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, the Eternal City, is fantastic place: a perfect mixture of historic and archeological sites, beautiful churches, museums and art galleries, lively vibe, delicious food and fun nightlife. However, it can get overwhelming: traffic, noise, crowds of tourists – after a few of days there, you’ll probably need a change of scenery.
The good news is 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. Continue reading for the most interesting places you can visit on day trips from Rome. I’ll start with the closest ones to the capital.
The Best Day Trips From Rome
This definitely is one of the nicest day trips from Rome. Ostia is connected to the city via the Appian Way. Located only 30 km (18.6 miles) from Rome, this town 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.
At its peak – between the 1st and the 5th century BC – Ostia got to count around 100,000 inhabitants – it was actually twice bigger than Pompeii. It was also a very wealthy city, with many villas and residential areas for its rich inhabitants. There were shops, taverns and temples, a political forum, an amphitheater and thermal baths. A walk along the main street of the site – the ancient Decumanus Maximus – will provide many a wow. Make sure to spot the ancient theater and the mosaics inside the Baths of Neptune!
HOW TO GET THERE: You can 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.
I’ve already mentioned Ostia Antica among the most popular day trips from Rome, but this lovely coastal town is the perfect place to visit if you need for a dip in the sea, too – and you can combine visiting the archeological site with something more relaxing. The beach lacks the charm of those in Sardinia, but you will find lots of good restaurants serving seafood, plenty of places to rent umbrellas and – if you are tired of basking in the sun – a nice center with Art Nouveau buildings,.
HOW TO GET THERE: Trains to Ostia run from Roma Ostiense Station – you can use your Rome City Pass to get there. The journey takes around 30 minutes. You can check the train timetable and buy train tickets here.
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.
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.
HOW TO GET THERE: 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). 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 – scattered there you’ll find many 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 is Frascati, where the main attractions are the Renaissance and Baroque villas built by noble Roman families. Don’t miss 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 porchetta (slowly roasted pork on the spit).
Other places to visit are Nemi, Rocca di Papa, and Castel Gandolfo – famous for being the summer residence of the Pope (a property that actually belongs to the Vatican).
HOW TO GET THERE: 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. For a tour that is more focused on wine tasting, you can consider this option.
Once known as Alsium, Ladispoli is 35 km (21.7 miles) north of Rome and a locals’ favorite for a beach escape in a place that is not nearly as crowded as Ostia. Torre Flavia Beach has nice sand dunes, marshes and even the ruins of a medieval fortification.
HOW TO GET THERE: Cotral Buses to Ladispoli depart from Rome’s Valle Aurelia metro stop (Line A) and take about 40 minutes.
Back in the 16th century, Fregene was owned by the Rospigliosi, one of the most powerful families in Rome. Nowadays, this remains one of the best beaches near Rome with a nice forest of pine trees that protect the shoreline and lots of nice seafood restaurants. You will find everything you may possibly need for a relaxing day.
HOW TO GET THERE: Cotral Buses leave from Rome’s Valle Aurelia metro stop (line A) and take about one hour.
A popular seaside resort already in Roman times – when people would go to the Aquae Caeretanae – today Santa Marinella is a great alternative to Ostia beach, not to mention much prettier. The beach is actually free to access (contrary to most places in Ostia). You will find lots of nice seafood restaurants. When you’ve had enough of the sun, head to town for a walk around the pretty streets.
Next to Santa Marinella you’ll find Santa Severa, another popular beach.
HOW TO GET THERE: Hop on a train from Termini Station to Civitavecchia and get off at Santa Marinella. It takes about one hour. The beach is a short walk from the train station. You can check the train timetable and buy train tickets here.
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. 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.
HOW TO GET THERE: Trains to Bracciano leave from various stations in Rome – Trastevere, Ostiense, San Pietro or Valle Aurelia heading to Viterbo. All trains stop in Bracciano. You can check the train timetable and buy train tickets here. Alternatively, you can go there on a guided trip. For more information, click here.
