Leave The Eternal City: Top 5 Day Trips From Rome, Italy - Updated 2024

Leave The Eternal City: Top 5 Day Trips From Rome, Italy  - Updated 2024
| 3 min read

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but there are a lot of things you can do within a day, such as exploring the scenic region around Rome on a day trip. Italy is home to a host of incredibly beautiful towns, so, when you have finished wandering the ancient streets of Rome, venture out! From historical spots, cultural gems, and attractive architecture, to superb beaches and areas of scenic beauty, there’s plenty to keep everyone happy. You’ll be glad that you didn’t miss out on these amazing places when in the Italian capital. Here are some of the best day trips to enjoy from Rome:

1. Tivoli (from USD 93.0)

About 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) east of Rome is the hill town of Tivoli, a popular day trip from Rome today that was also a favourite retreat of Rome’s noble classes back in the day. With its lovely location on the Monti Tiburtini hills, many vacation homes were built in Tivoli to take advantage of the attractive views and fresh air. The two most famous villas to visit in Tivoli are the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Villa d'Este and Hadrian’s Villa.

Villa d'Este was built in the 1550s for Cardinal Ippolito d'Este and was intended for entertaining his guests. Designed by Pirro Ligorio, the villa is an outstanding model of the Renaissance style. The guest reception rooms are lavish with elaborate frescoes, and the gardens are a breathtaking work of art. The gardens’ claim to fame are the numerous fountains (51 to be exact) and a series of water features that dominate the landscape. At every turn, cascading fountains of all shapes and designs inspire and dazzle visitors. Notable ones include the Oval Fountain, Hundred Fountains, and the ingenious Fountain of the Organ, which can play four pieces of late Renaissance music.

Constructed in the 2nd century AD as a summer retreat for the Roman Emperor Hadrian, Hadrian’s Villa is now a huge archaeological complex and offers an insight into the luxurious life of Ancient Rome’s elite. The villa also allows you to peek at the architectural style of the old world, including elements of Greek and Egyptian architecture in the form of the reproduction of the Emperor’s favourite buildings from those countries.

As the grounds of the villas are huge and Hadrian’s Villa is located slightly out off town, do set off early from Rome to give yourself ample time if you wish to cover the two villas.

Hadrian's Villa (Villa Adriana)

Address: Largo Marguerite Yourcenar, 1, 00010 Tivoli RM, Italy

Price: From 8 EUR (8.92 USD)

Opening Hours: 9 am - 5.30 pm

Contact: +39 0774 530203

Website: Hadrian’s Villa

Villa d'Este

Address: Piazza Trento, 5, 00019 Tivoli RM, Italy

Price: 8 EUR (8.92 USD)

Opening Hours: 8.30 am - 6.30 pm. Closed on Mondays. (Hours differ slightly for different months)

Contact: +39 0774 312070

Website: Villa d'Este

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Tivoli Full Day Trip from Rome: Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este

Duration: 7 hours

1480 reviews

2. Orvieto (from USD 163.0)

Spread out on a large volcanic rock and elevated above lush vine-covered fields, Orvieto is a stunning town about 90 minutes away from Rome by train. Upon arriving, you’ll find yourself at the newer town in the valley, where you can park your car if you drive. Take the funicular or the system of escalators and lifts up to the hilltop old town. There you’ll find Orvieto’s pride, the cathedral with its unique facade decorated with colourful mosaics. The magnificent cathedral is a lovely sight to behold both inside and out, but its main highlight is the Chapel of San Brizio covered in its entirety with vivid frescoes of Judgement Day (the end of the world) and the Resurrection by the painter Luca Signorelli.

It is as dramatic below as it is above. An intricate maze of underground tunnels and caves lie beneath the city, used throughout the ages for various purposes. One huge cavern was an olive oil mill, another one a bomb shelter during World War 2, and some others were used as pigeon cotes to breed the birds that, even today, still feature on restaurant menus in Orvieto.

Don’t leave without having a glass or a bottle of the crisp Classico wine from the surrounding vineyards, which Orvieto is famous for.

Nestled within the picturesque Umbrian countryside, Orvieto is rich with stories of the past and is worth dedicating a day or more to explore.

