At the heart of Italy is Rome. Amazing food, iconic sights, bustling streets, and shopping as far as the eye can see. But once you have seen what this Italian capital can offer, we recommend going on short day trips to experience even more.
Just over an hour on your day trip, you will understand what this eternal city rich left by the ancient Romans has to offer and witness why it’s a memorable archaeological site.
This ancient city is in the heart of Italy, making it the perfect large city to travel from.
Since ancient Rome has been the center of the world for centuries, surrounding towns developed alongside Rome’s prosperity.
Show Table of Contents
- Train Travel Tips in Italy
- Best Day Trips from Rome, Italy
- 11. Viterbo
- 10. Ostia Antica
- 9. Etruscan sites of Tarquinia and Cerite
- 8. Lake Bracciano and monasteries of Montefortino and Fossanova
- 7. Naples
- 6. Ancient Ruins of Pompeii
- 5. Tivoli
- 4. Cortona & Arezzo
- 3. Assisi & Orvieto
- 3. Amalfi Coast
- 2. San Gimignano & Siena
- 1. Florence
- What are some good day trips from Rome?
- Where can you go from Rome by train?
- What day trips can you take from Rome, Italy?
- Can you do a day trip to Tuscany from Rome?
- What is a popular day trip from Rome for wine tasting?
- What cities are close to Rome by train?
Train Travel Tips in Italy
When traveling by train in Italy, you should know a few things to make your trip as smooth as possible. First, be sure to familiarize yourself with the different types of trains that operate in the country.
The most common type is the Frecciarossa, a high-speed train operating on the main lines between the major cities.
Other types of trains include the Frecciabianca (which also operates on high-speed lines), the Intercity and Eurostar trains (both of which operate at lower speeds), and finally, the regional trains that service smaller towns and villages.
Secondly, be sure to book your tickets in advance whenever possible. This is especially important during peak travel seasons such as Easter, New Year’s, and summer.
It is best to book your tickets at least one week in advance if possible, so your schedule is not too tight. You can always cancel a ticket within a certain time frame if you do not need it.
Thirdly, be sure to sit on the right-hand side of the train when traveling from Rome towards Naples or vice versa. This is because there’s a sharp curve after the central station in each city, so you want to be closest to it.
Sitting on the wrong side during this part of your trip will make things uncomfortable for you and may cause nausea. Finally, ensure you don’t forget anything in the seat next to you if it’s yours. Many people get off at their station without realizing they’ve left something behind.
Best Day Trips from Rome, Italy
Let’s get into our favorite day trips from Rome, Italy, to start your adventure and explore Italy. The city includes several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Make sure to visit at least one.
Here are some of the top-rated Rome day trips out there.
The city of Viterbo is about an hour away from Rome by car. It’s best known for its involvement in various disputes with the Pope and other emperors during the 12th and 13th centuries.
If you’re looking for a charming town to explore on a Rome day trip, Viterbo is a perfect choice. There are plenty of historical sites in this town, including the Palazzo dei Papali and San Lorenzo Cathedral.
You can also wander the streets and admire the beautiful baroque murals in the Palazzo de Priori. In addition, Viterbo is known for its excellent food, so be sure to try some of the local restaurants there.
This is one of the lesser-known day trips to take from Rome and is a relatively easy one. If you have only a short period in Rome or you want to take your travel experiences slow, check out Viterbo
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10. Ostia Antica
Ostia Antica is a beautifully preserved ancient Roman city that was once the port of ancient Rome. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and makes for an excellent day trip.
The best way to start your journey is to head southwards along the Via Appia Nuova, leading you to a beautifully preserved ancient Roman city known as Ostia Antica.
This UNESCO World Heritage site was once the port of ancient Rome and now serves as an excellent Rome day trip, best enjoyed with a visit to one of the many alimentari dotted throughout the surrounding fields. This is a great city to visit to take the slow approach and get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.
See Related: Best Museums in Florence to Visit
9. Etruscan sites of Tarquinia and Cerite
The Etruscan sites of Tarquinia and Cerite are two excellent destinations for those looking to explore the beautiful countryside and see various regional attractions that can’t be found in Rome. The small remains of the ancient Tarquinii hillside village lie within the medieval village of Tarquinia.
The Necropolis extended the old village – the best-preserved cemetery among the Etruscans. A visit to a tomb can last between 1 and 2 hours, depending on what interests you and your endurance. It is an excellent painting of a stone-hewn tomb, providing an image of Truskis’ cultural arts.
