– This post was written by Lauren Voges –
So you’ve chosen the Eternal City for your next holiday. Mounds of gelato, oodles of pasta, rooms full of art, and centuries of history await you! Fancy extending your stay and exploring further afield with a few day trips from Rome? Excellent choice, fellow traveler.
Rome is the ideal base for discovering some of Italy’s most beloved cities – and sampling more regional styles of pizza, of course. Head to one of the many nearby beaches for a day of seaside bliss, max out on ancient history with a visit to historical cities and sites close by, or go country-hopping without putting a foot outside of Rome (you’ll see what we mean).
Book any (or all!) of these much-sought-after day trips in advance to avoid last-minute disappointments. And if you change your mind – or can no longer make the trip – don’t sweat it. With Tiqets, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your visit and get a refund, no questions asked.
So, without further ado, here are some of the best day trips from Rome.
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Day Trips from Rome to the Vatican City
A trip to the Vatican City probably qualifies as a day trip within Rome, considering that the world’s smallest country is located within the borders of Rome. However, it still counts as a crossing of borders, and thus a day trip from Rome in our books.
Home to the 11 Vatican Museums, this tiny city-state is an art history lover’s dream. Even if you haven’t dreamt of seeing Michelangelo’s iconic painting The Creation of Adam all your life, you’ve certainly heard of it and are likely keen to lay your eyes this piece of human history. And, even if papal glory isn’t quite your thing, you can’t help but be floored by the vast collection of paintings, sculptures, and stunning architecture in this holy hot spot.
How to get from Rome to the Vatican City
The easiest of all Rome day trips, you can be at the front door of the Vatican City within an hour.
By metro: Take Metro Line A (which has stops at popular places in Rome like Barberini near the Spanish Steps and Termini near the Trevi Fountain) and get off at Lepanto or Ottaviano. The Vatican is just a five-minute walk from Ottaviano Station. Trip time: 10 minutes.
By bus: Hop on the line 64 bus at Plebiscito and get off at Ponte Vittorio Emanuele, buses depart every 10 minutes. Trip time: 9 minutes.
By car: Depending on traffic, this trip could take anywhere between 9 minutes and 19 minutes.
Things to do in Vatican City
If you’re looking to deep-dive into the Vatican City’s highlights, hidden gems, and mini trips, peruse this guide. If you’re just here for the top tips and must-sees, we’ve got your back. Our number one tip for visiting the Vatican is: get up early! As one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, it also has some of the longest queues in the world. So start your day early or book your tickets in advance for your visit to the Vatican.
Worried about booking in advance and having to cancel the day before? Don’t be! When you book with Tiqets, you can cancel your tickets and get a refund right up until 24 hours before your visit.
As for what to see, these five Vatican City sights are worth the early wake-up.
St. Peter’s Basilica
One of the largest churches in the world, St. Peter’s Basilica is said to be built on the site of St. Peter’s tomb. Why’s it worth visiting? It’s breathtakingly grand and a slice of history you won’t want to miss.
St. Peter’s Square
You can’t really visit the basilica without making your way through St. Peter’s Square. But before you hurry into one of the most impressive holy sites in the world, stop and appreciate the basilica’s imposing exterior as well as the Bernini-designed square’s 140 statues of saints. It, and the two fountains, were created in the 17th century by Bernini and his students.
The Sistine Chapel
What would a visit to the Vatican City be without a wander through the Sistine Chapel? Incomplete, that’s what. Make sure you visit this iconic chapel and feast your eyes on Michelangelo’s masterpiece. It took him four years to paint the biblical scenes that adorn the ceiling. And whether you’re a believer or not, looking up at the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling is a religious experience.
If Renaissance sculptures are your thing, the Vatican City is for you. Take a wander down Ponte Sant’Angelo and get up close and personal with the ten Gian Lorenzo Bernini-carved statues of angels that line the bridge. Don’t forget to admire the bridge from afar as well. It’s arches make for swoon-worthy photos.
The Vatican Gardens
All that stone-cold perfection can be a lot to take in. Round off your visit to the Vatican Museums with a wander around the lush and beautifully manicured Vatican Gardens. One great option for enjoying both the museums and the gardens would be to book a guided tour of the Vatican Museums that includes access to the gardens.
Treats to try in the Vatican City
Planning on spending all day in the Vatican City? You might need a snack or two during your visit. Fortunately, there are a couple of food and drink options in this holy city-state. Head to the Vatican Museums café for a fast-food pick-me-up, or when you climb the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, grab a bite at the café on top.
Day Trips From Rome to Tivoli
History lovers and classical architecture junkies, this one’s for you. The ancient town of Tivoli is known for its stunning villas and royal residences from bygone eras. Pick this day trip from Rome if your idea of a good time is exploring ancient ruins and marveling at age-old royal residences and villas.
How to get from Rome to Tivoli
By bus: Take the bus from Rome Tiburtina to Tivoli Piazza Garibaldi. Trip time: 50 minutes.
