Rome has so many incredible things to do that it is hard to imagine why on Earth you’d want to tear yourself away on a day trip. The Eternal City is revered for its historic center, and it feels as if Rome has a UNESCO World Heritage Site at every corner. But did you know that Rome also has – a train station, a high-speed train (or ten), and many car rentals? You can hop on public transport or hire a rental car and head on some amazing day trips from Rome. And if you have more days than a 3-day itinerary, you definitely have time.
These Rome day trips are all worth adding to your itinerary when visiting Rome. We’ve included a range of day trips – some less than an hour away from the Old Town by direct trains. And some a few hours by high-speed train or rental car. The city is full of day trip options, so prepare to jot down these inspiring best day trips for your next trip to Rome.
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Below are some of the top day trip tours from Rome. Don’t forget to plan ahead when visiting Italy!
Top Day Trip Activities and Tours from Rome:
Hadrian’s Villa is one of the most beautiful archaeological sites and day trips from Rome. The stunning remains include an expanse of water landscape surrounded by traditional Roman columns. Hadrian’s Villa was a bolt hole for the Roman Emperor Hadrian to escape from central Rome, dating back to AD 120. Unsurprisingly, it is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
While all the marble, statues, and fountains were stolen over the centuries, this adds to the wistful quality of the villa. The little country residence was a symbol of opulence for the Roman Empire, and nowadays, its ruins tell the story of how much character the villa had.
It is an hour and 20 minutes from Central Rome by train and bus. You leave the Roma Termini Station and take a train ride to Bagni Di Tivoli Station, catching a bus or taxi for the final leg of the journey. Alternatively, it is less than an hour by car or you can join a tour. We added Hadrian’s Villa because it breaks the stereotype of the best archaeological sites in central Rome. It’s hugely popular for its good looks and well-maintained structure.
Villa D’Este is another villa for your ‘day trips from Rome’ list. However, this Villa is from the 16th century, not the ADs. It famously has beautiful gardens – think that ornate, manicured style with plenty of water features. And the garden is a lovely example of Renaissance architecture.
Touring the exterior of this Villa is a real highlight, and its garden architecture (especially the fountains) makes it so popular. You won’t be shocked to hear that Villa D’Este is another UNESCO highlight.
You can reach Villa D’Este in under an hour without having to buy tickets online or any of that hassle – just hop on a quick 50-minute bus and take a five-minute walk. It is perfect for anyone fed up with ancient ruins and wants a slightly more manicured sight to admire. Besides, it is such a short day trip from Rome regarding journey length that it would be a crime to miss out on it.
Santa Marinella Beach is one of the most popular day trips from Rome if you want a beach day. Adding a beach trip to the middle of your stay in Rome is a great idea in all the heat. And a day of swimming, sunbathing, and gelato makes for one of the most fun day trips you can take.
The journey takes less than an hour using fast trains, and there’s a direct line from Rome to Santa Marinella. Once you arrive, you’ll have warm, shallow waters for swimming and a considerable length of sandy beach. Santa Marinella Beach is also just a short walk from the train station – a definite win for those with small children.
A word of warning; don’t spend on deckchairs, or in the worst case scenario, budget for them. A deckchair with a parasol is rumored to cost 40 euro at Santa Marinella Beach, which is very steep. Bring a comfy beach towel, flip flops to avoid burning your feet on the sand, and plan a cafe visit to break up the beach day and get some well-needed shade for a more budget-friendly experience. Santa Marinella Beach can be one of the most budget-friendly things to do in Rome and its wider regions.
Basilica Di San Francesco of Assisi is a beautiful 13th-century complex with two grand churches. Stepping inside, you can access the Gothic Basilica Superiore and Basilica Inferiore. UNESCO-listed, the complex is one of the most stunning places to visit on a day trip from Rome. If you are keen on religious history and architecture, this spot will be your bread and butter.
While if you just want a scenic place to snap some photos, Basilica Di San Francesco of Assisi is also great. The basilica is famously home to 28 vivid frescoes depicting the life of St Francis, and you can take an audio guide around them all.
