Best day trips from Rome

Guide to 30 destinations for day trips or overnight stays within easy reach of Rome.

They say “all roads lead to Rome”, however the central location of the Italian capital makes it a perfect departure point for day trips in the Lazio region or overnight stays in nearby Abruzzo, Campania, Tuscany and Umbria. The 30 destinations, listed here in alphabetical order, are located between Florence to the north or Rome and Naples to the south. Our suggestions include hilltop towns, art cities, deserted villages, lakes and hot springs, beach resorts, mountain retreats, nature reserves, archaeological sites and even an island.

Arezzo
Often overshadowed by its more famous Tuscan neighbours, Arezzo is best known for its unique mediaeval architecture and its Piero della Francesca murals in the Basilica of S. Francesco. Its wildly-sloping Piazza Grande, which is 10 m higher on one side than the other, hosts a monthly open-air antique fair and mediaeval jousting each summer. Arezzo has been immortalised in films such as La Vita è Bella and The English Patient.
How to get there
Train: There are trains to Arezzo direct from Roma Termini although many services require a train transfer along the way.
Bus: Arezzo can be reached by bus from surrounding towns Valdichiana, Valtiberina, Pratomagno, Casentino and Valdarno with bus companies ATAM, LFI and SITA.
Car: Take the Arezzo exit off the A1, from there it is about 10 km to the city centre. Arezzo is 218 km from Rome.


Assisi
Surrounded by rolling hills in the Umbria region, Assisi has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries. The mediaeval town is best known as the birthplace of St Francis, who founded the Franciscan religious order there in 1208, and St Clare, the founder of the Poor Sisters, later known as the Order of Poor Clares. The remains of both saints are housed in the church crypts of the basilicas named in their honour.
How to get there
Train: A direct train departs from Roma Termini to Assisi, taking about 1 hour and 40 mins.
Bus: FlixBus offers a bus from Roma Tiburtina to S. Maria Degli Angeli Assisi station. It takes 3 hour and 10 mins.
Car: By car, it is approximately 174 km north from Rome to Assisi via SS3. The drive takes about 2.5 hours.


Bagnaia
Located near Viterbo, about 80 km north of Rome, Bagnaia is best known as the home of Villa Lante. Considered one of the best examples of Mannerist landscape design, the Palladian villa was built in 1568 and its five-level garden is regarded as among the most beautiful in Italy. It has hundreds of variations of running water and fountains, is full of stunning topiary and even has a stone dining table. Open Tues-Sun from 08.30 with various closing times depending on the season. For info see Beni Culturali website or tel. 0761288008.
How to get there
Train: Take the Viterbo-Roma Nord line from Piazzale Flaminio. The trip takes about 2.5 hours through the Lazio countryside.
Bus: Take train from Roma Termini to Orte, then transfer to Bagnaia by Cotral bus.
Car: Take the Cassia bis to Monterosi, then take the traditional S.S. Cassia route to Bagnaia, or choose the panoramic route via S.P. Cimina, following signs for Viterbo, then Bagnaia.


Bomarzo
The origins of this charming town in north Lazio date back to the Etruscan era however it is known primarily for the wondrous Parco dei Mostri. Designed by Renaissance architect Pirro Ligorio, this “park of monsters” features grotesque mythological sculptures and fountains, including the much-photographed Orcus and the leaning house.
How to get there  
Train: Trains from Roma Termini to Attigliano-Bomarzo station take around 55 minutes. Trains from Rome also reach nearby Orte and Viterbo, with Cotral buses to Bomarzo operating from both towns.
Car: 93 km north from Rome to Bomarzo via A1 / E35. The drive takes about 1.5 hours.


Bracciano
Located about an hour north of Rome, this hilltop town overlooks the volcanic Lake Bracciano. In addition to its water sports and lakeside views, Bracciano is known for its mediaeval Odescalchi Castle which is open to visitors every day throughout the year. There are also two other small towns around the lake worth exploring: Trevignano and Anguillara.
How to get there
Train: A direct train from Roma Ostiense to Bracciano station takes 1 hour and 15 mins.
Car: Approximately 50 km northwest from Rome to Bracciano on the Via Braccianense/SP493. The drive takes about an hour.


