At the beach in Koh Nang Yuan, Thailand

By Norbert Figueroa, an experienced architect, travel writer, long-term budget traveler, and photographer with over 13 years of travel experience in over 139 countries and counting. @globotreks


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Rome is a place of ancient mystery, heavily laced with an air of romance and enchantment. You know this very well, and that’s why you’re itching to be there.

But, did you know that the sightseeing and exploring doesn’t have to end in central Rome? Some of the most amazing things to see and do are just a train ride away. Experience the remnants of ancient Rome, wander through vineyards, or explore charming hill towns. The opportunities are endless.

You’re not only getting some of the best day trips from Rome but also some insight, tips, and tricks to help you on your trip. 

So why not hop on this adventurous ride? Oh, and while you’re on your way, you might as well figure out where to stay in Rome to enjoy the best of the city. Get your train tickets ready, it’s time to take off.

before moving forward, I highly recommend checking this comprehensive Eurail guide to learn more on whether you would save more money by buying a Eurail Italy Pass or by buying independent train tickets on sites like Trainline.

Now, let’s explore beyond Rome with these incredible day trips!

Pompeii Ruins in Italy

1. Explore the Ruins of Pompeii and Indulge in Wine

When in Rome, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit Pompeii, an expansive archaeological site in the Campania region. What was once a thriving and sophisticated Roman city is now buried under meters of ash due to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D.

So, what you’ll see now is like scenery frozen in time: telling a story of nature’s chaotic destruction versus human ingenuity. While there, make a point to see some of its top attractions – Forum Baths, Pompeii Forum, Stabian Baths, and the ancient theatre.

Try planning your excursion to Pompeii during its shoulder seasons between spring (April – June) and autumn (September – October). The weather will be mild and comfortable for outdoor exploring. 

It’s best to visit Pompeii via an organized tour as most day trips to Rome can take up to 12 hours, with half of that time spent in a cramped bus. However, this tour will take nine hours of your day, thanks to the high speed train from Rome to Pompeii. Plus, it includes a light lunch with dessert and a wine tasting.

Ostia Antica, Italy

2. Visit a Former Harbor City of Ancient Rome, Ostia Antica

Hop on a train ride that takes just over an hour to the picturesque seaport town of Ostia Antica. Also called Ancient Ostia in English, this harbor town was once the heart-beat of Roman life, as evidenced by military monuments and well-preserved archaeological remains.

Sitting at the mouth of the Tiber River, Ostia Antica is one of the most famous archaeological sites in Rome. Funnily enough, it’s considered a hidden gem by many. Ostia’s rise and fall can be seen in its ruins, encompassing theaters, thermal baths, taverns, public washrooms, and warehouses.

Preserved ruins aren’t the only appeal here, though. Ostia Antica boasts gorgeous, balmy beaches. Be sure to catch some waves and z’s at the renowned Ai Cancelli beach or Porto Turistico for a chilled vibe. If possible, it’s worth extending your day trip to experience Ostai’s bubbling nightlife, bars, and open-air parties after the sun sets. 

This mini breakaway will be best in summer, and it’s a quick one-hour train ride. Don’t forget to pack your beach essentials. While traveling to Ostia by car or public transport is convenient and fast, a guided tour is also an excellent option if you’re not up for all the planning.

Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

3. Hop on a High-Speed Train to the Amalfi Coast

Spark up a quick love affair like the one between Hercules and Amalfi with a beguiling day trip to the glistening coastal city. Amalfi Coast is an iconic holiday destination with a dramatic coastline, rugged cliffs, and small beaches with pastel-colored fishing villages.

Its natural beauty will lure you in, but all the exciting activities and attractions make you want to stay longer. Hike the Path of the Gods for the most breathtaking scenery and vistas. Visit popular sites, including the Duomo di Amalfi, Villa Rufolo, Museo della Carta, and the Villa Cimbrone Gardens.

Dig into fresh seafood pasta at a shoreline restaurant peering over the Mediterranean Sea. Lastly, the most leisurely thing you can do is to unwind on a paradisiacal beach as the ocean hums its gentle song.  

Try to visit from September to October and April to May for warm and sunny weather. The cheapest and most convenient way to travel to Amalfi Coast is with a high-speed train. You can travel alone (which requires more planning) or grab the guided tour below.

Note: There’s no direct train from Rome to Amalfi Coast. The best option is to catch a Frecciarossa or Italo high-speed train from Roma Termini to Naples Central Station. Then hop on a Trenitalia regional train to Vietri sul Mare, the gateway to Amalfi.

Tivoli, Italy

4. Take a Tivoli Day Trip and See Villa D’este While You’re at It

One of the most enticing Rome day trips involves Tivoli, a charming town, Villa D’este, a museum; and Hadrian’s Villa, an archaeological site. Delight your senses with a day trip full of magical gardens and ancient ruins of the Roman Empire.

Tivoli is a classical city atop the Sabine Hills and along the falls of the Aniene River. Soak up the views and enjoy the tranquility at Villa d’Este, a 16th-century villa with a famed, terraced Italian Renaissance garden.

Then, don’t miss out on an opportunity to see the stunning Hadrian’s Villa. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the archaeological remains of an expansive villa complex built around AD 120 by Roman Emperor Hadrian. 

For the best weather conditions, visit Tivoli and its surroundings between April and June and September to October. You can take a short train ride directly from Rome to Tivoli train station in under 50 minutes.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to wear comfortable walking shoes when doing these fun day trips.

Naples View in Italy

5. Make Your Way to Naples for Pizza and Natural Beauty

If you ever have a chance to visit Naples, even just for a day, you should grab it with both hands. However, chances are your hands will be full of pizza grease. The vibrant landscape of Naples creeps up the sides of Mount Vesuvius while the vast ocean greets its shores.