Basilica Di San Francesco of Assisi is an ambitious day trip from Rome – but don’t we all love a challenge? It is a 5-hour return trip by public transport, including two trains and a 5-minute taxi ride or mid-length walk at the end. Making the journey by train is a fantastic way to catch up with reading your latest book and sightsee the Umbrian countryside. Alternatively, you can drive the same route in a 5-hour round trip, stopping at Terni or Riserva Naturale Regionale Nazzano Tevere-Farfa, or join a tour like this one.
Pisa is another one of our ambitious day trips from Rome. But this journey is super possible thanks to high-speed trains – especially if you don’t mind reading a book and watching the Italian countryside whizz by your window. The most famous landmark in Pisa is obviously the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a 56-meter white-marble tower on a characteristic slant.
The iconic scene is backed by rows of white buildings, cafes with tiny chairs outside, and the inevitable buskers. There are loads to see in Pisa, though. Save time and maximize your day trip to Pisa by knowing precisely what you want to do beforehand, and you’ll be lined up for success. It is one of the most exciting day trips from Rome.
The train ride from Rome Termini Station to Pisa Centrale is 2 hours and 20 minutes long and cuts through a stunning mix of hill towns and Tuscan countryside. If you have longer, it is well worth spending a multi-day trip in this area, and you can even stop off at Florence on the same train line. But Pisa is a definite must, even if you just have time for a day trip. The architecture and iconic city status make it a fascinating visit. Make sure to book your skip-the-line ticket before you go.
Mount Vesuvius is one of the most famous volcanoes in history – never mind just in Italy or as a day trip from Rome. The volcano famously erupted in AD79, wiping out thousands and freezing the people of Herculaneum and Pompeii in time with ash casts. You can still visit the preserved towns and people today (which we’d recommend as a combination for this day trip). However, peering into the smoking crater of Mount Vesuvius is something you can’t miss. Get ready to be humbled by mother nature.
Mount Vesuvius is best accessed by rental car or guided tour. Using public transport, you must take a high-speed train to Napoli and then catch an (expensive) 40-minute taxi to the bottom of Mount Vesuvius. Whereas, with a car, you can reach the volcano in less than a few hours – totally hassle-free. Reaching the summit is a 2.5-mile hike, and it takes between 1.2 hours to complete the out and back trail.
Seeing a smoldering volcano that has wreaked havoc for centuries since the Roman Empire is one of the most fascinating, slightly unnerving day trips from Rome. We suggest you prioritize this day trip.
This is another day trip idea that would fit ideally with an overnight visit but can be squeezed into a single day with enough effort. The Amalfi Coast is stunning. It is the film-star-heaving coastal stretch of glitzy bars, coastal cliffs with snaking roads, and tiny lemonade stands in dusty laybys.
The Amalfi Coast is where the rich and famous flock is, and if you want to see the best of the region, you need to plan a road trip as one of your day trips from Rome. The Positano to Amalfi section is the prettiest. On this section of the Amalfi Coast, you have Fiordo di Furore, Grotto dello Smeraldo, and Castello Lauritano to visit. Plus, all the beaches and narrow streets of the coastal towns.
Train stations are limited in the region, so you’ll need to hire a car for this day tour. It is a 3-hour and 30-minute drive from Rome to Positano, where you’ll start your road trip. This route hugs the coastline, cutting through tons of beautiful coastal towns. Then the scenic drive is 50 minutes long – taking you to Amalfi – where you’ll drive 30 hours and 40 minutes back to Rome.
Capri is one of the most exciting day trip options and an absolute jet-setter magnet. The island is really glitz and glam, and it is also an adventurous day trip to orchestrate. To reach Capri, you’ll need to take a train trip that lasts just over an hour to Naples, and from there, catch an hour-long ferry to the island. The process should last around two hours, plus extra waiting time between the train and ferry service.
On Capri, you’ll have the whole day to explore. You could shop for classic handmade Capri leather sandals, visit the Blue Grotto, or see Villa San Michele. While not one of Italy’s largest islands, Capri is still of a decent size. You’ll need to catch a bus or funicular to get around if the attractions you are interested in are spread out. Capri ticks that island box for people, making it so popular. It is also famed for designer brands and a beautiful coastline with novel attractions like the Blue Grotto.
