There are many incredible day trips from Rome and you can easily leave the city and feel you are a world apart from it.
Rome is the ultimate place to visit in Italy, and it is only fair that it receives the amount of attention it gets from tourists. The Eternal City is fantastic: a perfect mixture of historic and archeological sites, beautiful churches, museums and art galleries, lively vibe, delicious food and fun nightlife.
One thing is true about Rome, however. It can get overwhelming: the traffic, the noise, the crowds of tourists in all the major sites – after a few of days there, you’ll need a change of scenery or you may well go crazy. Most people would leave town altogether and move to their next destination, but the good news is that you really don’t have to do that. Rome is so centrally located in Italy, and so well connected, that you can easily get out of it even just for a day.
In this post, I highlight some of the best day trips from Rome. They are listed in distance order – the closest ones to town first, the furthest at the bottom.
Please keep in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive. There are many more you can take, and some I don’t mention because I simply don’t think they make sense – Cinque Terre or Venice definitely deserve more time than a day, and they are too far anyways!
Continue reading for a more in depth guide to the most interesting day trips from Rome.
16 Day Trips From Rome To Feed Your Wanderlust
This definitely is one of the nicest day trips from Rome. Ostia is connected to the city via the Appian Way. Located at only 30 km from Rome, Ostia used to be the commercial port of the Eternal City. Facing the sea, it was here that goods were stored and then shipped to Ancient Rome via the Tiber river.
In its heyday Ostia got to count around 100000 inhabitants – it was very large for that time. The ongoing excavation have confirmed that Ostia used to be twice bigger than Pompeii. It was also a very wealthy city, which was reflected in the presence of villas and residential areas for its rich inhabitants. The city was packed with shops, taverns and temples, a political forum, an amphitheater and thermal baths.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Ostia is easily visited independently but you can also go there on guided tours. You can easily get to Ostia by train from Roma Porta San Paolo Station towards Roma-Lido. The trip takes around 40 minutes. You can use your Roma Pass to hop on the train. For a more in depth visit of the site, you could consider joining a guided tour. Click here for more information.
Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este, Tivoli
Tivoli is home to two of the best preserved Roman villas – Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este. These are some of the nicest places for day trips from Rome and truly a must-visit.
The first was built in the 2nd century by Emperor Hadrian. It was so grand that in his final years he decided to make it his official residence; and it was so large that it was more like a village proper. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, despite the passing of time it is in incredible conditions and inside you’ll find the remains of temples, palaces, libraries and barracks. You’ll also be able to enjoy the gorgeous park around it. You can buy tickets to Villa Adriana here or here.
Villa d’Este, where the son of Lucrezia Borgia used to live, is a 16th century villa with beautiful gardens complete with some of the prettiest fountains and waterfalls in the area of Rome.
GOOD TO KNOW: Another place you may want to check out in Tivoli is the Villa Gregoriana, a beautiful park at the foot of the acropolis that was commissioned by Pope Gregory XVI around 1834.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Both places can be easily visited independently or on guided tours. Trains to Tivoli leave from Rome Tiburtina station and take you there in less than one hour. Guided tours usually include a visit of both villas and admission tickets. For more information click here.
Many songs in the Roman dialect celebrate the beauty and the wines of this region. The most famous one is “La Società Dei Magnaccioni” (you can listen to it here) – it’s the song that always ends up being sung at large family gatherings in Lazio, and I’ve lost count of how many times I sang it with my dad at karaoke.
This part of Lazio is one of the best and easiest day trips from Rome. It’s located at about half hour drive south of the city, and it is a plethora or lovely picturesque towns. You can go there to hike through the beautiful Alban Hills, to eat and drink wine and just take in (and photograph) the amazing views.
The most popular place to visit is Frascati, where the main attractions are the Renaissance and Baroque villas built by noble Roman families. The ones you shouldn’t miss are Villa Aldobrandini and Villa Falconieri. Make sure to also visit San Pietro Cathedral. When lunch time comes, head to one of the many osterie and try the porchetta (slowly roasted pork on the spit).
Other places to visit are Nemi, Rocca di Papa, and Castel Gandolfo – which is famous for the summer residence of the Pope (a property that actually belongs to the Vatican) and a great addition to a Vatican tour.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: You can visit the area of Castelli Romani independently, but you will need a car for that as only Frascati is connected to Rome by train. Check out the prices of car rental here. Alternatively, opt for a guided tour such as this one or this one. For a tour that is more focused on wine tasting, you can consider this option.
Located on the shores of a volcanic lake from which it takes its name, this is a lovely small medieval town in the province of Viterbo that can be easily visited on day trips from Rome. It used to be a fishing and farming village but at the beginning of the 15th century the pope gave it to the Orsini family, who built the local castle, now known as Odescalchi Castle – the most famous local attraction. This mansion has been disputed by Roman aristocrats throughout the 15th century and was finally confiscated by pope Alexander VI in 1496.
