The Best Day Trips from Rome

Castel dell'Ovo in Naples, an easy (and fascinating!) day trip from Rome
Castel dell'Ovo, Naples

When you travel to Italy we want you to see every beautiful aspect of the country. If you enjoy this blog check out our guide to traveling in the off season in Rome as well as our full range of expert guided walking tours.

Looking for great day trips from Rome? You have lots of options… including a few places that you can get to easily by train and one that’s well worth hiring a car for. Here are five of our favorites.

Nota bene: Of course, remember that, even though there are lots of wonderful sights and towns around Rome, you could just as easily spend one week or two in Rome itself and still not see everything in the city! So, in general, we don’t recommend that you consider doing a day trip from Rome unless you have a minimum of four days planned there. If you have the time and want to branch out, you should definitely read our top tips for how to take the train in Italy!

Day trip to Tuscany

Eating lunch on a Tuscan farm during our Tuscan day trip from Rome

Lunch at an organic farm on our Tuscany Day Trip from Rome

For its food, its wine and its scenery, there really is no place like Tuscany. For those taking a day trip from Rome we’d recommend visiting the hill town of Pienza for shopping, climbing the castle at Montalcino, visiting some of the famous Brunello di Montalcino vineyards and stops at some of the smaller towns such as Montepulciano, tiny little Monticchiello and if you have the time, the hot springs town of Bagno Vignoni. Walks of Italy also offers a day trip from Rome to Tuscany, for those of you short on time.

Tuscany is overflowing with incredible destinations, for more travel ideas read our guide to the 10 best towns in Tuscany.

Day trip to Tivoli

Gardens at Tivoli in Lazio

Villa d’Este, Tivoli

It takes just one hour and costs 3 euros to take the train from Rome to Tivoli, a small town in Lazio with a lot to offer! One major sight here is Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli; this is where Emperor Hadrian came when he wanted to escape the capital. Much of the sprawling, luxurious ancient villa remains intact today, with columns, marble pavement, and ancient statues, and gives a tantalizing glimpse into the opulence of ancient Rome! Another major sight here is the Villa d’Este, built by the grandson of Pope Alexander VI in the 16th century. One of the most splendid villas in Italy, it’s filled with formal gardens, frescoed rooms, and gorgeous fountains.

If you take the train, just remember that you’ll then have to take one of the city buses from the center of Tivoli to Hadrian’s Villa, which is located outside of the town. You can look up train times at www.trenitalia.com.

Day trip to Naples

Castel dell'Ovo in Naples, an easy (and fascinating!) day trip from Rome

Castel dell’Ovo in Naples, an easy (and fascinating!) day trip from Rome

No matter what you’ve heard about Naples, make no mistake: This is one of the most fascinating, and definitely the liveliest, cities in Italy. It also happens to boast one of the world’s best archaeological museums (if you’re wondering where the mosaics, sculptures, and frescoes from the villas in Pompeii wound up, it’s here) and one of Europe’s finest art museums (including pieces by Caravaggio, Raphael, Michelangelo, and more)… plus fantastic food, gorgeous churches, and a fascinating underground. If you’re interested, don’t miss our piece on 9 reasons not to skip Naples!

The fastest train from Rome to Naples takes just 1 hour, 10 minutes and costs 29 euros… meaning there’s little excuse to skip this incredible city! You can look up train times at www.trenitalia.com.

Day trip to Pompeii or Herculaneum

Pompeii is the one of the best day trips from Rome

Pompeii makes for another great day trip from Rome

Yes, you can do Pompeii in a day from Rome. It’s a long day, but a rewarding one!

This world-famous sight is a city “frozen in time” by the volcanic eruption of 79 A.D., and it’s as atmospheric—and spine-tingling—as it is historic. To get to Pompeii from Rome, you’d have to take the train to Naples (see above), then follow signs for the “Circumvesuviana”; you can check Circumvesuviana train times in advance, but they run every half hour or so. It’s a 35-minute ride from Naples to the Pompeii Scavi. If you take the fast train to Naples, you can get to the scavi in as little as 2 hours.

