Best cities to visit near Rome — with routes and itineraries, Lifestyle News
Rome is known as the città eterna (eternal city) and caput mundi (capital of the world) for good reason.
Rome acquired these enviable epithets due to its 2,700 years of existence during which the ancient city saw emperors rise and fall, great temples, roads and aqueducts built, and ultimately the advent of the Renaissance. .
To visit Rome is to walk in the footsteps of emperors, gladiators, philosophers and artists. With such an impressive history, it’s no surprise to learn that all roads indeed lead to Rome, even today.
But while Rome itself is indeed alluring, its surrounding cities are equally impressive in their own right.
From visiting the city of Florence, often considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, to strolling the cobbled streets of the ancient condemned city of Pompeii, here are some of the best day trips you can take from Rome.
Rome — Florence
As you would expect from the birthplace of the Renaissance, the city of Florence is renowned for its legendary works of art.
Visitors to the Tuscan capital can marvel at exquisite masterpieces by Michelangelo, Masaccio, Botticelli and Brunelleschi. The famous Uffizi Gallery is also a must visit during your excursion to Florence.
Today, artists continue to produce works of art.
If you’re wondering what the town looked like in the 15th century, you can head south and cross the river to reach Oltrarno and wander between the dusty workshops that haven’t changed much since Brunelleschi’s time.
Here, you will find craftsmen and craftsmen pouring their skill and ingenuity into raw materials and transforming them into objects of high artistic value.
While Florence is indeed around 270 kilometers away, a trip to the birthplace of the Renaissance is actually one of the most popular day trips for visitors to Rome.
Getting to Florence
- We do not recommend driving or taking the bus to Florence as the journey takes three hours. You can instead take the Le Frecce high-speed train from Roma Termini to Santa Maria Novella. Taking the high-speed train takes you to Florence in around 90 minutes.
- Tickets for the bullet train start from 9.90 euros (14.44 Singapore dollars).
Rome — Orvieto — Assisi
If you start your day trip to Rome early in the morning, you can visit not one but two charming Italian cities in one go; Orvieto and Assisi. The route from Rome to Orvieto and Assisi is actually quite a popular trip for both domestic and international travelers.
Perhaps one of Italy’s most beautiful cities, the hilltop town of Orvieto lulls visitors with its breathtaking vistas and remarkable Duomo (cathedral).
The Duomo di Orvieto is a 12th-century structure defined by its Gothic allure accentuated by colorful frescoes, sparkling mosaics, bas-reliefs and delicately carved floral garlands. Orvieto Cathedral is often said to have had a major influence on Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.
Besides the cathedral, Orvieto has a network of underground tunnels dug around 3,000 years ago. These tunnels were commissioned by the nobles and aristocrats of the city as a means of protection against the Romans and barbarians of the time.
This intricate network of tunnels includes a multitude of large chambers, cisterns and quarries that you can visit today.
Getting to Orvieto
- A train journey from Roma Termini usually takes around 75 minutes to reach Orvieto. The train ride is considered by many to be enjoyable due to the scenic beauty along the way. Train tickets cost on average 8 euros.
- If you prefer to drive to Orvieto, you can do so by heading north on the E35 until you come across signs for Orvieto. The trip takes about an hour or so.
The charming medieval town of Assisi is known as the resting place of Saint Francis, the patron saint of Italy, who renounced all his worldly wealth and devoted himself to the service of the poor.
Needless to say, the biggest attraction in Assisi is undoubtedly the Basilica of Assisi; a beautiful structure that regularly attracts pilgrims eager to pay homage to Saint Francis.
With its double entrance, the Lower Basilica has a sober facade, decorated with a rose window and a mosaic. In the upper church, you will be dazzled by the 28 frescoes retracing the life of Saint Francis as well as other magnificent frescoes by Cimabue and Torriti.
Other attractions include the Eremo delle Carceri, a hermitage complex located 791 meters above sea level in Monte Subasio, and the Rocca Maggiore, a medieval castle built atop the city hill in 1174.
Getting to Assisi
- You can reach Assisi from Orvieto by car or by bus. The journey will take approximately 90 minutes.
- Train lines from Orvieto to Assisi are available. The train journey takes around three hours and tickets start from EUR 11.
Rome — Naples — Pompeii — Amalfi Coast
Head southeast from Rome to reach Naples, from where you can continue your day trip to Pompeii. This day trip route is among the most popular routes with visitors, as evidenced by the many tour packages on offer.
Breathe the Mediterranean in Naples; a city where you are more likely than not to encounter old sailors telling you about their adventures of days gone by while immersing yourself in its Greek, Roman and Spanish heritage.
