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 6 of my favorite places to go by train for a day out from Rome. The first 5 are in Lazio, the region that surrounds Rome while the last one is in Umbria.
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.
- See our Ostia Antica Guide for visiting information including details of how to get there from Rome.
- Take an Ostia Antica private guided tour with transportation from Rome.
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 Hadrianâ€™s Villa.
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.
- See top towns to visit in Castelli Romani with a map of the area and transportation information.
- Take a Wines of the Castelli Romani guided tour that includes transportation, visits and tasting at two wineries, and a tour of Frascati with lunch.
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.
Sabine Hills, north of Rome
Get off the usual tourist track with a visit to the Sabine Hills,less than an hour north of Rome by local train. The scenic Sabine Hills, covered with olive groves, are dotted with medieval hill towns, monasteries, castles, and wineries. A great way to visit this area is to sign up for a half-day or full-day cooking class or olive oil tour.
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.
- See our Orvieto Guide for what to see and how to get there.
- Orvieto is one of the top hill towns to visit between Rome and Florence.