Cerite is home to one of the best-preserved Etruscan temples, which is still in use today. It is best to visit the Etruscan Museum in nearby Tarquinia first, then stop by for a guided tour of the temple before heading into town itself.
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8. Lake Bracciano and monasteries of Montefortino and Fossanova
Lake Bracciano was once said to be one of Italy’s most important lakes, even before the area’s best attractions were discovered. The best way to enjoy what nature has created is on a relaxing boat ride where you can have lunch at some of the best restaurants in Italy.
There are several famous monasteries that are within proximity to Rome, but few offer as many important relics as those in the area of Bracciano and Montefortino.
The best-preserved among these is Fossanova Abbey, originally built by Cistercian monks. It is best known for being where St. Thomas Aquinas died – a very important figure of the Roman Catholic church who wrote several of its most famous texts.
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Naples is a beautiful city that is best enjoyed as a day trip. It’s one of the best destinations for those looking to explore the beautiful countryside and see various regional attractions that can’t be found in Rome.
There are plenty of churches, ruins, and excellent food to enjoy in Naples. Make sure you walk the bustling street called Paccanapoli, which cuts into the historic center of Old Town.
You’ll see several important church buildings such as the Gezu Noovo church and St Nicola monastery. Turn into the Spanish Quarter for a more traditional atmosphere and pedestrian street.
Is Naples worth a day trip from Rome?
Yes, Naples is worth a day trip. It’s easily accessible via train and becomes an excellent Rome day trip in an hour.
While some tourists had previously sat around the hotel in an unsettling place with hysterical stories of the Mafia and dirt in town, the city’s actions have improved considerably. And – there is pizza.
How long to stay: A day trip to Naples from Rome would take approximately 5-6 hours. This will give you enough time to see all the best attractions that the city has to offer. Make sure you leave early in the morning to avoid crowds and have plenty of time to explore.
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6. Ancient Ruins of Pompeii
Pompeii is one of the craziest sights to visit in the world. Mount Vesuvius erupted during the Roman Empire in 79 AD, covering the city in lava. The city is perfectly preserved with rich history due to the lava hardening and freezing the city the way it was.
On your day trip to Pompeii, look for wall art (original) and thousands of archaeological finds, including (sadly) a dog, pots, mirrors, brushes, and other household items. During your day trip, you can walk through homes and the Colosseum.
The best way to visit this ancient city is through a tour. We recommend booking through Get Your Guide here. The tour takes the perfect amount of time and is affordable.
How long to stay: one day. A half-day is sufficient if you walk fast. No need to stay overnight
Distance from Rome: 2 hours (car or train). The best way to get to Pompeii is through guided tours.
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Tivoli is right outside of Rome and is packed with history. This is one of the most recommended day trips from Rome, with amazing ruins of Roman aqueducts and historical sites. Include this on your day trips, visiting the Villa Adriana and basking in ancient Roman statutes.
Visit Villa D’este (created during the 16th century) for the Cardinal Ippolito d’Este. This magnificent estate has gardens, water fountains, and amazing views.
Once you’ve admired Villa D’Este with its stunning garden and the famous Hadrian’s Villa, grab lunch at the nearby restaurant to enjoy the scenery.
Also, check out the Rocca Pia, an ancient medieval fortress built during the 15th century. The structure is in fantastic condition.
How long to stay: For a convenient day trip, tour for at least an entire day, overnight if you can. The city has a lot to see and is less traveled than many other nearby cities, so you can relax while you explore.
Distance from Rome: Public transport takes 45 minutes (car) 1 hour (train ride). You can catch a train back to Rome from the Tivoli train station.
Best Tour: The full-day tour with transportation to and from Rome on GetYourGuide is the best. You can book our special rate by booking Tivoli with GetYourGuide at this link.
This tour (click here to book) also focuses on Tivoli’s UNESCO World Heritage site. Tour is 5 hours long with transportation to and from Rome.
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4. Cortona & Arezzo
The Two hill towns are near each other in the heart of Tuscany. These two cities are perfect to see in one day. Both cities sit atop hillsides, giving you a fantastic view while you take in the quaint towns.
Cortona is a provincial hilltop town with all the elegance that goes with being provincial. Put on the map by the movie Under the Tuscan Sun, this small town has charm. The Piazza Garibaldi is where you want to start.
