Day trips from Rome for under €50

River Arno, Florence
River Arno, Florence

Italy’s ancient, capital city of Rome, considered the cradle of Western civilisation is situated towards the centre of the boot shaped peninsula of Italy, in the Lazio region. There is so much to see and do in Rome itself, that visitors sometimes overlook the fact that Rome is an ideal base to explore more of the surrounding region with its wealth of beautiful cities. Rome is the ideal centre to embark on day trips by train to Orvieto, Naples, Florence, Pisa, Ostia, Santa Marinella and Civitavecchia, to name a few. Let’s explore the best day trips from Rome to some of Italy’s finest and often overlooked tourist destinations. Checkout also my earlier post of the best day trips from Milan and also my guide to the best things to do in Rome

Image by Valter Cirillo from Pixabay

1. Orvieto

If you are interested in visiting an ancient Italian city preserved from Etruscan times (an era that ended around 200 BC), with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside, then a day trip to Orvieto would not be amiss. Situated on a wide, flat butte of volcanic rock, the walled city has an elaborate network of underground caves and tunnels used from Etruscan times, well into the medieval era. Spend a leisurely day walking around this highly walkable city taking in the beautiful architecture, beautiful ceramic pottery showcased in pretty shops and the serene, sprawling views of the Umbrian countryside. The Orvieto Duomo with its stunning facade of gold and jewel toned mosaic, along with relief work on the exterior depicting scenes from the Old Testament is certainly one of Italy’s most beautiful cathedrals. Don’t miss Scalza’s Pieta, a sculpture that is both imposing and emotive. The Well of St Patrick, the Orvieto Underground and the Etruscan Museum are some other places to happily spend the day. 

Where to eat in Orvieto

Using seasonal ingredients, Trattoria del Moro Aronne serves up a great selection of pasta dishes in a warm atmosphere. Nidi di Rondine is highly recommended. Febo , a modern restaurant and brewpub located in the city center of Orvieto also comes highly recommended.

How to Get There By Train

Trenitalia charters trains from Rome Termini to Orvieto every 4 hours. The run time is 1 hour 16 minutes. The tickets cost from €8-€16.

2. Naples

The regional capital of Campanula, a city known famously for the lipsmacking Neapolitan pizza, Naples, has the advantage of only being 1 hour 15 minutes away from Rome on a high speed train. Naples has plenty to offer, from a beautiful crescent shaped coastline, stunning deep blue sea views, historic castles, delicious world famous pizza and pastries, all within the backdrop of the formidable Mount Vesuvius. During your day long exploration don’t miss the opportunity to sit down at cafe in a piazza, order and enjoy a foamy cappuccino with a Sfogliatella – a conch shell shaped flaky pastry with a decadent ricotta centre. The interior of  Naples Cathedral has the most beautiful fresco domes in the Royal Chapel. Shades of blue, white, gold and soft muted shades of many colours lend life to scenes from the scriptures. For the best view in town take the escalators to the top of Vomero Hill to gaze from the Castel Sant’Elmo onto the faraway rooftops of the city. For more city sights, visit the Piazza del Plebescito where you will find among other things, San Francesco di Paola Basilica – resembling Rome’s Pantheon, and the Royal Palace of Naples, which is now a museum. Nearby, the Galleria Umberto I shopping arcade will mesmerise you, lifting your eyes to the tall, majestic heights of the steel and glass domed ceiling. Make sure to use the very efficient metro to get around town. 

Where to eat in Naples

Visit Gran Caffe Gambrinus for coffee and dessert. For pizza, L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele is a must. Pizza Napoletana at Gino e Toto Sorbillo is also fab.

How to Get There By Train

There are high speed trains connecting Rome to Naples. The 140 mile trip can be run in 1hour 10 minutes and tickets start from just €15.

3. Florence

Florence can be best seen on foot and if contemplating a walking tour of the city consider starting a tour at the Piazza del Duomo with admiring the pretty pink and green façade of the Duomo with the spectacular dome, designed by Brunelleschi. Giotto’s Campanile- a free-standing bell tower in the typical Florentine, gothic architectural style in next door along with the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo – displaying many artworks from the Cathedral of Florence. A cumulative ticket for entry into this UNESCO Heritage complex (The Duomo, Campanile and Musee dell’Opera del Duomo comes to 15 euros). The house-museum of Dante Alighieri, author of the Divine Comedy, (considered to be the greatest work composed in the Italian language) is another place to visit. the next stop on the walking tour. The house was built in the twentieth century on the site of the Alighieri family’s property and the museum is spread out on three floors, each floor representing different phases in the writer’s life. Other places to consider visiting are the Bargello – a sculpture museum and the Uffizi in the Piazza Signora, adjacent to the Town Hall – the Palazzo Vecchio.

