Places to visit near Rome: 10 destinations to choose from
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«If you ever wonder what places to visit near Rome, here are some ideas for a gorgeous trip outside of Rome. We present you 10 destinations around the capital not to be missed.»
Romans and not, do you feel like leaving the capital and its chaos to spend a different type of day? If you’re looking for places to visit near Rome, the capital offers interesting solutions. Culture, landscapes, good food. Getting away from the city for one or two days allows you to enjoy all of this and much more. We at Snap Italy have decided to give you some suggestions to spend unforgettable days at the gates of Rome. Especially now, when spring approaches, and sunny Sundays are slowly returning to kiss our peninsula
Our journey to discover the best places to visit near Rome brings us to Tivoli, a few kilometers from Rome. A city mentioned by Virgil in the Aeneid, it boasts a millennial origin and history. It was a favorite destination for poets, painters and wealthy aristocrats during the 19th century. Today his image is inextricably linked to the sites of Villa Adriana and Villa d’Este. In this case, for a trip out of town, Rome presents itself as a city with an endless history, with marvels that go beyond its geographical boundaries and that are envied by many foreigners. Villa Adriana is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Italy, as well as being declared a UNESCO heritage site in 1999. Built between 118 and 138 AD by Emperor Hadrian, it was an immense residential dwelling, distributed on two levels, an archaeological evidence of the greatness of the ancient Roman Empire. Villa d’Este, however, also declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is a symbol of the Italian Renaissance. It is famous for the wonderful fountains that decorate it, with breathtaking water games, as well as the most beautiful “Italian garden” in Europe. These two villas are the perfect destinations for a trip outside of Rome.
The second amongst the gorgeous places to visit near Rome is in Subiaco, a high-medieval village just over an hour from Rome, included among the “most beautiful villages in Italy”. The Abbey of San Benedetto is a mystical place, which projects the visitor into a completely new and relaxing dimension, far from any noise that can somehow evoke the chaotic city. Pius II called this monastery “swallow’s nest” . Its particularity and its beauty lie in the fact that it’s completely embedded in the rock overlooking the valley below. Walls, vaults and staircases, perfectly integrated into the stone they lean on, with their irregularity, guarantee an authentic spectacle. Composed of two superimposed churches and chapels and caves, entirely frescoed in different eras, it constitutes a unique monument, in terms of both beauty and spirituality. The route ends with the cave of San Benedetto, the one in which the saint spent three years as a hermit.
And to keep losing yourself a bit more in the most pristine nature, you can walk to the lake of San Benedetto, a lovely body of water, immersed in the placid nature of the area. Willows and poplars, bright green through the corners where the sun can filter, beautiful colors of the water, between green and blue, and an evocative, small, but thundering waterfall, through which the Aniene flows into the pond. You can stay and relax here, surrounded by the sounds of nature. The descent of the path that reaches the river is very characteristic. From a wooden bridge you can see the water flowing at your feet. Continuing for another 100 meters you can see the pond, in its enchanting and peaceful beauty. If you intend on embarking on a trip outside of Rome, you cannot miss this place.
If you want a day in which to reunite with nature and religion, whilst embarking on a trip outside Rome, the sanctuary of Vallepietra is the ideal destination for you. Located at an altitude of 1300 meters on the slopes of Colle Tagliata, a place of ancient popular cult linked to the Benedictine settlements of Subiaco, it is still today a destination for pilgrimages on foot of the Aniene Valley “companies”: in fact, they go to venerate the Byzantine style fresco depicting the Trinity inside the Monte Autore cave, to which the popular legend attributes the miraculous rescue, occurred before a peasant’s eyes, of two oxen plunged with the whole plow from a ravine a hundred meters high. The three persons are perfectly equal, each with a book held up by the left hand and with the right hand in the act of blessing in the Greek manner, that is, joining the thumb and the ring finger. In the small church there are also other beautiful Byzantine frescoes depcting the Nativity.
On the feast day, that is, the Sunday after Pentecost, the companies perform the pilgrimage, preceded by a proper banner of belonging: behind, the women, the boys and then the men. All bear flowers and, as a sign of penance, men often carry a large branch of a tree gathered along the way on their shoulders. After paying tribute to the image of the Trinity, the companies settle in the surroundings of the cave and spend the night singing until Sunday when the traditional “crying of the maids “ is performed, that is the story of the passion of Christ sung by a group of girls of Vallepietra. It is one of the most evocative places to visit near Rome, and even here the scenery is breathtaking.
Our journey to discover the best places to visit near Rome takes us to Latina. The garden of Ninfa was declared a Natural Monument by the Lazio Region in 2000. It is a splendid example of poetry and medieval architecture, in which visitors take a dip in an uncontaminated reality where many writers likeVirgina Woolf, Truman Capote, Ungaretti, Moravia, found inspiration for their creations; a true literary salon. This is a typical English garden, started by Gelasio Caetani in 1921, in the area of the disappeared medieval town of Ninfa, of which today only several ruins remain, some of which have been restored during the creation of the garden. It houses more than a thousand plants and it is crossed by numerous irrigation streams, as well as by the river Ninfa. It’s perfect for organizing an out-of-town tour of Rome.
