Best Day Trips From Rome
Rome is an endless adventure, but it can be overwhelming with the number of tourists crowding picturesque piazzas, the Colosseum, and Vatican City. So when in Rome, escape the crowds for these five must see spots you can get to by train, bus, or car in under two hours.
Here are the best day trips from Rome:
Civita di Bagnoregio
This jewel on a hill was a virtual ghost town, but steps have been taken in the past couple years to make sure Civita di Bagnoregio doesn’t crumble and fall right off the cliff. The hilltop medieval town is so secluded, visitors must walk a steep footbridge to get in and out of town. It’s a great place to wander through crooked cobblestone lanes and sun-drenched piazzas. Walking through the gate carved out of stone more the 2,500 years ago is like walking back in time. Civita di Bagnoregio is 80 miles north of Rome. It’s best to travel to this town by car.
This cinematically beautiful hilltop town has been called the love child of Rome and Florence because it sits midway between the two cities. Orvieto is unspoilt, uncrowded, and doesn’t fall short with its charming cobblestone streets and piazza life. The Cathedral is one of the seven wonders of Italy with its mosaics inspired by Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Orvieto is great for exploring because the entire bluff is a maze of medieval caves. Getting here will take a little over an hour by train from Rome’s Termini or Tiburtina train stations. From outside Orvieto’s train station, there is a funicular rail car to take travelers up to the hilltop town.
Villa d’Este is in the city of Tivoli. It’s 20 miles east of Rome and easily accessible by train from Rome’s Termini train station. The villa is an UNESCO world heritage site and one of the more picturesque and extravagant gardens in all of Europe. No expense was spared to create a dreamy backyard of monumental fountains, manicured lawns and grottos in the Italian Renaissance style. Don’t miss the Avenue of a Hundred Fountains with water-spouting gargoyles.
The Pope’s private garden at his summer residence is now open to the public for tours. Castel Gandolfo is 15 miles from Rome’s city center and is an easy train ride from Termini station. From the Castel Gandolfo train station, it’s a steep climb to the hilltop town, but the pay-off is a breath-taking view of Lago Albano. It’s hard to believe from the outside, but Castel Gandolfo sits on 136 acres, which is more than the Vatican. Visitors can purchase tickets to see the extraordinary gardens on the Vatican Museums website. After the tour, head back down the hill to the volcanic crater lake for a little rest and relaxation.
Ostia is the remarkably well-preserved seaport town of Ancient Rome. It’s one the easiest day trips that still feels like it is far from the bustling city. Explore the ancient apartment buildings, fancy villas decorated in marble, and take in the view at the steeply stacked amphitheater. Ostia Antica is like a mini Pompeii. The archeological site is less than 20 miles from Rome’s city center. To get here, take the Ostia Lido train from the San Paolo station, which is next to the Piramide metro stop, and get off at Ostia Anti