Other attractions include the beautiful Santo Stefano cathedral and the lake and nature reserve that are a perfect place for a relaxing walk.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Trains to Bracciano leave from various stations in Rome – Trastevere, Ostiense, San Pietro or Valle Aurelia heading to Viterbo. All trains stop in Bracciano. Alternatively, you can go there on a guided trip. For more information, click here.
Tarquinia and Cerveteri
Located in the province of Viterbo, at about 90 minutes drive from Rome, Tarquinia is known to Italians, but not a very popular destination among foreigners – yet. But those who do are inevitably charmed by it. This is an ancient Etruscan town whose best site is a necropolis where there are some incredibly well preserved paintings and murals. You can book a guided tour here. When visiting, make sure to also pop in the very well curated archaeological museum.
Cerveteri is a beautiful medieval town where you’ll find some very well preserved Etruscan ruins. It also has a very well preserved necropolis and a good museum.
The necropolis of Tarquinia and Cerveteri is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Trains to Tarquinia leave from Rome Termini Station – make sure to check the train timetable and buy train tickets here. Once in Tarquinia, you can either walk to the Etruscan necropolis or take bus D. The best way to get to Cerveteri from Rome is by car. Alternatively, you’ll have to take the train from Rome to Marina di Cerveteri, where you’ll have to catch bus D to Piazzale Moretti or Piazza Aldo Moro and from there bus G to the necropolis.
Viterbo, at about 100 km from Rome, is one of Italy’s best kept secrets and a perfect place for day trips from Rome. I am biased towards it as it’s where my dad and his family are from.
Viterbo has a beautiful historical center surrounded by well kept walls. It was the seat of the pope for about 24 years in the 13th century, and it has a magnificent Papal Palace. Other places of interest are the Romanesque-Gothic Duomo of San Lorenzo and the Church of Santa Maria Nuova. The oldest area in the city is San Pellegrino, a maze of narrow cobbled alleys and tiny squares.
If you happen to be around Rome at the very beginning of September, make sure to head to Viterbo in time for Santa Rosa, a fantastic festival held on the evening of 3 September in honor of its saint. During the festival, a team of 100 porters carries an enormous papier-mache statue that is beautifully illuminated, moving it along the narrow streets of the historic center. In 2013 Santa Rosa festival was added to UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage list.
In Viterbo you’ll also find some beautiful thermal baths where you can relax for a real steal.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Trains to Viterbo leave from Rome Aurelia train station. The journey takes around one hour and 45 minutes. You can check the train timetable and buy train tickets here. Once there, you can walk around on your own or join a guided tour of the city. You can book it here.
Day trips to Viterbo from Rome often stop at various other places in the region. For more information, click here.
Few places in Italy call for a road trip as much as Tuscia. For as pretty as it is, this small region attracts very few foreign tourists – so it is the perfect place to visit if you want to avoid the crowds. The name Tuscia comes from the Roman word for Etruscans, who ruled this part of the country that spreads across northern Lazio, Umbria and Tuscany’s lower Maremma between 700 and 300 BC.
This is a place of sweet hills scattered with beautifully kept medieval villages. Must see include Bolsena, right by the lake of volcanic origins that has the same name; Bomarzo, one of the most beautiful villages located in the Cimini Hills (and while there, why not visit Soriano nel Cimino and its beautiful castle as well?); Calcata, located on top of a hill and whose views from a distance are breathtaking; and Bagnaia, where you have to visit the beautiful Villa Lante.
My personal favorite is Vitorchiano, the closest one to Viterbo.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: You won’t really find many good guided tours that will take you around Tuscia. The only one is a Tuscia and Viterbo wine tour, but it doesn’t really go to all the lovely villages. In all honesty, however, you will be better off visiting independently by car.
Civita di Bagnoregio and Orvieto
Considered one of the ultimate places to visit in Lazio, Civita di Bagnoregio is a lovely tiny town of Tuscia known as the dying village (though tourism is bringing it back to full like) because it stands on a hill that is slowly eroding and collapsing into the Valle dei Calanchi below. It makes for an excellent day trip from Rome.
Located at little over 440 meters above sea level on top of a tuff hill, on the border with Umbria, it was founded between the 9th and 8th centuries BC, and subsequently inhabited by the Etruscans.
The village is blissfully isolated, connected to the surroundings only through a narrow bridge that has had to be rebuilt several times – the Nazis destroyed the original one during WWII. You’ll have to walk into the village through the only gate, the Romanesque Arch of Porta Santa Maria, and once there you will be able to explore the marvelous medieval remains, with the beautiful cathedral, the gorgeous main square, and the many tiny shops.
