27 of the Best Day Trips from Rome
Want to take a day trip out of Rome? You’re in luck because Rome’s location is perfect for day tripping! This major city is close to several famous, Italian cities, and is surrounded by natural attractions and historical sites. Rome is well connected by bus and train so you can easily get around. And, if you happen to hire a car, you can hit the road and explore multiple destinations that are close by. If you want to get off-the-beaten-path a bit, some of these day trips offer sites that most tourists don’t get to see. So, whether you have only a few hours or an entire day, here are some of the best day trips from Rome.
DAY TRIPS FOR HISTORY
Only 30 kilometers from Rome, this ancient city makes for an easy day trip for history buffs. During its heyday, this city was home to more than 100,000 people, and was a major port, making it essential to Rome’s commercial business. Visitors can now check out the ancient ruins which include temples, public baths, and an amphitheater. Take the train from Rome and you can get there in 40 minutes!
Most people have heard about Pompeii, the ancient city that was destroyed when Mt. Vesuvius erupted. It’s often a bucket list destination for those visiting Italy, and it can easily be reached from Rome within two hours. Wander around the open-air museum here where you can see the remains of the city, including many of the preserved bodies of those who died during the eruption.
Located 80 kilometers north of Rome, this ancient city is known for its historic town center. Visitors will find intact city walls from the 11th and 12th centuries, churches, ancient ruins, and medieval houses. In fact, Viterbo is one of Italy’s most well-preserved medieval cities. Just west of Viterbo is a large thermal area that is popular with tourists who want to soak in the soothing baths. These baths were used by famous Romans like Vasari and Michelangelo, and some of the ruins still remain.
Necropoli di Banditaccia in Cerveteri
For a unique and slightly quirky day trip, head to Cerveteri where you’ll find this haunting cemetery. It will take you back to the time of the Etruscans, with it’s graves, empty streets, terraces, squares, and giant round tombs that are topped with grass roofs. It’s strangely beautiful, eerily charming, and off-the-beaten-path.
Located just 30 kilometers east of Rome, this small town is home to World Heritage Sites, ancient architecture, and natural beauty. While visiting, the best thing to do is wander around the gardens, check out Villa d’Este, a stunning Renaissance villa, take a look at the fountains, and get some lunch at one of the top notch restaurants. You’ll also want to visit the luxurious Villa Adriana, the massive country estate of Emperor Hadrian.
If you want all of the history and beautiful architecture of Rome without the crowds and high price tags, Siena is the place to go. Wander the ancient city and make sure to check out the historic town center. Spend some time exploring Palazzo Pubblico and Piazza del Campo before visiting one of the main attractions, Torre del Mangia which is considered a Medieval belfry. And lastly, don’t forget to visit the Siena Cathedral, which is an architectural wonder.
While most people might not be familiar with this Italian landmark, Montecassino Abbey is actually quite famous. In 529 Saint Benedict chose this location as the site where he would build his monastery and home to many of the Subiaco monks. The city has a rough history as it was destroyed by war, but much of it still remains. This spot has a rich and varied history, and is a great place for history lovers to learn all about it.
DAY TRIPS FOR CULTURE
This cultural hotspot is located 300 kilometers from Rome but can be visited in one day if you wake up early and hit the road. There’s so much art and culture to see here that you’ll need to narrow it down to the best of the best. Start off by visiting Michelangelo’s David statue in Galleria dell’Accademia, and then visit the city’s famous cathedral, Duomo di Firenze. Stop by the Ponte Vecchio Bridge to take in the views and make sure to stop off somewhere for some delicious, Tuscan pizza. The architecture alone is enough reason to visit, but try to squeeze in as many museums as you can to admire the artwork.
Make a quick stop in Pisa to see the Leaning Tower. It’s a bucket list item for most people visiting Italy, and is certainly worth the photo opportunities. The town itself is small but is one of the most historic in the country. Stop off for some gelato and pizza before grabbing the train back to Rome.
Technically a different city than Rome, a visit to the Vatican is a super easy day trip as you don’t have to go very far at all. As the official residence of the Pope, the Vatican is packed with historic and religious culture. It’s full of significant works of architecture, beautiful gardens, and an abundance of art museums. Make sure to visit the Gallery of Maps, the Sistine Chapel, and the many sculpture museums.
Located in the region of Castelli Romani, this Baroque plaza is known for its incredible beauty. It can be found just an hour from Rome, and was once the home of the prominent Chigi family. Over the years, this spot has amassed a wonderful collection of 17th century artwork and furniture that visitors can check out.
Located in Umbria, this hilltown makes a great day trip from Rome, especially if you like pretty scenery. The town is small but it’s full of interesting architecture and history. Make the Duomo di Orvieto your first stop as it’s sure to impress you with its beauty. You can take a tour of the underground labyrinth, Orvieto Underground, and get lost wandering the center of town. There aren’t many tourist crowds here so you’ll be sure to enjoy some peace and quiet.
