Best day trips from Rome

written by
Rough Guides Editors

updated 05.07.2023

Do day trips from Rome because they're easy, let you escape the summer heat and give you a bit of an antiquity break. They're also the chance to breathe country air or even visit the beach. Take a look at our pick of the best day trips from Rome here.

1. Tivoli - one of the easiest day trips from Rome

Tivoli sits on the Aniene River close to Rome and it's a favourite weekend escape for Romans. Follow their lead and spend a day touring the stunning Tivoli Villas which are famous for good reason.

Leave plenty of time to explore the spectacular Villa d'Este for its Mannerist frescoes and glorious gardens. And Villa Gregoriana is best known for its dramatic grounds which include Roman temples, waterfalls, forests and impressive natural caves.

Savour la dolce vita on this fantastic tailor-made Italian dream trip. Discover ancient history and take a cookery class in Rome, before marvelling at the Baroque architecture and iconic Mount Etna on the island of Sicily.


Villa d'Este is one of the favourite day trips from Rome by train © Marco Rubino/Shutterstock

2. Villa Adriana - the Roman Empire's largest villa

Villa Adriana dates back to 135 AD and sits just outside Tivoli. It was the largest villa in the Roman Empire and was originally constructed as a retirement home for Emperor Hadrian.

The villa's details were reportedly inspired by Hadrian's world travels, so don't be surprised to see influences from Athens or references to Alexandria as you wander around. You may want more than a day to explore, so think about staying at Casale Colleoni in Tivoli.

Roman Ruins inside the Great Baths at Villa Adriana (Hadrian's Villa), Tivoli, Italy © Shutterstock

Roman Ruins inside the Great Baths at Villa Adriana (Hadrian's Villa), Tivoli, Italy © Shutterstock

3. Ostia - alternative day trips to Pompeii from Rome

Lido di Ostia is Rome's seaside resort and is justifiably popular for its nightlife. But it has another claim to fame, Ostia Antica, the extraordinary Port of Ostia excavations which are often compared to Pompeii in terms of the quality of their preservation.

This exceptional historic site was discovered encased in Tiber mud and is now considered to be one of the world's finest examples of an ancient Roman town. So it's complex and fascinating and best explored on an Ostia Antica guided walking tour.


Visit Pompeii-like Ostia Antica on day trips from Rome© marcovarro/Shutterstock

4. Santa Severa - escape to the seaside from Rome

Easy to reach Santa Severa might be low on historic sites, but it's great for beaches and less than an hour's drive northwest of Rome. The coast here is known for long, unbroken stretches of sand and a number of free, public beaches which are perfect for soaking up the summer sun that's often a shade too hot in the centre of Rome in July and August.

Take a break from the seaside to visit the local castle and browse its small museum. And if you can't resist a bit longer by the coast, hang out in Severa for a day or two and stay at Ostello del Castello di Santa on the seafront.

Welcome to this whirlwind tailor-made trip to Eternal Rome, also known as the Eternal City. Rome is one of the most photogenic cities on earth, so make sure you pack your camera.

Aerial view of Santa Severa on the coast and the sea, Lazio in Italy © Shutterstock

Aerial view of Santa Severa on the coast and the sea, Lazio in Italy © Shutterstock

5. Anzio - home to some of Italy's best beaches

For more amazing coastline try Anzio, only 40km from Rome and often said to have some of the best beaches in Italy. It's also great for seafood restaurants around the harbour and comes with an interesting military history.

If you can tear yourself off the sands, you'll find both US and UK war cemeteries in Anzio and the small WWII museum in town is well worth an hour of your time. Or really get to know the local area with a stay at Surf & Windsurfer House near Tor Caldera Beach.


Several great beaches are easy day trips from Rome by train © mdlart/Shutterstock

6. Capalbio - over the border in Tuscany

Amazingly, even Tuscany is a doable day trip from Rome. Start with the arty village of Capalbio and reward your spirit of adventure with beautiful beaches just a short walk from the train station.

Capalbio is only about 100km northwest of Rome, so it's either an easy drive or a very pretty rail journey, depending on your mood. And if you only have time for one local sight make it the Giardino dei Tarocchi sculpture garden just outside the village.

