We all know there’s plenty to see in Rome, but what about the surrounding areas? Here are our top five day trips from Rome – perfect for escaping the crowds and exploring outside of the ancient city!
Distance from Rome: 2 hours by train.
From a distance, Assisi may just look like a small, hilltop town but it’s much more than that. The main attraction is the Basilica of St. Francis – a must-see church. As the town’s biggest attraction it’s best to visit towards the end of the day, as the crowds will have subsided and you can take in the beauty of the Basilica in peace.
Throughout the day, why not take a stroll down one of the many backstreets and see where it takes you? The town is small enough that everything can be reached on foot, so there’s no chance of wandering too far off the beaten path. Take the time to explore one of the many churches, or kick back in a piazza with a gelato and simply watch the world go by.
Don’t forget to head to Rocca Maggiore, the town’s medieval fortress if you’re looking for an unforgettable view. The 20-minute hike and subsequent steps to the top of the tower are rewarded with stunning views over Assisi and the surrounding areas.
Distance from Rome: 35 minutes by train.
Tivoli is an excellent day trip for those who don’t want to travel too far from Rome. Home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Villa Adriana and Villa d’Este, both of which accept the ‘Roma Pass’.
The jewel in the city’s crown may be Villa d’Este’s gardens. Made up almost entirely of water features powered by the nearby River Aniene, it’s easy to see why visitors often consider this as their highlight of Tivoli.
Nature lovers will be delighted to discover the Parco Villa Gregoriana. With its woodland paths, beautiful waterfalls and hidden caves this park is the perfect place to get lost for a couple of hours. Don’t worry about wandering too far off the beaten track though – there are guided trails to keep you on the right path!
Distance from Rome: 1 hour 10 minutes by train.
Naples truly is a city of diversity. The beautiful backdrops of Mount Vesuvius and the Gulf of Naples provide stunning views throughout the city; while the historical castles and churches – the highlight being Castel Nuovo – ensure that there is plenty of sightseeing to be done. By contrast, the city also has a number of contemporary culture hotspots, including renowned coffee and a thriving arts scene.
If you’re looking for churches then Naples has plenty; over 400 in fact. Look beyond the religious architecture though and you’ll find a city that may not be as pristine as others, but certainly, doesn’t lack any character. Some may find the city’s ‘rough-around-the-edges’ feel rather charming.
Water sports enthusiasts will be thrilled by the Archaeological Park of Balae, commonly referred to as the ‘Underwater Pompeii’, a must-see for any scuba diver!
Distance from Rome: 1 hour 40 minutes by train.
Known to some as the ‘City of Popes’ due to its past papal connections, Viterbo is often overlooked by travellers. Pay a visit to Palazzo dei Papi – the former pope’s residence and the most famous of the many churches in the area.
If sightseeing takes its toll then Viterbo has the perfect remedy, as the city is home to hot springs. They may not be the famous Roman bath houses, but these natural thermal springs are the perfect place to soak away a hard day’s walking and warm up in winter. The baths vary greatly; some are water, some mud, some charge a hefty fee while some are completely free, so it’s best to do some research before you set off.
Visitors in early September can also catch the Festival of Saint Rose, where the strongest locals transport a 30-metre tower around the city in honour of its patron saint.
Distance from Rome: 2 hours by train and boat.
It’s popular and touristy, but the isle of Capri is exactly what you make of it. There’s plenty to see, enough high-end shops for a spot of retail therapy and lots of festivals throughout the spring and summer months. On the other hand, those seeking a relaxing time will have no problems finding a beach to watch the sunset from.
The majestic waters of the Blue Grotto are Capri’s most well-known attraction, yet there’s plenty for those who don’t fancy spending their day on the water.
The chairlift up to Monte Solaro treats visitors to jaw-dropping views of the Gulf of Naples, and those with energy to spare would be wise to walk back down the mountain, stopping off at the beautiful Chapel of Santa Maria a Cetrella on the way.
Top tip: take the earliest boat to Capri from Naples and watch the sunrise. You won’t regret it!
Although Rome is one of Europe’s most beautiful and historical places, there’s so much waiting to be explored outside of the ancient city! We hope we’ve inspired you to venture a little further out and see what the rest of this part of Italy has to offer.