Rome is one of Europe’s top tourist destinations of course but it isn’t just the city itself that has a lot to see and do. Many people go little further than the historic heart of the city but there are plenty of easy day trips that can be taken nearby.
If you want to see more of Italy it is worth getting away from Rome and the tourists; at Lake Bracciano especially you will find a slice of Traditional Italy.
At the same time there are some other tourist spots close to Rome that if you want we recommend you visit as well including Ancient Roman sites that compliment the sites in Rome itself.
Day Trips from Rome
Where Ancient Romans and later Medieval Roman Merchants built their luxury villas Tivoli is a must visit if you have an interest in either period of history or just want to walk and relax in the beautiful gardens. The two main villas to visit are the Villad’Este and the remains of Hadrian’s Villa.
Hadrian’s Villa is vast complex and was the largest ever built by the Ro,an Empire, not to mention the most expensive. Though the villa fell into disrepair following the decline of the Roman empire there is still a lot to see and the ruins still show clearly what used to be here and the maritime theatre is a particular highlight with the basin still filled with water.
The Villa d’Este built for Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este actually contains many of the marbles from Hadrian’s villa taken to display at the 16th century villa built to replicate traditional ancient roman villa design yet with Italian Renaissance Architecture and a large Renaissance style garden with the extensive fountains and water features you would expect.
The next major city to the south of Rome Naples, or Napoli in Italian, is Italy’s third city and has a history longer than that or Rome having originally been an Ancient Greek city. Naples was an important Roman city as well and it mustn’t be forgotten that for around 4 and a half centuries Naples was the capital of the independent kingdom of Naples
Naples’ historic city centre is in fact more extensive than Rome’s or Milan’s, much of the architecture here is Medieval and Renaissance with a large number of open piazzas. Napoli’s historic buildings do suffer from damage, much of it from bombing during the second world war, and graffiti but Naples is still a city best discovered simply by walking it s streets.
Pompeii and Vesuvius
Close to Naples and within the Metropolitan area you could visit Pompeii and Vesuvius on the same day as Napoli but to do each justice these are two days trips.
There is nowhere like Pompeii in the world, the tragic history adds an extra dimension to what is a fascinating site. You get a much better idea of what a Roman city would have been like than you could anywhere else with modern development surrounding individual sites. You really get an idea of the lives people in ancient Pompeii would have enjoyed and the important buildings in their lives including the granary, amphitheatre, temple and forum.
Mount Vesuvius stands dominating the sky line from Pompeii and across the entire Bay of Naples. A climb up Vesuvius will not only give you a good view of the bay but allow you to see the scarred volcanic landscape and live crater with smoke and fumes still rising from it.
A popular seaside resort across from Rome on the north coast Pescara is a small city with Tourism and fishing its main industries. Pescara is in fact a party town and it may be that rather than a day trip you want to come here for a night out instead to enjoy the bars and clubs.
The city won’t take long to explore, though it is charming, but the wide sandy beaches may be where you will choose to spend most of the day.
Lago di Bracciano and Italian Air Force Museum
The Lake of Bracciano isn’t far from Rome and is a popular destination for those Roman’s looking to get out of the city and a good alternative to the beach. One of Italy’s biggest lakes Bracciano is popular for swimming, sailing, waterskiing and other watersports.
The town of Bracciano has a medieval castle that is worth visiting and the volcanic lake is surrounded by vineyards with several that are open for tours and tastings.
Though it may at first seem a strange place to have it the Italian Air Force Museum is by the lake too, the lake was a major seaplane base in the past. The museum has a good collection of propeller and jet driven aircraft including seaplanes, most are ex Italian Air Force planes but you will find a few international planes such as a P51 Mustang.
Though it may seem hard to drag yourself away from Rome with so much to see there is a lot to experience around Rome and central Italy. A day in the countryside or at the beach especially may actually refresh you to head back into the tourist filled streets of Rome itself.