Orvieto Cathedral

Address: Piazza del Duomo, 26, 05018 Orvieto TR, Italy

Price: Single ticket ( Cathedral + Chapel + Museum) 5 EUR (5.58 USD)

Opening Hours: 7.30 am - 7.30 pm

Contact: +39 0763 341167

Website: Orvieto Cathedral

Orvieto Underground

Address: Piazza del Duomo, 23, 05018 Orvieto TR, Italy

Price: 6 EUR (6.69 USD)

Guided Tour: Every day at 11 am, 12.15 pm, 4 pm, 5.15 pm (1 hour tour)

Contact: 0763/340688 - 339/7332764

Website: Orvieto Underground

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Rome to Assisi and Orvieto Day Trip with Lake Trasimeno Lunch

Duration: 12 hours 30 minutes

921 reviews

3. Pompeii (from USD 159.0)

A city frozen in time, Pompeii was devastated, yet delicately preserved by the volcanic ash, during the eruption in 79 AD. Have a good night’s rest and set off early if you want to cover Pompeii in a day from Rome. The well-preserved site of Pompeii, with its ruins and plaster casts of victims, is an intriguing yet sobering experience. Sign up for a guided tour to get an in-depth understanding of certain landmarks or get a map and explore at your own pace.

Read more about what to see at Pompeii in Visit Pompeii, A City Frozen In Time.


Price: 11 EUR (12 USD); Concessions 5.50 EUR (6 USD)

Opening Hours: Apr to Oct: 8.30 am - 7.30 pm (last admission 6 pm); Nov to Mar: 8.30 am - 5 pm (last admission 3.30 pm)

Duration: Around 3 - 4 hours required

Contact: (+39) 081 8575 347

Website: Pompeii Sites

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Rome to Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius with Admission Fees

Duration: 13 hours

5326 reviews

4. Positano (from USD 259.0)

Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Source: Photo by user Glen MacLarty used under CC BY 2.0

The Amalfi Coast is a spectacular stretch of coastline dotted with some of the most picturesque towns in Italy. If you only have a day to spare, photogenic Positano, with its tumbling cascade of houses stacked haphazardly on the steep cliffs, will give you the best taste of the Amalfi Coast. The journey is slightly long, at about 3 hours, but definitely worth it to see this shining jewel of Italy. If you are not driving, a high-speed train from Rome to Salerno, followed by a ferry ride, will get you to Positano.

Check out the Top 20 Things To Do On the Amalfi Coast if you foresee this day trip becoming a fully-fledged Amalfi Coast adventure.

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Amalfi Coast Full-Day Tour from Rome

Duration: 13 hours

104 reviews

5. Ostia Antica

Going to Ostia was the best half day trip we did in a 5 day visit to Rome. The children loved the 20min train ride to get there, and the the site itself is outstanding. It is amazingly well-preserved and gives a rich insight into what Roman life was like. Compared to both Pompeii and Herculaneum, I’d heartily recommend Ostia to anyone vaguely interested in Roman life. There is a reasonable on site restaurant, but make sure you take plenty of water. 1971Toby
Ostia is Latin for “mouth” and, in antiquity, this destination was situated at the mouth of the River Tiber. About 45 minutes by train from downtown Rome, the ancient seaport city of Ostia houses a trove of archaeological treasures that can almost rival those of Pompeii, minus the sometimes overbearing tourist crowds. So if time is of the essence, Ostia is a good day trip to make to see the ruins of a Roman city.

With a little bit of imagination and effort, reconstruct the rubble in your mind; the immaculately preserved ancient apartments with two or three upper floors, mansions, baths, etc. are a rich source of information about ancient Roman life. Stray off the main path and allow yourself to get lost; there are plenty of surprises and hidden treasures to discover at every corner. Pack some refreshments and enjoy them at the stone steps of the amphitheatre, which is remarkably intact and still used for concerts during the summertime.

Besides visiting the ruins, many Romans like to visit Ostia for its beach (alight from the metro at Ostia Lido Centro station). So if you’re in need of some sand and sea, Ostia’s beach is one of the closest ones to Rome.

Ostia Antica

Address: Scavi Di Ostia Antica, Viale Dei Romagnoli 717, 00119 Ostia Antica Rome

Price: 8 EUR (8.92 USD)

Opening Hours: 8.30 am - 6 pm; Closed on Mondays (Hours differ by month)

Contact: 0039 (0)6/56350215

Website: Ostia Antica

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Tip from tour guide



Ostia Antica, an ancient port town The archaeological site of Ostia Antica

Not as popular as Pompei, but just as awesome is Ostia Antica, Rome's very own ancient port town. This incredible archaeological site is just a short drive (or train ride) from Rome and is a must-visit for tourists exploring Rome.

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Ancient Ostia Half-Day Trip from Rome

Duration: 4 hours

138 reviews

When in Rome ...

When in Rome, the rest of Italy beckons as well! Reserve ample time for the wonderful attractions of Rome, and then heed the call of places a bit farther afield. It is incredible what you can find and see within a day out of the capital.

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Eunice became hooked on travelling 2 years ago when she embarked on a student exchange programme in Stuttgart, Germany. Among the many places she’s visited, Europe has captured (most of) her heart...Read more

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