4 Places to Visit near Rome

The perfect location of the Eternal City allows you to complete your trip with a visit to its surroundings, full of nature, history and architecture.

Alex Grande

Alex Grande

8 min read

4 Places to Visit near Rome

Oval Fountain in Villa de L'Este, Tivoli | ©Astelus

Medieval cities, ruins, imperial villas, vineyards, the Tuscan landscape...beyond the outer walls of Rome, there are countless places to see, touch and feel Ancient History.

Read on and I'll tell you which excursions near Rome are worth doing!

1. Discover Assisi and Orvieto

Views of Orvieto from the belvedere| ©Christos Constantinou
Views of Orvieto from the belvedere| ©Christos Constantinou

Booking an excursion to Assisi and Orvieto is the ideal complement to a trip to Rome: you can enjoy a simpler and quieter atmosphere than that of the City of Seven Hills, you will travel to the region of Umbria and get to know Orvieto and its incredible cathedral whose facade resembles a pictorial triptych, showing scenes from the New Testament in mosaic.

At the end of the visit of Orvieto you will head to Lake Trasimeno, a beautiful expanse surrounded by villages and inhabited by cormorants and fishermen, where you will stop for lunch. And to end the day you will go to Assisi, where you will visit key places of the historical figures of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare. You will visit convents, basilicas and palaces, as well as an ancient Roman temple. Upon returning to Rome, the tour will end with a short tour of the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs, next to Piazza della Repubblica.

In my opinion, this tour is totally worth it, as it includes round-trip transportation, a professional guide who will explain all the details about the visits and lunch at the lake.

Recommended if

If you have a day to spare on your trip to Rome and want to explore the history of St. Francis of Assisi.

Book an excursion to Assisi and Orvieto

2. Get to know Ostia Antica

The Theater of Ostia Antica| ©Wikimedia
The Theater of Ostia Antica| ©Wikimedia

Ostia Antica is the name given to the archaeological site of what was once an important port near Rome. These ruins are an open window to the ancient world, and you can walk through a perfectly preserved open-air theater, a commercial square with mosaics of the different guilds of the settlement, the forum, the temple and a number of warehouses, as it was a site dedicated to the exchange of goods.

If you book an excursion to Ostia Antica you will have at your service a professional guide who will know the ruins like the back of his hand and will know how to set the scene for you to imagine yourself in the days of splendor of the Roman Empire.

The experience includes the narration of the guide and transportation to and from the site.

Recommended if

If you have been left wanting to explore ancient ruins after a visit to Pompeii (or want to take a shorter tour than Pompeii).

Book an excursion to Ostia Antica

3. Go to Villa Adriana and Villa d'Este

Villa d'Este| ©Wikimedia
Villa d'Este| ©Wikimedia

Booking an excursion to Villa d'Este and Hadrian's Villa is one of the best experiences you can include in your trip to Rome.

  • Villa Adriana, as its name suggests, was the place of residence of Emperor Hadrian, the place from which he ruled the vastness of the Roman Empire. It is a unique place, built in an environment of pools and natural aqueducts on which gardens were cultivated for the emperor's rest. The more than 30 buildings of Hadrian's Villa are ruins today, including residences, dining rooms, a theater, baths and buildings inspired by various corners of the world. With the narration of a guide it is not difficult to imagine yourself in the times of the Empire.
  • Villa d'Este offers a diametrically opposite visit, being a luxurious 16th century villa with spectacular gardens and an infinity of fountains and statues, with such exquisiteness that during my visit I felt as if I were inside a theatrical stage.

Included in this tour is round-trip air-conditioned coach travel from Rome, as well as full narration by a professional guide.

Recommended if

If you feel like combining two visits of architectural and historical interest and prefer not to take an excursion to another city outside of Rome.

Book an excursion to Villa d'Este and Villa Adriana

4. Enter the Catacombs of Rome

Catacombs of Rome| ©Riccardo Cuppini
Catacombs of Rome| ©Riccardo Cuppini

If you book a visit to the Catacombs of St. Callixtus you will see the most important for the first Christian cult in history and burial place of some of the most famous martyrs of Rome and the first sixteen Popes.

Because of this, you will find an immense amount of early Christian symbolism and art, such as the Chrismon, the monogram of Christ, the Alpha and Omega, and the icthus, all elements that were part of the secret code of this early persecuted cult.

One of the main attractions of these catacombs are the Papal Tombs, as well as the numerous tombs and beautifully preserved pieces of art, which constitute the most important sample of Christian art in the world.

Recommended if

If you are particularly interested in Christian history or want to literally visit Rome from top to bottom.

Book a visit to the Catacombs

5. Don't miss Castel Gandolfo

Castel Gandolfo is the summer residence of the Pope, located 25 kilometers from Rome,

Opened to the public in 2014, this place has the beautiful Barberini gardens, Lake Albano and the Apostolic Papal Palace, which hides with a collection of works and objects of great value.

You canbook an excursion to the papal villas of Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's summer residence, which includes a round-trip transfer, so you don't have to worry about how to get there.

Recommended if

Visiting the Vatican.