This city is blessed with natural and architectural beauty, offering visitors the best of both worlds. Visit iconic museums and heritage sites like the San Carlo Theatre or the Sansevero Chapel Museum. On the other hand, you can hike up Mount Vesuvius or explore the “burning” Phlegraean Fields. 

If you’re up for something more laid-back, Posillipo is the perfect spot to be at. It’s an affluent neighborhood sprawling over a lush hillside overlooking seascapes. Thanks to its gorgeous panoramas, there’s no better location for wining and dining – grab a seat at a local seafood restaurant or classy cocktail bar.

However, do not forget about the star of the show: pizza. After all, Naples is the birthplace of this delicacy, so it would be a crime not to indulge in a slice while you’re there. Although there’s a wealth of stellar options, some of the best pizzerias in Naples include Sorbillo, Starita, Gorizia 1916, and Vomero.  

The best time of the year to visit Naples is between March and May or September and October for dry, mild temperatures. It’s also easy to get on a train from Rome to Naples, as most can get you there in under two hours, with the fastest taking around an hour.

Florence, Italy

6. Take a Trip to Admire Art and Architecture in Florence

Ah, Florence. The epitome of Renaissance art, architecture, and culture. Is there a city more classical and admirable from an artist’s point of view? Perhaps not, but you don’t have to be a connoisseur of some sort to appreciate this city. 

All you need is a train ticket and a few hours of your day. Florence is a Tuscany jewel that’s home to some of the finest masterpieces and artworks – naturally, museum hopping awaits. The Cathedral of Santa Maria, the Uffizi Gallery, Villa Bardini Museum, and Cappelle Medicee are outstanding attractions.

Go directly to Centro Storico (or the historic district) to ensure you see all the top sights during your day trip. Here, you’ll also be surrounded by gelaterias, regional restaurants, and high-end stores. This allows you to people-watch and immerse yourself in Florence’s culture and day-to-day life. 

Aim to visit Florence at its finest in terms of weather and art festivals between May and September. Typically, it would take more than three hours to drive from Rome to Florence. But Italiarail’s high-speed trains that offer an easy and comfortable journey in an hour and a half solve this problem for you.

You can check out this other post about my time in Florence and some of the art and architectural wonders I saw there. And if you have time, I also recommend checking out more things to do in Tuscany to explore beyond Florence!

Castel Gandolfo, Italy

7. Travel to the Pope’s Summer Residence, Castel Gandolfo

Located 15.5 miles outside Rome is an off-the-beaten-track town known as the Pope’s City. As you might have guessed, Castel Gandolfo, or colloquially Castello, is the summer residence of the Pope. It’s nestled atop Lake Albano, resulting in refined natural allure and unmissable panoramas.

People travel from all over the world to admire the location. But it’s also a quick and refreshing day trip from Rome if you don’t have time to travel to bigger cities like Naples or Florence. Pop in at the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo or the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo to admire its intricate design and whimsical garden.

You can also visit Castel Gandolfo in summer, but during springtime, from March through May is much better as the weather is milder. The fastest trains from Rome to Castel Gandolfo will take roughly 40 minutes.    

Vineyard Grapes in Italy

8. Visit Frascati for Its Dazzling Villas and Fine Wines

Frascati, Frascati. Does it ring a bell? If you’re familiar with Italian wines, you’ll know that a celebrated white from the Lazio region shares the same name. Still dry or sparkling, this fabulous white is arguably the most famous produced in its territory.

Being a notable wine-making area, it’s no surprise that lush hills, verdant vineyards, and fancy villas dominate Frascati. It’s the perfect chance to pick up a Frascati vineyard tour from Rome, which includes wine tasting served with traditional Italian hors d’oeuvre.

Frascati also has an elegant, baroque-style historic center overlooking Rome. Be sure to swing by the Villas of Tusculum, a lavish residency built by noble Romans. Plan this day trip around the spring and autumn months for pleasant weather and teeming vineyards.       

Frascati is another quick day trip from Rome, which you can complete within a few hours. The most recommended way of travel is via a Trenitalia train from Roma Termini to Frascati in just 30 minutes. 

Beautiful Venice at Sunset

9. Go on a Romantic Excursion to Venice

Sometimes, a romantic break to rekindle the flame is all you need, and this day trip to Venice comes highly recommended. Hold on. Couples aren’t the only ones to benefit here. Venice is also a fantastic destination for families, solo travelers, and friends.

The “City of Canals” offers an otherworldly beauty thanks to the fact that it’s floating on water. Arguably one of Italy’s most scenic cities, it’s adorned with striking buildings, ornate bridges, and winding canals sparkling with lights.

You don’t have to do much to absorb all the wonder of Venice in a day. Just sit back in your gondola and whirl through the winding canals. Gondola cruises are one of the top activities in Venice, as they allow you to take in the top sights. These include St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Bell Tower, the Rialto Bridge, the Bridge of Sighs, and the Mozart House.

As with most places on this list, Venice shines the most in its summer months, which fall between April and June. The trip from Rome to Venice can be daunting as it takes roughly five hours to get there by car. However, you can cut this time down by two hours if you opt for the fastest services from Trenitalia or Italo operators.

Train Station in Rome, Italy

The Best Day Trips from Rome Wrapped Up

Well, there you have it. Some of the best trips from Central Rome that you make from one train station to another in just a few hours. From UNESCO World Heritage Sites to coastal gems and everything in between, going beyond Rome opens up even more possibilities.

Now that you know about all these excellent day trips from Rome, the only thing left to figure out is: when and when? Luckily, this guide on everything you need to know before traveling to Rome can help prepare you for a memorable time.

9 Of The Best Day Trips From Rome
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