Try to stay longer in one city at a time if you can! You’ll enjoy it so much more and also be helping local economies. That said, if you’ve planned your trip and just don’t have the time to stay longer, there’s no reason you can’t visit a few places for a day trip and get a little taste of places like Florence, Naples, Tivoli, Ostia Antica and Pompeii.
Below are some ideas but when you write to us to discuss your plans, we can discuss the best way to make these day trips, whether by rental car, train or private driver.
Florence Day Trip from Rome
- Train Rome to Florence (1.5 hours)
- Tour Duration: 4-6 hours depending what you’d like to see
- Start time: dependent on your train arrival
- Train tickets additional (about €25 per person) and entry tickets additional depending on where you want to go!
- Possible Tickets: Accademia: €16 adult, €4 child, Medici Chapels: €8 per person, Uffizi Gallery: €24 adult, €4 child. Tastings: €10-€40 per person depending on where we decide to go.
In less than an hour and a half you could be stepping off the train straight into the heart of Renaissance Florence! Your guide will meet you directly at the Firenze Santa Maria Novella train station for a tour that will show you a bit of everything that makes Florence special from tastings at a local market to skipping the line to see David at the Accademia Gallery to the largest Renaissance painting collection in the world at the Uffizi Gallery. Along the way we’ll see the magnificent Duomo, the medieval district, Signoria Square and the Ponte Vecchio. We can even stop in on artisans and craftsmen at work in their workshops.
This tour can last from 4 to 8 hours depending on what you would like to see. At the end of the day you can head straight back to Rome or choose to stay for dinner in the city. Have a look at the half day itineraries below to get some more ideas and you can pick and choose what you’d like on your tour menu for the day.
Sure, you’ve heard of Pompeii, but have you ever heard of Ostia Antica? This archaeological phenomenon is not on every traveler’s radar but we think it’s a true can’t miss if you enjoy ancient Roman history!
Ostia Antica is an abandoned ancient Roman port city just 30-minutes outside of Rome (right near the Mediterannean coast). It is very easy to get there by local train and is (in our opinion) equally as impressive as the ruins of Pompeii. Unlike Pompeii, Ostia Antica was not buried by a volcano but rather by sand and time after the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD.
At the height of the Roman Empire, the city of Rome had a population of over one million people. Ostia Antica was most likely inhabited by around 50,000 people, who worked in shops and out on the docks to supply all of the goods that helped Rome’s population thrive. Use your imagination to imagine Roman’s going about daily life, heading to the bakery for their daily bread, the pop-up restaurants for a serving of soup and of course to the central Forum to chat with locals and the many travelers that would have passed through the small city. Ostia Antica also features a stunning Roman amphitheatre which is so famous for its acoustics that concerts are still held here today!
This is THE place to learn about the daily life of the Ancient Romans. Visiting Ostia Antica will truly transport you back in time. Admire their art and mosaics. Marvel at their toilets. Check out the local stock exchange.
Enjoy this 4-hour tour as a day trip outside of the hustle and bustle of the city. The lido or ‘little train’ is convenient, fast and allows you to enjoy the scenery as the city ends and the countryside begins. After becoming thoroughly acquainted with daily life in ancient Rome, we’ll head back to modern day Rome taking the time to discuss and marvel at all that was accomplished by the Ancient Romans! Please note: if you prefer to spend the rest of your day outside of the city, your guide is happy to show you the way to modern day Ostia, a strip of beaches that are also connected by the train. You can stop at a beach club and rent a bed for the rest of the day or enjoy a delicious seafood meal right by the seaside.
Tivoli: Villa d’Este & Hadrian’s Villa
If you only have one day to escape from Rome and you want a little sampling of everything, we highly recommend this tour. Tivoli is a charming hilltop town located less than an hour outside of Rome. After a pleasant drive out of the city, find yourself immersed in nature and small-town Italian living. We will have the opportunity to visit not one, but two beautiful outdoor parks.
First, find yourself immersed in Baroque art, fountains, and gardens that were literally designed to astound visitors. Villa d’Este features a grand 16th-century Papal palace with beautiful frescoes and a delightful sampling of classic sculptures. However, the real showstopper is the estate’s magnificent water fountains and grounds. The assortment of fountains include a musical organ played by water and the famous cento fontane, literally hundreds upon hundreds of individual fountains in a row.
When you complete your visit at Villa d’Este, head into Tivoli where you will eat lunch outside (weather permitting) in one of the most famous restaurants in town. It’s famous for its panoramic views and its rustically elegant take on Italian cuisine. Enjoy a leisurely lunch away from the hustle and bustle of city noises. Sip a glass of lunchtime wine while overlooking ancient Roman temples, a preview of what’s next on your itinerary.
After a delicious lunch, head down the hill to one of the most impressive, yet under-appreciated ancient Roman sites in the area. Emperor Hadrian (who among other things was Emperor when Rome’s Pantheon was built) spent the later half of his life constructing his marvelous country estate in the 2nd century AD. Villa Adriana (Hadrian’s Villa) features over 30 (ruins) of buildings that showcase Hadrian’s love of travel, art and architecture. Allow your imagination to run wild as you picture the decadence of the Roman emperor walking around the 200+ acres of land, exploring his own creation.
