Cheap Day Trips from Rome, Italy
Rome, Italy's capital, is a sprawling, cosmopolitan city with nearly 3,000 years of globally influential art, architecture and culture on display. Ancient ruins such as the Forum and the Colosseum evoke the power of the former Roman Empire. Vatican City, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, has St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums, which house masterpieces such as Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel frescoes. A heady mix of haunting ruins, awe-inspiring art and vibrant street life, Italy's hot-blooded capital is one of the world's most romantic and inspiring cities.
Few cities can rival Rome's astonishing artistic heritage. Throughout history, the city has starred in the great upheavals of Western art, drawing the top artists of the day and inspiring them to push the boundaries of creative achievement. The result is a city awash with priceless treasures. At the same time, a trip to Rome is as much about lapping up the local lifestyle as it is gorging on art and culture. Idling around picturesque streets, relaxing for hours at street side cafes, people-watching on pretty piazzas - these are all an integral part of the Roman experience. Restaurants and hum with activity as eating out is one of Rome's great pleasures and the combination of romantic alfresco settings and superlative food is a guarantee of good times. With so much to see, do, and taste, Rome is a great place to experience, and there are several options for exciting activities and tours in or near the area to help you make the most of your time here.
Traveling by bus and on foot, this 3-hour guided tour takes you beyond the city walls of Rome through the ancient tunnels of the city's catacombs. You will travel along the rustic Appian Way, and under the arches of the aqueducts of antiquity.
Constructed nearly 2,000 years ago as the burial chambers for early Christians, the catacombs reveal burial niches, mosaics, and sarcophagi, as well as ancient religious drawings. In the Catacombs of San Sebastiano, you will see a Christian altar where services were held during times of persecution. While in San Callisto, explore the Crypt of the Popes, and view some of the very earliest Christian art. As Christianity became more popular in Rome, it became necessary to find a system for the burial of large numbers of people, the majority of whom lacked money to pay for elaborate tombs and mausoleums. The solution was found in the friable tufa rock around the city. From the 2nd through to the 5th-Centuries, 60 catacomb complexes were dug, each occupying several layers, and 2 of which were designated for Jews. Out of the total number of catacombs, 5 of the Christian complexes regularly open to the public, giving you a unique perspective on Ancient Rome, in an environment that you will never see in the city center.
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Take the chance to visit two of the most famous medieval cities in Umbria, the heart of Italy and visit the marvelous Basilica of St. Francis and the charming medieval cities of Perugia or Orvieto. Visit an important and charming destination in the geographical and emotional heart of Italy: the wonderful medieval town of Assisi, full of history and art. Birthplace of St. Francis, who founded the Order of the Franciscans, Assissi is one of the most popular destinations visited from pilgrims from all over the world.
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Depart Rome and transfer to Tivoli to tour 2 of Italy's most impressive villas on this full-day tour of the Villa D'Este and Hadrian's Villa, with time to explore both magnificent country estates. As you explore the grounds of the Villa D'Este, your guide will tell you about the history and development of the villa, considered one of the most enchanting sites of the late Italian Renaissance. Once the home of Lucrezia Borgia's son, it is renowned for its spectacular gardens and trees, as well as its waterfalls and fountains, such as the Fontana dell'Ovato and Le Cento Fontane. After lunch, drive to Hadrian's Villa, built in the 2nd century by Emperor Hadrian, once greater than the center of Imperial Rome. The largest and most luxurious residence ever built in Italy, it features an impressive array of imperial palaces, temples, theaters, thermal baths and pools. Highlights of the grounds include the caryatids and columns of the Canopus and Serapeum, the villa's pool and artificial grotto, named after an Egyptian city and temple dedicated to the god Serapis, and the Maritime Theatre, where a small Roman house was thought to have provided retreat from the demands of court life.
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Head out of Rome toward the sea on this educational and entertaining half-day morning tour of Ostia, the ancient Roman ruins that lay just outside of the city. Ostia was once a flourishing port and business center until it was eventually abandoned after the barbarian invasions. Stroll around these well-preserved ruins with your guide learning about what daily life was like here 1,400 years ago. Begin at the Via della Tombe heading toward one of the three gates to Ostia Antica (ancient Ostia), Porta Romana. Stroll down Decumanus Maximus, the central thoroughfare that goes across Ostia. From there arrive at Terme di Nettuno, where you'll see intricate mosaics representing Neptune and Amphitrite. The oldest archeological remains that have been discovered are from the third or fourth century B.C.. Learn about the history of the place from your knowledgeable guide and seek out some of the oldest ruins there. See the ruins of theaters and public baths, forums and former residences. Near the Forum square you will also find the House of Diana and the Thermopolium, an ancient Roman bar with a marble counter and a fresco depicting the fruit and foodstuffs that were sold there. At the end of Via dei Dipinti, a museum displays some of the ancient sculptures unearthed at Ostia. After a while, head back to the Eternal City having seen a historic swath of ruins that are hard to come by in Rome.
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