15 Best Day Trips from Rome

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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Not only is Rome one of the most culturally significant cities in the world but also one of the most romantic too.

With over 3,000 years of historical preservation to explore there is no lack of things to do in Rome.

Once you have ticked of the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and the Roman Forum it is time to get exploring a little further afield.

From rugged coastlines to sprawling vineyards, from medieval villages to Italy’s thriving cityscapes there is a wealth of day trips from Rome just lying in wait for you.

Let’s have a look at the best day trips from Rome:

1. Florence

FlorenceSource: Mikadun / shutterstock

If you’re a culture vulture, a lover of fine art or are simply a curator of the curious then you will fall in love with Florence for sure.

Home to countless museums, galleries and fashion workshops anyone with a critical eye for the finer things in life will thoroughly love every moment in Florence.

Must-visit museums include the Uffizi Gallery which is home to masterpieces by Raphael, Botticelli and Caravaggio.

The Gucci Museum provides fascinating insights into the evolution of modern fashion through the eyes of world famous fashion house, Gucci.

You will find Michelangelo’s magnificent ‘David’ sculpture at the Galleria dell’Accademia.

2. Vatican City

Vatican CitySource: Adrian Flory / shutterstock
Vatican City

The Vatican City is the highlight of any visit to Rome and the complex lies within Rome itself.

The full-time residence of the Pope, the Vatican City has a wealth of religious significance to explore and a myriad of architectural wonder to appreciate.

The Vatican Gardens provide a welcome respite from comparative chaos of Rome.

The Vatican Museums are simply incredible and whether you’re of faith or not there is no denying the beauty and splendour that is captured in the art on display.

Naturally, the Sistine Chapel is not to be missed and is the highlight of the day.

The Sistine Chapel houses Michelangelo’s masterpiece ‘The Last Judgement’ which is humbling to observe.

3. Pompeii

PompeiiSource: Avis De Miranda / shutterstock

Pompeii is one of the oldest historical sites in the world and dates all the way back to 79 AD when Mount Vesuvius erupted and obliterated the town below.

It is possible to hike to the summit of Mount Vesuvius in just 20-minutes.

The hike sees you pass old lava flows and rugged pumice stone and soft volcanic ash too.

The views from the top, down into the crater are incredible and as the volcano is still active steam escapes from rocky vents out into the air.

When you return to ground level you can roam around the ancient ruins of Pompeii and learn about what life was like in Roman times.

4. Hadrian’s Villa & Villa D’Este

Villa d'Este, Tivoli, ItalySource: Marco Rubino / shutterstock
Villa D’Este, Tivoli, Italy

The city of Tivoli is home to not one but two of Italy’s most ornate and well preserved Roman villas; Hadrian’s Villa and Villa D’Este.

Hadrian’s Villa was constructed in the 2nd Century by fearsome Emperor Hadrian and is in immaculate order, all things considered.

Once you have visited the thermal baths, the temples and the palaces you can move on to Villa D’Este.

Once home to the son of Lucrezia Borgia, Villa D’Este has beautiful gardens, dozens of elaborate fountains and waterfalls too.

The stories to be heard at Villa D’Este are quite unbelievable, the villas are best explored with an accompanying tour guide.

5. Naples

Naples, ItalySource: Wila_Image / shutterstock

Naples is the gateway city to Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii and although you can tick both off in one day this coastal city is deserving of a day trip all of its own.

The Royal Palace of Naples is a treat to explore as is Castel Naples and National Archeological Museum.

For any traveller with an avid interest in Roman history a visit to Naples is essential.

Naples is home to some of the best pizza restaurants in all of Italy, you could, in fact, partake in a food tour of Naples.

To try some of the best pizza in the world get yourself a table at Pizzeria Dal Presidente or Pizzeria Starita.

You won’t be disappointed.

6. Cinque Terre

Cinque TerreSource: muratart / shutterstock
Cinque Terre

Easily one of the most picturesque portions of coastline in all of Europe falls along the Italian Riviera in the form of Cinque Terre.

This collection of traditional villages and market towns is a joy to explore.

Each of the five villages has a distinctly different feel but each share the colourful houses, family run restaurants and breathtaking views of the Italian Riviera.

This area is famed for being the authentic home of pesto so do ensure that you sample some while you’re here.

It is really something else.

If you need to get some exercise in after all the rich Italian food then get hiking along the Sentiero Azzurro cliffside trails.

7. Assisi & Orvieto

Assisi, ItalySource: canadastock / shutterstock

If you wish to escape the hustle and bustle of Rome then a day trip to Assisi & Orvieto will be a welcomed change of pace.

The first port of call should be the Umbrian hill town of Orvieto to visit the magnificent Cathedral of Orvieto.

Just outside of Orvieto town you will find dozens of exquisite and world renowned wineries that are open for tastings throughout the day.

This area of Tuscany is best known for its Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino wines.

A visit to Assisi makes for a nice coupling with Orvieto and there you’ll find the birthplace of St Francis and the Basilica named after him.

There is also the Temple of Minerva and the People’s Palace to visit too.

8. Ninfa Garden

Ninfa GardenSource: ValerioMei / shutterstock
Ninfa Garden

Considered to be one of the most beautiful garden complexes in all of Europe a day trip to the Ninfa Gardens is not only genuinely relaxing but truly fascinating.

