For a change of environment and new Italian adventures, check out these 6 destinations perfect for epic day trips from Rome.
Last updated: September 22, 2023
The Best Destinations for Epic Day Trips from Rome
The Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Trevi Fountain make every history lover tremble with delight. Nature enthusiasts spend days enjoying gardens and lakes along with various museums at Villa Borghese and Villa Ada. Rome seems to have all one need for work, pleasure, and recreation. All, and yet not entirely everything.
Charming destinations nearby arouse travelers’ curiosity, alluring them with new sites and landmarks. Located just one to two hours away from Rome, these Italian cities inspire locals and visitors to plan their unforgettable day trips and weekend getaways. Because you don’t know real Italy, until you admire stunning architecture of Florence, see ancient ruins of Pompeii, and eat the best pizza in Naples.
THE 6 BEST DESTINATIONS FOR DAY-TRIP ADVENTURES FROM ROME
The birthplace of Italian Renaissance, Florence is one of the best day trips from Rome for culture lovers. Located less than two hours away, by high-speed train, the city astounds with its exquisite architecture, cathedrals, churches, and museums.
A visit to Florence is complete without walking Piazza del Duomo and admiring the gigantic Florence Cathedral, a symbol of the city and the largest brick dome in the world.
The Uffizi Gallery is a main attraction for anybody leaving Rome for Renaissance artworks. L-shaped Piazza della Signoria displays replicas of the famous masterpieces, such as statue of David, in an open-air museum.
Beautiful sites of Florence have captured hearts of its visitors for centuries. Rumor has it that Hitler himself was among the biggest fans of the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval stone arch bridge over the Arno River. The stunning structure impressed the German dictator so much, that he spared it from distraction during World War II.
Florence looks especially charming from Piazzale Michelangelo, an open area overlooking the city and the pinnacle of any day trip. Taking in the views while sitting on the stairs and listening to street performers expressing their love for Florence in songs, you understand why the capital of the Tuscany region is regarded one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Jump on another high-speed train and escape Rome for one of the most gastronomically-enhanced day trips. Home to roughly 800 pizzerias, including Italy’s oldest pizza restaurants such as Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba, Naples promises the best pizza of your life.
When in the city, be sure to try original Neapolitan pizza. Made with fresh ingredients, it will show you that real pizza doesn’t need fancy toppings to enhance its flavor.
Apart from it, Naples fills your day with visits to historic buildings, galleries, and churches. So, the main church of Naples and southern Italy, Naples Cathedral impresses you with a myriad of styles – an evidence of numerous restorations that have taken place since the 13th century.
Massive size of Castel Nuovo gets the initial attention, but its history, engraved in the centuries-old walls, wins you at last.
To explore Naples like a local even if it just during a short day trip, head to the District of Santa Lucia. Use this opportunity to blend with the crowd while exploring local shops, restaurants, and cafes. Cultural explorers and photographers will get ample opportunities to capture Italian lifestyle as it is: with clothes hanging out on washing lines and children playing without a care in the world.
For a visit to Pompeii from Rome, you can plan two separate day trips or combine it with an adventure in Naples. The place is located 30 minutes away from the birthplace of pizza, by train.
Pompeii is one of the most famous archeological sites in the world. Once a thriving Roman city, Pompeii fell victim to the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The remains of the city were first discovered in the 16th century.
At some point during this time, an architect, digging a canal, was surprised to find the ruins that could belong to an ancient city. The discovery was a sheer accident, and no systematic excavations were undertaken until 1861.
Today, 44 hectares of Pompeii’s original 66 hectares have been excavated. The archeological works continues to this day, unveiling more ancient ruins that remind of the former glory of Pompeii.
Every 30 minutes, a train leaves Roma Tiburtina railway station and transports its passengers to Tivoli, located 40 minutes away. Despite such a close proximity, the city promises some of the most unforgettable day trips one can plan from Rome.
Tivoli’s two main landmarks are the Gardens of the Villa d’Este and the ruins of the Villa Adriana. Another attraction, the Villa Adriana was built for Roman Emperor Hadrian who enjoyed complete solitude of the place during his short escapes from Rome.
Today, Tivoli beckons travelers leaving Rome for the closest and most impactful day trips. A series of charming waterfalls in the northern part of Tivoli, an ancient Roman Amphitheater, and stunning historic architecture are some of the things they look for when in the area.
If Tivoli is just a short drive away, the Vatican is located in the heart of Rome. One of the most popular day trips from Rome, the place can be reached by metro or on foot.
The Vatican is the smallest country in the world. The full-time residence of the Pope, it provides a completely different environment, compared to bustling cities of Rome. Loud sounds, singing, flash photography – you won’t find any of these here. But lines of people wishing to see some of the unfading treasures of the Vatican are as long as those in Rome.
From St. Peter’s Square, marking the beginning of a new country, to ageless masterpieces of the Vatican Museums, the Vatican distinguishes itself from all other day trips from Rome. With Michelangelo’s The Last Judgement and ceiling frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, the papal city satisfy your artistic thirst like no other destinations nestled near the capital of Italy.
And once inside, try to visit the Gardens of the Vatican. Accepting only a limited number of reservations a day, the area astounds with its even calmer and more peaceful atmosphere.
Viterbo is another destination to add to your list of the epic day trips from Rome. Located in the Lazio region, the city was known as the City of Popes in the 13th century. To this day, the Papal Palace is a main attractions of Viterbo.
Other places to explore in the city include the Cathedral of San Lorenzo and the Basilica of St. Francis. Both of these destinations still hold the tombs of the popes.
Interestingly enough, the medieval walls surrounding the historic center of the city remain intact despite heavy destructions during World War II. In fact, almost 70 percent of Viterbo was destroyed in the war. Yet it was one of the first towns in the country to finish postwar reconstruction.
For a break from the rich cultural heritage of Viterbo, visit Viterbo’s thermal springs. The hot springs have been used since Etruscan times and are believed to have healing properties. The Bath of the Popes or the Terme dei Papi is the most famous among them.
The Best Day Trips from Rome: Final Thoughts
Epic day trips from Rome… Can you ever go wrong with it? All of these places boast some of the most incredible cultural and historic monuments, are surrounded by stunning landscapes, and offer a plethora of breathtaking views. Pick a day trip from Rome that suits your interests. If you have time to visit all of these places, be sure to do so. It’s an experience you will cherish for years to come.
- 10 Irresistible Reasons to Visit Italy
- A Day Trip to Florence, Italy
- The Top 9 Historical Sites in Rome
- Unfading Treasures of the Vatican