Calcata
The history of this craggy north Lazio town dates back almost 3,000 years. It was condemned in the 1930s by the Fascist-era government over fears of its impending collapse, and all residents were relocated by the 1960s. However in the 1970s Calcata received a new lease of life when artists began squatting in its abandoned houses and caves. Calcata retains this hippy atmosphere today and there are numerous restaurants and craft shops to browse, as well as the nearby waterfalls of Monte Gelato.
How to get there
Train/Bus: There are no direct trains from Rome. Take the 20-minute journey on the light-rail train service from Via Flaminia in Rome to Saxa Rubra, then hop aboard one of the blue Cotral buses to Calcata Vecchia. Buses leave regularly, and the trip takes a little over an hour, however it is best to consult all connections before making the journey.
Car: Approx 53 km north from Rome to Calcata via SS2, exit Settevene and follow signs for Calcata. The drive takes just over an hour.


Canale Monterano
Monterano is a small deserted village built on top of a hill north of Rome, near Bracciano. Human settlements in the area can be traced back to the Bronze Age, however an attack by the French army in the late 18th century, followed by an outbreak of malaria, led the inhabitants to abandon their village. Monterano's evocative ruins, draped in greenery, have appeared in numerous films over the years from Ben-Hur to Il Marchese del Grillo.
How to get there
Train: Take the Manziana-Canale Monterano train (1 hour 37 mins) from Roma Ostiense.
Bus: Take the Line 223 Bus from Roma Termini to Stazione La Giustiniana (43 mins). Take a second bus from Giustiniana on the Cotral line, getting off at Canale Monterano (1 hour).
Car: By car, it is 72 km northwest from Rome to Canale Monterano via SR2. The drive takes 1.5 hours.


Caprarola
Caprarola is a town in the province of Viterbo, about 50km north-west of Rome. Located on the southern slope of the Cimini mountains, Caprarola is celebrated for Palazzo Farnese, a five-sided Renaissance palace dating to the late 16th century, and its surrounding formal gardens. For visiting times see website
How to get there
Train: There is no direct service but trains run from Roma Termini to Orte (approx 40 mins). From Orte, you can take a taxi but be warned that the roughly half-hour trip will cost between €50 and €65.
Bus: From Piazzale Flaminio take a bus to Saxa Rubra (13 mins) before transfering to a Cotral bus to Caprarola (approx 1 hour and 10 mins).
Car: Approximately 62 km north from Rome to Caprarola via SR2. The drive takes 1 hour and 20 mins.


Castelli Romani
Castelli Romani is a collection of towns located outside Rome, popular for day trips. The rolling Alban Hills and volcanic lakes characterise the landscapes of these towns. Popular spots to visit include Frascati, best known for its wine; Castel Gandolfo, home of the papal summer residence, overlooking Lago Albano; and Ariccia, whose claims to fame include its magnificent Roman viaduct and porchetta.
How to get there
Train: Trains depart from Roma Termini and arrive at Marino Laziale. Takes approximately 35 mins.
Car: Approximately 38 km south from Rome by taking the A90/E80 and Via Appia Nuova/SS7. The drive takes about an 1 hour.


Civita di Bagnoregio
Civita di Bagnoregio is regarded as one of the most beautiful towns in Italy, surging out of the desolate Calanchi valley, in the province of Viterbo. It is known as “the dying city” because of the erosion and landslides that have occurred throughout the centuries, from the Etruscan era to the modern day. Only a handful of residents remain in Civita which is seeking to be recognised as a World Heritage Site and is reached by a steep pedestrian bridge.
How to get there
Train/ bus: Trains depart from Roma Termini to Orvieto whose station is connected to Bagnoregio by Cotral bus. It is also possible to reach Bagnoregio by Cotral bus from Viterbo Porta Fiorentina (train from Roma Ostiense) but the Orvieto option is less complicated. The coaches are not very regular so check times before travelling. Orvieto is 20km away from Bagnoregio, Viterbo 30km, but both bus trips take about an hour.
Car: Approx 123 km north from Rome to Bagnoregio, taking the Orvieto exit off the A1 motorway. The drive takes about 1 hour and 50 mins.


