Italy is not just about history and art; it is also about food, wine and friendly people, who love to share their local culture with guests. Rome is a tourism hub and a must see destination but it is also a great base for seeing a lot more beautiful places that have not felt the impact of mass tourism. We would like to share are few “real Italy” destinations with you that are within day trip reach of Rome either by train or car.
A good start is the beautiful Umbrian town of Orvieto, which can be reached by a direct and inexpensive train from Termini Station. The town’s most famed attractions are the frescos by Luca Signorelli that inspired Michelangelo to create the Last Judgment for the Sistine Chapel. However what most people go to Orvieto for is vino - wine. Both in Orvieto and in its surrounding borghi there are numerous opportunities for wine and olive oil tasting overlooking the fantastic Umbrian countryside. The most prestigious cantine are Castello di Antinori and Decugnano dei Barbi; both are 6 miles out of town. Still you don’t need to leave the walls of Orvieto to sample the nectar of the gods or have a magnificent lunch. Why not try La Grotta, near the duomo, which has a top rating from Rick Steve.
To make the most of an Orvieto day trip - leave your Rome hotel at 7:45. The train departs from Termini Station at 8:32 and you’ll be in Umbria for 9:40. Your ride back into Rome is on the 3:24 train with arrival back in Rome Termini at for 16:47 pm. The next regional train leaves at 5:24, if you need more time to sleep of your lunch in the park or visit fascinating “Orvieto Underground”. A return ticket costs 16 Euro and you should buy your 2 x 110 km regional train tickets at any of the numerous tobacconists inside Termini Station.
Here are some other locations that you should consider for a day trip out of Rome.
Best done by car
Castelli Romani, 20 miles south – volcanic Lakes, traditional markets and food and wine.
Cerveteri, 35 miles north on the coast - Etruscan tombs, food and wine.
Monte Casino – 100 miles south - World War Memorials and the Benedictine Abbey.
Best done by train
Ostia Antica, 15 miles south - the ancient port of Rome, which is good for archaeology and a picnic
Naples (Pompeii) - a unique archaeological site and a colourful city.
Florence – Go and say hi to David on one of Italy’s ultra modern high speed frecce trains.
On Rome Explorer we will be writing you a feature on all the above plus a few more hidden gems so stay tuned! We recommend you always use a tour guide to get the most out of your day trip.
Written by: Stephen Wheeler – Tourism Interpreter.