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Best Day Trips from Rome

Rome is a city to enjoy in its entirety, but if you have enough time, be sure to visit its surroundings: you'll find nature, history and enchanting landscapes. Sounds good, right?

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

Jun 12, 2021 • 9 min read

Best Day Trips from Rome

Sunset at the Ponte Vecchio in Florence | © Xavier Mejorada

After visiting Rome you will be eager to continue exploring the country to fall in love with other cities as you have done with Rome. The surroundings of the Eternal City are full of wonders that you can discover on a day trip.

1. Day trip to Pompeii, From £103

Pompeii with Vesuvius in the background
Pompeii with Vesuvius in the background

Italy is the European country with the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites and on this tour, you will visit one of the most important of them: the ruins of the city of Pompeii located near Vesuvius, which you will be able to climb during this visit. The day trip to Pompeii and Vesuvius includes air-conditioned transportation, lunch, a guided tour, and skip-the-line entrance to the ruins and Mount Vesuvius. Undoubtedly, this day trip from Rome is ideal for archaeology and ancient history buffs.

Details of interest of this excursion

  • Pompeii is about three hours drive from Rome.
  • In the visit to the ruins of Pompeii you will learn about the history of this city and how many of its inhabitants perished by the eruption of the most active volcano in Italy.
  • You will walk along the crest of the volcano and tour the ruins and fossils of the city from the excavations themselves.
  • If you take this tour between November 20 and March 31, Mount Vesuvius will be closed, so this stop will be replaced by a visit to the city of Naples.
  • Departure time from Rome will be early in the morning and the tour will last all day.
  • If you decide to make this visit on your own, you can take the opportunity to see Naples, but in that case, it is best to spend the night there and make the most of your trip.

Check out my written guide to Pompeii

If you want to know more about the best excursions to Pompeii from Rome, here I tell you in detail how to organize the visit and my travel recommendations.

2. Day trip to the Catacombs of Rome, From £59

Catacombs of Rome | ©Unsplash
Catacombs of Rome | ©Unsplash

Before starting to explore the places near Rome, you should know that within the city walls you can do several day trips away from the usual tourist circuit. This is the case of the excursion to the Catacombs; an excursion that lets you discover the underground passages of Rome connecting different points of interest.

Details of interest of this excursion

The best way to visit the catacombs of Rome is with an organized tour. Here's what you should know if you are interested in booking one:

  • The duration is approximately three and a half hours.
  • These are excursions with small groups (approximately 20 people).
  • The visit includes entrance fees to: Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, Basilica of San Clemente, catacomb of Santa Domitilla and museum and crypt of Capuchins.
  • Excursions usually depart from a central point in Rome.
  • All excursions include a specialized guide.

3. Excursion to Florence, From £0

Florence | ©Faruk Kaymak
Florence | ©Faruk Kaymak

I can't be very objective about this tour because Florence is, after Rome, my favorite city in Italy. In contrast to the chaos (in a somewhat good way) that reigns in the Eternal City, Florence is all about beauty and perfection. The capital of Tuscany is a must-see and this tour is the perfect choice for the first contact with the city that (be prepared for it) will make you want to come back.

This is in my opinion not only one of the best excursions you can do from Rome but also one of the most complete and easy. In this excursion to Florence you are picked up from your hotel in Rome and taken to Termini station, from where the high-speed train will take you to Florence in only an hour and a half.

Once there, a specialized guide will show you the main sights of the city including a guided visit to the Uffizi Gallery and free time at the end of the day to enjoy the city at your leisure. The price of this day tour includes lunch, transfers, entrance to the gallery, and train tickets. This is done so that you only have to worry about visiting such emblematic points as:

What will you visit on this tour?

  • The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Piazza del Duomo
  • Ponte Vecchio
  • The Accademia Gallery and Michelangelo's David
  • The Uffizi Gallery
  • The Boboli Gardens
  • Brunelleschi's dome

Option with a visit to Pisa included

There's also an excursion to Florence with a visit to Pisa included to see its famous leaning tower. If you are interested in seeing this area, I recommend that you do it during your visit to Florence, as the city of Pisa itself is quite small.

If you choose this option, you should know that you will arrive in Florence at lunchtime and that one of its main advantages is that your group will be of a maximum of 12 people so the whole guided tour of these two Renaissance cities is even more enjoyable.

4. Visit to the ruins of Ostia, From £65

Ostia Antica | ©Andy Montgomery
Ostia Antica | ©Andy Montgomery

Ostia is an area of well-preserved ancient ruins located near the sea at a distance of about 40 minutes from the center of Rome. If you can't wait to see the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, this excursion to Ostia is definitely your best choice.

In these ruins, you will find the Baths of Neptune, the Amphitheater, the Piazzale delle Corporazioni, the Thermopilium, temples dedicated to the Persian god Mithras, a Jewish synagogue, and a Christian basilica as main points of interest.

Although you can visit the ruins on your own, if you want to save time, excursions from Rome are the best option: they include entrance fees, transportation to Ostia from Rome, hotel pick-up, and a local guide who accompanies you during the visit.

Details of interest of this visit to Ostia

  • The excursion will be half day and the visit to the ruins will take about four hours.
  • Most excursions do not include food, so you must bring your own.
  • In the ruins you can find a couple shaded areas and there are usually no crowds of tourists, so it will be a very comfortable visit, away from the hustle and bustle of the capital.
  • The most interesting thing about this tour is learning what the daily life of those who lived in ancient Rome was like.
  • The ruins open at 8:30 a.m. and visiting hours end at 4:00 p.m. in winter and at approximately 6:00 p.m. in summer.

