15 Best Day Trips From Rome, Italy
A list of the best day trips from Rome, Italy! Many of these Rome day trips will take you under and hour to arrive so are perfect if you don’t want to travel far. For those who are ok with an early start and late return, we have also included some day trips from Rome that are accessible within a few hours.
15 Day Trips From Rome, Italy
I was based in Rome for the good part of ten years and I consider the city my second home. I think it is safe to say that I can almost be considered a local.
When I first arrived in Bella Roma, I was just another Aussie tourist and didn’t know how long I was going to be there, so I tried to see and do as much as the touristy thing as possible. But after a while, when it started to feel like home, I got out and about to experience different places as the locals do.
I absolutely love Rome, it is the perfect place to start of when visiting Italy. But there is so much else to see just outside of Rome too if you have the time.
To make it easier you can find sections below including the following day trips from Rome:
- Rome Day Trips to visit smaller cities, towns and villages
- Rome Day Trips to visit nearby Ruins
- Rome Day Trips to see nearby gardens
- Rome Day Trips to visit nearby beaches and lakes
For now though, let’s dive into the Best Day Trips from Rome, Italy
Best Day Trips from Rome, Italy: Cities, Towns & Villages
Once you have visited Vatican and the Colloseum, climbed the Spanish Steps, thrown your coin in the Trevi Fountain, and seen the other main sites of Bella Roma, take a day trip out to one of these gorgeous cities and towns.
One of my favourite day trips from Rome, and one I have taken many times is to the gorgeous little hill city town of Orvieto. Just under an hour and a half from Rome, Orvieto is most famous for Pozzo di San Patrizio. With 2 staircases, it is possible to explore this incredible 16th century well which is 72m deep.
Other attractions include Orvieto’s Gothic cathedral, the little medieval streets, and it’s stunning hill top views. This medieval t is a joy to walk around, and is filled with little restaurants serving up the traditional dish of wild boar.
After Rome, Florence is one of the most popular cities to visit on your trip to Italy. There is plenty to do in Florence, and you could easily spend a few days there, but if you don’t have much time then a day trip from Rome is doable in under an hour and a half one way.
Visit the Uffizi Museum, explore the most famous “Duomo” the cathedral in the centre of Florence, or take a walk up to the Piazzale Michelangelo for sunset. Make sure to visit the markets where you can find an abundance of fine Italian leather, and then head out for the famous “Bistecca alla Fiorentina”, Florentine Steak!
3. Castel Gandolfo (Gandolfo Castle)
Looking to get out into the Italian countryside? Castel Gandolfo, the Pope’s former Summer Residence is considered one of Italy’s most scenic towns.
Overlooking the volcanic Lake Albano in the area of Castelli Romani, the views of the surrounding greenery are magnificent. A walk through the Barberini Gardens will take your breath away.
Just 20kms south of Rome, Castel Gandolfo, and the other small towns in the Castelli Romani area makes it one of the easiest day trips from Rome.
4. Civita di Bagnoregio
Nicknamed the “Dying Town”, Civita di Bagnoregio is a unique Italian town built on the top of a hill and only reachable via a long pedestrian bridge. With under 15 permanent residents, the town is mostly populated with tourists who come for the stunning views, the food, and the wine.
While it isn’t an easy day trip from Rome if you don’t have a car, it is definitely worth it. Get the train to Orvieto and there is a very cheap bus service from there. If you make an early start you could possibly see both towns in one day.
Thanks to the Frecciarossa fast train, Naples is now only a one hour trip from Rome so it makes a very easy day trip.
Definitely one of the most underrated cities in Italy, visiting Naples is visiting the “real Italy”. Famous for the culture, architecture. The historic centre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is the largest in Europe.
The other main thing Naples is famous for is the food. In fact, tourists flock to Da Michele where people line the street to taste what many call it, the best pizza in Italy.
There is plenty to see and do in Naples, and a day isn’t enough to see it all, however if you only have a day trip from Rome, it is still worth the visit. It is a city to remember.
A fantastic day trip from Rome for foodies and wine lovers is Frascati, set in the area of Castelli Romani. Just 20km south of Rome, Frascati is easily reached by trains which run regularly.
As with many of the hilltop towns you find in Castelli Romani, Frascati served as a Summer escape for noble Romans, and one of the highlights of Frascati is the ruins of the villa.
The historical centre of Frascati itself is full or charm and has some stunning views overlooking Rome. There are no shortage of good restaurants serving up delicious food and their famous white wine.
One of the most beautiful day trips from Rome is the charming medieval town of Viterbo. Rich in history and natural wonders, Viterbo is easily reached from Rome by train in just under an hour and a half.
Highlights of Viterbo include the medieval architecture, and the remains of Palazzo de Papi. (The Papal Palace). The historical centre is pleasant to walk around, and of course there are plenty of great restaurants to eat.
Finish your day at the famous thermal baths of Viterbo. A a great place to relax and wind down after a walk through the medieval city.
Best Day Trips from Rome, Italy: Ruins
A trip to Italy is never complete without seeing and learning about some of the country’s history.
