Top 9 day trips from Rome

And how to reach them on public transport

If you’ve been to the Eternal City before and think you’ve sampled your favourite bits, you’ve probably only scratched the surface of Rome. Italy’s capital has so much to offer, both inside the city, and within two hours, easily accessible via public transport.

  1. Tivoli
  2. Ostia Antica
  3. Orvieto
  4. Marmore Falls
  5. Parco dei Castelli Romani
  6. Naples & Pompei
  7. Cerveteri
  8. Picco di Circe & San Felice
  9. Lake Bracciano

We’ve curated our favourite day trips from Rome, to Naples, Tivoli and the coast; to the seaside and the glorious mountains. Travel around the region and experience hidden gems that usually only locals discover… and you’ll still be back in the food capital of Europe for your cacio e pepe by evening.

1. Tivoli

Just 40 minutes from the city centre, Tivoli was once a summer retreat for ancient Romans. Now it’s home to two UNESCO Heritage sites and a charming old-town. Villa d'Este is a photogenic must-see, set in terraced gardens overflowing with fruit-laden trees, fountains and statues. Find a sun-drenched spot for a picnic with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. On the outskirts of the town lies Hadrian’s Villa (yes, the one who made Hadrian’s Wall); a complex of ruins, sculptures and mosaics with a backdrop of mountains. Wander the cobbled streets and enjoy a peaceful lunch, or stroll to the waterfalls.

Via bus: From Ponte Mammolo station (50 mins).

Via train: From Stazione Termini to Tivoli, departing ~ every 15 mins.

2. Ostia Antica

History buffs will find their dream day out at the Ostia Antica archaeological park. These sprawling ruins are perfect for people who’ve been to the key sights in the centre of Rome before and are looking for something new and fascinating. You’ll easily spend a day marvelling at the impressively intact mosaics, sculptures and structures, as well as intricate carvings and columns and enormous underground heating systems. Our top tip? It’s free entry on the first Sunday of every month.

Public transport: Ostia Antica metro stop from Ostiense via airport or from Piramide

Entry price: Adults €12

3. Orvieto

Swap the bustle of the capital for the sleepy surrounds of a hillside town bursting with charm. It’s just over an hour from the city centre but you instantly feel like you’re deep in the peaceful countryside. The duomo or cathedral, with its stunning façade and impressive interior, is definitely worth a stop, and the Torre del Moro tower is popular for its sunset panorama. There are also several intriguing museums, like the museum of archaeology and tours exploring the town’s subterranean tunnels and treasures. Enjoy the quaint, narrow streets, artisanal shops and sun-soaked piazzas for aperitivo.

Via train: 1.15 hrs from Rome Termini or 1 hr from Tiburtina

Duomo costs: €5 adults

4. Marmore Falls

Marmore Falls is one of the most impressive natural features in the region. These epic waterfalls are under two hours from the city centre, but could be worlds away, surrounded by a verdant gorge and soaring hillsides. In spring especially, the wide, steep cascade has a torrent of water unlike any other in the country. Well-made walkways and stairs lead you through shaded forest, until you emerge onto various viewing platforms and are treated to views you might expect in the South-American rainforest, not central Italy. Enjoy a full day’s walking, exploring and photographing this natural phenomenon.

Access via train: 1 hr 25 from Tiburtina, change at Terni for Marmore

Price: Adults €10, under 9s €7, 0–4s free

5. Parco dei Castelli Romani

In the summer heat, make like the Pope and escape to the Castelli Romani. This glorious park and gardens are the Pope’s summer residence and a popular day trip for locals – wild and peaceful, and just 25 minutes from the city centre. Nestled in the Alban hills, you’ll find a sprawling national park of lakes and woods that you can explore on foot, with a guided tour, or by bike. You can visit the museum or drop down to Lake Albano and Lake Nemi for swimming, paddleboarding, kayaking or rowing. Gaze over the lakes from the summit of wooded Mount Cavo or explore the ruins at Tuscolo archaeological park.

Via train: From Roma Termini to Albano Laziale ~ 50 mins

Tuscolo archaeological park: Adults €3

6. Naples & Pompei

You might be surprised at just how close the bucket-list destinations of Naples and Pompei are to the capital. Two regional trains run from Termini station multiple times an hour, landing you in central Naples within the hour. You’ll find yourself surrounded by fascinating museums and galleries, and – not least – the legendary food. Alternatively, you can change at Napoli Centrale station and take a brief train right to the heart of Pompei. There, explore the world-famous archaeological park in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, marvelling at the immaculate presentation, and still be back in Rome (or Naples) for dinner.

Archaeological park entrance: €18.50

Naples must-sees: Museo Cappella Sansevero, Santa Chiara cloisters, Spanish quarter

7. Cerveteri

Cerveteri may not be well-known internationally, but it’s one of the top archaeological sites in the larger Rome area. It’s the perfect day trip for an added dose of history and mystery, walking around the atmospheric ruins. The National Archaeological Museum of Cerveteri is incredibly well rated, with an extensive collection of artefacts. The most exciting thing here is the vast complex of tombs that make up the Etruscan necropolis. Miles of paths wind through the pre-Roman burial site that’s still very well intact, making for an intriguing and informative day out.

Via bus: Via Aurelia to Piazza Moro in Cerveteri ~ 1 hr

Via train: Roma Termini to Ladispoli, bus to Piazza Moro ~ 1 hr

8. Picco di Circe & San Felice

Make like a local day trip from Rome to San Felice Circeo. The pleasant port town is surrounded by stunning cliff-top trails to delight avid walkers. The real treat here is climbing Monte Circeo, a fairly beginner-friendly mountain, ending in the Picco di Circe peak. From the top you’ll have a spectacular view of the coast, lake and miles of beach below. You’ll want to pack your walking shoes, but it’s worth it. Afterwards, reward yourself with a dip in the sea. The long beach road Lungomare di Sabaudia runs behind miles of sandy beach and rolling dunes, with a shallow, sandy-bottomed sea.

Via train: Rome Termini to Priverno-Fossanova, change for San Felice

Via car: 1 hr 45 mins, or less to the beach

9. Lake Bracciano

Anguillara Sabazia is a quaint town and easy day trip from Rome. Sitting higgeldy-piggeldy on the side of Lake Bracciano, it has a charming esplanade hugging the lakeshore, dotted with cafes and restaurants. It’s also the starting point for the Lungolargo, the trail and road around the lake, for a beautiful hike or drive. In summer, join the locals for a swim, either in Anguillara or at one of the myriad other beaches. Alternatively, hop on the water, in a rented boat, paddleboard, kayak or pedalo. Venture across the opposite shore of the lake and explore Trevignano Romano, an equally pretty town with plenty of eateries and natural beaches.

Via train: Roma S.Pietro to Anguillara ~ 45 mins

Via car: ~ 1 hr drive

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