From Baroque fountains to ancient Roman ruins this day trip is one you will not soon forget. As you return to Rome in your comfortable air-conditioned luxury vehicle, reminisce on luxury and decadence over the ages. This day trip allows you to experience two beautiful parks, lunch in the Lazio countryside and a visit to a typical hilltop town outside of Rome all in one.
Naples Day Trip from Rome
Naples is truly an underrated gem. We believe that the seaside city is a can’t miss on your visit to Italy! Take in the entire city on this full day tour. The bustling metropolis is quintessential southern Italy: lots of flavor, bustling streets, a healthy dash of chaos and the warmest and friendliest hospitality.
Naples is as famous for its art, culture and architecture as it is for its pizza. Enjoying your full day experience with an expert allows you to relax and take in the scenery. Visit the most famous street in the city known by locals as Spaccanapoli which loosely translates to ‘divides Naples in half/pieces.’ The picturesque street winds through the historic center of Naples, allowing you to explore the heart of the city through its many artisanal shops, local pizza places, art galleries and much more. From this street you can really experience the heart of the city.
Your full day tour of Naples can include a trip to the world famous Napoli Sotteranea or “Naples Underground”. Travel over 30 feet underneath the modern day city to visit ruins from ancient Greece and Roman life, cloisters from the Medieval times and even a bunker that was used during WWII. This magical tour allows you to grasp the layers of history that lie underneath the modern hustle and bustle of Naples.
A tour to any Italian city wouldn’t be complete without a few famous churches. Admire Caravaggio’s magnificent painting The Seven Works of Mercy in an off-the-beaten path church. Appreciate the central Cathedral of Naples to really understand the Gothic and Baroque origins of Neapolitan (that means from Naples) architecture. You also will have the chance to visit Giuseppe Sanmartino’s 1753 sculpture of the Veiled Christ, considered widely to be one the most intricate and remarkable sculptures in all of Italy.
What would an Italian city be without a visit to a grand piazza? Or a large public ‘square’ as we call it in English. Piazza del Plebiscito does not disappoint! With amazing views of the Bay of Naples, a chance to catch a glimpse at Italy’s most famous volcano Mt. Vesuvius (yes that one!) and much more. This enormous sprawling piazza also happens to be the location of one of the most famous coffee shops in the city. Gambrinus features quintessentially Italian waiters and baristas, dressed to the nines ready to serve you delicious pastries and their world famous coffee. Order it with nocciole or hazelnut to enjoy something truly decadent!
This tour promises to allow you to experience the many layers of culture in Naples. Enjoy daily life, historic tidbits, churches that will make you catch your breath all with an expert guide by your side.
Finally, don’t worry! It wouldn’t be a visit to Naples without trying pizza, and we promise to give you recommendations for our very favorite tomato pies (possibly in the whole entire world).
Pompeii Day Trip from Rome
Some things are ridiculously famous for a reason, and Pompeii is certainly one of them.
Perhaps you already know the background story? The year is 79 AD and Mt. Vesuvius erupts, destroying one of Ancient Romes’ most famous and important port cities in a matter of hours. In the 17th century archaeologists discovered the ruins of the ancient city buried underneath volcanic ash, slowly unearthing one of the most impressive ruins in the entire world.
Pompeii shows us what life was like in Rome at the beginning of the rise of the Roman Empire. Our tour will begin with skip-the-line tickets, allowing us to get straight into the ancient city. We will begin with a historical overview. Our tour will be much more interesting when we can place the people, places and events of the time in context with Pompeii. Of course, we will also have the chance to admire Mt. Vesuvius, the culprit who caused it all. Imagining the sky turning dark in the middle of the day, we will get a true feel for what it must have felt like for the inhabitants of the ancient city.
One of Pompeii’s most shocking and fascinating exhibits is the collection of the plaster casts of the actual people who lost their lives in the tragedy. Allow your memory to drift back millennia as you imagine the daily lives of the town’s ancient population. You’ll also learn about the population through visiting the various displays around the site that display many treasures; including coins, jewelry, and even charred food and larger household items from the 1st century AD.
One of the most impressive features of Pompeii is the detail and preservation of the many houses. You’ll feel like you’re strolling through Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous as you visit frescoed entryways, beautiful triclinium (dining rooms) and admire the way the Romans collected water, entertained guests and decorated their homes. While you admire the grounds you can also truly imagine being invited as a dinner guest to one of the ancient city’s many wealthy businessmen. The site of Pompeii is continually cleaning and restoring new sections and frescoes around the site. See the latest discovery with your expert guide!
Finally, we finish in the great amphitheatre of Pompeii. This acoustic masterpiece is as famous for its gladiator games 2,000 years ago as it is for being the location where Pink Floyd recorded The Dark Side of the Moon.
We guarantee you’ll finish your visit to Pompeii with a head filled with stories of ancient Rome and a true appreciation for archaeology, history and the love of beauty and decoration.
Don’t see what you’re looking for? We have more day trip options to share with you that we didn’t think fit into a one size fits all tour description.
Write to Lauren to book one of the private excursions above or design your own day trip from Rome.