Capalbio, little ancient medieval town in Tuscany, Italy © Shutterstock

Capalbio, little ancient medieval town in Tuscany, Italy © Shutterstock

7. Hill Towns of Tuscany - for a rural getaway

Tuscany’s hill towns epitomize the region for many visitors; San Gimignano is the most popular, but don’t miss Montepulciano, Montalcino and Cortona. San Gimignano - one of Italy's most iconic hill towns makes one of the best day trips from Rome. The town attracts hordes of tourists in summer but it's still a delight to explore and possibly one of the reasons Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

The easiest way to get to San Gimignano from Rome is to take the high-speed train to Florence, which takes about 1.5-2 hours. Then take a regional train or bus to San Gimignano, which will probably take around 1-2 hours depending on the type of transport.

Stay at a beautiful hotel in San Gimignano, a medieval hill town halfway between Florence and Siena. Tuscany is known for its wines and food and that's what you'll be exploring on this tailor-made trip - several wine and food pairings await.


Montepulciano © Shutterstock

8. Castel Gandolfo - for stunning lake views

Castel Gandolfo is a picturesque town located approximately 15 miles southeast of Rome and is known as a pleasantly airy place, which enjoys great views over Lake Albano. It's among the popular day trips from Rome, especially during the summer months.

To get to Castel Gandolfo from Rome, you can take a train from Roma Termini station to Castel Gandolfo station, which takes about 40 minutes. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Rome to Castel Gandolfo, which takes about an hour.

Relax on a bus journey to Castel Gandolfo, just 25km from Rome, and visit the exclusive Papal Palace and Barberini Gardens with an audio-guided tour.

Aerial view of the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, Italy © Shutterstock

Aerial view of the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, Italy © Shutterstock

9. Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius - the challenging day trips from Rome for history enthusiasts

A day trip from Rome to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius is definitely achievable, but it will be a long day. The easiest way to get there is by taking a high-speed train to Naples, which takes about an hour. From here, you can take the Circumvesuviana train to Pompeii (which takes about 30 minutes) and then a bus or taxi up to Mount Vesuvius (which takes about 30-40 minutes).

To be sure of seeing as much as possible you could consider taking a tour, although one of the pleasures of Pompeii is to escape the hordes and absorb the strangely still quality of the town, which, despite a large number of visitors, it is quite possible to do.

Travel from Rome to the ancient city of Pompeii via air-conditioned coach, and then discover the resorts of Amalfi and Positano on the Amalfi Coast. Get insights from a local guide and venture off the beaten path.

Statue of Apollo, Pompeii © BlackMac/Shutterstock

Statue of Apollo, Pompeii © BlackMac/Shutterstock

10. Orvieto - home to one of the greatest Gothic buildings in Italy

Out on a limb from the rest of Umbria, Orvieto is perfectly placed between Rome and Florence and serves as one of the best day trips from Rome. Visitors flood into the town, drawn by the Duomo, one of the greatest Gothic buildings in Italy. It is the first impressions of Orvieto from afar that tend to linger; its position is almost as remarkable and famous as its cathedral.

The town, rising 300m sheer from the valley floor, sits on a tabletop plug of volcanic lava, one of four such remnants in the vicinity. Orvieto’s old centre is compact and walkable: all of the main sights are within a twenty-minute stroll of the Duomo.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Orvieto


Orvieto © BlackMac/Shutterstock

11. Ponza - the island getaway from Rome

Scattered across the sea between Rome and Naples, the Pontine islands are relatively unknown to foreign travellers. The latter bustles with Italian tourists, especially Romans, between mid-June and the end of August, but at any other time, it’s yours for the asking.

The group’s main island, Ponza, is only 8km long and 2km across at its widest point. Ponza Town is a sight to behold: a jumble of pastel-coloured, flat-roofed houses heaped above a pink semicircle of the promenade that curls around the harbour. It makes a marvellous place for day trips from Rome. Although the island lacks specific sights, Ponza is great for aimless wandering.

Discover the beauty of the Pontine Islands, and enjoy sunning, swimming and snorkelling, on this Ponza Island trip from Rome.


Ponza © BlackMac/Shutterstock

12. Santa Marinella - relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of Rome

Santa Marinella is a seaside town located on the Tyrrhenian coast. The town is particularly popular as a destination for day trips from Rome thanks to its beautiful beaches and the Medieval Castello Odescalchi, which is open to visitors. The easiest way to get to Santa Marinella from Rome is by train. The journey takes about one hour, and there are frequent trains from Rome's Termini Station.

Landscape of Tourist Port of Santa Marinella, Lazio, Italy © Shutterstock

Landscape of Tourist Port of Santa Marinella, Lazio, Italy © Shutterstock

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Rough Guides Editors

written by
Rough Guides Editors

updated 05.07.2023

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