Ana's Traveller Tip

If you plan to do any excursions on your own, check the official train and bus websites, and be aware that public transport in Italy is often delayed.

5. Excursion to Assisi and Orvieto, From £108

Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi | ©Unsplash
Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi | ©Unsplash

As much as the city of Rome fascinates you, sometimes you just want to get away and breathe in the fresh air of the countryside. To do this is to get to know another part of Italy's richness and the location of the capital is perfect for this. In this excursion to Assisi and Orvieto you will visit the birthplace of St. Francis of Assisi (two and a half hours from Rome by car) and the impressive Cathedral of Orvieto (one and a half hours from Rome).

What is included in this tour

In addition to the transfer and lunch on the shores of Lake Trasimeno, the tour also includes pick-up from hotels in the center of Rome. You will first stop in Orvieto to visit its gothic cathedral, famous for its stained glass windows and mosaics.

You will then spend the afternoon in Assisi, a quiet town of cobblestone streets presided over by its 9th-century basilica that is a key component of the story of the patron saint of Italy and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. An ideal choice for those who want to spend a quiet and relaxing day without giving up visiting historical monuments and learning a little more about the history of Italy.

6. Excursion to Capri, From £142

Capri | ©Martyna Bober
Capri | ©Martyna Bober

Visiting the island of Capri during your trip to Rome was something that, until a few years ago, was completely out of the question. In addition to the hassle of getting to Naples, you had to get to the island by boat and then find a means of transportation within the island. Good luck doing all that in one day... which is why I was so surprised a couple years ago to find an organized day trip to Capri from Rome.

What are you going to see in Capri?

A small sample of the extraordinary beauty of the Italian islands. The landscapes of Capri are definitely out of this world and the climate of the city allows you to enjoy a wonderful day at the beach. With this excursion, you will have the opportunity to visit the Blue Grotto (the entrance fee is the only thing not included in the price of the excursion), to have a guide show you the best places of the island and to explore the city at your own pace.

7. Italy tour in 5 days from Rome, From £527

Piazza San Marco in Venice | ©Unsplash
Piazza San Marco in Venice | ©Unsplash

Once you have taken one or more of these excursions, you will definitely want to come back to Italy to keep exploring what this beautiful country has to offer.

You'll even refuse to leave the country to keep exploring! Before that happens to you, scratch that itch on a five-day tour of Italy and discover some of the most interesting places of the country in one experience.

Assisi

The birthplace of St. Francis of Assisi is one of the main places of pilgrimage in Europe, but if the city receives hundreds of visitors every day it is also for the beauty of its basilica and for the authenticity and life that emanates from its cobbled streets.

Siena

The historic center of Siena is also a UNESCO heritage site and an aerial view of this small town is enough to know why. All the charm of Tuscany in one of the most magical cities in the area.

Florence

The capital of Tuscany exudes beauty in every corner. Spending two nights there you can visit its famous Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo cathedral, enter the Uffizi Gallery, see Michelangelo's David, and enjoy its charm and fantastic gastronomy.

Bologna

This small university town is full of passages that make it an accessible labyrinth for visitors.

Padua

Located in the Veneto region, this city greatly surprises visitors because of how much its streets and palaces have to offer. You and your camera will be surprised that this exciting corner of Italy is not crowded with tourists.

Venice

The last stop of the tour includes two nights in one of the most emblematic cities in Italy. St. Mark's Square, the Rialto Bridge, and the canals are what is most known of this city, but Venice has a charm that can not be discovered without walking and getting lost in its streets. The perfect end to this tour of southern Italy.

Highlights of this excursion

This is probably the best way to visit Italy without having to worry about schedules, transportation, finding hotels, etc. Here are the highlights of this package:

  • It is an all-inclusive tour: transportation between the cities, four nights hotel accommodation, professional guides in all cities, lunches, dinners, and breakfasts.
  • The tour has a duration of five days and the departure and return point will be Rome.
  • The tour includes a professional guide who will help you discover the cities you visit while avoiding queues and crowds.
  • Although this is an organized tour, you will have time to explore the cities at your leisure.

8. Excursion to Tivoli to see its villas, From £60

Villa d'Este in Tivoli | ©Unsplash
Villa d'Este in Tivoli | ©Unsplash

Tivoli is a city located at a distance of one hour by train from Rome and due to its cooler climate, it became the place where privileged Romans spent the summer in ancient times. Today there are important ruins open to the public such as Villa Adriana, Villa d'Este, Villa Gregoriana, the Castle of Rocca Pia, or the amphitheater of Bless.

The best thing about this excursion to Tivoli is how easy it makes it to get there, as you can take a direct train from Termini station and quickly get to the ruins located in large gardens full of nature giving rise to splendid landscapes.

9. Other interesting activities in Rome

If you have not yet decided on a destination or you prefer to discover every corner of the city before venturing out for an excursion in the surroundings, I recommend that you check out my other guides to Rome that will surely help you organize your trip.

These two articles on Best Rome Tours, Colosseum Tickets and Tours and Vatican Museum Tickets are a good starting point so you don't leave out the essentials. I hope you can put them to good use!

Things to do in Rome

Things to do in other destinations