Rome: Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este Half-Day Tour
- Duration: 4 hours
Don't expect to see all of Rome in a day. All the same, whether you're on a cruise stop or just passing through on a tour of Italy, here's a varied sampling platter of Rome's highlights!
Sunny day? Be sure to meander around the Galleria Borghese's picturesque park and gardens. If you've got time, pop inside the gorgeous villa for a who's who of Renaissance art.
This world-renowned archeological site is the closest you'll come to a glimpse at city life in Ancient Rome. Even better, it's right by the Colosseum and Palatine Hill too!
A day tour won't allow enough time to savor life at all Rome's piazzas, but make the most of it by seeing this cultural emblem - celebrated in numerous films - at Trevi Square.
Seeing Michelangelo's Renaissance-defining ceiling might be a bit of stretch at peak season. Be sure to fit it in by pre-booking skip-the-line tickets to the Vatican museums!
If you're early enough, mingle with the locals at Campo de' Fiori, one of Rome's favorite markets. If the stalls are already packed up, fret not! Stick around to enjoy the vibrant café culture.
Civitavecchia is the main cruise port for excursions to Rome. The easiest way to reach the city center is by pre-booking a private or shared transfer, or by taking a taxi. However, there are also two or three trains per hour to Roma Termini (Rome's main station). It costs about €5 each way, but you could save money with the BIRG ticket (day pass), which will get you there and back, as well as covering buses, trams, and the metro for the entire day.
Since you're not there for long, you'll probably want to rely on taxis. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done in Rome, where hailing down a cab in the tourist-heavy areas is nearly impossible. Utilize the metro wherever possible, as buses and trams can also be slowed by traffic. There are two metro lines: Line A (orange) runs between the northwest and southeast, and Line B (blue) runs north to south, with a third line due to open in 2016.
Possibly the single most popular excursion from Rome, Pompeii is best known as the ruined city in the shadows of Mount Vesuvius. Travel back to the Roman Empire and stroll the storied streets lined with ancient bakeries, villas, and even brothels. To return to reality, step out of the historical sites into the modern streets of Pompeii, filled with shops and gelaterias.
Located in the Campania region of Italy, Pompeii is situated 240 kilometers (150 miles) south of Rome. By train, the trip takes about two hours, while by car it will take around two and a half hours.
Just outside of Rome lies the imperial playground of Tivoli. Home to emperors of the past, the ruins of Tivoli are truly awe-inspiring. The historic points of the town include several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Make sure to visit the Villa d’Este, with its stunning gardens, and the famed Hadrian’s Villa.
Only about 33 kilometers (20 miles) from Rome, getting to Tivoli is simple no matter how you choose to travel. By car or bus, the journey can take anywhere from a half-hour to an hour. By train, it’s just one hour direct from Roma Tiburtina station.
Naples is a great place to experience the illustrious art and culture of Italy. One of the largest cities in the country, it’s packed with amazing things to do and see. In one day, you can tour the UNESCO-designated historic city center, visit the Royal Palace, take in unbelievable views of the Bay of Naples, and much more. Of course, being the birthplace of the internationally-beloved pizza, nobody would blame you if you ditched your diet on your visit.
It should take about two to two and a half hours to drive the 225 kilometers (139 miles) to Naples from Rome. By train, it’s an easy 75-minute ride from Roma Termini station.
Get to know the striking hill town of Orvieto on a day trip from Rome. Guarded by its ancient walls, Orvieto is full of rich history, and breathtaking vistas around every corner. Don’t miss out on a chance to admire the intricately decorated cathedral, tour hidden underground tunnels, and stroll the winding cobblestone streets.
Just about 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Rome, the train ride to Orvieto is a painless two-hour ride. Driving, this inspiring day trip is just 90 minutes away.
For an escape from the city without traveling far and wide, a day trip from Rome to Castel Gandolfo is a perfect choice. Once the summer playground of popes and emperors, this picturesque lakeside gem still offers plenty to see and do. Visitors can check out the Papal Palace, linger over espresso in the Piazza della Liberta, and see the Bernini-designed Church of San Tommaso di Villanova.
In just 45 minutes, you can travel the 24 kilometers (15 miles) to Castel Gandolfo, whether going by car or by train.
With many high-speed trains running all over Italy, and Rome’s hub station of Termini, riding the rails is an excellent method to tackle any day trip. The train is frequently the quickest way to get to your destination for the day.
Most guided day tours will be conducted via the bus, and many even include pickup and dropoff at your hotel. Bus tours are a great way to have a fun, full, and convenient day trip without the worry of having to navigate and plan.
A car is one of the most convenient options for excursions out of town. They allow you the freedom to truly tailor your day trip to what interests you. Plus, a car allows you to take things at your own pace without worrying about meet-up times.
Taking a guided tour for your day trip from Rome is never a bad idea. Sit back and enjoy some of the most incredible sites on earth while avoiding all the hassles of planning. Guided tours also come with the added benefit of knowledgeable guides who can really elevate the experience above simply bringing along your guidebook.
What to bring with you on your day trip really depends on different factors. Time of year, and what you have planned will definitely affect what you should bring. The weather around Rome tends to stay pretty mild, but in the winter and spring, an extra layer and umbrella can’t hurt. Many tours will provide all you need, including entry tickets and meals, so all you need to bring is your sense of adventure.
Want to discover all there is to do in Rome? Click here for a full list.
This would have been excellent but we didn’t get the promised tour guide in Pompeii itself. We were given maps and tips on where to go then left to our own devices. Otherwise everything was perfect. Our host Allessandra was truly excellent. She was full of knowledge and so helpful in every way. She entertained us all the way there and back on the bus with information and myths and legends. She advised us on what to do, see and eat in Rome, Pompeii and Naples and even bought us all a present. The coach was comfortable and the journey was smooth with Vladimirio at the wheel. Altogether a fantastic day.
We had a fantastic day from start to finish. Joseph, our kind collected us bright and early from our hotel alongside driver Roberto. We were then taken to Pompeii for an amazing private tour with local guide Antonio. All three were nothing but amazing, knowledge, and laughs from Joseph and Antonio and super safe driving from Roberto. Our stop in Positano was one I'll will remember dearly, this has to be one of the most beautiful areas in the world. Thank you all
Amazing trip! We even got to take a ferry ride (additional 9 EUR) from Positano to Amalfi which was amazing. Pompeii tour was unforgettable definitely worth the effort if possible. Christina our Tour guide was knowledgable and lovely definitely would like to do more tours with her again!
A great trip. Well worth the early start and great value for money. Our guide and driver were both excellent. A different guide took us through Pompeii and showed us a lot of things we would otherwise have missed. The Amalfi coast is stunning.
Amazing experience a must see. The tour guide was so knowledgeable I would recommend a tour guide as Pompeii is massive and we would have struggled to appreciate the place without the guide telling us useful things about the city.