Where to eat in Florence

Florence has a vibrant street food scene where you can find delicious snacks at reasonable prices. Take advantage of Florence’s brilliant aperitivo scene, where local bars offer complimentary snacks or a buffet of appetizer if you buy a drink.  Checkout my cheap eats guide to Florence for in-depth tips.

How to Get There By Train

The fast Italo train from Rome to Florence takes only 1 hour 36 minutes and can costs €13.90 booked in advance via Omio , going upto €75 on the day, or choose the slower local trains which can take 3 hours and are far more affordable on the day.

4. Pisa

If you head north to the Italian province of Tuscany you will pass through the fertile valley of the Tiber to reach the historical city of Pisa, situated just six miles away from the Ligurian Sea. Actually, Pisa lies on the alluvial plain of the River Arno and was once a prosperous port city. This prosperity is evident in the glory of the architecture in its cathedral complex in the Square of Miracles – or Piazza dei Miracoli. The religious monuments consist of the Cathedral, the baptistery, the campanile or the world famous Leaning Tower of Pisa and the cemetery.

The façade of the grey and white marbled exterior of the buildings against the verdant green manicured lawns in the Piazza, create an unforgettable vision of architectural artistry at its very finest. 

Where to eat in Pisa

Located close to the tower, you have to go to L’Ostellino, a hole in the wall bar that serves some of the best panini’s in Italy. Phenomenal place.

How to Get There By Train

The fastest trains from Rome to Pisa take 2 hours 17 minutes and can cost upward of €10.

Image by Simona from Pixabay

5. Ostia

The seaside summer holiday spot of the Romans, just a stone’s throw away from Rome, basking on the Ligurian Sea is the ancient port of Ostia. 

Situated just 30 kilometres west of Rome, Ostia is devoid of tourists and Rome’s best kept secret. It contains a superb example of well preserved Roman ruins outside of Pompeii. Ostia came into existence around 620 BC and its proximity to vast salt flats meant that it was an important supplier of salt to the Roman Republic. Salt was highly valued for its role in meat preservation. The archaeological site is spread over 10000 acres and contains lots of details of the reality of Roman life, so many years ago. The Necropolis, Baths of Neptune, the Grand Theatre, Plaza of the Guilds, The Grand Horrea, the Capitolium, Forum and so much more, make visiting Ostia so very worthwhile. 

Where to eat in Ostia

Paninoteca Al Diciassette is a must for their sandwiches and also Pane E Vino Trattoria Romana for their excellent value buffet and fresh fish.

How to Get There By Train

The commuter train from Rome takes approximately 45 minutes and costs only €1.50.


6. Santa Marinella 

Another perfect beach day trip is a visit to Santa Marinella, only a 30 minute train ride from Rome Trastevere. The benefits of visiting Santa Marinella, apart from the ease of reaching the beach destination, is the proximity of the beach from the main train station. Walk towards the crescent shaped bay with sparkling clear water and perhaps rent an umbrella and a sun bed for a lazy afternoon soaking up the sun. There’s a second beach just a short distance away if the first beach is crowded. There are lots of seafood restaurants and places to eat antipasti plates on offer. Santa Marinella is known as ‘the pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea’ and exudes a vintage charm and beauty that echoes its past popularity with the Italian stars of yore. Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini owned a summer place here that  still exists. 

Where to eat in Santa Marinella

Pizzas are decent at Pizzeria Tavola Calda La Stella and visit Al Porticciolo if you a seafood lover.

How to Get There By Train

Multiple trains run from Rome to Santa Marinella, which will get you there in less than an hour, costing as little as €5.

Civitavecchia. Image by celina schou from Pixabay

7. Civitavecchia

The ancient cruise port terminal of Civitavecchia is only 61 km away from Rome and is known for its harbour, built by Roman Emperor Trajan, since the 2nd century BC. The best way to discover the joys of Civitavecchia is on foot. Rambling through the city’s twisting lanes and streets, being surprised by the quiet beauty of old churches in ancient piazzas, is a pleasurable experience after the hustle and bustle of Rome. Visit Civitavecchia’s impenetrable Roman fortress, Fort Michelangelo, in existence since the 16th century, with walls 6 metres wide. Spend some time admiring the magnificent structure and the central tower built by Michelangelo himself. If time allows, consider visiting the Taurine Baths, with their elaborate changing rooms, bath houses and bedrooms. End the day with a stroll across the waterfront and promenade. For a spot of shopping, head to the main thoroughfare, the Corso Centocelle, with many shops and opportunities for al fresco dining. Try to notice the Etruscan ruins that were found beneath street level and which are showcased by glass fronts that can be walked over. Fresh fruit and vegetable markets, churches and street entertainers make visiting Civitavecchia a memorable day trip. 

Where to eat in Civitavecchia

For great local seafood Il sugherino is a must, Cruise Cafe for comfort food and Ostaria La Babbiona for homemade Italian food at a good price.

How to Get There By Train

It takes approximately an hour to get here from Rome by train with an average ticket cost of €5.

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