Pompeii, though, is a huge sight—and not one you want to wander around aimlessly, especially if you’re short on time! (To see the very best of Pompeii, and hear the fascinating stories that bring the site to life, check out our “Best of Pompeii” experience!). If you want to visit a site that’s a little more manageable on your own, check out Herculaneum. The “Ercolano” stop on the Circumvesuviana, it’s closer to Naples, so you save 15 or 20 minutes each way. And the site itself is smaller than Pompeii, although it offers the same going-back-in-time experience.

Another plus: The geological process of the eruption was different here, so carbon survived—meaning while you don’t have the famous plaster body casts at Herculaneum, you do have preserved wood furniture, bed frames, and skeletons! If you want to have a fully guided day trip from Rome to Pompeii by luxury minibus, which includes a stop in Positano on the Amalfi Coast, Walks of Italy offers daily departures.

Day trip to Orvieto

The beautiful town of Orvieto, a quick trip from Rome

Umbria, a region with a lot in common with Tuscany, is an easy day trip from Rome… and Orvieto is one of our favorite towns there! On the train, getting to Orvieto from Rome takes an hour and costs less than 10 euros from the station, you have to take the funicular up to the top of the hill, where the town is located. (You can look up train times at www.trenitalia.com).

In Orvieto, make sure you don’t miss the town’s fascinating underground—the tunnels and caverns carved out some 3,000 years ago by the Etruscans—or its Duomo, with frescoes that inspired even Michelangelo.

Day trip to Ostia Antica

Ostia Antica is a day trip form Rome as good as Pompeii but less crowded

Ostia Antica

For the price of a metro ticket, and in just a half an hour,  be transported into another world from Rome! Ostia Antica, ancient Rome’s port city, is a remarkably well-preserved, ancient town, complete with forum, bars, restaurants, even a brothel. If getting all the way to Pompeii seems a little too ambitious, Ostia Antica is a fantastic alternative!

To get there, don’t check times on trenitalia.com, as this is a different train from the national system. Instead, take metro line B to the Piramide metro stop and follow signs to the Roma Porta San Paolo train station; take any of the trains, since they all go in the right direction, and get off at Ostia Antica.

Other great experiences include trying an Amalfi Coast day trip from Rome by high-speed train, where you can visit wonderful towns like Amalfi Town, Positano, and even take a boat along the coastline. A new tour option from Walks of Italy is to take a day trip to Cinque Terre from Rome to explore three of these beautiful towns on foot, and see a fourth from the water.

What’s your favorite day trip from Rome? Tell us in the comments!

The dramatic, seaside Castel dell'Ovo in Naples is one of the best day trips you can take from rome. Find out other amazing day trips in our travel guide!

44 Comments

  • Adena says:

    I love Pompeii…spent 6 hours there, and still didn’t get to see all I wanted to see. A gorgeous place.

  • Rita says:

    We lived our day trip to Pompeii since we splurged and had Cosma drive us there. There was still plenty of day left so he suggested we go on to Positano.

    Coming back around the Amalfi Coast on the twisting turns was one of the best memories of our trip.

  • Jagu Mistry says:

    I am interested in doing a day trip from Rome to Florence and Pisa. Please advise the best way to do it.
    Thanks.

    • Hi Jagu,
      The fastest way would be by train. On the fast train, you can get from Rome to Florence in 1.5 hours; from Florence to Pisa is a half hour. Be aware, though, that this makes for a very packed day—there is a lot to see in Florence, and in Pisa, the train station is about a 20-minute walk (or 10-minute bus ride) to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which of course you will want to see 🙂 Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • J.N says:

    Hi There!
    My husband and i are planning a 4 day (5 night) trip to rome in the first week of June. want to spend at least 2 days in Rome itself viewing the main sites – do you suggest we take a tour, could you suggest a good walking tour. Would like to know where to go for the next 2 days? Pompei perhaps and then trivoli? would really like to hear your view.
    Thanks!

    • Hi J.N.,
      We’re glad to hear you’ll be coming to Rome! Especially if you have limited time, we definitely recommend a good walking tour. Our most popular tours include our VIP visit to the Colosseum (including its underground, arena and 3rd tier, which are closed to the general public), which also takes in the Roman forum and Palatine, and is an excellent way to wrap your mind around Rome’s ancient past. Another great tour is our Pristine Sistine, where you visit the Sistine Chapel before it opens to the public, along with a tour of the Vatican museums. However, take a look at our website for lots of other great options.

