Rome, the Eternal City, offers a lifetime of discoveries and excitement. But sometimes, you just need to escape the heat. Fortunately, there are quite a few day trips easily accessible from Rome. All are reachable within two hours from the capital, just hop on the bus, train, or book a taxi transfer here.
1. Ostia Antica
This port city of Ancient Rome contains ruins said by many to rival those of Pompeii. The main streets and many of the buildings are still intact, as well as a stunningly preserved amphitheater. Stroll the streets of Ostia Antica, coming across the abandoned taverns, and feel like a Roman citizen of past centuries!
2. Bomarzo Parco dei Mostri
Just under two hours north of Rome, very close to the ancient papal city of Viterbo, and tucked away in the middle of nowhere, you will find Bomarzo, and its Parco dei Mostri (Park of Monsters). This ancient estate was designed by a landscape architect with a dark sense of humor, and features massive stone carvings of monsters and other mythological characters. The property itself is absolutely beautiful, especially as the leaves change in the fall. Spend an afternoon here, and get lost in the woods, and, perhaps, in a monster’s mouth.
One of the Castelli Romani – a set of towns topping the hills just south of Rome – Frascati is a worthy day trip. It is home to its own DOC wine – conveniently named Frascati – and is famous for the many old villas found in its surroundings, many of which are open to the public. Frascati also has an incredible view of plain surrounding Rome, and of the city itself. Its many small fraschette, or old taverns, serve classic and delicious food from the area, including some wonderful cured meats and cheeses. Frascati also serves as a great jumping off point for other towns in the area, including Castel Gandolfo – the pope’s traditional lakeside summer retreat, Arricia – a town famous for its Bernin-designed church and as the home of the delectable porchetta, Marino, whose city fountains flow with wine instead of water once a year, and Nemi – where, if you time it right, you can visit for the strawberry festival.
4. Cascate delle Marmore
The Cascate delle Marmore, less than two hours drive from Rome, and crossing into the Umbria region, are Europe’s highest waterfalls, and, in fact, are the tallest man made waterfalls in the world. Built long ago by the Romans, the Cascate are a great place to beat the summer heat by basking in the spray, and, for those a bit adventurous, offer an opportunity to go river rafting on some Class IV rapids just down from the falls.
Of course, these are just a few of the amazing day trips you can take from Rome. For each of them, be sure to check the weather, as well as traffic or train schedules (depending on your chosen mode of transit!) when you are making your trip, to ensure that you can get there in the most efficient way possible!