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Five easy day trips to make from Rome by train

You can visit a number of places just a short train ride away from Rome
You can visit a number of places just a short train ride away from Rome. Photo: lucianomandolina/Flickr
Looking for a brief escape from the crowds? Here are five day trips you can easily make from Rome by train.

Rome has so much culture and history packed into its foundations, you may feel that looking beyond the city walls for something to do is a preposterous idea.

But for residents and repeat visitors, there comes a time when you might want to venture further afield – and while there are plenty of options, many of them aren’t easily accessible without a car.

For those looking to escape without the need to arrange private transport, here are five easy day trips you can make from Rome by train.

READ ALSO: Six delightful day trips within easy reach of Milan

An Italian train station.

An Italian train station. Photo: Alex/Flickr.

Explore the ancient city of Ostia Antica

If Naples has Pompeii, Rome has Ostia Antica: the ruins of an ancient port city that was once located at the mouth of the River Tiber.

The archaeological site boasts intact mosaics, an amphitheatre, ancient thermal baths complete with 2,000-year-old public toilets, and even the two-storey remnants of an ancient apartment block across the street from what was once a restaurant.

It may not be as large and well-preserved as Pompeii, but you don’t have to battle your way through hordes of other visitors, and you have unrestricted access to almost every part of the site.

READ ALSO: Six breathtaking Roman ruins that you’ve never heard of

What’s more, you can get all the way there on a metro ticket (€1.50).

Trains along the Roma-Lido depart regularly from the station in Piramide/Porta San Paolo, and the journey time is approximately 40 minutes.

Tickets cost €12 full price or €2 reduced price (for EU citizens aged 18-25) at the desk, or €14 full price and €4 reduced price to book in advance online. Under-18s from the EU can enter for free.

The ancient Roman city of Ostia Antica.

The ancient Roman city of Ostia Antica. Photo: isafmt, Flickr

Relax at Lake Bracciano

Just €3.60 and a 75 minute train journey north of Rome lies the lake of Bracciano, an oasis in the Lazio countryside.

The lake hosts the picturesque towns of Bracciano, Anguillara Sabazia, and Trevignano Romano; the first two of which are accessible by train, while the latter can be reached from either of the others via a short taxi ride or a bus journey.

READ ALSO: 14 reasons why Lazio should be your next Italian holiday destination

In warmer months you can bathe and sail in the lake, but a year-round attraction is the 15th century Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, which costs €8.50 full price or €6.00 reduced price to enter.

Each of the towns has scenic lake views, historic centres with cobbled streets, and restaurants serving up fresh lake fish.

Lake Bracciano as seen from above.

Lake Bracciano as seen from above. Photo: altotemi/Flickr

Wander the famous Tivoli gardens

Just a short train ride away from Italy’s capital lies the 16th-century Villa d’Este, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famed for its spectacular terraced Italian Renaissance garden with elaborate fountains.

The villa is a 15 minute walk from Tivoli train station and costs €10.00 to enter, or €13.00 if the site is hosting an exhibition.

READ ALSO: Ten must-see places within reach of Rome

If you have the stamina to do both in one day, Villa Adriana, the summer residence of the Emperor Hadrian, is just a few miles away from Tivoli and can be reached by bus or taxi.

A standard train journey from Rome can take anywhere between 35 minutes to an hour and costs around €3 euros each way.

The gardens at Villa d'Este in Tivoli.

The gardens at Villa d’Este in Tivoli. Photo: William Warby, Flickr

Visit Orvieto’s golden Duomo

Perched high on an Umbrian clifftop formed of volcanic tuff rock, Orvieto is a jewel in the crown of central Italy.

It dates back to the Pre-Roman Etruscan period, and it’s had a storied history ever since.

The main attraction its distinctive black-and-white striped travertine-and-basalt Duomo bearing a façade inlaid with golden mosaics that can be seen glittering all the way in the valley down below.

READ ALSO: 13 places in Italy that look like they belong in a fairy tale

You can walk the picturesque streets, eat delicious food and drink locally-grown wine, and if you want, take a guided tour of its network of more than 1,200 underground caves bearing traces of Etruscan and medieval history.

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A standard train will get you there from Rome in under 90 minutes and set you back just under €9 each way.

Visitors coming by train will likely want to pay the €1.30 it costs to take the funicular cable car from the station up to the town.

Orvieto's golden Duomo.

Orvieto’s golden Duomo. Photo: Carlo Raso/Flickr

Dip your toes in the sea at Santa Marinella and Santa Severa

It’s easy for tourists to underestimate how hot Rome gets at the height of summer.

If you find yourself wandering the city in mid-August, drenched in sweat and wondering whether throwing yourself into the fountains might just be worth the €450 fine, relief is at hand in the form of multiple swimming beaches just a short train-ride away from the city.

READ ALSO: Ten underrated towns to visit in Italy in 2020

There are a range of options for beaches within reach of Rome, but the best compromise in terms of travel time and beach attractiveness is probably Santa Marinella and nearby Santa Severa. 

The two beaches take approximately one hour and cost just under €5 each way to reach from Rome by train, and both boast golden sand and clear waters. Santa Severa has a castle that can be explored for €8.00 (full price) or €6.00 (reduced price).

Santa Marinella beach with Santa Severa castle in the distance.

Santa Marinella beach with Santa Severa castle in the distance. Photo: Alessandro Canepa/Flickr

Bonus day trips: Florence and Naples

We hesitate to promote either Florence or Naples as a day trip, since both cities deserve at least a couple of days to be explored.

But you can technically visit either from Rome in the course of a day, as each can be accessed via a fast train that takes less than 75 minutes (in the case of Naples) or just over 90 minutes (in the case of Florence) each way.

READ ALSO: Seven reasons autumn is the best time to visit Italy

These tickets are expensive (around €50 each way), but will get you quickly and smoothly to your destination, and give you time to spend a good day exploring some of the main attractions of each city. 

The Ponte Vecchio and River Arno in Florence.

The Ponte Vecchio and River Arno in Florence. Photo: Giuseppe Mondì/Unsplash

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