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Easy Day Trips/Overnights from Rome by train

Philadelphia...
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Easy Day Trips/Overnights from Rome by train

Okay, here's a question for my fellow travelers. If you want to take a day or overnight trip from Rome and only want to travel by train, what are your best options? For the sake of limiting this question let's say it has to be within 1.5 hours train ride from Rome.

I'm especially interested in lesser known places that will still have some appeal to a tourist, that is... views, dining, history, architecture, art, festivals, markets, local craft, etc.

For the sake of making this a good resource to all travelers let's include a short description of the town and how to get there with each suggestion. (for instance... don't just post "Ostia Antica", give us some details and maybe a link to pictures)

I'll start by posting a link to my trip report of Orvieto... a VERY well-known hill town in Umbria that is very charming. It's easily reached in about an hour by train from Termini on the main rail between Rome and Florence.

roninrome.com/2009/…

The more obscure the better!!

Toronto
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1. Re: Easy Day Trips/Overnights from Rome by train

Thanks for starting this post and I will follow it closely. I think I have decided on day trips to Ostia Antica and Orvieto in October. Had seen your posting already which was very informative on Orvieto. Although may be swayed by others info too....

Rome, Italy
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2. Re: Easy Day Trips/Overnights from Rome by train

Are you throwing down the gauntlet, Mike? :)

Challange accepted!

I would start with something 'casereccio'(=home made, as the bread): instead of many other possible 'exotic' destinations' I would opt for something in the Rome sourroundings: SUBIACO, the cute little village not far from Tivoli that in the 5th century was chosen by saint Benedict as a perfect location for his monks community. This was the begininning of the great institution of western monasticism.

Surf a little this web site that is a mine for all the info you could need: tibursuperbum.it/eng/…index.htm

Don't miss the Festa dell'Inchinata on August 14th-15th (for any further info check the web site above at 'Events' section).

Ciao Daniela

PS More are coming...let me squeeze my mind! :)

Rome
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3. Re: Easy Day Trips/Overnights from Rome by train

Ok, so aside from the obvious like Ostia Antica and Tivoli, which are truly beautiful, easy to get to, and worth it, I pick Monterotondo. It's about 25 km outside Rome and from the Tiburtina station can be reached easily within 20 minutes on a local train. Once there, you take the bus outside "up" (for all I know, that's the only direction they go) and you'll reach the historic center in less than 15 minutes. The surrounding countryside is lovely, the trip up the "mountain" (very large hill) is visually amazing, and the historic center, though small and easily walkable in under an hour is very charming and offers you a side of Italian history not often captured in the grandeur of Rome. It's still very much an authentic small Italian town and so it's a nice change of pace, and the town hall is actually an old castle, where they're happy to give you tours on the right mornings. All this, and fantastic views and food, plus a Friday morning mercato and generally cheap shopping all around. If staying for dinner, enjoy Trattoria Leone!

Philadelphia...
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4. Re: Easy Day Trips/Overnights from Rome by train

It's a very soft gauntlet Daniela and truth be told I am hoping to get some ideas for a return trip to Rome in 2010... so don't hold back!

Here's another EASY one and well known...

Ostia Antica - The ancient seaport to Rome that silted up, was abandoned and has left a wonderful site for us to visit. They have a museum on site, a cafeteria and restrooms.

There is a lot of information on their website:

http://www.ostia-antica.org/

Here's how to get to Ostia Antica (paraphrased from the website)... Take the metro to Piramide station, get off the regular metro at Piramide, go up the escalator, turn immediately left and down the steps into the Roma-Lido station. A normal metro ticket will suffice for the entire journey. Get out at the stop Ostia Antica. Next cross the highway using the pedestrian bridge... keep walking straight ahead, cross a busy road and (after ~ 100 meters) turn left to get to the entrance (~ two minutes).

Philadelphia...
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5. Re: Easy Day Trips/Overnights from Rome by train

meravigliosa, that's just what I had in mind... you and Rome_70 have got this off to a good start. Do you have any links to pictures? Everyone loves a photograph! :-)

Le Marche, Italy
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6. Re: Easy Day Trips/Overnights from Rome by train

I would suggest Assisi, although it's a little over 1.5 hours. (The fastest connection is 1 hr 40 minutes.) It's a beautiful Umbrian hill town, and has some of the world's most beautiful frescoes in the Basilica of San Francesco. It also has many places associated with the life of St. Francis.

