"Rome wasn't built in a day", they say, and neither should a visitor try to see its wealth of sights in a twenty-four period. But take a tip from us – it's well worth extending your trip to allow time for at least one of our selection of day trips from the Italian capital – all easily achievable on the train.
- Santa Marinella
1. Santa Marinella
Quickest train journey: 54m (from Roma Termini)
If your trip to Rome has left you with the desire to cleanse yourself of all that city dirt and grime with a dunk in the Med, then make a beeline for the attractive beach resort of Santa Marinella. Within an hour of leaving central Rome on a Trenitalia fast-regional train, you can be wiggling your toes in the water before finding a table at one of the town's many excellent seafood restaurants. Go during the week to avoid the crowds.
Quickest train journey: 48m (from Roma Termini)
You'll have heard of Hadrian's Wall, but how about visiting his villa? Much of the emperor's villa at Tibur, now known as Tivoli, still remains, with plenty of columns, marble pavements and ancient statues to explore. Some of the marble was plundered to construct the nearby Villa d'Este in the sixteenth century. Simply take a regional train operated by Trenitalia and you'll be in beautiful Tivoli in less than an hour.
Quickest train journey: 1h 03m (from Roma Tiburtina)
Perched on top of the plug of an extinct volcano and surrounded by a classic Umbrian countryside of grape vines, olive groves and cypress trees, getting to Orvieto involves taking a funicular up from the train station. Highlights of this exquisitely beautiful town include the cathedral whose frescoes are said to have inspired Michelangelo and a maze of tunnels and caverns carved out of the hillside three millennia ago by the Etruscans. From Roma Tiburtina train station, hop on one of Trenitalia's fast-regional trains bound for Orvieto and you'll be enjoying this fascinating city in about an hour.
Quickest train journey: 1h 32m (from Roma Termini)
Florence, known as Firenze in Italy, acts like a magnet to tourists drawn by its elegant Medieval and Renaissance-era buildings and its world-renowned works of art. Once you’ve had your fill of such treasures, do as the Florentines do and take an evening stroll by the River Arno or along the city’s many cobbled lanes while enjoying a cone of delicious gelato. Take a Frecciarossa high-speed train and you'll be in the capital of Italian Renaissance in about an hour and a half. Travelling with Frecciarossa, you can add extra comfort to your train journey, plus there are so many high-quality services you wouldn't want to miss – from large leather armchairs and power sockets at every seat to free WiFi and a gourmet at-seat meal service showcasing traditional Italian meals, you'll sure have an unforgettable journey.
Quickest train journey: 1h 58m (from Roma Termini)
Assisi is best known as the birthplace of St Francis, who founded a monastery here back in 1208. Hit by two devastating earthquakes in 1997, good progress is being made with reconstruction and renovations. Time your visit to coincide with the Festival Calendimaggio at the beginning of May, a celebration of Medieval life within the town featuring processions, theatre and dancing. From Roma Termini, take one of Trenitalia's fast-regional trains and you'll be enjoying the magical atmosphere of Assisi in under two hours.
Quickest train journey: 2h 53m (from Roma Termini)
Tourists flock to Pisa for one thing – the Leaning Tower. Situated in the broad Piazza dei Miracoli, this troublesome architectural disaster has become the symbol of a once important maritime city. From Roma Termini train station, take a Frecciabianca direct train and you'll be in Pisa Centrale in under three hours. Once you’ve had your fun taking those prop-up shots, linger a while to sample the vibrant cafe culture of this attractive university town.
Quickest train journey: 2h 12m
For sure, this is a long way to go for a day trip, but catch a fast Frecciarossa train to Naples to connect with the Circumvesuviana local train and this is a doable day trip. Pompeii, a thriving village until the volcano Vesuvius had other ideas in AD 79, has been painstakingly excavated to provide a fascinating glimpse into Roman life. You can only imagine the shock and the terror as the pyroclastic flows crashed into the streets and homes, the unfortunate residents didn’t stand a chance. Want to plan your day trip from the Eternal City to Pompeii? Check out Our complete guide to the best day trip from Rome to Pompeii and get inspired.