Rome is full of spectacular sights with plenty of things for visitors to see and do. However, there are also some wonderful places nearby Rome to explore if you do have a few extra days.
In saying that, as there are so many cities near the eternal city sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. So we have put together a list of four or our favorites that you can reach within an hour or two max.
Civita di Bagnoregio
Civita di Bagnoregio
The first on our list would be one of Italy’s top hidden secrets and one of my personal favorite places to visit, ‘Civita di Bagnoregio’ otherwise known as the ‘Dying City’. You will need a car to get there, however, a rental car starts from around 24 euro a day from Termini Central Station.
The “Dying City’ was founded more than 2,500 years ago and was also the birthplace of ‘Saint Bonaventure”. Although his house has long since fallen off the edge of the Cliff, you can rest assured that this tiny city is safe to visit.
You will not find any cars in this town, so once you park, you will need to walk. The view on approach to the city before walking the bridge is nothing less than spectacular. Event after entering through the city gates, you will be sure to find some fantastic restaurants serving delicious local cuisine.
Next on our list would be Castel Gandolfo. This little town is only 25 kilometers southeast of Rome and overlooks Lake Albano, an extinct volcano crater. You can get to Castel Gandolfo by train or car. In the town, you will find the summer residence of the Pope, which is The Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo, and thanks to Pope Francis, he has now opened the doors of this Palace allowing tourists to get a glimpse inside the Palace walls for the very first time. If you plan on spending the whole day there, I also highly recommend visiting the famous restaurant “Pagnanelli” which has the most beautiful view of the lake from the terrace.
Another hidden gem located only a couple of hours north-west from Rome in Tuscany is Saturnia. This tiny Tuscan village is a little hotspot for Romans who like to get away, but it’s more than just that, as situated just outside the town in the Maremma are the natural hot springs and waterfalls. These falls known as ‘The Cascate del Mulino” have been used for centuries by locals and Romans for the many health benefits the water is said to provide. The water sits around 37 degrees Celsius all year round, which makes it worth a visit even in the cooler months. It’s free of charge to visit and I would even recommend booking a night nearby in one of the many country farmhouses.
Last but not least on our list is Sperlonga. This quaint coastal town which is situated halfway between Rome and Naples is accessible by train or car. It’s a fantastic day trip and you’ll be able to dine on some of Italy’s freshest seafood. Be sure to explore the old town where the houses are carved into the stone are painted white with blue doors.
Nearby you will also find the town’s major cultural attraction, which is a museum built on the grounds of the former ‘Villa of Tiberius”. The ancient villa also included a grotto full of famous sculptures. Some of these are now housed in the museum and you are still able to access the grotto.
What a Life Tours have provided extraordinary guided tours of Rome since 2009. They are the number 1 rated Vatican tours agency on Trip Advisor since 2011 and were recently awarded ‘Historical Tour of the Year 2016’ by the prestigious travel journal Luxury Travel Guide for their Colosseum Private tour. Find out more about their award-winning Rome tours.