One hour and 15 minutes drive from Rome, Bomarzo, in the province of Viterbo, is a lovely small town known for the 16th century Park of the Monsters. Also known as the Garden of Bomarzo, the park was commissioned by Pier Francesco Orsini in honor of his deceased wife.
HOW TO GET THERE: Getting to Bomarzo by public transport will require taking a train to Viterbo and then a further bus. It’s much easier to rent a car for the day so that you can also visit other places nearby such as Viterbo and other towns in Tuscia (more about that in a bit). Check out the prices of car rental here. Alternatively, join a guided tour such as this one.
Tarquinia and Cerveteri
Located in the province of Viterbo, about 90 minutes drive from Rome, Tarquinia is well known to Italians, but not a very popular destination among foreigners – yet. This is an ancient Etruscan town whose best site is a necropolis where there are some incredibly well preserved paintings and murals. When visiting, make sure to also pop in the very well curated archaeological museum.
You can book a guided tour here.
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.
HOW TO GET THERE: 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.
Another option to visit Tarquinia and Cerveteri on the same day is on guided day trips from Rome such as this one.
Viterbo and the Tuscia
Viterbo, at about 100 km (63 miles) 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. The lovely capital of the Tuscia region, once known as Etruria and spread across northern Lazio, Umbria and Tuscany’s lower Maremma, is significantly lesser known so it is the perfect place to visit if you want to avoid the crowds.
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 – the Palazzo dei Papi. Other places of interest are the Romanesque-Gothic Duomo of San Lorenzo and the Church of Santa Maria Nuova. Other places to visit are the Terme dei Papi, historical thermal spas which you can enjoy for a real steal; and the Palazzo dei Priori, which has painted with beautiful frescoes. 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, visit Viterbo in time for Santa Rosa, a fantastic festival held on the evening of 3 September in honor of its saint – it may be worth spending a night there for this. 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.
HOW TO GET THERE: 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.
The best way to appreciate Tuscia, however, is on a road trip – so make sure you rent a car for this! Places you may want to include in your itinerary are Soriano nel Cimino, home of the well kept Orsini Castle and of a beautiful forest; Calcata, located on top of a hill and whose views from a distance are breathtaking; Vitorchiano, and Bagnaia, where you have to visit the beautiful Villa Lante.
I grew up listening to my dad’s stories of how he’d jump on the volcanic Lago di Bolsena as a child and then, once he grew up, he started enjoying glasses of Est! Est!! Est!!! wine – so I must mention it in this post! Home of a quaint, small lakeside town, Bolsena Lake is located in the Tuscia Viterbese.
The village is home to a few beautiful churches which include San Flaviano Church. You’ll also be able to see German Bishop Johannes Defuk’s tomb who, much like my father, fell in love with the Est! Est!! Est!!! wine to the point he decided to move there.
HOW TO GET THERE: Take the train to Montefiascone departing from Roma Termini. The journey takes about one hour and 40 minutes. You can check the train timetable and buy train tickets here.
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 (1,443.5 feet) 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 around 25 km (15.5 miles) from Civita di Bagnoregio. It’s a lovely small fortified town on the hills of Umbria. It’s most notable landmark is the Duomo which has a stunning mosaic facade, but the undergrounds are worth visiting too. You should also walk up – or take the funicular – to the walls of Albornoz Fortress. There also are the remains of an Etruscan Necropolis that may be worth exploring.
HOW TO GET THERE: Civita di Bagnoregio and Orvieto are best visited independently by car. You can check out the prices of car rental here. 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 then 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. It has one of the most beautiful Basilicas in Italy – the Basilica di San Francesco d’Assisi; as well as a maze of tiny cobbled alleys and small shops, local restaurants and cafés. Other places worth visiting are the Cathedral of San Rufino and the Basilica di Santa Chiara. Not far from town, Rocca Maggiore and Rocca Minore forts are great vantage points for views of the city.