These gardens have inspired great authors like Virginia Woolf.

There are over 1,300 plant species in the Ninfa Gardens and the surrounding villages and each play a vital role in this thriving ecosystem.

A visit to the Ninfa Garden is ideal for budding botanists, avid macro-photographers and lovers of the great outdoors.

You can couple a visit to Ninfa Gardens with a stroll around Sermoneta, a near perfectly preserved medical Italian town that lies just down the road.

9. Amalfi Coast

Amalfi CoastSource: leoks / shutterstock
Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is one of the most luxurious holiday destinations around and many people choose to have their city experience in Rome and then vacate to the Amalfi Coast for a holiday all of its own.

During a day trip it is possible to get a taste for the beauty and rustic charm of the Amalfi Coast that will surely make you want to up sticks and emigrate.

The coastline naturally twists and turns and around every corner lies another picturesque rural village and an even more magical view of the ocean.

Positano is a wonderful, colourful little resort town that makes for a great spot for lunch.

10. Capri

Capri, ItalySource: mikolajn / shutterstock

The island of Capri is a luxurious gem that lies in the Bay of Naples.

Best experienced with a half-day boat trip, Capri is home to a number of high-fashion boutiques and opulent hotels.

Famed for its limoncello this is the place to stock up on the zesty aperitif before you return home.

Do not miss the opportunity to visit the Blue Grotto, Capri’s best loved natural wonder.

The Blue Grotto is a coastal cavern where the sea glows in iridescent, electric blue hues.

Other draws to Capri include the Faraglioni cliff and cave for geography lovers, the Villa San Michele for literature lovers and Monte Solaro for lovers of the great outdoors.

11. Siena

Siena, ItalySource: JeniFoto / shutterstock

The city of Siena has just as much historical and cultural charm as Rome, without the mighty crowds and the excessive price tags.

The first stop on a day trip to Siena should be to the Piazza del Campo and Palazzo Pubblico that lie at the heart of the city.

The most iconic landmark of the city square is Torre del Mangia which towers above the city and is, in fact, a medieval belfry.

Siena Cathedral is quite the spectacle, inside and out.

With Romanesque-Gothic features the Siena Cathedral is an architectural wonder.

12. Castel Gandolfo

Castel Gandolfo, ItalySource: Sopotnicki / shutterstock
Castel Gandolfo

Castel Gandolfo is one of the most easily accessible day trips from Rome and one of the most picturesque too.

Sitting amidst the Alban Hills Castel Gandolfo looks out over the tranquil Lake Albano.

It is possible to learn about history, art and culture at Castel Gandolfo by visiting Palazzo Pontificio or perhaps the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo.

Should a more modern day trip be in order then you can book a session at the Fugacemente Escape Room, having a game or two at the Cross Road Bowling Club or even get out on the Lake Albano with Paddle Lab.

Castel Gandolfo really offers something for everyone.

13. Montecassino Abbey

Montecassino AbbeySource: Francesca Sciarra / shutterstock
Montecassino Abbey

Italy is famed for many things, the Colosseum, the Amalfi Coast and of course the Montecassino Abbey.

Known the world over for being the spot where, in 529 Saint Benedict decided to build a monastery home for himself and the monks from Subiaco.

There is such a varied history to learn about at Montecassino Abbey.

In 577 Montecassino Abbey was destroyed by the Langobards, fast forward to 1944 and it was flattened once more by a wartime bombardment.

For a such a scared and spiritual place Montecassino Abbey has a bloody history.

It is possible to couple a visit to Montecassino Abbey with a tour of WWII battlefields in the Montecassino area.

14. Sorrento

Sorrento, ItalySource: Balate Dorin / shutterstock

Sorrento is a quintessentially Italian resort town that lies on the Amalfi Coast, facing out to the peaceful Bay of Naples.

If you’re in the mood for a relaxed day trip filled with cafe-hopping and window-shopping then Sorrento is the place for you.

Set into the cliffs, Sorrento is colourful and charming.

Although right on the coast there is no real beach at Sorrento but with winding streets and cafe terraces all offering breathtaking seaside views the lack of sand is seldom missed.

Piazza Tasso is where you’ll find the best restaurants and cafes in town.

15. Val d’Orcia

Val d'OrciaSource: canadastock / shutterstock
Val D’Orcia

The Val d’Orcia is Tuscany’s most beautiful wine region and his one to some of the most famous wineries in the world.

You can spend a day driving or cycling through the Val d’Orcia stopping at each winery and olive grove as you go.

Whether you’re interested in wine or not Val d’Orica makes for a wonderful day trip from Rome.

The rolling hills and valleys are incredibly photogenic and in the early hours and late afternoon the sun kisses the landscape just perfectly.

Towns nestled within Val d’Orcia like Pienza and Montalcino are well worth visiting too.

15 Best Day Trips from Rome:

  • Florence
  • Vatican City
  • Pompeii
  • Hadrian’s Villa & Villa D’Este
  • Naples
  • Cinque Terre
  • Assisi & Orvieto
  • Ninfa Garden
  • Amalfi Coast
  • Capri
  • Siena
  • Castel Gandolfo
  • Montecassino Abbey
  • Sorrento
  • Val d'Orcia