      As for day trips, we’d caution you that two days is barely enough to see Rome—you might want to spend three days in Rome and do one day trip. Pompeii is definitely a great option.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Danielle says:

    We are going to italy second week of June of I think I would like to stay one week in Rome do the Site and around. And one week in Naples and all the Site around how can I do all that and see the best thing and is it better to do it by train

    • Hi Danielle,
      One week in Naples and one in Rome sounds good to us. You can definitely do lots of great day trips by train from either city. If you have any other questions, or more specific questions, just let us know!

  • Robin Bates says:

    My husband and I will be in Rome from May 27 to June 1. We would love a suggestion for a day trip to wine country.

    • Hi Robin,
      You have a few options! The Castelli Romani region just outside Rome makes some well-known wines, like the white wine Frascati. Farther away, but still doable as a day trip, is Umbria; the town Montefalco is famous for its Sagrantino di Montefalco. There’s also Tuscany and the Val d’Orcia, including the towns Montalcino and Montepulciano, famous for their wines. (If you’d prefer to do this as a private tour rather than renting a car and doing it on your own, you might want to check out our Tuscany itineraries here). Please let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Maria says:

    Could you recommend a place in Rome to stay, central to most activities.
    We are traveling to Rome on June 2 thru the 8. When we will go on a cruise for 12 days.
    Never been there. Transportation is worrisome to me.
    We are a couple in their 60’s in good shape, flexible in a retired budget, and want to do it right.
    Thanks,
    Maria

    • Hi Maria,
      Thanks for reaching out! Anywhere in the “centro storico” would be a good bet. Many hotels are near the Spanish Steps and Piazza Navona, which is very central and convenient to most sites by foot, but also tends to be more expensive and touristy. Other areas you might want to consider include Prati (the area near the Vatican) and Monti (the area near the Colosseum and Roman forum). No need to worry about transport in Rome—yes, it can be confusing, but the metro is actually quite simple (there are only 2 lines!) and the historic center is connected by lots of buses.

      Please let us know if we can help with anything else at all!

  • Helen Reid says:

    Can you get to Ischia or Capri in a day from Rome and what is the cheapest way to do it?Alternatively what is the best bus company to take 2 people?

    • Hi Helen,
      The fastest and cheapest way to get there wouldn’t be by bus, but by train, especially if you book it far enough in advance to take advantage of any promotional fares (a private transfer for 2 people between Rome and Naples would be expensive, but you can email us at info@walksofitaly.com if you’d like a quote). You’d want to take the fast train (1 hr 10 mins) from Rome->Naples, take a cab (5-10 mins) to the Beverello harbor, and then take a ferry to Ischia or Capri (fastest ferry to Ischia is 1 hr, to Capri 50 mins). Here, by the way, is a useful list of options for how to get to Ischia, in English, and here is the timetable for ferries to Capri. You’d have to give yourself about 2.5 hours, therefore, to get there, depending on exact train and ferry times.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • tyler says:

    Hi there. This is a great site! Below is my Rome itinerary. Let me know if you think we are trying to do to much…

    Mon-Leave Chicago
    Tue-Arrive in Rome at 9am. Explore
    Wed- Colosseum tour, Forum, Spanish Steps
    Thr- Tuscany day trip
    Fri-Vatican tour
    Sat- Pompeii day trip
    Sun-Explore
    Mon-Leave for home

    • Hi Tyler,
      It very much depends on your own interests! It’s good that you’re giving Rome four full days—with all there is to do in the city, we think you’ll want it :-). Yes, you have a lot planned, so don’t expect a lot of time for relaxation… but if you want to hit some of Italy’s major highlights in one week, that’s the way to do it.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else, and don’t forget to check out our site for fantastic tours and experiences in Rome, Tuscany, Pompeii and more!

  • Elo says:

    Hi,
    We will be in Rome for 8 days at the end of December with our young adult children. We are looking for a few day trips outside of Rome during that time. Do you have some suggestions for places to go when the weather is cold.