Orvieto is located at around 25 km from Civita di Bagnoregio. It’s a lovely small town located on the hills of the region of Umbria. It’s most notable landmark is the Cathedral, but the undergrounds are worth visiting too.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Civita di Bagnoregio and Orvieto are best visited independently by car. If you’d rather use public transport, you will have to take the train to Orvieto first – it departs from Termini station and takes between 50 and 90 minutes. From Orvieto, you can take the Cotral Bus to Civita di Bagnoregio. For guided tours of both small towns departing from Rome, click here.
Christians will definitely know about Assisi. This lovely small hill town of Umbria is famous for being the birthplace of St. Francis, and it is a great place to visit. It has one of the most beautiful Basilicas in Italy, as well as a maze of tiny cobbled alleys and small shops, local restaurants and cafés.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: It takes little over 2.5 hours to reach Assisi from Roma Termini train station. For a faster trip, you may want to take the train to Santa Maria degli Angeli which takes little over 1.5 hours, and from there take a taxi or a bus. Once in Assisi, you can explore independently, or join a guided tour such as this one. Guided tours of Assisi that depart from Rome often include Orvieto in their itinerary. For more information, click here.
Naples deserves way more than just a day trip. This is one of Italy’s biggest cities, with so much to see. Among the places you shouldn’t skip there are Piazza del Plebiscito, Castel d’Ovo, San Severo Chapel, San Gennaro Catacombs, the Archeology Museum, the Royal Palace and the Cathedral.
However, if there is one thing you shouldn’t miss that is the mouthwatering food. This is the place where pizza was invented in 1830, and I wholeheartedly recommend to make it a point to try it there. You can pick from the traditional one to the “pizza a portafoglio” – which is folded in two; to the pizza fritta. Just build up an appetite before you go! Before you visit, make sure to check out this guide to the best pizzerie in town. You can also join a street food such as this one.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: There are regular Frecciarossa (fast train) departing from Termini train station that take you to the city’s central station in little over one hour. Opt for an early train.
Most people visit this astonishing archeological site from Naples, but the good news is that Rome is close enough for you to be able to enjoy it even if you aren’t really heading south.
Pompeii is famous for having been completely abandoned as a consequence of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD which killed more than 2000 people and buried it under a large coat of volcanic ash and pumice. Nowadays, you can visit it to explore the remains of the many beautiful buildings and even of the bodies that were covered in ashes.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: To get to Pompeii you have to catch the train from Termini to Napoli Centrale and then head to Napoli Piazza Garibaldi station nearby and catch the train to Salerno, stopping in Pompeii. Count around 2 hours for the overall journey and make sure to get your tickets to the site before visiting. You can get tickets here. Alternatively, you can join a guided tour such as this one.
I’d never go to the Amalfi Coast on just a day trip to be honest, but if that’s what you want to do, you’ll be happy to know that it is doable. Should you decide to go, make sure to stop in the scenic villages of Sorrento, Amalfi and Positano to take in the beautiful views, try the delicious local food, and even spend some time at the beach.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: I wouldn’t recommend trying to visit the Amalfi Coast from Rome independently. You would have to take the train from Roma Termini station to Napoli Centrale, and once there transfer to Napoli Garibaldi station, which is a few minutes walk, and take the Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento (this also stops at Pompeii). On the other hand, there are several tours depart from Rome. For more information, click here.
Located in the Bay of Naples, Capri is a real gem of an island best enjoyed on a boat trip. Once you are there, you can enjoy the picturesque views, go to the Blue Grotto (a coastal cavern where you will be able to admire the bluest water you can imagine) and the Faraglioni cliffs, as well as enjoy a drink in one of the many local bars.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The best way to get to Capri from Rome is on a hassle-free, guided tour such as this one.
Ponza is a small island of the Pontine Archipelago, located between Rome and Naples, on Italy Thyrrenian Sea. It’s a fantastic place with dramatic cliffs, clear waters and sea grottoes, where you can enjoy a day beach hopping and snorkeling.
Since the best way to enjoy Ponza is on a boat tour, you will be better joining a guided tour from Rome that include all sort of transportation. For more information, click here.
Florence is at about 300 km from Rome, which seems quite far from Rome. To be completely honest, I wouldn’t recommend visiting Florence on day trips from Rome – there is too much to see and do there, and this is a city that deserves more time. However, the train journey to get there is quick and if you only have limited time in Italy you may want to give it a go.
Florence has a wealth of fabulous attractions and such a deep history that you’ll only be able to scratch the surface in a day. Among the places you shouldn’t miss there are the Duomo, Piazza della Signoria which looks much like an open-air museum, the Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: You can get to Florence by train in less than 1.5 hours on the Frecciarossa and Freggiargento trains that depart regularly from Termini station. I recommend getting an early train – make sure to check the train timetable and buy train tickets here. Guided tours may also be a good option. For more information, click here.