From here, you can view Lake Trasimeno and vineyards for miles. From there, head to the Piazza Della Repubblica, where a clock tower shows you how slow time goes in provincial Italy.
The charming town of Arezzo, most well-known by the movie Life is Beautiful, is centered around a medieval square (Piazza Grande) that transforms into a festival (Giostra del Saraceno) in June and September.
The town also boasts Santa Maria Della Pieve, a church built in the 1200s right in the piazza. And at the highest point of Arezzo, you will find the Medici Fortress. From here you can take in the views of the surrounding countryside.
How long to stay: 3 hours in each city via public transport.
Distance from Rome: Just over two hours by car or train ride to either city. A short half-hour drive or 45-minute train between the two cities. Easy peasy.
Best tour: This tour with GetYourGuide is by far the best tour to see both cities. Efficient, intelligent, and you get to see all the best spots. Book in advance. They take small groups, so it is best to book early. Book your tour to Arezzo and Cortona here.
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3. Assisi & Orvieto
Assisi is by far the most underrated city in northern Italy. Home to St. Francis of Assisi, the city boasts a religious center with an amazing basilica.
The Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi has towering ceilings with hand-painted frescoes. Many of the frescoes were destroyed during an earthquake in 1997, but it has been slowly restored.
The basilica is on top of a hill with a beautiful view of the Italian countryside. Assisi is also home to Rocca Maggiore, a 900-some-year-old ancient Roman castle.
You can adventure through tunnels built in the 1100s and climb to the top to see a panoramic view of the Italian countryside. Whatever you do in Assisi, make sure to visit this spot and spark your imagination of fighting knights defending Assisi!
Orvieto is nearby Assisi and is stunning. There are two parts to Orvieto, an old-town hilltop and a new town. The new town is near the train station and a bit picked over. The older town portion is what you want to see. These medieval alleys and stunning buildings line the narrow streets. The Duomo (church) has a gorgeous mosaic facade. Under the streets is a network of caves with archeological finds.
These two cities are gorgeous and a must-see for everyone who visits Italy. We hope you enjoy the views and the food!
How long to stay: you can easily see both cities on the same day. Reserve 4-6 hours for Assisi and another 2-3 for Orvieto.
Distance from Rome: Assisi is about a two-hour drive from Rome. A train takes over five hours because you have to connect through Florence. The best way to get around is through a tour (see the link below for the best tour!).
Best tour: book a day trip using this link for a discount. If you are looking for a private tour, a maximum of 6 guests, book here. We highly recommend the private tour, that way you can make small adjustments and get to know your local guide.
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3. Amalfi Coast
Crisp blue ocean, colorful, warm towns, thin, crispy pizza, and sunshine. That is what you will experience on a tour of the Amalfi Coast. There are many small cities in the area that are fun to visit.
The top spots to visit along the Amalfi Coast are Positano, Sorrento, and Capri. Positano is gorgeous. This cliffside town has steep, winding streets lined with small boutiques and little cafes and restaurants. Enjoy the beach or walk the quaint streets.
Sorrento is everything you could ever want in a southern Italian town. Plump oranges, sunshine, windy streets, and ocean views from all over. Enjoy some limoncello while you are at it!
Capri is an island off the coast of Italy known for the Blue Grotto. Take a boat tour and get your camera ready-this is a picturesque island with fantastic views of the Italian coast and the ocean.
Check out our full Amalfi Coast itinerary if this trip sounds like the ideal place for you.
Can you do a day trip from Rome to the Amalfi Coast?
Yes, you can do a day trip to the Amalfi Coast. This is something that many people like to do. Different tours are available depending on how long of a day you want and what you like best.
How long to stay: a full day or a weekend? Or a week. Or a month. These towns are so relaxing you will want to stay for a long time. You only need to stay in each city for a few hours to see the sights, but it is worth it to stay longer if you have the time.
Distance from Rome: 3 hours by train or car.
Best tour: we love this tour with GetYourGuide because they give you time to explore the city.
Click here to book!
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2. San Gimignano & Siena
Two beautiful Renaissance cities just a short drive from each other in Southern Tuscany. What more can you ask for? San Gimignano is a medieval hill town with medieval skyscrapers. Yes, skyscrapers!
In medieval times, San Gimignano had the tallest buildings (outside the Vatican). Visiting San Gimignano is known for its fantastic white wine. We recommend a half-day here to take in the sun, sip white wine, and view medieval skyscrapers.
