5 Rome Day Trips
Ancient Sites, Hill Towns, Gardens, and Wine

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While there are more than enough sites and attractions to keep you busy in Rome, it’s nice to get out of the city for a day trip. These are 5 of my favorite places to go by train for a day out from Rome. The first 4 places are in the Lazio region, the region that surrounds Rome, while the last is a little farther.

Ostia Antica Archaeological Site

Much easier to get to from Rome, and usually less crowded than Pompeii, the archaeological site of Ostia Antica, Rome’s ancient port city, is well worth a visit. Wander along the old streets and alleys to see remains of houses, shops, bread ovens, baths, and even public toilets. The medieval borgo near the ruins has a small castle and a few restaurants and if you want to go to the beach, you can hop back on the train and go to Ostia Lido.

ostia antica theater
Theater: Ostia Antica: 19/12 B.C.

Tivoli, Villa d’Este and Hadrian’s Villa

In Tivoli there are two great places to visit. To visit both sites, you really need a full day as there’s a lot to see and you can eat lunch in the town of Tivoli. In walking distance of the train station is the 16th century Villa d’Este, one of Italy’s top gardens to visit. Its Renaissance gardens are filled with beautiful fountains, pools, and statues.

The ruins of Villa Adriana, built in the second century by Emperor Hadrian, are a little out of town and can be reached by bus. In addition to remains of the villa, there are remains of baths, pools, and extensive grounds. Villa Adriana is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • See our Tivoli Guide for a Tivoli map, more photos, and details of how to get there from Rome.
  • Take a Villas of Tivoli excursion with transportation from Rome or the cruise port of Civitavecchia that includes Villa d’Este and Hadrian’s Villa.
villa d'este fountain photo
Fountain and Pool at Villa d'Este in Tivoli
hadrian's villa in tivoli
Statues by Pool at Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli

Frascati and Castelli Romani

For a countryside escape, especially in summer, many Romans head to the Albani hills southeast of Rome to an area called Castelli Romani, dotted with vineyards and wine towns. Even the Pope used to head to Castelli Romani in summer where he stayed at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. Since the current Pope doesn’t use them, the Pope’s palace and gardens are now open to the public.

Frascati, the closest town to Rome, is a popular wine town and a great place to taste the refreshing white wine that comes from the region, do a little shopping, and enjoy a good lunch. Both Frascati and Castel Gandolfo are easy to reach by train from Rome.

castel gandolfo
Pope's Summer Residence in Castel Gandolfo, Castelli Romani

Tarquinia, Etruscan Tombs

Tarquinia is one of the top places to see Etruscan tombs. Its huge necropolis has more than 2000 family tombs, about 200 of which have frescoes inside, created in the 7th – 2nd centuries BC. Tarquinia’s archaeological museum is a top place to see Etruscan artifacts and the cathedral in the town’s medieval center has good frescoes from the early 16th century.

  • See our Tarquinia Guide for transportation and visiting information, what to see, and more photos.
  • Take a guided excursion to Tarquinia that includes transportation, a tour of the town, lunch, and visit to the Etruscan necropolis in Tarquinia and in Cerveteri.
etruscan tomb
Painted Etruscan Tomb

Orvieto, Umbria Hill Town

Orvieto is a stunning medieval hill town north of Rome in the Umbria region that also has Etruscan roots. The cliffs that Orvieto sits on are dotted with caves and Etruscan tombs. Orvieto is best known for the impressive facade of its cathedral, beautifully decorated with mosaics that sparkle in the sun. Visitors can take an underground tour for a look at passageways through the cliffs or climb a medieval tower for great views over the countryside. It’s also a good place to taste the white wine of the area and to shop for ceramics or just wander along the charming streets of the historic center.

orvieto duomo photo
Orvieto Duomo Facade by James Martin

More Day Trips: 5 Tuscany Towns to Visit by Train from Florence

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