10 Best Day Trips from Rome That Are Worth Taking

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After you’ve spent 3 days in Rome, it’s time to get out of the city and experience some of the best day trips from Rome.

Rome is the home of one of the most influential and important ancient civilizations: the Romans. Today the city is strewn with historical as well as Christian monuments; it’s home to Vatican City, a state in its own right and presided over by the Pope.

The significance and long history of Rome is not something to be understated and is most definitely worth a visit. But Rome’s position in Italy makes it perfect for day trips both further north and into the regions of Tuscany and Umbria.

It is even worth heading further south to Campania and Salerno, where both rustic countryside and idyllic coastlines beckon.

With all this on the capital’s doorstep, where do you go? Here are some of the best day trips from Rome to spice up your Italian vacation.

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Italy (Travel Guide)

10 Best Day Trips from Rome

1. Naples

View of the coast of Naples, Italy

Since it’s so well connected to Rome, being just two hours away by high-speed rail, Naples makes for an easy day trip from the Italian capital. This bustling city is famous for a lot of things, three-flavored Neapolitan ice cream, the basic tomato-based Neapolitan sauce, but above all: pizza.

It’s claimed that the original Margherita pizza was created in Naples in 1889 in honor of the visiting Italian Queen Margherita by a pizzaiolo named Raffaele Esposito.

Whether this legend is true or not, pizza is still huge in Naples and worth a trip to the city to sample its most famous export.

Aside from this, Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, being the site of a Bronze Age Greek colony from the 2nd millennium BC. As such the city is brimming with history to discover.

Take a day out of your Rome vacation to get acquainted with Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii.

This day trip to Pompeii includes a steady-paced hike up Mt. Vesuvius (summer only) or a visit to Naples when Vesuvius is closed in winter, plus a pizza in Naples and a tour of the UNESCO-listed digs at Pompeii.

Hear the history from a local guide and admire artifacts that date back to the infamous Mt. Vesuvius eruption of AD 79.

2. Orvieto

Orvieto, Italy

Trade the crowds of the Eternal City for the countryside of Umbria on this day trip from Rome to Assisi and Orvieto.

Built on an outcrop of volcanic rock known as tuff, and surrounded by defensive walls constructed from bricks of the same stone (known in Italian as Tufa), the hill town of Orvieto is located one-hour-forty minutes from Rome in southwestern Umbria.

The sight of the town atop its near-vertical cliffs is pretty much incredible. But the astounding natural setting of this picture-perfect town aside, Orvieto is also a historic town.

Like many in this area of Italy, it was inhabited by Etruscans, a pre-Roman civilization; the archeological museum in townhouses many Etruscan artifacts recovered in the area.

Elsewhere is the monumental 13th-century Orvieto Cathedral (Duomo di Orvieto), famed for its Gothic architecture, stained-glass windows, and magnificent sculpture. Orvieto is also home to a strategic papal palace, home to five Popes during the 13th century.

3. Assisi

Panoramic view of the historic town of Assisi in beautiful golden morning light at sunrise on a sunny day with blue sky and clouds in summer, Umbria, Italy

Assisi is one of the most important sites of Christian pilgrimage in Italy, and you can see how: this Umbrian town is famous for being the birthplace of Saint Francis, founder of the Franciscan order of monks.

It is also the hometown of many other saints, including Saint Clare and the 19th-century Saint Gabriel.

The Papal Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi is nothing short of breathtaking: it’s a gargantuan structure, distinctive and visible from the valley below to those approaching the town.

Not only is it imposing, but it also houses a unique variety of Italian Renaissance art, making it more than worthwhile to explore.

The town is also dominated by two medieval castles, a Roman amphitheater from the 1st century AD, churches, cathedrals. Many of which are connected with the lives of the saints who were born here.

Visit the medieval Umbrian town of Assisi and learn about its native son, St. Francis of Assisi, on this day trip from Rome.

Tour the hill town’s most famous Catholic sites: the UNESCO-listed Basilica di San Francesco, the Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli, and the Basilica di Santa Chiara.

4. Tivoli

View of Tivoli, garden and Catholic church San Pietro (alla Carità) from the villa d`Este, Italy.

Just over an hour away from the Italian capital is the beautiful world-renowned town of Tivoli. It’s so famously splendid that its name has been used in gardens, squares, even amusement parks, across the globe.

Two of its monumental attractions spring to mind: firstly Hadrian’s Villa, the country home of the Roman emperor Hadrian built between 120-30 AD (he’s said to have disliked the imperial palace on Rome’s Palatine Hill).

Less a villa by modern standards, more a town, here you’ll find baths, libraries, and a theater among others. Secondly, there’s Villa d’Este, a magnificent 16th-century villa, and former Benedictine convent.

Famed for its exquisite architecture and Renaissance gardens, which feature an abundance of fountains. Added to the convenience of getting here, it’s easy to see why Tivoli is one of the best day trips from Rome.

Visit the historic vacation homes of the Roman elite on a Rome to Tivoli day trip. The full-day guided excursion includes tours of Tivoli’s two UNESCO-listed sites: Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este.

Hear Renaissance and Ancient Roman history and scandal, admire archaeological ruins and explore some of Italy’s most extravagant private gardens.

