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Day Trips from Rome
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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