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Day Trips from Rome - 5 Unique destinations

11/01/2017
Day Trips from Rome - 5 Unique destinations

The immense wealth of culture, history, music, entertainment and gastronomy of Rome can be overwhelming at times. We’ve all been there, enjoying your holiday one moment and felling yourself locked into a maelstrom of locations to see, foods to try and tour schedules to keep. To break the cycle why not take a day off from it all and escape the chaos of the city?

Within 1-2 hours drive from Rome there are plenty of fun places to see and excitement to be had, with no need to keep a checklist of locations and schedules.

Relaxation is likely to be a hot topic, and one of the most evocative places to get a nice soak are the hot springs of Terme di Saturnia, just across the border between Lazio and Tuscany. The region is one of soft rolling hills filled with olive groves and topped with picturesque mediaeval towns, each a small wonder to discover. There are two options for enjoying the hot springs, the spa baths Terme di Saturnia where you can move between different temperature pools and also enjoy a wealth of different spa treatments. However, don’t miss out on the rustic pleasure of soaking in the natural and free (!) pools of the Cascate di Gorello. When driving down from Montemerano you suddenly see a turquoise jewel in the midst of the landscape; a myriad of small pools under a waterfall of 35-40 degree hot sulphuric water.

Once you’re in the area we suggest you take the opportunity to explore some of the cultural highlights to be found nearby. Drive east into Umbria and discover Orvieto, the queen of all mediaveal cities. The city rests upon remains from the Etruscan period and is an ideal place to discover the origins of our local civilizations as well as admire the fresco’s of the Cathedral that inspired the great work of Michelangelo.

For a fun day of monster hunting there’s a uniquie garden hidden away between the hills around Viterbo. The Giardino di Bomarzo is not for the faint of heart, and those who don’t believe in fairies, trolls and grumpkins are in for a surprise. The park was build and populated by mythological creatures during the sevententh century and has all the aura of an enchanted forest.

On the way back, instead of just driving down the highway, why not take the smaller local roads and then stop by Bracciano before re-entering the city. The lake-top borgo is a lovely little town where you can also enjoy a refreshing bath in the lake and then a hearty meal in one of it’s cosy trattorias. We warmly recommend Trattoria da Regina, a rustic trattoria serving superb local dishes, though it is very coveted and to get a spot you need to be here when it opens (19:30 during the week and 12:15 on weekends). La Cirioletta Ignorante on the other hand is a sandwich store which serves homebaked buns filled with an ever changing selection of sauces and fillings.

If staying in the city has made you long for stretching your legs just hop in your car and drive up the consular road Via Salaria, past Rieti and on to Terminillo, Rome’s home mountain. A popular ski resort during the winter months, the mountain is much coveted by hikers during the summer months. A word of notice, climbing all the way up to the top does require a generally good state of fitness and absence of vertigo, though no special gear is required apart from sturdy shoes. Leave your car at Campoforogna Pian dei Valli and follow the red and white marked trail leading upwards from the town centre. The walk up to Monte Terminilletto takes approximately 2 hours and covers a 500 metre in vertival distance. The trail leads to the Rifugio Rinaldi lodge from where you not only get to enjoy a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape, but also a great lunch from a truly unique location (though booking ahead is recommended). The lodge is open on all weekends between May 1st and September 30th, and daily between July 1st and August 31st. In order to avoid difficult weather conditions we reccomend walking the trail during this period.

 

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