Cortona
This charming hilltop town in southern Tuscany is hugely popular with tourists all year round and is well geared towards visitors. The Etruscan Academy Museum displays a vast selection of bronze and ceramic artefacts reflecting the town's ancient past, while other sites of interest include the Diocesan Museum, with paintings by Fra Angelico; the S. Margherita Sanctuary; and the Girifalco Fortress above the town. On the way stop at the belvedere to take in the breathtaking views of the valley below.
How to get there:
Train: From Roma Termini take the Roma-Firenze route, getting off at the Camucia-Cortona station which is located far below the town which can be reached by taxi or local bus.
Car: Take the Valdichiana exit off the A1, then take the E45 in direction of Perugia, taking the second exit for Cortona (Cortona San Lorenzo). Follow signs for Cortona, taking the SS71 to Camucia before arriving in Cortona. It is about a three-hour drive from Rome.


Florence
Home to a wealth of Renaissance art and architecture, the capital of Tuscany needs little introduction. The city's principal sites include the majestic Duomo, whose dome was engineered by Brunelleschi; Giotto's campanile or bell tower; the David sculpture by Michelangelo at the Galleria dell'Accademia; and the Uffizi Gallery whose masterpieces include Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and da Vinci’s Annunciation.
How to get there
Train: There are regular trains between Roma Termini and Firenze S. Maria Novella however their journey time varies from about 1 hour and a half on the fast train to nearer 4 hours on the slow regional service.
Bus: FlixBus offers a bus from Roma Tiburtina to Florence that takes about 3.5 hours.
Car: By car, it is approximately 275 km northwest from Rome to Florence via A1 / E35. The drive takes about 3 hours and 15 mins.


Giglio
One of the seven islands of the Tuscan archipelago, Giglio is located 16 km west of Monte Argentario on the coast of Tuscany. The island is celebrated for its sandy beaches, lush vegetation and views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. In 2012 it gained international attention due to the sinking of the Costa Concordia in which 32 people lost their lives. Giglio's 1,500 inhabitants live mainly in the island's two small towns, Castello and Giglio Porto. The island can be reached by a one-hour ferry trip from Porto S. Stefano.
How to get there:
Car: Head north on the A12 Civitavecchia-Roma, exiting onto the E80 and following signs for Orbetello/Porto S. Stefano. The drive takes about two hours.
Train: From Roma Termini take the Grosseto train to Orbetello/Monte Argentario. From here a shuttle bus will take you to Porto S. Stefano. The journey takes about 2.5 hours.
Ferry: For ferry times check the websites of Toremar and Maregiglio.


Marmore
The Cascata delle Marmore, near Terni in the Umbria region, is a man-made waterfall created by the ancient Romans. Divided into three sections, the waterfall's total height is 165m, making it the tallest man-made waterfall in Europe. The waterfall occurs when water is released from the river Velino, which feeds into a hydroelectric power plant, cascading down into the river Nera in the valley below. The waterfall follows a published schedule which should be checked before visiting. There are also water sports available at nearby Terni such as rafting, canyoning and kayaking.
How to get there
Car: Take the Valle del Salto exit off the A24, and follow signs for Rieti. Once in Rieti take the Superstrada for Terni, following directions for Marmore.
Train: Take the Roma-Ancona line to Terni from Roma Termini. From Terni take a bus or taxi (10 minutes) to Marmore. For bus information see Umbria Mobilità website.