By guided tour: Hop on a tour bus and get skip-the-line tickets for two of Tivoli’s most famous sights, Villa Adriana and Villa d’Este, with this guided tour. Duration of the tour (including travel time): 7 hours.
By car: Trip time: 40-50 minutes.
Things to do in Tivoli
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a history lover’s dream. Built by the legendary Emperor Hadrian between 118 AD and 138 AD, Villa Adriana is a special way to escape into the past. Walk among the ruins of the original villa and explore the Roman baths built here in the 1700s, and fantasize about great it would be if this were your holiday home. Hadrian originally built this villa as a retreat but ended up living here full time. We probably would have done the same.
Pretend you’re of royal Roman descent and spend some time wandering around this 16th-century palace. From its world-famous Italian Renaissance gardens and fountains to the opulent and plentiful 16th-century artworks housed inside the palace, this is a treat for those who want to play prince or princess, and those who love all things Renaissance.
If you’re looking for a respite from all those stately columns, stunning statues, and impressive facades, make your way over to Villa Gregoriana. Don’t be fooled by the name, you’ll not find another feat of architecture here, but instead an ode to nature that’s less than an hour from bustling Rome. Stand in awe of Tivoli’s powerful waterfall, wander through the forest, and enjoy the feeling of being transported back to a time of gods and goddesses and mythical, magical landscapes.
Treats to try in Tivoli
If you’re after a sit-down meal, you’ll want to make your way to the oldest restaurant in Tivoli, La Sibilla. Prepare for a charming experience at this restaurant in the Acropoli Tiburtina. On a mission to sample the best gelato that Rome and the surrounding regions have to offer? Say no more. Il Gelato di Pinocchio is known for its artisanal gelato. Dig into a serving of their fig gelato and sit back and enjoy foodie heaven.
Day Trips From Rome to Santa Severa
Who says you can’t go to the beach when you’re in Rome? The Eternal City is within an hour’s drive of several sandy spots to throw down your towel, bask in the sunshine, and take a dip in the Mediterranean. One such sandy spot is Santa Severa, a seaside town that combines a top-notch beach with a good dose of history. Yup, you can work on your tan and get an insight into medieval history.
How to get from Rome to Santa Severa
By train: Hop on a train at Roma S. Pietro and be at the beach in no time. Trip time: 40 minutes
By car: Trip time: 50 minutes.
Things to do in Santa Severa
Hit the beach
Rome and its surroundings abound with historical sites and cultural treasures, but this part of Italy is also famed for tasty food and epic summers. Indulge in a bit of the latter when you visit Santa Severa by breaking up your day of history and art with a little sun tanning. Bonus: Santa Severa’s beach is free – a rarity in Italy!
Visit the castle
Once you’ve spent the morning sunbathing, it’s a quick walk over to the castle for a visit. Built in the 14th century, the structure is still in fairly good nick considering it was once used as a military base by the Germans in World War II. Once there, you can look through the findings of recent archaeological excavations and wander through several on-site museums, including the Maritime and Ancient Navigation Museum.
Treats to try in Santa Severa
As you might have expected or even hoped, beach bars and restaurants are the order of the day in Santa Severa. Sit beachside while you dine on fresh seafood and enjoy a view of the castle and the sea.
Day Trips From Rome to Naples
If you didn’t already know that Naples was close enough to Rome for a sneaky day trip, we’re glad we got to you in time. Explore the famous Pompeii archeological site, gorge yourself on arguably the best pizzas in Italy, and thank your lucky stars that you could enjoy Rome and Naples all in one trip!
How to get from Rome to Naples
By bus: A bus ride from Naples to Rome has the lengthiest travel time but also the cheapest cost (10-16 EUR) if you’re relying on public transport. Trip time: 2 hours 40 minutes.
By train: Hop on the train between Naples and Rome for speedy travel time. If you book in advance, tickets can be as cheap as 14 EUR but they can also go up to 47 EUR. Trip time: 1 hour 10 minutes.
By car: Trip time: 2 hours 10 minutes.
Things to do in Naples
A trip to Naples would not be complete without a visit to this famous historical site. Though Pompeii was destroyed 2,000 years ago by the sudden eruption of Mount Vesuvius, the ruins of the city are still very much intact. Explore the ruins, examine ancient artworks and artifacts, and piece together what it must have been like to live in ancient Rome. It’s one of the most popular places to visit in Italy so queues to visit can be lengthy; opt for a Pompeii skip-the-line ticket to make the most of this day trip from Rome.
Naples National Archaeological Museum
Soak up all the history you can in Naples by making your way over to the National Archaeological Museum of Naples. This treasure trove of antiquity, which encompasses artifacts and artworks from Greece, Egypt, and Rome, is a must for Hellenistic and Classical Antiquity art lovers.
Treats to try in Naples
Another Italian city, another opportunity to sample some pizza! When you’re ready for lunch, head straight to Via Tribunali for a dough-licious meal. Also known as ‘Pizza Alley’, Via Tribunali boasts multiple restaurants to rest your history-weary head and tuck into a plate of cheesy, charred tomatoey goodness.