Cervara di Roma
Even on this trip, Rome shows its greatness. We are in Cervara, a village with a great artistic and cultural heritage, an open-air museum, only 72 km from the capital. Perched and surrounded by unspoiled nature, Cervara is one of the entrance gates to the Simbruini Mountains Regional Natural Park. In the past, it was only reached by riding a mule, but despite the lack of connections, many were the artists who went there attracted by the fame of its natural beauties. This artistic tradition is still alive today. The village is a gem that allows you to fully enjoy the natural peace in which it is immersed. In September it comes alive for the truffle festival, which makes even more special a destination which should already be visited in itself.
Civita di Bagnoreggio
Located on a small spur of tuff rock, it’ is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy (have you ever heard of Instaborghi?). A portion of the municipality of Bagnoregio, it can only be reached through a striking pedestrian bridge, overhanging, in the middle of the most unspoiled nature. Nicknamed “the dying city“ by Bonaventura Tecchi, who was born there, Civita di Bagnoregio is in danger of disappearing because the tufaceous hill that supports it is undermined at the base by the continuous erosion of two torrents, which flow in the valleys below, and by the action of rains and wind. The fate of the place, the tuft of medieval houses, the very few families that still live there and the unreal landscape of the clayey gullies that besiege the village, make Civita di Bagnoregio a unique and enchanting place. Entering the streets it feels like you are embarking on a journey back in time where, in an almost unreal silence, you can enjoy pretty corners embellished with traces of past lives, flowers on the windows, ancient medieval buildings, renaissance mills and humble houses of the people. In terms of places to visit near Rome, this is definitely a must.
Continuing our journey to show you the 10 best places to visit near Rome, we present you Calcata. It is a small town in the province of Viterbo which, despite being 40 km from Rome, has managed to preserve its historical and natural heritage. It is perched on a mountain of tufa, which makes it very special, as well as attractive for artists and adventurous tourists. Its thick and impenetrable vegetation echoes the warm red and brown tones of the tufaceous rocks, which form high walls, pinnacles, gorges and trunks. Abandoned for a long time, it has taken the name of “dying country“, like the colleague we talked about before. And yet, thanks to its decadent and surreal charm, the ghost village begins and is repopulated by artists, artisans and intellectuals, who have been coming here from all over the world since the 60s, looking for a genuine dimension of life and in contrast with the industrial and consumer society.
Among the many reasons to visit Calcata, there is that to enter the “artists’ village”. Calcata has obtained the Orange Flag, the environmental tourism quality mark for the hinterland. The streets that radiate from the long square, which is the center of collective experience and the meeting point in which there are at the same time spectators and actors, all lead to the cliff’s cliffs. Below the level of the streets and squares, many houses have caves, often even in several underground floors. They are deposits, cellars and sometimes tombs and ancient places of worship.
The summer residence of the Pope since the beginning of the 17th century, the city of Castel Gandolfo lies on the edge of the crater surrounding the homonymous lake. The latter is one of the favorite destinations of fishermen, as a varied fish fauna populates its waters. On the surface of the lake sailing (presence of sailing clubs on the lakefront) and canoeing are also practiced. Here, among other things, is the FICK (Italian Federation of Canoeing and Kayak) federation, where the Italian national team trains. Due to the beauty of the nature that surrounds it and the elegance of the historic center surrounded by walls, it has been elected one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Testimonies from the Roman era are the remains of the Villa di Domiziano, of which the Bergantino Nymphaeum is a part. Beyond the purely cultural and landscape aspect, the village also offers numerous solutions to those who plan to eat in full Roman style. There are fraschette and luxury restaurants, all united by the characteristic of giving back the now lost taste of ancient foods. Amongst the places to visit near Rome, this certainly does not disappoint.
In the Viterbo area, which takes pride in having one the world’s highest concentration of historic gardens, the Italian garden has reached its highest expression and Vignanello is perhaps the most elegant, most sophisticated and most celebrated example in the world. The property was formed around a fortress of the Benedictine monks built in the year 853. The adjoining garden hosts one of the most acclaimed parterres of the 17th century; the large flat and rectangular space is crossed in length and width by four avenues, which define twelve aligned and squared boxed parterres: in the center a large basin is enclosed by four arches of balustrades. These “plant sculptures”, originally sage and rosemary, give the place the clarity of an abstract geometric design. Despite the changes in style, especially at the end of the 18th century with the fashion of French broderies, the garden has remained miraculously intact. For a trip out of town, a Rome immersed in green always gives that something more.
Finally, for the lovers of the sea, one cannot but suggest a trip to Ponza, one of the best places to visit near Rome. Located in front of the Gulf of Gaeta, Ponza is easily reachable by hydrofoil in less than two hours. Famous for its coastline rich in vegetation and fish, such as blue shark, tuna and squid, Ponza boasts many points of naturalistic interest including the Beach of Frontone, the Lighthouse of the Guard, the Caves of Pilate and the Natural Pools. It is a little gem off the Lazio coast, appreciated by many international figures. 2017 was the year of Tiffany Trump, the fourth daughter of the American president Donald who started her Italian holidays from Capri and then landed in Ponza. Even here, for lovers of cooking and good life, there is a wide choice. You just have to decide.
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