Monte Soratte
This ridge of mountains, located about 45 km north of Rome, is a nature reserve. It is also home to a world war two bunker, built as a weapons store on the orders of Mussolini before being taken over by occupying German forces in 1943. Local legend says that the retreating Nazis buried 68 crates of looted gold and jewels in the bunker but despite searches nothing has ever been found. The bunker is open sporadically for tours throughout the year, normally on Sundays. For visiting times see website.
How to get there
Train/Bus: From Flaminio station take a train to S. Oreste (1 hour 7 mins). From S. Oreste, it is about a 5-minute taxi drive or 35-minute walk to the Riserva Naturale Monte Soratte.
Car: 57 km north from Rome to Monte Soratte via A1 / E35. The drive takes about 1 hour and 10 mins.


Naples
The capital of the southern Campania region, Naples is one of Europe's most important ports. Naples is also home to the largest historic city centre in Europe, recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city's main tourist attractions include its 13th-century cathedral, the Palazzo Reale (former royal palace), and the second-century Catacombs of S. Gennaro, as well as excursions to nearby Mount Vesuvius volcano and ferry trips to the island of Ischia.
How to get there
Train: The fast train from Roma Termini to Napoli Centrale takes 1 hour and 10 mins.
Bus: FlixBus offers a bus from Roma Tiburtina to Naples Metropark Centrale station that takes 2 hours and 35 mins.
Car: It is a 226-km drive from Rome south to Naples via A1 / E45. The drive takes about 2.5 hours.


Orvieto
The hilltop city of Orvieto is located in south-west Umbria, about halfway between Rome and Florence. Perched on an outcrop of volcanic rock, the city has its roots in the Etruscans and Roman civilisations, and acted as a papal refuge during the Sack of Rome in 1527. Visitors can descend the fascinating St Patrick's Well – 60 metres deep – and enter the imposing 14th-century cathedral on Orvieto's summit. The city is also known for its series of Etruscan underground caves and its wines.
How to get there
Train: A train from Roma Termini to Orvieto takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Bus: FlixBus offers a night bus from Roma Tiburtina to Orvieto station. It takes 1.5 hours and usually departs at 23.30.
Car: Approximately 122 km north from Rome to Orvieto via A1 / E35. The drive takes just over 1.5 hours.


Ostia Antica
Ostia Antica is a large archaeological complex of ancient Roman ruins located south-west of Rome, near the coastal town of Ostia. Although not as well preserved as Pompeii (see below), the 50-hectare site offers visitors the chance to explore remains of taverns, baths, frescoes and even a Roman theatre.
How to get there
Train: Take the Roma-Lido commuter train from Piramide Metro B station for about half an hour and the journey is covered by Rome's €1.50 public transport tickets. The site is located about a ten-minute walk from the Ostia Antica stop.
Car: Approximately 25 km from Rome to Ostia Antica via SP8. The drive takes about 45 mins.


Perugia
The capital of the Umbria region is characterised by its steep steps and defensive walls. The city's principal sites include Palazzo Priori with its regional art from the 13th century onwards, including frescoes by Perugino; the mediaval Fontana and the National Gallery of Umbrian art in Middle Ages and Renaissance which hosts works by Piero della Francesca and Fra Angelico. Perugia is known for its Università per Stranieri, giving the city a young, international feel, and it hosts several popular festivals each year including Umbria Jazz in July and Eurochocolate in October. How to get there:
Train: Take the Roma-Ancona line to Foligno (about 1 hour 40 mins), then transfer to Perugia-bound train (30 mins).
Bus: For regional bus lines and connections see Busitalia website.
Car: Take the A1 as far as Orte, then the SS204 to Terni followed by the E45 (or SS3bis) from Terni to Perugia. The 165-km drive takes about 2.5 hours from Rome.