While some of its old buildings are indeed in a sorry state riddled with graffiti and the like, some would say that’s part of the city’s charm. Unesco, at least, seems to think so.
Naples is also renowned for its museums, castles and grand cathedral, where locals regularly honor Saint Januarius, their patron saint, every September.
Getting to Naples
- Although it is possible to get to Naples by car or bus, we again recommend traveling to Naples from Rome via the high-speed train. It is simply the easiest and fastest method.
- The train journey takes just over an hour and tickets cost 60 euros.
The ruins of ancient Pompeii remain one of the most intriguing archaeological sites in the world. While its inhabitants sadly perished due to devastating earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, the city itself was able to miraculously survive.
You will be greeted by 2,000 year old houses, temples, amphitheaters and even the Lupanar; giving you a glimpse of how ancient Pompeians lived their lives in the shadow of mighty Vesuvius.
Getting to Pompeii
- To get to Pompeii from Rome, you must first travel to Naples by train. Once you arrive in Naples, you can get to Pompeii from Naples Central Station by taking the Circumvesuviana train to Pompeii Scavi station. The train journey takes 30 minutes.
Note that visiting the Amalfi Coast on the same day as Naples and Pompeii may not be practical as it will extend the duration of your day trip. If you have time to spare, however, the Amalfi Coast should definitely be next on your itinerary.
The Amalfi Coast is rightly hailed as the jewel of southern Italy, as it has one of the most beautiful coastlines in Italy, Europe and even the world.
Rugged mountains slope down to the Tyrrhenian Sea where picturesque towns are perched like eagle’s nests between sea and sky. It’s no wonder celebrities, artists, and even dignitaries have openly proclaimed their love for the beautiful coastline.
The towns and villages near the Amalfi Coast also have a lot to offer. You will admire their cathedrals, lively squares and, of course, the always friendly locals.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can choose to hike a well-known and surprisingly serene hiking route punctuated by crumbling paper mills and a fantastic waterfall.
Getting to the Amalfi Coast
- you can choose to drive or take a taxi to the Amalfi Coast from Pompeii in a 46-minute drive. A taxi ride will cost around 39 euros.
- you can also take the bus for 10 EUR. A typical bus ride takes around 2 hours and 46 minutes.
Rome — Tivoli — Roman Castles
A day trip to Tivoli and Castelli Romani provides a good contrast to the hustle and bustle of Rome. Instead of museums and urban surroundings, the countryside of Umbria has served as a retreat for the people of Rome since ancient times.
Here’s why you should definitely pay a visit to Tivoli; Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este.
Nestled in the foothills of central Tivoli is Villa d’Este; a steeply sloping villa with exquisite fountains and elegant tree-lined avenues and caves.
The villa is the epitome of a masterfully executed renaissance garden and had served as a luxurious retreat towards the end of the 16th century. The Villa d’Este is definitely worth a visit.
Hadrian’s Villa, on the other hand, signifies the wealth and opulence of ancient Rome. Located about three miles from Tivoli, the villa is actually a complex of 30 ancient Roman structures including amphitheatres, temples, and more.
Don’t miss the Pecile surrounding the basin which is a replica of a portico seen in Athens. Next, the Canopo, a narrow basin 120 meters long framed by statues, reproduces a sanctuary from the Egyptian city of Canopus. Finally, the Serapaeum, a semi-circular Greco-Egyptian temple used by Hadrian to host banquets in the summer.
Getting to Tivoli
- Train lines are available from Rome to Tivoli and are quite cheap. A one-way ticket costs around 3 euros and the trip will only take you 30 minutes.
- You can also choose to get to Tivoli by renting a car. This will allow you to easily visit both villas as it eliminates the need to take public transport to Tivoli.
- The car is also the only option available if you want to continue your journey to the Castelli Romani.
Those unfamiliar with the region may mistakenly assume that the Castelli Romani refer to a single town or municipality.
In truth, Castelli Romani refers to 16 picturesque hilltop towns and villages in the Alban Hills region. Castelli Romani is only an hour’s drive from Tivoli.
While the 16 towns are indeed breathtaking, people mainly visit the charming hilltop town of Castel Gandolfo overlooking Lago di Albano. This medieval town is where visitors can find the Palazzo Pontificio, a 17th-century papal summer residence that now serves as a museum.
Other noteworthy medieval towns include Frascati, a town famous for its exquisite summer villas and white wine production.
Commissioned by noble Roman families, these villas typically feature extensive gardens and spectacular fountains like those found in French castles. Inside the villas are exquisite works of art, paintings and sculptures of great artistic value.
Getting to the Roman Castles
- Castelli Romani is about 27 kilometers south of Tivoli. You can reach the Castelli Romani by car in about an hour.
This article was first published in We’re going.