Book an excursion to Castel Gandolfo

6. Find your inspiration at the Villa Gregoriana at Tivoli

If you book a ticket for the Villa Gregoriana in Tivoli you will have the opportunity to enter this park located just half an hour from Rome, a place described by many as a real "fairy tale" with its Cascata Grande, which has been the source of inspiration for many artists and writers.

You can lose yourself in the trails, natural caves, ruins and forests, and you will see the second highest waterfall in Italy. Commissioned by Pope Gregory XVI in the early nineteenth century, this park is a haven of peace just a few kilometers from the Italian capital.

Recommended if

You are passionate about getting into nature.

Book your tickets for the Villa Gregoriana at Tivoli

7. Tour the vineyards of the city of Frascati

Book your excursion to Frascati and get to know this wine city with an expert guide. You will delight yourself with Italian wines and taste an exquisite and typical lunch that will include local products such as breads with olive oil, biscotti or porchetta.

You will also have free time to look for little treasures in the stores of the town.

The trip starts at the central train station in Rome and you will have the opportunity to tour the vineyards of the region.

Recommended if

You are a lover of wine and beautiful scenery.

Book your excursion to Frascati

What you should know before booking an excursion around Rome

The Duomo of Orvieto| ©Wikimedia
The Duomo of Orvieto| ©Wikimedia
  • When you make your reservation, you will receive a confirmation email to your email address. No need to print the confirmation, just meet your guide at the meeting point and show him/her the voucher included in the email from your cell phone.
  • Some of the tours are conducted in English. Keep this in mind before booking and check it on the experience page to avoid a surprise.
  • To receive a refund, in case you cannot make the excursion or for any other reason, you must cancel at least 24 hours in advance.

Book a tour from Rome

Tips for excursions around Rome

Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi| ©Wikimedia
Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi| ©Wikimedia
  • There is one thing you can't forget to wear: comfortable shoes. Whichever excursion you choose, at the end of the day you will be thankful you brought sneakers.
  • Except for the excursion to Assisi and Orvieto, lunch is not included in the experiences mentioned above. Therefore, since you won't have much freedom in choosing a place to eat, it may be a good idea to carry food in your backpack from Rome.
  • Especially in the case of the Villa Adriana and Villa d'Este from Rome, it is important to take an organized tour. They are such huge places that on a self-guided tour it is easy to miss the highlights, and to wait in endless queues that you won't have to do with a guide.
  • When visiting the Catacombs, keep in mind that you will need to cover your knees and shoulders, as in any other Catholic place of worship. Normally jeans and a sweater are sufficient for the cold of Rome in the winter months, but in summer the last thing you want to wear is long pants. Try to pack something covering but light in your suitcase if you are traveling during the summer season, you will need it to visit the many Catholic sites in the city.
  • Something they don't tell you when preparing these excursions is that, especially in the case of Ostia Antica and the Villa Adriana and Villa d'Este, they are not very adapted for people with special mobility needs. The ruins are full of stones and mounds that can make access difficult, so keep this in mind before deciding on an experience.

Book an excursion from Rome

Other tours you may be interested in

Rome is an exciting city that you will never get to know completely, but the endless possibilities it offers when it comes to making an excursion is, without a doubt, something to take into account in your trip. You can read more about the other excursions we recommend in this link: The 9 best excursions from Rome.

If reading about Ostia Antica has made you want to visit Pompeii and see with your own eyes the ruins that remained after the eruption of Vesuvius, you can read more about how to make an excursion to Pompeii from Rome here: Pompeii Day Trips from Rome.

In addition, it is also possible to visit the famous cities of Florence, Naples and Pisa from Rome on a day trip. In these experiences, you can see Michelangelo's David, discover the wonderful Florence Cathedral and its architectural genius, or taste the authentic Italian pizza. Here are two articles where you can read all the details about these experiences: Florence Day Trips from Rome y Naples day trips from Rome.

Book an excursion from Rome

Compare the various options

  • Assisi and Orvieto Day Trip with Lunch from Rome
  • From $157
  • 12 hours and a half
  • Excursion to Assisi and Orvieto from Rome with lunch included
  • With guide
  • Book now
  • Ostia Antica Day Trip from Rome
  • From $63
  • 4 hours
  • Excursion to Ostia Antica from Rome
  • With guide
  • Book now
  • Tour to Tivoli: Villa d'Este and Hadrian's Villa
  • From $148
  • 5 hours

Excursion to Tivoli: Villa del Este and Villa Adriana

  • Rome Catacombs of Callixtus Guided Tour
  • From $16
  • 1 hour
  • Guided tour of the Catacombs of St. Callixtus in Rome
  • With guide
  • Book now
  • Pope’s Summer Residence Guided Tour with Lunch
  • From $65
  • Free time
  • Excursion to the pontifical villas of Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's summer residence
  • Without guide
  • Book now
  • Rome Tivoli Villa Gregoriana Tickets
  • From $11
  • Free time
  • Tickets for the Villa Gregoriana in Tivoli Rome
  • Without guide
  • Book now
  • Frascati Day Trip from Rome with Wine Tasting and Lunch
  • From $103
  • 5 hours and a half
  • Excursion to Frascati from Rome with wine tasting and lunch included
  • With guide
  • Book now