8. Ostia Antica
One of the best day trips from Rome for those who want to want to see some Roman ruins, is to Ostia Antica, an easy 30min train from the centre of Rome.
Founded in the 7th century, and once home to over 100,000 Roman citizens, Ostia previously served as Rome’s seaport. The preservation Ostia Antica is excellent. Exploring the ancient buildings, apartments, warehouse, and mosaics you gain a glimpse into the Roman lifestyles.
9. Hadrian’s Villa – Tivoli
Tivoli is where you can find the UNESCO Heritage site Hadrian’s Villa, about 40mins from Rome by train/bus. Set on 120 hectares, Hadrian’s Villa was designed to be a home for the Roman Emperor Hadrian in 117 A.D and was the largest villa of the Roman Empire.
While you are there, you can also visit the nearby Villa D’Estate, with some stunning Renaissance architecture and gardens.
These days, thanks to the fast trains, Pompei is reachable from Rome in under 2 and half hours. One of the most popular sites in Italy to see ancient ruins, Pompei should definitely be on your bucket list when visiting Italy.
Overlooked by Mount Vesuvius, an active volcano in Campania, Pompei was buried when the famous eruption took place in 79AD covering the city in thick volcanic ash.
If you visit Pompei, a tour is definitely recommended, otherwise it is difficult to know what you are looking at. You could easily spend a whole day exploring Pompei and still not see everything, however there are short tours for a 2-4 hours which can show you the main sites.
Get the fast train to Naples and a local train to Pompei. Stop off at Naples for pizza on the way back, win win!
Best Day Trips from Rome, Italy: Gardens
11. Parco dei Mostri (Monster Park), Bomarzo
If you hire a car, the Monstor Park in Bomarzo is a must see for both children and adults. It is one of the most unique day trips from Rome, and surely you have never seen anything like it. Located about an hour and half north of Rome, this imaginative world dates back to the 1500’s where it was designed by Pirro Ligorio one of Rome’s noble families.
The sculptures are amazing, and have to be seen to be believed. There are larger than life heads, exotic animals, monsters, mermaids and other mythological creatures. Definitely one of the best day trips from Rome.
12. Giardini di Ninfa (Ninfa Gardens)
Referred to as one of the “most romantic gardens in the world”, the Giardini di Ninfa was created in the early 1920’s by the Caetani, noble family. Home to around 1300 botanical species over the eight acres of landscape, this garden has plants and flowers of every shape and size.
If you can, visit when the flowers are blooming, during April and May. Be careful planning your trip as the garden is only open limited days in the year. If you are lucky to be in the area during the open days, the Ninfa gardens are definitely worth the day trip from Rome
Best Day Trips from Rome, Italy: Beaches & Lakes
However, there are some places by the water that are worth a visit when considering day trips from Rome. It gets very hot during the Summer in Rome and these are a few places the Romans go to cool off.
13. Lago di Bracciano (Lake Bracciano)
Just 32kms northwest of Rome, is Lago di Bracciano, the second largest volcanic lake in Lazio. It is a popular Summer destination for locals, and a pleasant day trip from Rome for tourists.
For those who love to keep active, you can walk around the lake or hire bikes to go for a ride. With three medieval towns surrounding the lake, there is plenty to explore.
Explore the Odescalchi castle in Bracciano which is famous for the wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, the historical centre of Trevignano Romano, or have fun with some water sports on the beach of Anguillara Sabazia.
Lake Bracciano is just over an hour north by train, so it is a fairly easy day trip from Rome.
Sperlonga is a small coastal town half way between Rome and Naples, making it an easy day trip from Rome for travellers visiting the big city.
Well known by the Italians, Sperlonga is a long kept secret, and most tourists don’t know about this little village overlooking the Mediterranean sea.
Filled will lots of narrow winding ally ways, the centre is lovely to walk around, and when you are ready to hit the beach, the water isn’t far away.
Sperlonga is best to visit if you have a car, otherwise you can get the train and a connecting bus.
15. Isola di Ponza
They call it Italy’s most secret island. Mostly unheard of by tourists, the small fisherman’s island of Ponza is accessible by ferry and if you get up early enough it is well worth the day trip from Rome.
The island of Ponza is quite small filled with unspoiled nature and crystal clear waters. It is mostly filled with Italians rather than tourists, and you will find many family run hotels in the midst of all the colourful buildings that surround the town. Ponza is quiet, slow, relaxing, and authentic.
The perfect day trip from Rome for those who want to get out of the city and get a taste of the island life.
Other Rome Day Trips
Technically you could do day trips from Rome to places like Milan, Venice, or the Almalfi Coast but I don’t really recommend it unless you really have your heart set on seeing something in particular.
You would spend around 4 hours getting there and another 4 back, leaving you only a few hours to actually enjoy the places you are visiting.
Yes, you could get your photo and tick it off your bucket list, but I recommend actually visiting those places on another trip. There is so much to do in Rome and around already, and plenty of other day trips from Rome to keep you busy.