A short drive away is another walled city of Siena. The city of Siena is home to il Palio, a medieval horse race that takes place to this day.
The square has restaurants and a historic tower that overlooks the entire city. Siena was also the banking capital of Italy for a very long time. We recommend staying in the afternoon and evening to watch the sunset.
There is a special place outside the city, just near the wall, with a lookout that gazes over the rolling hills of Tuscany. A perfect sunset spot just before the ride back to Rome.
The only problem with this single-day trip is that there are no fast or direct trains to get you there from Rome. You’ll need to book a tour for maximum convenience and time management.
How long to stay: Stay in each city for a day. San Gimignano only needs a half-day, although a weekend is very relaxing. Siena is a great spot for a weekend, but you can also see the city in a half day. We spent two weeks in Siena, and there was plenty to do.
Distance from Rome: about a three-and-a-half-hour drive or train.
Best Tour: the best tour is available here. You can experience both cities in one day with a fantastic guide and wonderful wine.
If you are looking for a private tour, book here. This tour is limited to just your group.
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Florence is an absolute must-see in Italy. This charming city filled with Renaissance art is my favorite city in Italy. This city is in a central location in Italy, so if you want to head north from Rome, you must spend some time here.
A high-speed train directly from the Rome city center will take you right into one of the most beautiful European towns, Florence.
These fast trains run every 20 minutes and only take about 1 hour and 45 minutes to get there, making it one of the easier day trips from Rome to experience.
Florence, in my opinion, has better food, culture, and more breathtaking scenery than Rome. The Duomo underpins the town center and rings throughout the day. It truly feels like you are living in the Renaissance period.
Stop by Piazza del Duomo to enjoy fine Italian wines and pizza and gaze at the beauty of this historic church. Or, visit the royal palace of the Medicis.
If you feel ambitious, you can take the fast train to Florence, then take one of the regular trains to the town of Siena, followed by a bus tour back to Rome. This way, you can see two contrasting towns in Tuscany.
Is a day trip from Rome to Florence worth it?
Yes, it is. A day trip from Rome to Florence has plenty of things to do. Still, the best thing about spending time in both cities is how they are closely similar yet distinctly different enough that you can enjoy them for their differences, which will make your visit that much more interesting.
How many days do you need in Rome and Florence?
Most travelers find 7-10-day tours in Italy a wonderful choice, with stops in Rome, Venice, and Florence. You should spend half your time in these two cities between Rome and Florence, with only 1-2 nights in Venice.
There are many cities to visit near Rome, including Vatican City, which is about 20 minutes away, but what we included here are some of the best.
When you are deciding what day trip from Rome to take, think about transportation and consider a guided tour. The tours we recommend are based on real traveler experiences so you won’t be disappointed! We hope you enjoy your trip to Rome and all the surrounding cities. Ciao!
What are some good day trips from Rome?
The best day trips from Rome vary depending on what you’re looking for. If you want to see the best outdoors, visiting Tivoli deserves your time. Aside from its amazing natural sights and great food, it’s an excellent destination if you love history because ruins are scattered all over this area.
If staying inside is more your style, then a great day trip from Rome is Ostia Antica – a substantial and well-preserved ancient Roman city not far away that still bears the signs and quality benefits of life in those days – with visitors able to walk through its houses and discover what life was like back then.
Where can you go from Rome by train?
You can train from Rome to Santa Maria, Tivoli, Orvieto, Florence, Assisi, and Pompeii.
What day trips can you take from Rome, Italy?
There are a number of fantastic day trips that can be taken from Rome, including Ostia Antica, Tivoli, Pompeii and Vespasian, Amalfi Coast, Capri, Montepulciano, and Orvieto.
Can you do a day trip to Tuscany from Rome?
Yes, Tuscany is a reasonable day trip with a late arrival to Rome’s capital upon your return.
What is a popular day trip from Rome for wine tasting?
A popular day trip from Rome for wine tasting is the Tuscan Countryside Day Trip. This includes a three-hour meal with wine tastings. You’ll get to explore lovely vineyards and learn about the production of Tuscany’s wines. Plus, you’ll enjoy some of Italy’s best food in a beautiful setting.
What cities are close to Rome by train?
Cities near Rome by train include Florence, Naples, Tivoli, and Orvieto. Ostia Antico is also close by train.
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Alex is a contributor of ViaTravelers. She has lived in three countries, 4 states, and traveled the world. She enjoys top-tier restaurants, old books, and uncovering historic sites around the globe.