Take the opportunity to relax and unwind with your family by planning a proper getaway as a break from your adventures in Rome. From one of the most stunning medieval villages in Europe to an ecological wonder deep in the forests of central Italy, below is our list of the best day trips from Rome your family will fall in love with.
These destinations are close enough to Rome to conveniently visit for the day, or journey to for a weekend getaway.
By Shelley of Travel-Stained
Ask any Roman, and they’ll tell you that a day trip to Ariccia in the Castelli Romani is the perfect antidote to a hot, summer day. A frequent retreat for Roman noblemen, Popes, and the wealthy elite, today, it remains the perfect escape from the guaranteed heat, humidity and crush of tourists found during a Roman summer.
All of the 17 towns in the Castelli Romani enjoy an incredibly fertile landscape, which produces various specialized foods and wines. And while most tourists will head to the more well-known Frascati, locals head to Ariccia for Porchetta di Ariccia – a slow roasted, fragrant pork with crunchy skin and tender meat.
For a quick bite, eat it in a sandwich with local casareccio bread. For an unforgettable meal, visit one of the traditional fraschette that line the Via Borgo S. Rocco. Order an antipasto made up of Porchetta di Ariccia, bruschetta, salami, and plump, green olives, and wash it all down with a locally produced carafe of frizzante wine. Cap off that stunning antipasto with a pasta dish that includes cinghiale (wild boar) to keep it truly local.
Fortunately, Ariccia also has a pretty historical center, where you can attempt to walk off all that food. Look out for the 16th Century Palazzo Chigi, a baroque main square, and the church of Santa Maria dell’Assunzione – all of which were redesigned by Bernini.
The easiest way to get to Ariccia from Rome is to drive straight up Appia Nuova, then make a left at Via dei Laghi. If you don’t have a car, take the train from Roma Termini to Albano Laziale. From there, you’ll have to walk an extra 20 minutes to reach Ariccia.
Ariccia and the Castelli Romani are really the perfect distance for a day trip from Rome, so it’s not really necessary to stay overnight. If you do decide to stay, check out the Casa Vacanze Palazzo Primoli for a terrace and wonderful views.
By Jan of Leisurely Drives
The spectacular medieval town of Bracciano is one of the best day trip locations from Rome. Perched high above the water, Bracciano is the largest of the three towns located on the shores of the volcanic lake.
At 40 kilometers (or 25 miles) from Rome, it takes just over an hour to reach Bracciano by car. Train travel takes an average of 1h 22 min.
Bracciano is a mix of history and nature. The town itself is small but is home to an impressive medieval castle- Orsini-Odescalchi Castle – that is worth checking out.
Take the steep 15-minute hike from the town to the Via del Lago and enjoy the stunning views of Lake Bracciano. Explore the narrow streets, piazzas and stairways along the hillside. Have a dip in the lake, a picnic on the pebbled beach and enjoy the town’s specialty food.
Of special mention is Ristorante Alfredo da Persichella, a historic hotel and restaurant with an awesome view of the lake. Enjoy the Etruscan cuisine including Aquacotta, ,fried latterini, small fish from the lake and other fish dishes such as Pasta with pike ragu.
Grand Hotel Terme di Stigliano and Villa Clementina Hotel & Spa are both luxury hotel options at Lake Bracciano.
By Italy Foodies
Take a day trip from Rome to Florence on the high-speed train and you’ll be in the Renaissance City in about an hour and a half. The comfortable and inexpensive high-speeds depart every 20-30 minutes from 6am until 9pm, and the Albergo del Senato in central Rome makes a great base from where to catch the train.
Once in Florence, the number of sights worth seeing can be overwhelming, so plan ahead. If you want to visit only the most famous sights, head for the Piazza del Duomo where you can visit the Duomo, Giottos’ Bell Tower, and the Baptistry.
A short walk away is the famous bridge, Ponte Vecchio, with upscale shopping and small cafes.
For foodies and shoppers, the Mercato Centrale is only a few blocks from the Duomo. Not only is there shopping for art, crafts, and leather goods, but there are vendors here with some of the best street food in Italy!
When you’ve visited the famous sights and it’s time for dinner, head for the Piazza della Republica. At night the Piazza comes alive with food vendors, cafes, and street performers. But mostly, the kids will love the huge merry-go-round!