Pompeii
The once thriving ancient Roman city near the Bay of Naples was buried by the volcanic eruption of the nearby Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Today it is a vast archaeological site with access to well-preserved remains including excavated streets, houses and skeletons.
How to get there
Train: Take a train from Roma Termini to Salerno (approximately 1 hour and 30 mins). From there, transfer to a train from Salerno to Pompeii (approximately 45 mins). It is also possible to travel from Termini to Naples, transfering to the Circumvesuviana local train to Pompeii Scavi-Villa Misteri.
Bus: A bus from Roma Tiburtina to Pompeii Piazza Porta Marina Inferiore takes 3 hours.
Car: By car, it is 240 km from Rome to Pompeii via the A1/E45. The drive takes about 3 hours.


Reggia di Caserta
This former royal residence was built for the Bourbon Kings of Naples and was completed in 1845 after almost 100 years of construction. The 1,200-room palace was one of the largest built in Europe during the 18th century, and in 1997 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known as the “Italian Versaille”, the palace also attracts visitors for its remarkable fountains, waterfalls and gardens.
How to get there
Train: A direct train from Roma Termini to Caserta station takes 1 hour and 8 mins.
Bus: FlixBus, Ouibus, Marino Autolinee and Baltour offer direct buses from Roma Tiburtina station to Caserta station that take 2 hours and 20 mins.
Car: Approximately 200 km southeast from Rome to Reggia di Caserta via A1 / E45. The drive takes about 2.5 hours.


Rocca Calascio
This remote 10th-century military fortress is located on the Gran Sasso in the Abruzzo region, 160km east of Rome. Standing at a height of almost 1,500m, Rocca Calascio is the highest fortress in the Apennines. Living up to its name, this rocky refuge offers a range of hiking, skiing and mountaineering activities in the surrounding national park. Visitors can enjoy the breathtaking scenery which has featured in several films over the years, including Ladyhawke and The Name of the Rose.
How to get there
Train: From Roma Termini to L'Aquila, then take Autolinee Arpa bus to Calascio.
Bus: Tiburtina to Calascio bus service, for details see website
Car: From the A24 motorway (Roma-Teramo) exit at L’Aquila Est and follow signs for Sulmona. After Poggio Picenze, turn left for Barisciano. After Barisciano follow signs for S. Stefano di Sessanio and then Calascio. The drive takes about 2 hours.


San Gimignano
Dominated by its skyline of 14 mediaeval towers, San Gimignano was a booming stop-over on the Via Francigena pilgrim route during the Middle Ages. Today this well-preserved town is once again thriving thanks to a steady stream of tourists. Its most celebrated site is the stunning fresco-filled Collegiata Church of S. Maria Assunta which contains a Renaissance jewel: two exquisite scenes of S. Fina painted by Ghirlandaio. The town's art museums include the Pinacoteca, with mediaeval and high renaissance works, and the Museum of Sacred Art, a highlight of which is a selection of 14th-century wooden sculptures.
How to get there:
Train: From Roma Termini take train to S. Maria Novella station in Florence, transfer to the Empoli-Siena line to Poggibonsi, 13 km from San Gimignano.
Bus: San Gimignano is connected by numerous Sita bus services from Poggibonsi, see Sitabus website.
Car: Take A1 Roma-Milano northbound, taking Valdichiana exit. Follow directions for Siena, exit Poggibonsi Nord. 11 km to San Gimignano.


Santa Severa
Located about 50 km north of Rome, Santa Severa is best known for its impressive beach-side castle. The mediaeval fortress has been restored in recent years and now functions as a museum and youth hostel. The beach is a mixture of stabilimenti (private beaches with entrance fees, sun beds and refreshments) or spiaggia libera (free beach).
How to get there:
Train: A direct train from Roma Termini to S. Severa station takes about 1 hour. The walk from the station to the beach is about 15 mins. Follow the crowd.
Car: Approx 70 km northwest from Rome to S. Severa via A12 / E80. The drive takes about 1 hour.