We couldn’t just bypass Naples as a mention in other day trip options without mentioning it as a day trip in its own right. Naples is seen as a nitty gritty kind of second city to Rome. Still, it makes a great day trip destination. It is the birthplace of pizza, for a start. And if that isn’t enough to sway you, we don’t know what is. Naples also has some pretty famous archaeological sites, including the Catacombe di San Gennaro and Parco Archeologico del Pausilypon. It is a compact city.
And despite the age-old sneer that comes with taking Naples seriously as a tourist destination, the city provides hundreds of riveting activities with what can only be described as nonchalant rebellion. It is perfect for sightseeing and tasting delicious pizzas in the home of the original pizza.
You catch the train direct from Rome to Naples Central Station. The journey takes just over an hour – barely enough time to get into a good book. It is one of the most accessible day trips from Rome and a definite recommendation for anyone fancying a new city experience after a few days in Rome.
Pompeii; does it need any introduction? Pompeii is an ancient Roman town buried under ash and preserved for centuries before being rediscovered in the 16th century. Everything is intact, from streets to cobblestones and even the remains of people. The stat that most blew us away was that around 13% of the population perished during the eruption.
Terrifyingly, but also fascinatingly for archeologists, many of these people were preserved by ash. It is also one of Italy’s proudest, most well-known additions to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.
A Pompeii day trip is one of the best day trips from Rome. It is best carried out with a rental car if you want to combine it with a climb up Mt Vesuvius. But you can catch a train directly to Pompei in just 1 hour and 40 minutes (with a single change at Napoli Centrale), just minutes away from the archeological site on foot.
Alternatively, purchase a day trip tour like this small group skip-the-line tour on Get Your Guide. Pompeii has fascinated people for decades and decades – take advantage of this tragic but incredible archeological site.
The hill towns surrounding Rome are in the Lazio region and are full of wineries to go wine tasting. You can take the train to most of these wineries or organize day tours from the city center directly to the winery doorstep. But if you are in Italy, of course, there are other options besides Lazio. Other wine regions a little further away include Tuscany and Chianti. For these, you’ll need a slightly more expensive tour.
To be honest, it doesn’t matter which vineyard, region, and wine-tasting experience you choose. It is undoubtedly one of the most romantic things to do when day-tripping from built-up Rome. It is thought that the Romans began drinking wine in the 8th Century BC – which seems like a ridiculously long time for people to have been sipping on vino, but actually gives the experience a historical edge.
Unsurprisingly, wine tasting continues to be one of the most sought-after activities when people visit Italy. We highly recommend you give it a go. There is a massive association between Italian cuisine and wine. In short, keep things classic, indulge in traditional alcohol, and embrace the Italian way with a wine-tasting tour from Rome.
Ostia is a less common suggestion in a conversation about Rome day trips. But it is a suggestion that should crop up more often. Ostia is a huge beachside region that was once a major port in the Roman Empire and now has a gorgeous beach and plenty of history because of this.
It is said that Ostia was the Roman’s first colony. And you can walk around the Parco Archeological di Ostia Antica grounds to see the early city’s remains – including a giant amphitheater and Roman temple. Check out the ‘first Roman colony’ before heading down for a beach day and swimming to cool off from sightseeing.
Ostia is one of the easiest day trips from Rome if you are okay with getting a 20-minute taxi for the last leg. The journey involves a 40-minute train from Roma Tiburtina to Fiumicino Parco Leonardo, then a taxi to the city center. It is a breeze, really. It’s easy to see why those in the know love visiting Ostia as a day trip from Rome – the beach, easy access, and archeology make it impossible to resist.
Florence is the widely declared home of Renaissance art and architecture and the capital of Tuscany. If we were to conjure up a postcard for reference, you’d see a terracotta-domed Duomo cathedral bravely jutting its head over the skyline of mismatched apartment-style buildings.
Florence is roughly an hour and 30 minutes by train from Rome, and while distance-wise it is one of the longest day trips from Rome, the high-speed trains save a lot of time. A train journey to Tuscany cuts through some of the most beautiful Tuscan countryside, so get ready to bag a window seat.