By Merryl Fernandes of Merryl’s Travel & Tricks
Gaeta is a coastal town about two and a half hours away from Rome by car. It is located south of Rome in the province of Latina. The town can also be reached by public transportation by getting to the train stop Formia-Gaeta and then getting the bus from there into the center of Gaeta.
There is plenty to do in this small picturesque town, from hiking to diving and snorkeling trips. Gaeta is also home to the Monte Orlando Park, an area with Roman ruins that can be accessed by a short hike. Inside the park you will also find a wide split rock called Montagna Spaccata and the beautiful Grotta del Turco or the cave of the Turks.
For those looking for a relaxing day at the beach, Spiaggia di Serapo or the Serapo beach is a must visit. You will also find many diving centers around the area offering daily snorkeling and diving tours around the area.
While visiting Gaeta, make sure you stop by Antica Pizzeria da Ciro for some of the most delicious pizzas and seafood pastas. For those planning to spend the night in Gaeta, Hotel Gajeta is a great option right by the sea.
The Gardens of Ninfa
By Nesrine Chebbi of KEVMRC Travel
Located in Cisterna di Latina south of Rome, the Gardens of Ninfa is one of Italy‘s best kept secrets. Voted the most beautiful garden in the world and classified as a Natural Monument, it’s the perfect choice for a family day trip.
It was in the middle of the Renaissance in the 16th century that the Caetani family decided to create a garden in Ninfa, on the ruins of an old medieval town including a castle, 7 churches, stone bridges and water springs. In the 19th century, the same Caetani family rebuilt parts of the ruins and created an Anglo-saxon style garden.
Today, the garden covers about 8,000 hectares and houses about 1,300 botanical species including magnolias, birches, and Japanese maples. The beautiful roses and other flowers covering the trees and ruins, crossing the rivers and streams, make this oasis magical and romantic.
The best way to get there from Rome is definitely by car as it’s only a one hour and thirty minute drive. But you can also get there in two hours and fifteen minutes by train/bus for a maximum cost of 11€ per person. Also, make sure to book your entry tickets online in advance (it’s free for kids under 11 years old). Picnics are not allowed inside. However, you can have a great lunch or diner at the Trattoria “Antichi Sapori” nearby.
If you decide to spend more time around visiting Sermoneta or Pantanello Park for example, I recommend staying at Lelive Bed and Breakfast.
By Kerry Hanson of VeggTravel
Naples, is one of the best places for families in Italy. Firstly, it has the convenience of a major international airport. It is also quick and easy to get into the city center. The city center is great for families wanting to minimize the hassle of travel.
Secondly, for families that want to travel further afield, Naples also makes a great base to explore historical sites like Pompeii or Mount Vesuvius. A simple train journey is all it takes, or you can also book on one of the many tours available.
If you’re looking for family-friendly things to do in Naples, Italy, then take a tour of Castel del’Ovo to admire Napoli’s medieval history. There are several other castles, monuments and piazzas throughout Naples that will fascinate and intrigue children. In addition, the city’s convenient location on the Bay of Naples means you can also stroll down the coast and enjoy the views of Mount Vesuvius.
As Napoli is the home of famous Italian pizza, you will undoubtedly take the kids to an authentic pizzeria one night. However, consider also taking them to a cooking class where they learn the culinary skills to make Neapolitan Pizzas themselves. Imagine how much easier cooking at home will get!
Opera Bosco, Museum of Art in Nature in Calcata
By Lisa of Travel Connect Experience
Opera Bosco, Museum of Art in Nature was founded in 1996 and is heir to the wave of the ecological movement of the 70s and 80s.
This open-air art gallery develops along the paths of a luxuriant 3 hectares wood in the Treja Valley Regional Park in Calcata, 50 km north of Rome. The founding artists have sought and found a way to make art completely in tune with the environment, totally ecological, aware that “it cannot be art what pollutes”.
So the rocks found naturally in the forest are carved with rudimentary methods such as axes and chisels. The dry branches and trees that fall as a result of storms or natural landslides are cleaned, bent, tied together to compose abstract figures and artworks that fit harmoniously into the landscape. In the heart of the forest, we find the “Room of the Giants”, the “Natural Room”, figures and faces that blend in with the moss of the rocks and children are always the first to spot them.
The youngest visitors, in addition to feeling free to explore a well-kept and shady forest, find a natural outlet for their imagination, learning that you can create while having fun even starting from the small gifts that nature provides. The museum can be visited from March to December. Be sure to make a reservation for the guided tour on Sunday mornings.
