Many of these shops will offer you free tastings, and because this is Italy, you can walk down the street with a glass of wine in hand while exploring one of the greatest medieval cities in the country — how much better does it get?
Lago di Bolsena
By Alice, Adventures of Alice
Lago di Bolsena is a crater lake located in the Tuscan countryside. The area, which includes the lake and its surrounding national park, has been designated as an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International because of its significance as a stopover for migrating birds. Lago di Bolsena is a beautiful place to visit any time of year, but especially in the summer.
The hot days and cool nights are perfect for exploring this picturesque Tuscan Lake.
The lake is very easy to get to from Rome, Florence, and Pisa. As a day trip from Rome, it will take about 1 hour and 40 minutes by car or roughly the same time by train, although it will involve a stop at Montefiascone.
Lago di Bolsena, also known as Lake Bolsena, was once famous for its fish and freshwater springs but now it is better known for its incredible views of the surrounding countryside.
The lake has a gorgeous beach with crystal clear water for swimming and sunbathing on soft sand. On the other side of the lake, you will find an amazing Italian hiking trail that takes you up through olive trees and around breath-taking views for a 3-hour hike – not too strenuous and totally worth it!
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