Both Cerveteri and Tarquinia are within an hour and a half of Rome by train, although you would have to take a bus into town from the train station. Both are sites of important Etruscan necropoli. Tarquinia is a very attractive town, and has a really great museum of the Etruscan civilization. On an overnight trip you could probably see both.

Bracciano, on the large lake of the same name, is a castle town just a little over an hour from Rome by either bus or train. There are other little towns on the lake shore, and lots of restaurants.

I'm beginning to feel a bit constricted by the 1.5 hours, so I'm going to range a bit further afield.

Viterbo is a little less than two hours from Rome by train. It has a well-preserved medieval center and a very beautiful papal palace, from which there is a great view.

Arezzo is about two hours from Rome by train. It's a beautiful small city in a part of Tuscany that many tourists never get to. In the church of Sam Francesco, you can see the fresco cycle, The Legend of the True Cross, by Piero della Francesca. On the weekend that includes the first Sunday of every month, there is an antiques fair in Arezzo that is very interesting.

You can even get to some worthwhile destinations in Le Marche in two hours, and the train trip through the mountains is very scenic. Fabriano would be an interesting destination. In the middle ages, this was an important paper-making center, one of the earliest in Europe. (Fabriano art paper is still sold all over the world, but it's now made in nearby Pioraco.) The old paper mill is now a museum, with working machinery, and they will demonstrate the making of paper on their fascinating tour, available in English. There is also an exhibit of artistic watermarks, something you have to see to believe. There is only one family left who carries on this work, and the artists learned the craft beginning as small children. Fabriano has a well-preserved medieval center, and good restaurants.

http://www.museodellacarta.com/default.asp

If you stay overnight, you can probably also squeeze in a visit to the Frasassi caverns, a short distance by train (Genga stop) from Fabriano. The entrance to the cavern system is in a beautiful gorge, and there are guided visits in English of the cavern, one of the largest in Europe. You should take the time to walk into the little village of San Vittore Terme, about 15 minutes from the train station, where there is a very beautiful Romanesque church, which now houses a geological museum. (Your ticket to the caves allows you entrance also to the museum.) There are also the remains of a Roman bridge in the town.

http://www.frasassi.com/tour.php?g=2

Does this have to be a train trip? If so, I don't think you can reach Subiaco by train, although it is indeed a beautiful little town. You can get there by bus from Rome.

If buses are allowed, another very interesting trip, but I think this would have to be an overnight, is Sulmona, in Abruzzo, which can be reached in two hours. It's a lovely town in a very beautiful and undiscovered part of Italy. Some of the buses go on to Scanno, which is a much smaller town, where some women still wear the traditional costume, and there is a long tradition of lacemaking. Scanno would be three hours from Rome, though.

Kansas City...
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7. Re: Easy Day Trips/Overnights from Rome by train

Frascati is a cheap, quick 30 minute train ride from Rome. It was great for a change of pace for a weekend afternoon, a bit slower paced, beautiful views over the countryside. I sampled the Frascati wine, and had a lovely lunch featuring the local specialty of porchetta. Maybe it doesn't have the wow factor of say, Orvieto or Tivoli, so most people would probably want to leave this to a long stay in Rome or a second (or 3rd, etc) trip.

Hagerstown, Maryland
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8. Re: Easy Day Trips/Overnights from Rome by train

Some great ideas here! I'm saving these for future reference.

I'm glad no one has yet mentioned Zagarolo. You get to it after about a 30 minute train ride, and a 20 minute walk into town (there is also a bus that goes back and forth, on weekdays at least). Here's what I said about it in a trip report several months ago...

"This town is about 20 miles from Rome's city center. It is a quiet, picturesque little town that Italians do not want us to know about. It's pretty easy to get to, but I've never seen it promoted as a day trip possibility in the guidebooks, and it's virtually never mentioned here except in connection with a certain highly-regarded B&B (Il Colle degli Ulivi). I decided to visit it because a few photos I'd seen on the internet made it look so intriguing. The skyline is dominated by a huge, rather odd, octogon-shaped tower, that of the Church of St. Annunziata, which dates from the 1500s. I spent between 3 and 4 hours there one day, walking from one end to the other through the town's one main street, occasionally veering off to explore narrow alleyways. There was some gorgeous choir singing coming out of a church when I walked by, so I naturally stopped in to get a closer listen. I understand that ruins of an ancient Roman gladiator school are here, but I didn’t see them (and completely forgot to look for them). I stepped into a café expecting to get a panino for lunch, but they only had sweets. I didn’t want to turn around and leave, so I had two cream-filled pastries for lunch that day. The town is as charming as can be, and I think I was the only visitor there that day. Highly recommended."