In the forest, there is a picnic area with tables where you can have a packed lunch, while a few restaurants can be found in the nearby village of Calcata Vecchia.
The most convenient way to reach the museum is by private car. Free parking is on the spot.
By Ania of The Travelling Twins
Ostia Beach is a very popular destination for families and locals visiting or living in Rome. Ostia Beach is the closest beach to Rome, located approximately 30 km away from the city. It has easy access. By local train, it takes around 40 minutes to reach the beach from the centre of Rome, and you can use the same bus metro ticket you use in Rome.
Most of the beaches are privately owned, so to access them, you need to pay for the use of sunbeds and umbrellas, but then you have access to the restaurants, showers, toilets and a full-time lifeguard, which all is really useful if you are visiting with family.
There are many Ostia Beach things to do with kids. Ostia Beach has a long promenade filled with shops and restaurants where you can get drinks, ice-creams, snacks etc.
When you are done with the beach or want to learn more facts about Rome and Roman history, you should check the Ostia Antica (ancient Rome’s sea Port) archaeological site, located few kilometres from the beach in the direction of Rome.
A combination of Ostia Beach and Ostia Antica gives you a perfect family day trip from Rome with lots to do and little and cheap travel.
Parco dei Mostri, Bomarzo
By Claudia Tavani of Strictly Rome
Most travelers spend 3 days in Rome, but if you have more time you should definitely consider going on a day trip from the city to enjoy the gorgeous surroundings. There are many places that you can easily visit, but one of the most beautiful and certainly one of the most entertaining ones for families traveling with children is the Parco dei Mostri (monster park) of Bomarzo, also known as Sacro Bosco, in the region of the Tuscia Viterbese.
The park was designed in the 16th century by architect Pirro Ligorio upon wishes of Prince Pier Francesco Orsini, called “Vicino”, who wished to have a place to stroll around and cope with his grief following the death of his wife Giulia Farnese. Scattered around the park there are numerous, enormous “monster like” statues. The most famous ones are Orcus Mouth and the Elephant.
It’s an extremely pleasant place to visit, even during hot summer days, as it is quite shady. Exploring the park takes between one and two hours, depending on pace.
Tickets to the park are €11 for adults and €8 for children between 4 and 13. Getting to the Parco dei Mostri by public transport from Rome isn’t easy. You will need to catch a train to Orte and from there a bus to Bomarzo, from where you can walk.
If you have a car, it will take you about 1 hour and 15 minutes to drive from Rome. You would then be able to explore other places nearby, such as next-door Soriano nel Cimino, home to the UNESCO protected Faggeta forest. There, you will also find the fantastic local restaurant Baita La Faggeta; and Vitorchiano, one of the best preserved medieval villages of Tuscia.
By Helen of Helen on her Holidays
Since Pompeii is near Naples, it might seem a bit too far for a family day trip from Rome. But, thanks to Italy’s fantastic high speed rail network, it’s well within reach. The fast train from Rome to Naples takes only an hour and 20 minutes; from Naples you can get to Pompeii in around half an hour by either local train or taxi.
If you’re visiting Rome for the historic sights, visiting Pompeii makes a fascinating day trip to explore another Roman city. When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79AD, Pompeii seemed to have been destroyed, but in fact it was preserved under millions of tonnes of volcanic rocks and ash.
Visiting Pompeii helps deepen your understanding of Roman life; walking through the streets is a little like going on a city break 2000 years back in time. You’ll see grand villas, regular houses, shops, takeaways and communal buildings, and really get a feel for what it was like to live as a Roman.
If you’re planning to go to Pompeii, you might like to stay overnight in nearby Sorrento. Sorrento makes a great base for trips to Pompeii, Herculaneum (another town destroyed by Vesuvius), hikes to see the still-smoking crater and day trips to the Amalfi Coast. The Hilton Sorrento Palace is a favorite hotel for families visiting the area.
With no shortage of exciting things to do, Positano on Italy’s Amalfi Coast is a great day trip from Rome for a family.
If you’re staying at the excellent Hotel Artemide, the quickest and most comfortable way to get there (under 3 hours) is by taking the hi-speed train to Naples or Sorrento. From there take a taxi or bus up and over to Positano. There is also bus service from Rome but that will take about an hour and a half longer.
