There are so many options for easy day trips from Rome. That includes Florence and Naples!
When you have had your fill of cacio e pepe and Baroque in Rome you can hop on a train and in less than two hours you can be somewhere completely different and still be back in time for an after dinner gelato. Start your trip planning with our picks for five day trips from Rome.
Make sure you come hungry for a day spent in Naples. This southern city has some of Italy’s best coffee, pastries and of course it is the spiritual home of pizza.
After a strong sweet cup of coffee from Caffe Mexico and a hot sfogliatelle near the train station begin your day with some art. Giuseppe Sanmartino’s Veiled Christ at at the Museo Capello San Severo is astonishing. The entire chapel is pretty spectacular and if you spend a long time it will take about 20 minutes. Don’t miss the creepy-cool skeletons downstairs. There are three works by bad boy artist Caravaggio in Naples. If you can only see one we recommend the Seven Works of Mercy in Pio Monte della Misericordi. For the history lover go to the Archeology museum and if contemporary is more your scene hit the Madre.
You can sample at least three different kinds of pizza in Naples. Start with a pizza a portafoglio, a soft slice folded over and eaten on the go. Next, try a pizza fritta, a calzone shaped pie that is deep fried, usually stuffed with ricotta and ciccioli, crispy pork. For your last pizza experience sit down and order a classic Pizza Margherita which uses tomatoes, olive oil, fresh mozzarella di bufala and basil.
It is Christmas every day in Naples along the Via San Gregorio Armeno. Shop for handcrafted nativity statues that range from traditional biblical figures to modern celebrities.
Insiders Tip: Many of the newer Naples Metro stations have contemporary art installations. At the Toledo stop, while everyone is getting their Instagram shot of the multitudes of blue tiles, head upstairs and admire the magnificent frieze detailing the history of Naples by South African artist Willian Kentridge.
This Renaissance jewel is an orderly contrast to Rome’s chaos and curves. Don’t be fooled by Florence’s compact size. There is more history and art treasure here than is imaginable. The Arno river cuts the city into two distinct neighborhoods with eight bridges to connect them making it is easy to cross back and forth.
Start you day by climbing Giotto’s bell tower and map out the rest of your stops from the birds eye view over the city and out into the Tuscan countryside. One combined ticket allows you access to six different sites that include the famous Brunelleschi Dome and the very lovely Museo de Opera. This recently renovated museum displays more than 750 works of art spanning 700 years of Florentine history. If you have already tackled the Ufiizzi and the Academia you can make a stop the Museo Nazionale del Bargello.
Cross over to the Oltrarno and try a favorite Florentine snack, a lampredotto (beef tripe) sandwich at the stand in San Frediano. Trust us on this. This side of the river is packed with artisans workshops. You can see craft that dates back centuries like inlaid stone work and more contemporary art by popular street artist Clet Abraham. If you have not had you fill of art admire the exquisite collection at The Museo Bardini.
Tuscan food is hearty fare featuring beans and the famous T-bone Fiorentina steak. Have lunch at a traditional trattoria like Sostanza or if you are looking for something quick try the top floor of the Mercato Centrale that has all kinds of options to choose from. Shop for leather goods, perfumes and creams that are created from 16th century recipes and bold statement jewelry.
This dramatic Umbrian hill town sits on top of an massive hulk of tuff stone. Long on history starting with its Etruscan roots the height of Orvieto’s power was in the Middle ages when Popes ruled until unification.
From the train station or main parking lot take the funicular up to the historic part of town. The showy striped Duomo with its glittering facade is the star of the town. Don’t miss Luca Signorelli’s stunning fresco cycle inside. If you are looking for somewhere to cool off on a hot day roam in the subterranean tunnels and grottos that lie beneath the town.
The region is famous for its crisp white wine called Orvieto Classico that is perfect with plate of truffle dusted umbricelli pasta or wild pigeon in salmi, a rich dark sauce with juniper, rosemary and vinegar. Shop for painted ceramics and items like cutting boards and cheese knives that are carved from local olive wood.
It is easy to combine some ancient Roman history and lunch at the beach with only a metro ticket. Don’t forget to bring a towel and a bikini!
Start at the Piramide/Porto San Paolo station and your first stop will be seven stops away. Ostia Antica is an archeological site to rival Pompeii. It once served the Roman empire as the main port city. You can wander amongst the ancient ruins that were once shops, taverns, baths and amphitheaters. Hop back on the train for a few more stops and pick one of the private beach clubs for a shy lunch and a snooze in the sand before you head back to the city.
Bolsena is in Tuscia a little known region of Lazio that borders Tuscany and Umbria. Deep Etruscan roots, Medieval history and unspoiled landscapes are just the beginning of its charms.
This volcanic lake was created a few thousand years ago probably by the eruption of the Vulsini volcano. After your visit you can boast to your pals that you swam in the largest volcanic lake in Europe.