Florence is the place to be for art galleries and architecture. Tick off the Duomo, Palazzo Piti, Galleria Dell’Accademia, and Gli Uffizi on a day trip. Try the gelato, as Florence is hailed for delicious sweet treats. We had to add Florence to this guide as it represents so much and is an essential part of Italy’s culture.
Chances are, you’ve not heard of the Etruscans before because they are quite a niche, a small proportion in history. The Etruscans had incredibly advanced technologies. Unfortunately, by the 3rd century BCE, the Etruscans were either wiped out or assimilated by the Romans.
So, where do Etruscans come into this? Well, Cerveteri is home to one of the most famous archaeological sites belonging to Etruscan civilizations. The small town has Necropoli della Banditaccia – a remarkably well-preserved necropolis that was once part of an ancient city belonging to the Etruscans.
Many tombs still feature painted frescos, and you can take a self-guided tour at your own pace. Or alternatively, book a guided experience if you are interested in a more detailed history. After, you can consolidate your learning at the National Archeological Museum of Cerveteri – a small but detailed local museum in the town center.
Aside from Necropoli della Banditaccia and Etruscan history, Cerveteri has some beautiful waterfall hikes. You can fit your sightseeing into the morning and then go hiking through shaded, woody undergrowth in the afternoon. Cerveteri is an hour and 20 minutes from Rome – so easy to reach and spend a whole day. You’ll likely catch two trains, swapping at Ladispoli, but there are a few other route options. Otherwise, it is just over an hour by car.
A throwback to medieval Italy? Yes, please. This small city is set on a cliff as a remote hill settlement, and most of its medieval charm survived Mussolini’s ‘re-architecturing’ of Italy. You can wander through those deliciously narrow streets, passing Gothic cathedrals, more cobbles than you can count, and traditional buildings as you go. Orvieto is a welcome break from the chaos of Rome’s hectic streets.
It is also renowned for its ceramics industry, so watch for any potential souvenirs when visiting. The practices date back to the Etruscan times, specializing in tin-glazed pots in the Medieval era. Orvieto really is a step back in time. And visiting as one of your day trips from Rome is a brilliant way to embrace Italy’s history outside the capital.
Getting to Orvieto takes an hour and 30 minutes, but it is a bit of a mission (in the most fun way possible). You’ll have to catch a train first to Orvieto train station, which lasts approximately an hour and 10 minutes. Then you have a funicular ride to the old town and main tourist area. The funicular ride lasts a matter of minutes. Still, it saves your legs and makes the experience much more entertaining.
When it comes to day trips from Rome, be prepared to enter day trip heaven. You are well and truly spoiled for choice. There are so many options, some just a train ride away. Before diving straight in and heading to the train station, though, check out some essential FAQs. Here is what you need to know before taking the best day trips from Ancient Rome.
You can take many day trips from Rome, including Villa d’Este, Santa Marinella, and Mount Vesuvius.
Yes, you can easily take day trips from Rome. You could easily visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pompeii, or stay closer to Rome with attractions like Hadrian’s Villa. The Umbrian countryside is connected by plenty of high-speed trains and roads, with the main Roma Termini Station in central Rome.
Naples is one of the closest cities to Rome by train, just an hour and 15 minutes away by high-speed train. However, you can reach Pisa, Florence, and Bologna in under 3 hours. And there are plenty of large towns to visit nearby as well.
There are off-the-beaten-track spots near Rome, like charming hill towns and archeological sites that are ridiculously empty of crowds. Rome was the original hill town in the Roman Empire. However, don’t let that dissuade you from day trips; it never harms to spread your wings a little.
Actually, you’ll be rewarded tenfold for your efforts. But there are also classic escapes from the ancient city – like the Leaning Tower in Pisa and Mount Vesuvius near Naples. Day trips from Rome are varied and, most importantly, very exciting.
Looking for more inspiration on visiting Rome? We’ve got a jam-packed guide on where to stay in Rome, plus specific inspiration guides on activities that include a Roman gladiator school experience. Trust us when we say that while you can never go wrong with a trip to Rome, there are plenty of ways that you can boost your experience – so take some time researching these other factors.