With its incredibly scenic location, Positano is a major destination for Italians on holiday. Although it has its share of luxury, Positano also has many restaurants, shops, and activities which are moderately priced.
Take a boat tour to see the coast from the sea, or just relax at one of the great beaches. Spiaggia Grande beach can get crowded but you can escape with a short (and quaint) boat ride to Da Adolfo seafood restaurant on nearby Laurito Beach.
Or, just stroll the narrow streets up and down the hill to shop for handcrafted leather sandals. Amazing food and wine are easy to find and Buca di Bacco on the beach is a great place to dine and people watch. After lunch or dinner, be sure to try the local limoncello made from the succulent lemons of the Amalfi Coast.
Saturnia Hot Springs
By Martina of PlacesofJuma
The beautiful Saturnia Hot Springs is a fabulous destination for an unforgettable day trip from Rome, suitable for the whole family! This natural wonder is located in the north of the Italian capital, about 150 kilometers drive away and can be reached the easiest way by rental car.
Also for children, a special experience is bathing here in the natural hot springs of a river which is surrounded by intact nature. The snow-white, steaming sinter baths conjure up a backdrop like something out of a travel magazine and are truly unique in the region. What’s also really great is that you and your family can visit these hot springs completely free of charge, which saves a lot of money on an excursion.
A picture-perfect panorama awaits you when visiting this hot spring. Turquoise blue pools, steaming white sintered baths and an intact nature at the hot river enchant visitors from all over the world. It is recommended, however, to not visit during the weekends as that is when many locals meet to bathe together, and later picnic near the river.
The hot springs are really beautiful, however, as another plus, the water is also very healthy. Thanks to its high sulfur content, it works well against inflammatory diseases such as rheumatism and arthritis. But be careful. Children, as well as adults, should not spend more than 15 minutes per bath in the high mineral water!
By Caroline Muller of Veggie Wayfarer
Spoleto is one of those beautiful medieval villages in Umbria that grace the covers of many magazines and social media pages. It also happens to be an easy one hour and fifty minute drive from Rome and is reachable via train (direct train from Rome Tiburtina to Spoleto takes around one hour and twenty-two minutes), making it the perfect day trip from Rome for families!
Take the kids to see the ruins of the Roman Amphitheater and learn all about the long history of Spoleto. Next, start walking uphill. This is the case for many of the villages in Perugia as Spoleto was built on a hill. Be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes.
Once you get to the center of the city, take a meander around all the little medieval alleys (the perfect spot for a good game of hide and seek) and browse the souvenir shops for a little trinket to take home.
Walk (or take the elevator) up to the village cathedral for the best views over the city! Make you way back down, stopping at various lookout points to take in the characteristic terracotta tiled grooves sprawled out on the hill below you. Be sure to try the famous local dessert: Crescionda, a delicious spongy cake which is hard to find outside of Spoleto.
If you have some additional time, drive the kids to the Marmore Falls (or Cascata delle Marmore) for some extra fun! The Marmore Falls are the oldest man-made falls in the world, dating back to Roman times.
Tip: Be sure to check when the Marmore Falls are turned on and off though before visiting.
By Rachel of Children of Wanderlust
The town of Tivoli is located around 30km northeast of Rome. As such, it makes for an easy day trip from the capital. Having sprung to prominence during Roman times as a town famed for its beauty and clean water supply, many notable Roman figures from the time set up residences there, including, most famously, the emperor Hadrian at his Villa Adriana complex.
Villa Adriana can be visited and, along with the Villa d’Este, make up the town’s two UNESCO World Heritage sites. Both offer well preserved Roman remains and statues, as well as pretty gardens to explore with plenty of elaborate water features. The gardens make great spaces for children to explore.
If all that sightseeing gets too much for your little ones though, nearby to the Villa Adriana there is a children’s playground at the Parco Sogno di Malala, perfect for them to run off some steam.
When it is time to eat, don’t miss the excellent ice-creams at the nearby Gelataria Azzurra or, to sample some of the region’s finest seafood and local produce, head just out of town to the beautiful Osteria La Briciola restaurant. If staying overnight, nothing beats a luxury suite at the Residenze Gregoriane, complete with onsite indoor swimming pool and spa.
Tivoli is an easy drive from Rome of around 35 minutes. There are no convenient public transport options but, if lacking personal transport, there are several tour companies that run organised day trips out of the capital.
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