Rome

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You may find it hard to break away from “the grandeur that is Rome.”  If you have the time, however, there are sights worth seeing within a day’s train or car ride from the city center. Whether to take advantage will depend on how much time you have, the transportation available, and the weather on the day you plan to travel. Tivoli, for example, is stupendous, but not so much on a rainy day.

Day Trips from Rome

Florence

If you take one of the fast trains (Frecciarossa), Florence is an easy, under-two-hour train ride from Rome. But with so much to see in this Renaissance gem – from Michelangelo’s David to the Uffizi gallery – you should plan an overnight or more here. Florence is the favorite city of most American visitors to Italy. For more information, see our Florence Travel Guide.

1 hour 40 minutes from Rome by fast train, about 145 miles northwest of Rome,
Tags: art | culture | architecture | history | day trip

Orvieto

One of the most beautiful hill towns in Italy, Orvieto features a delicious local white wine and an impossibly ornate cathedral that has Luca Signorelli’s Last Judgment fresco cycle inside (Michelangelo ripped it off for the Sistine Chapel). Plus it is the starting point for a 4-plus hour walk through the suggestive Umbrian countryside.

75 miles north of Rome, www.orvietoonline.com
Tags: art | culture | architecture | day trip | wine

Ostia Antica

If you don’t have time to visit Pompeii, why not visit the next best thing? The glorious ruins at Ostia Antica, just outside of Rome, are easily accessible by a local commuter train that will bring you to Portus, the ancient port of Rome, as well as a necropolis with 100 tombs excavated (and more to be uncovered).

15 miles south of Rome, www.ostiaantica.net
Tags: family | editor pick | great value | day trip | archeology

Pompeii

The hardy traveler based in Rome can easily travel here and back in a day, though total travel time each way is about 3.5 hours. But the fantastic ruined city of Pompeii, unearthed from the volcanic ash of Mount Vesuvius, is worth it. No other archeological venue gives you as much of a feel of what it must have been like to live in the Roman Empire. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

3.5 hours by train from Rome, about 160 miles southeast of Rome, www.pompeiisites.org
Tags: family | art | culture | day trip | world heritage site

Sperlonga

This seaside resort has appealed to Romans since the time of the emperors (Tiberius built a villa here, just as captains of industry do today). It boasts a beautiful shoreline and one of Italy’s best beaches, as well as grottos to explore, and the Tiberius Cave and Archeological Museum. The old town is fun to explore on foot.

72 miles south of Rome, www.comune.sperlonga.lt.it (Italian Only)
Tags: beach | outdoors | day trip | outdoor activity

Tivoli

This town boasts two of Italy’s most remarkable treasures, a mere hour-long train ride away from Rome. The Villa D’Este is a beautiful Renaissance mansion with a garden of over a thousand fountains in all shapes and sizes, while Hadrian’s Villa shows off the opulence of imperial Rome, even in ruins.

20 miles east of Rome, www.tibursuperbum.it/eng/index.htm
Tags: culture | architecture | history | day trip

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“If you're traveling in the fall or spring, be aware of Daylight Savings time, which can impact flight itineraries.”

Alex Schechter Assistant Editor

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