Pisa is another lovely city whose center is fairly small and can be visited in just a few hours. The most famous sight there is the Leaning Tower, which dates back to the 12th century and is located in the gorgeous Piazza dei Miracoli.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: To get to Pisa, you will have to travel to Florence Santa Maria Novella station and then change for Pisa. The overall journey will take you slightly more than two hours. Guided day trips from Rome to Pisa usually also go to Florence. For more information, click here.
5 Tips To Make The Most Of Your Day Trips From Rome
Join a guided tour
Guided tours are designed by experts who know the area inside out, and who are masters at organizing – so they know which places to take you to, in which order and how long is best to stay. Most guided tours include round-trip transportation and a driver, so won’t have to worry parking, driving in limited traffic areas, or alcohol consumption (especially relevant for wine tasting tours). You’ll also have an English speaking guide who will shower you with useful information.
GOOD TO KNOW: Most guided tours mentioned in this post offer free cancellation. If you decide to book one, make sure to double check the free cancellation policy.
To sum up, here are the best guided day trips from Rome which you can book online:
- Day tour of Villa d’Este and Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli
- Day trip from Rome to Viterbo, Bagnaia, Thermal Baths and Lake Vico
- Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoregio
- Tarquinia Etruscan tombs
- Tuscia Romana wine experience from Rome
- Frascati and Castel Gandolfo day trip from Rome
- Bracciano Castle and Lake
- Pompeii and Vesuvius day trip from Rome
- Assisi and Orvieto day trip from Rome
- Amalfi Coast private tour from Rome
- Capri Island day trip from Rome
- Ponza Island day trip from Rome
Make sure to check out my post “A Completely Honest GetYourGuide Review.”
Pick your transportation wisely
If you really dislike guided tours you need to consider your transportation options wisely. Depending where you want to go, you can travel by train or by car.
BY TRAIN – If you are going to big cities with lots of traffic such as Florence or Naples, traveling by train will save you the hassle having to look for a parking spot and the worry of going above speed limits or driving in limited traffic areas (ZTL). Train stations in Italy are usually located in the heart of the city, so you’ll find yourself in the historic center, ready to explore. You can consult the train timetable for all of Italy and buy train tickets here.
BY CAR – If you are a fan of road trips, renting a car may be a good idea. You will have to pay attention to speed limits, and consider that Italian laws when it comes to drinking and driving are pretty strict. You can check out the prices of car rental here.
Use Google Maps to get around
Whether you are walking around a city and fear getting lost in its narrow alleys, or exploring the Italian countryside and worried about taking a wrong turn, Google Maps will come to help. Make sure to have a phone data plan that allows you to get online if necessary, and to check Google Maps if needed. Alternatively, download maps on your smartphone, so that you can also use them offline.
Bring a guide book with you
This is especially relevant if you don’t want to hire a guide. A good guide book will have at least some background information on the places you will be visiting – ie information about historical sites; good restaurants and bars to have a meal; and anything else that may help you make the most of your day.
Recommended guide books:
Get travel insurance
I always recommend getting a good travel insurance, no matter the duration of your trip or the destination. Make sure to read my post “Why You Need A Good Travel Insurance.” Get a good travel insurance here.
Further readings about Rome
Do you want to save some time and avoid the lines to major tourist attractions in Rome? Check out my incredible hacks:
- “Five Smart Ways To Get Tickets To The Colosseum And Skip The Lines”
- “How To Get Tickets To The Sistine Chapel And The Vatican Museums And Skip The Line”
- “How To Get St. Peter’s Basilica Tickets And Skip The Line”
- “A Complete Guide To Visiting St. Peter’s Basilica Dome“
- “Seven Smart Ways To Get Galleria Borghese Tickets And Skip The Lines”
- “A Guide To Visiting The Pantheon, Rome + What You Should Know About Pantheon Tickets”
- “A Complete Guide To Where To Stay In Rome”
- “All The Food In Rome You Should Eat: 25 Delicious Dishes”
- “18 Useful Things To Know Before Visiting Rome“
If you have limited time in Rome, make sure to also read my itineraries:
- “37 Unmissable, Fun And Cheap Things To Do In Rome”
- “The Perfect Itinerary To See Rome In A Day”
- “The Perfect Itinerary To See Rome In 2 Days”
- “The Perfect Itinerary For 3 Days In Rome”
- “A Fantastic Itinerary For 4 Days In Rome”
- “A Wonderful Itinerary For 5 Days In Rome”
- “A Great Itinerary For A Fabulous Week In Rome”
- “31 Incredible Places To Explore Rome Off The Beaten Path”
- “How To Get From Fiumicino Airport To Rome City Center”
- “The Best Roma Pass Options And How To Make The Most Of It”
Make sure to also read my post “17 Reasons To Visit Italy As Soon As Possible.”