Day Trips From Rome to Tuscany
The best towns in Tuscany
Tuscany is filled with quaint, beautiful hillside towns, sprawling vineyards, and historic pockets of the past. It’s hard to say which town or city in Tuscany is the best, but Florence and Arezzo are definitely contenders when it comes to the best towns in Tuscany – and they’re close enough for you to visit from Rome.
Day trips from Rome to Florence
Whether you read Dan Brown’s Inferno and have been planning a trip to the Duomo ever since or you heard that this is where some of the best gelatos in Italy can be found, Florence is on many a bucket list. It’s also little more than a hop, skip, and a jump from Rome. Visit the city for jaw-dropping art, eye-popping architecture, and (like most places in Italy) drool-worthy food and drink.
How to get from Rome to Florence
By train: The number one way to go from Rome to Florence is by train from Roma Termini. It’s easy, quick, and allows for plenty of time to explore. Trip time: 1 hour 40 minutes.
By car: Travelling by car lets you take the scenic route to this Tuscan gem, but it will take a fair chunk out of your time in Florence. Trip time: 2 hours 45 minutes.
Things to do in Florence
Duomo di Firenze
Florence’s Duomo is undoubtedly the city’s most famous landmark and it’s easy to see why. You can climb Giotto’s bell tower for spectacular views of the city, and marvel at the stunning marbled exterior of the cathedral. The cathedral’s baptistry is one of the oldest religious sites in Florence and has baptized the likes of Italian poet Dante Alighieri and the Medicis. You can also climb to the top of Brunelleschi’s iconic dome. The Duomo is an incredibly popular tourism spot, so make sure you book in advance to avoid the disappointment of not being able to get in on the day.
Art lover or not, the Uffizi Palace and Gallery are well worth a visit for their vast collection of Italian art. Arranged in chronological order from the 13th to the 17th century, the gallery allows you to see the evolution of Italian art unfold, from the Early and High Renaissance era, up to the Baroque and Rococo period. A must-visit for many, it’s best to book your tickets to visit the Uffizi Gallery in advance!
Looking for something other than art and architecture to add to your Florence visit? Make sure the Ponte Vecchio features on your day trip to Florence itinerary. This medieval bridge over the Arno River is famous for the gold jewelers that line the length of the bridge. They used to be butchers and tanners, but today these shops sell jewelry, art, and souvenirs – a great stop for those looking for a little Florence memento.
Treats to try in Florence
One of the best places to find tasty and traditional morsels in Florence is in the markets. Head straight for Mercato Centrale or (perhaps, and?) Mercato di San Lorenzo for a wide array of Italian favorites. From freshly made pasta to platters of antipasti to the finest prosecco and Tuscan wines, and desserts to top it all off. The upper floors of the markets boast and international fare and are open till late, with a steady supply of affordable cocktails and wine. Gelato lovers, the advice for finding the best-frozen treats is the same as for other Italian cities: follow the locals! Skip the main square and get your gelato fix from secluded alleyway gelaterias.
Day Trips From Rome to Arezzo
This hilltop town is another Tuscan gem and an excellent option if you’re keen to skip the crowds in Florence. But Arezzo isn’t by any means second fiddle to the more-famous Florence. Equipped with its own set of fortresses, monuments, and age-old churches, Arezzo is a historic haven.
How to get from Rome to Arezzo
By car: Possibly the easiest and fastest way to get from Rome to Arezzo is by car. Trip time: 2 hours.
By train: If you’re relying on public transport, the train is your next best option to get to Arezzo from Rome. Trip time: 2 hours 40 minutes.
Things to do in Arezzo
The Medici Fortress
Constructed in the 1500s, the Medici Fortress is a fine example of Italian military architecture. Walk around the fortress and grounds for some historical insights, and don’t forget to appreciate the stunning views from the fortress over the Casentino Valley. Peek out over the surrounding vineyards and olive groves for truly Tuscan views.
Arezzo’s Pieve and Roman Amphitheatre
Step way back in time when you visit the Pieve of Arezzo and the remains of a Roman amphitheater that could once accommodate around 13,000 people. The Pieve is one of the best remaining examples of Romanesque architecture and the nearby Roman Amphitheatre ruins are equally interesting to behold.
Treats to try in Arezzo
The region of Tuscany is known for its wines, and Arezzo is one of the perfect places to sample some a glass or two. Local wine producers have made it easy for you to try their wines with I Giorni del Vino, a wine calendar that allows different cellars to host wine tastings from April/May right until October. You can visit I Giorni del Vino’s permanent, brick-and-mortar location in front of the Arezzo Cathedral and find out where tastings are being held – or have a tasting right there!
As your eyes and tastebuds will happily confirm, these day trips from Rome are the best way to make the most of your visit to the iconic city. So, grab your day pack and some snacks for the journey and get (day)trippin’!
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