HOW TO GET THERE: 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. You can check the train timetable and buy train tickets here. 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.
With its Ponente beach following the main road, this is probably the best beach you can reach on an easy day trip from Rome. Once home to a palace belonging to Emperor Tiberius, Sperlonga also features a nice sea grotto which was first discovered in 1957 and where lots of statues and other objects were found. Needless to say, seafood restaurants are one of the main features!
HOW TO GET THERE: Take the regional train to Naples from Rome Termini Station and get off at Fondi-Sperlonga – you’ll get there after about one hour and 15 minutes. Once there, find a shuttle to the beach. You can check the train timetable and buy train tickets here.
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.
HOW TO GET THERE: Since the best way to enjoy Ponza is on a boat tour, you will be better off joining a guided tour from Rome that include all sort of transportation. For more information, click here.
Naples is a popular destination to visit on day trips from Rome, even though it deserves more than a day. 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. Take a walk along the Spaccanapoli, a small road that cuts through the Old Town – along that you’ll find the church of Gesù Nuovo and Santa Chiara Monastery.
If there is one thing you shouldn’t miss that is the mouthwatering food. This is where pizza was invented in 1830, and I wholeheartedly recommend to make it a point to try it there. You can pick the traditional one or opt for the “pizza a portafoglio” – which is folded in two; or 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.
HOW TO GET THERE: 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 so you have more time to explore the city. You can check the train timetable and buy train tickets here. You can combine visiting Naples with a tour of Pompeii, too.
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 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 2,000 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. the most notable sights are the Tempio di Apollo, the Terme Suburbane city bathhouse and the many villas of the noble class that once lived in the city.
HOW TO GET THERE: 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. You can check the train timetable and buy train tickets here. 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.
In the Bay of Naples, the Amalfi Coast is one of the most popular places to visit in Italy. While a day is not much to take all there is to see, a guided tour may be logistically a good idea. Make sure to stop in the scenic villages of Sorrento, where you should spot the Chiostro di San Francesco Monastery, and the Museo Correale di Terranova; go to Amalfi and Positano to take in the beautiful views, try the delicious local food, and even spend some time at the beach.
HOW TO GET THERE: 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. You may want to consider this one.
Make sure to read my post The Best Things To Do On The Amalfi Coast.
Located in the Bay of Naples, Capri is a real gem of an island best enjoyed on a boat trip. Though a couple of days are recommended to take it all in, you can see quite a bit in just a day if you know where to go. 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.
HOW TO GET THERE: The best way to get to Capri from Rome is on a hassle-free, guided tour such as this one.
Florence is about 300 km (186.4 miles) from Rome, which seems quite far. To be completely honest, I wouldn’t recommend visiting on day trips from Rome – there is too much to see and do, and this is a city that deserves more time. However, the train journey 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, where you can see the beautiful Cathedral and the Baptistery, Piazza della Signoria which looks much like an open-air museum and where you can spot the Fountain of Neptune and the gallery of statues in the Loggia dei Lanzi; the Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio over the Arno River; the Galleria dell’Accademia and the best viewpoint in town at Piazzale Michelangelo.
HOW TO GET THERE: 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 departing from Rome usually include a stop in Pisa too. Check them out here.
Make sure to also read my post The Best Things To Do In Florence.
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 Campo de’ Miracoli.
HOW TO GET THERE: 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.
Do you want to save some time and avoid the lines to major tourist attractions in Rome? Check out my incredible hacks:
- How To Get Tickets To The Colosseum And Skip The Lines
- How To Get Tickets To The Sistine Chapel And The Vatican Museums
- How To Get St. Peter’s Basilica Tickets
- A Complete Guide To Visiting St. Peter’s Basilica Dome
- How To Get Galleria Borghese Tickets
- A Guide To Visiting The Pantheon
- 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:
- The Best Things To Do In Rome
- Why Visit Rome?
- The Perfect Itinerary To See Rome In 2 Days
- 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
- The Best Airbnbs In Rome