A couple of photos from that day:

flickr.com/photos/…

flickr.com/photos/…

Another place I want to get to some day is Viterbo. It's about 60 miles north of Rome (the train goes there). According to Wikipedia: "The historic center of the city is surrounded by medieval walls, still intact, built during the 11th and 12th centuries. Entrance to the walled center of the city is through ancient gates." Sounds good to me!!

A couple of photos (not take by me obviously):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/23740556@N06/3149471985/

flickr.com/photos/…

And near Viterbo, there is a town called Sutri, with what appear to be some amazing Etruscan and Roman ruins. Read about it here....

www.initaly.com/regions/classic/michael.htm

A nice photo someone shot of Sutri:

www.flickr.com/photos/yoyental/1391231925/

And then there's Gaeta. A beautiful little town out on a peninsula with a huge old castle. It's about halfway between Rome and Naples. I believe the nearest train station is in Formia, and I don't know exactly how one gets to Gaeta from there. Some photos:

www.flickr.com/photos/totentanz/52712262/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/seghene/5175242/

Did someone say "Naples?" (certainly not me!) Well, if you take the superfast "A" train, you'll get to Naples in just under the required 1.5 hours, with a few minutes to spare. Once there, take the metro two stops to Montesanto, transfer to the funicular, and go up the high hill to enjoy this iconic view - a subject of literally hundreds of 18th and 19th century paintings:

flickr.com/photos/…

Someone else's incredible night shot:

www.flickr.com/photos/angie_real/2128642750/

Damn, I'm ready to go back to Italy right now. Who's with me??

Philadelphia...
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9. Re: Easy Day Trips/Overnights from Rome by train

I'm with you jjkdc!

Great posts Mink and Barbara! If the train/hours limitations are too constricting... ignore them (rules are meant to be broken). I want ideas for great unknown gems and you are all delivering!!!

Thank you!

Rome, Italy
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10. Re: Easy Day Trips/Overnights from Rome by train

Hi Mike, Great initiative!

There is no obscure place more known to me than Filacciano (where I live).

Yet obscure it is. I hardly remember of a Roman whom, when mentioned about Filacciano, seemed to know what I was talking about.

And stunning too! Obviously my opinion is biased since I love it so much, yet you can see some pictures yourself on my last blog post here (and the view of the Tiber river from my window) if you follow this link:

…romanreference.com/2009/07/filacciano.html.

Tourist attractions are

The Palazzo Del Drago

This palace was built on the site of the castle and has belonged to the Del Drago princes since the mid-nineteenth century. The first structure was a single tower, subsequently incorporated into the castle, symbol of the Comune. The coat-of-arms of the Muti family on the entrance arch of the Del Drago palace, and that of the Orsini on the parish church (originally part of the castle) bear witness to just some of the previous owners

and

Church of Saint Egidio the Abbot

In the Romanesque style this church was probably built at the end of the tenth century by the Benedictine monks of Farfa. The frescoes inside are of considerable interest (though badly damaged through centuries of neglect). The church is dedicated to Saint Egidio, patron saint of Filacciano.

The demographics of the place are interesting, since stats are available Filacciano has had ca500 inhabitants see

http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filacciano

although so close to Rome (ca 50km) 'the road ends here', as villagers like to say, because (thankfully) no administration ever invested on a bridge over the Tiber which would have linked it to the Sabina. Attending the statistics only 12% of the population has a job, which is hardly surprising since they're mostly over or below working age. For some fortunate historical accident Filacciano, despite its stunning beauty and its position near Rome, has been largely neglected by locals and not. Far from being a weakness this is what actually makes this place quite extraordinary.

To get here by car take the A1 motorway to Florence and get off at Ponzano, then just follow the signs. By train take the train to Orte from Tiburtina and get off at Poggio Mirteto, from there a bus to Filacciano. There is a train every half hour, while the bus runs once a hour. So take the trains leaving tiburtina at :40 to make sure to connect to the bus.