Saturnia
The Cascate del Mulino hot springs are located less than six km outside the town of Saturnia in the Maremma area of southern Tuscany. Comprising a waterfall and a series of natural pools, the thermal waters are rich in mineral deposits with a constant temperature of 37.5°C. Known for their therapeutic and relaxing properties, the waters are free and open to the public throughout the year.
How to get there:
Train: Take train from Roma Ostiense Albinia or Orbetello, transfering by bus to Manciano. From Manciano take the 17/P bus to Saturnia.
Car: Saturnia is about a 180-km drive from Rome. Take the A12 to Civitavecchia, then the SS1 Aurelio to Montalto di Castro, then turning for Vulci, following signs to Manciano - Saturnia.


Siena

This Tuscan city is characterised by its mediaeval brick buildings and central Piazza del Campo. Twice a year, on 2 July and 16 August, this fan-shaped piazza hosts the Palio, a colourful horse race whose origins date back to at least 1644 and which normally only lasts for less than two minutes. Siena's historic centre is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to buildings such as the 13th-century Duomo, the city's Romanesque-Gothic cathedral; and the 14th-century Torre del Mangia, whose 88-m high summit offers sweeping views, if you can manage the 400 steps.
How to get there:
Car: The drive takes 2.5 hours from Rome, taking the A1 / Bettolle-Siena route.
Train: It takes about three hours to reach Siena from Rome, taking the train from Roma Termini to Chiusi, then changing for Siena. On arrival take a five-minute bus trip into town from the train station.


Sperlonga

Located between Rome and Naples, Sperlonga is a popular beach getaway for residents of both cities, although it also attracts increasing numbers of foreign tourists. Its quaint old town is perched high above the sea and is full of craftshops and fish restaurants, with tiny winding streets and panoramic views of the beach.
How to get there:
Train: From Roma Termini take the regional train headed to Naples, getting off at Fondi-Sperlonga. Once there, take the Piazzoli bus for 20 minutes to Sperlonga, alternatively take a private taxi but be warned it is far more expensive than the €1.50 bus ticket.
Car: 150 km southeast from Rome to Sperlonga via A1 / E45. The drive takes about 2 hours and 10 minutes.


Subiaco

The history of Subiaco dates back to the Aequi, an ancient Italic people, who were conquered by the Romans in 304 BC. Located east of Rome, about 40 km from Tivoli, Subiaco is best known as the home of St Benedict’s monastery and the Sacro Speco, a hermitage where the saint lived alone for three years. Both of these areas contain 13th-century frescoes and can be visited by the public.
How to get there:
Bus: Take a direct Cotral bus from Roma Tiburtina to Subiaco (1.5 hours).
Car: 70 km east from Rome to Subiaco via A24. The drive takes about 1 hour and 20 mins.


Tivoli

This town located just an hour outside of Rome is home to two important cultural landmarks, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Villa Adriana and Villa d’Este. Dating back to the second century AD, Villa Adriano was once the vast imperial residence of emperor Hadrian. The remains of this magnificent villa include statue-lined pools and a maritime theatre, while the landscaped Renaissance gardens of Villa d'Este are celebrated internationally for their multitude of fountains and water features. Also well worth a visit is Villa Gregoriana, a beautiful natural park on the outskirts of the town.
How to get there:
Train: Direct trains between Roma Termini and Tivoli take about half an hour. A more circuitious route involves taking the Cotral bus to Tivoli from the Ponte Mammolo station on the Metro B line.
Car: Approximately 34 km east from Rome to Tivoli via A24. The drive takes about 1 hour.


Tuscania
The small town of Tuscania is located in north Lazio, not far from Viterbo and Lake Bolsena. Its origins date back to the Etruscan era, remains of which are on display in the town's Etruscan Museum. Tuscania's main tourist sites include the Lombard-Romanesque Church of S. Pietro, with its large rose window, and the Etruscan necropolises. The town is also known for its annual harvests of porcini mushroooms and snails.
How to get there:
Train/Bus: Take a train from Roma Termini to Civitavecchia (approximately 1 hour). Transfer to a bus from Civitavecchia on the Cotral line and get off at the Tuscania stop (approx 1 hour and 10 mins).
Car: Approx 94 km northwest from Rome to Tuscania via SR2. The drive takes about 1 hour and 50 mins.