This is one of the most beautiful coastlines in Italy. While it’s surrounded by stunning natural scenery, we put this one in the culture section because it really does have it’s own, unique atmosphere. The coastline is made up of small fishing villages, each boasting its own sense of culture. Check out the viewpoints, spend some time sitting in the cafes, and try out the delicious food in the restaurants.
Another stunning coastline in Italy, the Amalfi Coast, is a popular holiday destination from Rome. Take some time to wander around the villages, pop into the restaurants, and wander around the small, intricate streets. Boat rides along the coast are popular with visitors, especially for those who want to check out the small coves and inlets along the way.
DAY TRIPS FOR FOOD
Tuscany is a well-known foodie destination in Italy. This area is full of rolling hills, farms, and wineries. Visiting during the fall is one of the best times as it’s harvest season. Visitors to Tuscany often come for the food festivals, wine trail tours, and the chance to take an authentic, Italian cooking class.
Casperia – olive oil tasting
Located in the countryside of Lazio, Casperia is a tiny, medieval, hilltown known for its olive oil. The town itself is rustic and charming with cobblestoned alleyways, and quaint buildings. There are various olive oil tasting tours that you can choose from. No matter which one you go with, you’ll learn all about one of Italy’s most prized exports. Plus, you’ll get to taste a variety of flavors.
Located an hour southeast of Rome, this beautiful palace expands out over 55 hectares. The grounds include colorful gardens and Pope Benedict’s organic farm. It’s perfect for photographers or anyone who just loves a good view. Spend a day exploring Castelli Romani and its surroundings which include plenty of great restaurants and places to try Italian wines.
If you love pizza (or food in general) you can’t miss an opportunity to visit Naples. This foodie city is where the pizza was invented, and you’ll be able to taste some of the world’s best pies here. The Margherita pizza is the traditional pick so make sure to get a few slices on your own personal pizza tour. Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba is said to be one of the first pizza restaurants so make sure stop here first so you can compare your other slices to this Naples institution.
DAY TRIPS FOR NATURE
Just a one hour train ride from Rome and you can be in the beautiful town of Bracciano. This medieval town is located on the shores of a lake, and is famous for its 15th century castle. You can explore the castle or just sit in its surrounding gardens and take in the views. Spend some time wandering around the town, stopping off at the viewpoints and testing out the restaurants that are dotted around the area.
This town is located in the beautiful area of Umbria. It’s a small city with one of Italy’s most beautiful Basilicas. The town is sprinkled with charming cafes, family-owned restaurants, and small cobblestone streets. There’s a well-known hiking trail that takes you into the woods, and plenty of places to try the local specialties, olive oil and white truffles.
Lago di Bolsena
Located just north of Rome, this quiet area is visited mostly for its lake. It’s also known for its wine and olive oil, so expect some delicious opportunities once you arrive here. Wander around the quaint town and check out the churches, the coastline of the lake, and the charming little fishing boats that surround it.
Take the train to Sorrento which can be found in The Bay of Naples. You’ll have coastline views of Mount Vesuvius and Capri! The town offers absolutely breathtaking, panoramic views that photographers will love. After taking in the scene, wander around the narrow streets and alleys and do a bit of window shopping at the small boutiques. The town is also full of trattorias, all of which offer the regional aperitif, Limoncello.
This rustic town overlooks the Tyrrhenian Sea and was once a hotspot for artists and writers. It can be found halfway between Naples and Rome, and is an absolute gem for nature and culture lovers. It’s not on the usual tourist trail so you won’t be facing as many crowds as in Rome. Visitors will find a Roman sea grotto, sculptures, rocky cliffs, and a series of beaches.
This is one of the most beautiful wine regions in Tuscany. And, it’s the location of some of the world’s most famous wineries. While the wine is certainly the highlight of a visit here, the natural beauty is a close second. Rent a bicycle and take a self-guided winery tour as you ride past the olive groves and rolling hills of vineyards. Grab your camera because you’re going to want to snap a lot of photos here.
Located in Tivoli, this destination once drew in artists and writers who felt that its natural beauty was an inspiration to their work. Villa Gregoriana is a park that’s well maintained in order to preserve the beauty it’s been known for throughout the 19th century. The trail here will take you past waterfalls, grottos, and caves. The path is lined with stairs and it will take you around two hours to complete the whole park.
For a relaxing day trip, visit some of the most beautiful gardens in Europe. This stunning complex is famous around the world and even inspired famous authors like Virginia Woolf. Visitors will find a display of more than 1,300 plants and flowers that all play into the delicate ecosystem here.
Located in the Bay of Naples, Capri is an absolute gem of a day trip from Rome. A boat trip is the best way to see Capri and all of its luxurious hotels, restaurants, and boutiques. Visit the Blue Grotto, drink as much Limoncello as you can get your hands on, and visit Monte Solaro for some quality time outdoors.
A visit to Rome is an absolute must for its world renowned attractions. However, a stay in this city is a great opportunity to see what else Italy has to offer. Take a few extra days to use Rome as a homebase while exploring the quaint towns, historic wonders, and natural scenery that lay just beyond the city.