    • Hi Elo,
      We’re happy to help! If you want to do day trips where you can spend at least some of your time indoors, we’d recommend Orvieto or Naples (more info on these as day trips from Rome and how to get there here), or for something off the beaten path, Caprarola and the Villa Farnese (more info in our post here). Let us know if we can answer anything else!

  • Ann says:

    I’m interested in a day trip to Pompeii from Rome. The 29euros you mentioned for the faster train (Le Frecce?), is that one-way or round trip fare? What is the round trip fare from Naples to Pompeii on the Circumvesuviana train? Do those reservations need to be made in advance or can the ticket be bought once I arrive in Naples? Thanks…this is a great site, by the way. So informative!

    • Hi Ann,
      That price is one-way. However, double-check all prices and times directly on the Trenitalia site at trenitalia.com. For the Circumvesuviana, the price depends on where exactly you’re going, but it’s less than 4 euro (one-way), and you don’t book in advance, but just buy your ticket right at the station.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else! You might also want to check out the day trip options to Pompeii from Rome that we offer on our site.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • jen says:

    Hi,
    My husband and I are thinking of going to Rome December 20th – 30th from NYC. We would like to visit Capri and possibly one other area. Do you have any recommendations for food and shopping? Will it be hard to visit the Vatican during this time and any major Christmas events we should look for?
    Thanks so much! This site is great.
    Jen

    • Hi Jen,
      We’re happy to help! For food and shopping recommendations for Capri, check out our post on what to see in Capri. As for the Vatican, the museums will be closed on Dec. 25 and 26, and keep in mind that they’ll be crowded throughout Christmas week, so make sure to book your tickets in advance if you’re not already taking a tour.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Gary says:

    Hi, my friend and I are travelling to Italy in September and would like to get your thoughts on how best to explore a couple of places outside our itinerary – starting with 3 nights in Venice then two nights in Milan followed by three nights in Florence and ending up in Rome for four nights. Given our budget limitations, we were thinking of limiting our day trips to two (from Florence and/or Rome since we’re spending more time in those cities). Will trips to Pisa (from Florence) and Pompeii (from Rome) be our best options? Seeing as it’s our first time in Italy we also want to explore the four main cities in our itinerary. By the way, I enjoyed your articles. Very helpful and informative!

    • Hi Gary,
      We’re happy to help! A trip from Florence to Pisa is definitely doable, and can even be combined with a stop in Lucca, which we’d definitely recommend. From Rome, Pompeii can be a bit of a slog on your own (it’s a big sight, and a big day)—it’s totally doable, but you might want to check out the day trip to Pompeii from Rome we’ve put together to make it easier. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Rey says:

    Hello, we are planning to a trip to Rome in April. I know that Florence, Naples and Pompeii is accessible in a day trip by train. Is Venice too far of a destination for a day trip or do you recommend staying overnight or two nights. Our return trip to USA is from Rome. Flying back from Venice is not feasible and costly.
    Thanks for your reply.

    • Hi Rey,
      Venice is a hike from Florence, and definitely from Naples; we’d recommend going only if you can spare the time for one night, rather than as a day trip. Whether you take two nights depends on how much time you have overall—you can hit the most major highlights (St Mark’s, Doge’s Palace, Rialto bridge) in just one day but, of course, as with any city, there’s much more you can explore if you have more time.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Fina says:

    Hello! Greetings from Singapore!

    I am so glad to find this informative website about Italy! There are just too many awesome places to explore in Italy and I really wish I could explore as much as I could.

    Anyway, I am going to Italy for 8 days on 23rd – 30th March and my itinerary would be:

    – 2 nights in Venice
    – 2 nights in Florence.
    – 3 nights in Rome.

    Questions:

    1. Do you think it’s necessary to spend 2 nights in Venice and 2 nights in Florence? Or overnight in either Venice or Florence will be enough? I am planning to visit Burano when in Venice and Pisa while in Florence.

    2. Other than exploring “a must to see” sites in Rome, I would love to visit Pompeii! Do you think there will be enough time to visit Pompeii for 3 nights stay in Rome or is there other fantastic historical site I could visit?

