Top Day Trips From Rome, Italy

Where to Go for a Day Outside Rome

Here are our suggestions for day trips from Rome, Italy. The Lazio region that surrounds Rome is rich in archaeological sites, papal palaces, villas, gardens, wine, and even beaches.

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    saint peters basilica photo
    ••• Saint Peter's Basilica. Maremagnum/The Image Bank/Getty Images

    People often think of Vatican City as part of Rome, but it's really a separate entity. Vatican City can easily be visited as part of a Rome vacation. Saint Peter's Square and Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the extensive Vatican Museums are the main sites. Plan to spend at least half a day.

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    View down the Appian Way
    ••• Nico Tondini / Getty Images

    The Via Appia Antica, old Appian Way Road, was the major road of the ancient Roman Empire. It's now a regional park, Parco Regionale Dell'Appia Antica, and there are several catacombs to visit.

    From Rome, take bus 118 or 218 to get to the catacombs of San Callisto, the largest and most impressive of the catacombs. From there you can walk or bike along the ancient road, lined with tombs and churches. A beautiful place for lunch on Via Appia Antica is the Cecilia Metella Restaurant, especially when it is nice and you can sit on the patio or pack a picnic. Sunday is the best day to go when much of the Appian Way is closed to traffic.

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    The Theatre and, in the background, the Market square of Ostia Antica, at the mouth of the River Tiber, Ostia, Rome, Italy
    ••• Mauricio Abreu / Getty Images

    The ruins of the ancient Roman port of Ostia Antica are well worth a visit. You can easily spend several hours wandering around the old streets, shops, and houses of this huge complex that generally sees far fewer tourists than Pompeii. To get there, take the Metro Line B to Piramide or Magliana and take the Ostia Lido train from there.

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    The Roman bath on the site of Hadrian's Villa
    ••• The Roman bath on the site of Hadrian's Villa. Ellen van Bodegom / Getty Images

    In Tivoli, you can see the villa, gardens and fantastic fountains of the Renaissance Villa d'Este, built in the 16th century. Then take a short bus ride to the extensive grounds of Hadrian's Villa, created by Emperor Hadrian in the second century and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. East of Rome, Tivoli is accessible by train from the Roma Tiburtina Station or by bus. Tivoli Map and Guide

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    Far shot of the Duomo di Orvieto on top of the hill
    ••• Juergen Richter / Getty Images

    Perched atop tufa cliffs, the Umbrian hill town of Orvieto makes an impressive sight. Inhabited since Etruscan times, Orvieto's monuments and museums cover millenniums of history. Orvieto's stunning duomo (cathedral) with its mosaic facade is one of the best medieval monuments in Italy. There are plenty of shops and restaurants where you can try specialties of the Umbria region. Orvieto is a little over an hour from Rome (how to get from Rome to Orvieto). A funicular connects the station and lower town with the medieval center above.

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    Frescoes of the Tomba Claudio Bettini
    ••• Frescoes of the Tomba Claudio Bettini. Klaus-Peter Wolf, Imagebroker / Getty Images

    Tarquinia is known for its Etruscan tombs just outside town and its excellent Etruscan Museum. The town also has a medieval center and the Cathedral has good frescoes dating from 1508. Tarquinia can be reached by train on the Roma-Ventimiglia line in a little over an hour. Trains leave from Roma Ostiense station but some trains also depart from Termini or other Rome stations as well.

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    Aerial view of Papal palace or Apostolic palace of Castel Gandolfo
    ••• Papal palace of Castel Gandolfo. De Agostini / U. Colnago / Getty Images

    Frascati, in the hills 13 miles from Rome, is part of the Colli Albani and the Castelli Romani area, a volcanic complex of hills and lakes where well-to-do Romans have had summer homes for centuries. Frascati is a pleasant wine town and a good place to escape the summer heat of the city. Other Castelli Romani to visit as day trips include Grottaferrata, Marino, and Castel Gandolfo, home of the Pope's summer palace. These towns can all be reached by train.

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    Casperia, Italy
    ••• Casperia in the Sabine Hills. ? Jan Sluijter Fotografie / Getty Images

    Take a day trip into the countryside of the Sabine Hills, dotted with medieval towns and castles. The train to Fara Sabina takes less than an hour but few tourists visit this area. You can do a half-day cooking class or olive oil tour with Convivio Rome, too.

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    Two pair of lovers strolling on pier in winter, Ostia, Lazio, Italy
    ••• SIE Productions / Getty Images

    If you're in Rome and want to escape the heat of the city, the closest place to go is Ostia Lido. While it might not be as glamorous as some of the other Italian beaches, it has some nice private beach areas available for day use. If you want to go a little farther, there are good choices both north and south.

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    Dawn breaks over the Duomo or Florence cathedral.
    ••• Julian Elliott Photography / Getty Images

    If you take one of the very fast trains, it's possible (although somewhat expensive) to reach Florence from Rome in one hour and thirty-nine minutes (see how to get from Rome to Florence). Florence's historic center can be reached by walking from the station. Although there is lots to see in Florence, you can get a good overview in one day.

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    Fontana del Papa cooking school offers one-day visits to their bed and breakfast in the countryside, including a cooking class and lunch. It's a great way to see some of the natural beauty outside Rome and enjoy a day with an Italian family. They'll make arrangements to pick you up at a train station.