Rome Day Trips

Rome Day Trips - Rome, Italy

The Eternal City is so chock-full of treasures that you may not want to leave it at all. But if you should want to escape from the tourist multitudes, we've got some great (even surprising) day trip ideas for you: the nearby wine town of Frascati, the beachside ruins of Ostia Antica and the stunning Lago di Bracciano.

Tiered Wine Town: Frascati

Highlights: distinctive local wine; hillside strolls; gorgeous vistas

Duration: four to eight hours

Exertion level: low to moderate

Accessible by: train

Frascati is a gorgeous wine town located just a half hour from Rome. It's terraced in that classically picturesque way that captivates the hearts of Italophiles. Frascati is anchored by its lively central square, Piazzale Marconi.

There's a park on top of the mountain with beautiful views of other hillside towns of the Castelli Romani Hills. Several villas strewn about the surrounding hills can be toured. Perhaps the most extraordinary of these, Villa Aldobrandini, is unfortunately not open for tours, although its lush gardens can be visited with a permit.

Then there's the wine itself, a lovely and distinctive white wine. It's best sipped at a local winery while viewing the lush countryside.

For more information, check out the official Frascati municipal site (in Italian).

The train journey between Roma Termini and Frascati takes about a half hour, and a round-trip journey costs just €3.80. Trains leave every hour from Roma Termini morning through evening. For more information about tickets, visit the official Trenitalia Web site.

Beachside Ruins: Ostia Antica

Highlights: Roman ruins; historical spot; nearby beach stop

Duration: four to eight hours

Exertion level: moderate

Accessible by: commuter train

Ostia Antica has some of the best preserved, and most extensive, ruins in Italy. The ruins are quite well organized as well, making visits very easy. The ruins contain all sorts of evidence of ancient public life and entrance to the ruins costs €6.50. Be sure to check out Ostia Antica's fantastic museum, which houses some smaller items taken from the ruins. For more information, visit (in Italian).

What makes Ostia Antica especially interesting to many visitors is that it showcases an ancient port city. The ruins of the more rarefied, wealthy town of Pompeii offer less of a sense of grubby, daily life as it was widely experienced in ancient times.

And if you tire of ruins, Lido di Ostia, a very popular coastal strand, provides a good (if often very crowded) beach environment.

Check out this fabulous Ostia Antica site, maintained by the Internet Group Ostia, a group of Ostia enthusiasts.

To get to Ostia Antica, take the Ostia Lido train from the Rome train station Porta San Paolo. The journey takes about a half hour and is within Rome's metropolitan public transportation network.

Lazio Lakeside Idyll: Lago di Bracciano

Highlights: peaceful mood; lake fun; cute town

Duration: six to eight hours

Exertion level: low to moderate

Accessible by: bus

Lago di Bracciano is the highlight of the small lake district perched above Rome. A restful, expansive lake less than an hour by bus from the hubbub of Rome, Lago di Bracciano is a favorite getaway spot for Romans. Locals come here to relax, to swim and to enjoy the slightly cooler weather.

Two towns on the shores of Lago di Bracciano are of note: Bracciano and Trevignano Romano.

Both are charming, although Bracciano takes in more tourists.

For those who find the prospect of swimming and resting to be other than appealing, Bracciano also boasts a late 15th-century castle, the Castello Orsini-Odescalchi. The castle is truly awesome, a massive fortress of a place. Admission is €7.

Once you're done swimming and exploring the castle, you can take advantage of Lago di Bracciano's very good restaurants. The lake restaurants are renowned for their fantastic fare.

Visit the Lago di Braccioni tourist site for more information.

The best way to get to Lago di Bracciano is to take a Cotral bus. The bus costs €4 for a roundtrip journey. The trip takes about 45 minutes.

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