    Looking forward to your recommendations and kind reply! Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Fina,
      We’d recommend not cutting your time in these cities shorter than it is—you’ll be surprised at how much there is to see in each one! We also bet you’ll want to spend all three days in Rome, but if you do have extra time, consider going to Ostia Antica instead of Pompeii: it’s a very similar sight and only a half hour on the train from Rome, so much easier to get to.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Rohit says:

    I am coming to Italy for two weeks.

    I want to visit Rome, Florence, Venice and go to Milan only to see the last supper painting at Santa Maria delle Grazie. And possibly do day trips from Rome and Florence if possible

    I fly in rome and fly out of rome.

    Please suggest me some Itineraries.

    Your suggestion will be very much appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Rohit

  • Radhie says:

    Hi there, my girlfriend and i are visiting Italy at the end of June.
    Going to be staying just outside Rome in a place called Zagorolo. We’ll be staying there for 4 nights before taking a train to Venice and spending 3 nights there. Regarding rome, we roughly know what we want to do in the city as we’ve been there before so were thinking two days in the city itself but not sure about day trips out. Could you please advise on some beautiful places to see or fun activities to do that aren’t too far out from rome? Also, as we’ve never been to venice, we aren’t too sure of what to do there either! What would you recommend? thank you very much!

    radhie.

  • Peggy says:

    Hi, we will be visiting to Italy on Nov, will be covering Rome (2-3 nights), Florence/ Pisa(2 nights), Venice(1 night) and Milan (1 night) within 7 days, what would you recommend since our trip is quite packed.

    P.S: numbers of day to stay is only our initial plan, which will be final on where we going

  • Mariel P says:

    Hi!

    We’ll be in Rome from Nov 1 to Nov 5. We’ll be arriving 10am so we’re thinking of doing a Coliseum late afternoon tour. After that, we’ll just spend the rest of the day exploring Rome.

    For Nov 2 & 3, we are thinking of doing Florence and Pompeii day trips. Do you think this would be too tight? We can’t decide if we should give up one day trip so that we can spend more time in Rome.

    Nov 4 is reserved for a full day Vatican tour.

    Help please! 😉

    Thanks!

  • Noeleen says:

    We are coming to Italy Aug 2016. We have several places we will be visiting but have several days in Pacenrro where we have been twice before. We would like to visit the Tivoli gardens. How long would it take to drive? And are there any other interesting villages between Roma and Pacentro.?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Noeleen,

      The drive from Pacentro to Tivoli should take about an hour and a half (http://www.rome2rio.com/s/Pacentro/Tivoli). Some places of interest near Pacentro are Sulmona, in between Pacentro and Tivoli and Scanno to the south of Pacentro. Or, if you have the time, you could drive east to the beautiful town of Pescara – it takes about an hour. Keep in mind also that Pacentro is surrounded by six different national parks! We’re sure you’ll have a blast!

  • I cannot agree with Tuscany to be on this list. It is an absolutely different part of the country that should be visited separately. I would rather include some places from Abruzzo.

  • Katrina says:

    Hello, I am planning on visiting Rome within the next two weeks. I am staying for nine days. The problem I am having is which sites are near each other so I am not running in circles all over the city. I plan on taking a day trip to Naples on one of the days I am there. I am visiting from the 9th until the 17th. I am staying in walking distance to the Vatican.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Katrina,

      We recommend you get a good solid map of Rome to plan which sights are close together. Or, you could follow our local experts on a tour past the major sights in Rome. Our Best of Rome tour hits all the major sights during the day including the Colosseum or get a different perspective with our Twilight city stroll and gelato tasting. To get the most of your time, check out our Pompeii day tour while you’re in Naples. All tours are guided by our local experts. Hope to see you there!

  • Anjuli Crocker says:

    Hello! This blog was extremely helpful in planning my latest trip to Rome! I just wanted to add that another great day trip to Rome is Frascati! We had a free day and found a wine tour http://www.oldfrascati.com which does daily wine tours and couldn’t have been more pleased! The town is charming and the wine is delicious! I think you should definitely visit Frascati on your next trip to Rome. It would make a great writeup in your blog. Keep up the good work!

  • Anthony says:

    Would like to visit pompeii, must be amazing!

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