5. Ponza Island

Aerial view of Ponza, island of the Italian Pontine Islands archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy.

Enjoy a day trip from Rome to Ponza Island for a relaxing experience in the Tyrrhenian Sea. You’ll have plenty of time to swim as you take a boat cruise around the island, which includes lunch with pasta and wine.

Sometimes dubbed Italy’s ‘secret island’, Ponza is located just off the coast southeast of Rome in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

It’s the largest of the Pontine Islands archipelago and is well-known for its white-sand beaches surrounded by huge towering cliffs.

The most famous of which being Chiaia di Luna or ‘Half Moon Beach’. Reached from the road via a Roman-era tunnel; there are also the various picturesque coves that dot the coastline of the island, which itself can be easily explored via a boat tour.

Snorkeling is very popular in the azure sea here, too. The harbor is a charming collection of bright buildings and narrow streets for you to explore, and where you can also enjoy pasta ‘mariner’s style’ – marinara – with a glass of wine. Sounds good to us!

6. Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast, Italy

A UNESCO World Heritage Site and famed the world over for its luxurious natural settings and historic towns, the Amalfi Coast is a stretch of seaside bliss that runs from Vietri Sul Mare.

It is considered the ‘gateway’ to Positano, a fishing village turned tourist haven thanks to its picturesque setting.

A high-speed rail link means that this is one of the easiest day trips from Rome you could make. From the capital to Naples it’s just a couple hours, and from then on it’s time to explore.

In addition to the beauty of this area, the view from the pier at Amalfi back to town with the mountains jutting in the background is out of this world. The Amalfi Coast is famed for limoncello, a liqueur made from lemons that grow well in this region.

And yes, a limoncello tasting tour is definitely possible at one of Amalfi’s lemon orchards!

7. Capri

Capri, Italy

Looking for one of the best Rome day trips? Travel to Capri, an island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, on a day trip with an experienced guide

Though located several hours from the capital, the ancient connection between the city and the chic island of Capri make it one of the most relevant day trips from Rome you could make.

Since the time of Roman emperor Augustus, there has been an imperial presence on this island which has shaped its destiny as a playground and retreat for the rich and famous.

It’s at the island’s second town of Anacapri where you’ll find the best sights and that’s without even mentioning the view from the town’s higher altitude of the azure sea and white cliffs.

Here you’ll find Augustus’ residence, the infamous palace of emperor Tiberius, Villa Jovis, plus ample opportunity for hiking. In fact, Anacapri is connected to the lower town of Capri by a famous stone staircase called the Phoenician Steps.

8. Pompeii

Streets of Pompeii, Italy

Though located in a different area of Italy altogether, it’s actually not too hard to get to the historic wonder that is Pompeii via a day trip from Rome.

In fact, it’s just under three hours’ driving (and under two by train). Once you’re here, however, you’ll see that it was completely worth it.

Pompeii is famous as the town left devastated yet eerily preserved by an eruption of the nearby volcano Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.

And it’s not only the buildings, with their incredible mosaic floors and frescoes of daily and divine life, that survived.

You will also find plaster casts of the spaces left by people in the ash that fell on the town, showing their exact positions at the time the eruption took their lives: adults, children, families, and pets. It is a tragic but fascinating look into Roman life.

Read more Rome to Pompeii: Best Way to Make it Happen

9. Castelli Romani

Scenic sight in Castel Gandolfo

One of the most beautiful and famed things about Italy is its romantic, picturesque countryside, and the natural setting surrounding the city of Rome is no different, particularly the southeastern collection of towns known as Castelli Romani.

Less than an hour away along the ancient Via Appia is one of Italy’s most scenic towns: Castel Gandolfo, home to the Papal Palace, a former summer residence for Popes used from the 17th century until as recently as 2016.

Further along the Appian Way is Nemi, the former site of a sacred grove with a museum dedicated to barges built by emperor Caligula.

There’s also Frascati, a historic town with a beautiful Baroque-style cathedral. The white wine of the same name is made here, too.

Local specialties around the area include pork dish porchetta, strawberries (Nemi holds a festival dedicated to them in June) and romanella, a red wine from the region.

10. Ostia Antica

Ostia Antica - Best Day Trips from Rome

Formerly ancient Rome’s seaport until silting of the River Tiber meant that its position shifted slowly inland, the site of Ostia Antica is one that anybody with some imagination and interest will want to explore.

Located around an hour from the capital itself, this is one of those easy day trips from Rome that would be a shame to miss out on.

The ruins of the town of Ostia date back to at least the 4th century BC and a tour of the site is a leisurely walk around its sights, including everyday things like houses, streets, public toilets, apartment blocks, shrines, warehouses, and a spectacular theater.

With it being so close to Rome itself, you’ll have more time to yourself to wander and daydream among the incredible history surrounding you.

Visit the ruins of Ostia Antica on this day tour from Rome. Sometimes known as ‘the better Pompeii’ for the excellent preservation status of its buildings, forums and artwork, Ostia Antica is an archaeological site that was once the port city of Ancient Rome. 

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About Lina Stock

Lina is an award-winning photographer and writer that has been exploring the world since 2001. She has traveled to 100 countries on all 7 continents. Member: SATW, NATJA, ATTA, ITWA

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