Although the center of Rome has ancient and classic tourist attractions such as the Trevi Fountain, Colosseum, Pantheon, and etc. people tend to forget that some of the most beautiful and historical towns lay within reach on the outskirts of Roman landscape. Towns include: Bracciano, Lago Di Nemi, Tivoli, Santa Marinella, and Ostia.
Bracciano is one of the three towns situated on Lago Bracciano that is a great day trip to explore the outskirts of Rome. In order to get to Bracciano, the easiest way would be to take the train north out of Rome to Bracciano, which is about an hour or so train ride. One of the frequent locations for tourists is the Castello Odescalchi and the picturesque streets of the historic center. If you are hungry for a delicious italian cuisine in the historic center, Clara and Sistos pork is the place to go. Apparently, the pork is roasted in an ancient oven according to an old family recipe. If you are searching for an espresso or dessert, Caffe Grand’italia provides sweets, cookies, cakes and gelato. After lunch and sweets, the streets of Bracciano become alive once more. If you are looking interact with the locals, Piazza del Commune has corners and benches to relax and enjoy the company of the people of Bracciano.
Lago Di Nemi
Lago Di Nemi is a small circular volcanic lake in the Lazio region of Italy 19 miles south of Rome. One Way to get there is to take the train from Roma Termini to Albano Laziale. From Albano Laziale, take the bus to Genzano di Roma. Around lake Nemi lie densely framed with strawberry forests, and home to the Temple of ancient Roman deity Diana. After exploring the ancient roman temple of Diana, there is also the Nemi Boat Museum. This museum was built by Mussolini at the turn of the 20th century. Usually, May or June is the best time to experience the lively city of Nemi. In May, there is the “fragoline di bosco” festival. From the outskirts around Lago Di Nemi, strawberries and berries are harvested and displayed for most of the summer months.
The ancient town of Tivoli lies 19 miles east of Rome in the Sabine Hills. The easiest way to get to Tivoli would be the train from Roma Tiburtina station going towards Rome-Pescara line train in the direction of Stazione Tivoli. The train ride takes about 30 minutes, but as Tivoli’s train station is about three-quarters of a mile out of town. In order to travel into city center, you must take a special shuttle bus from the train station. There are several sites that are a must see. Villa d’Este Gardens is renown for being the model for gardens all over Europe. In the garden, it is comprised of many more gardens that display fountains, statuary, pools, terraces, and spectacular views across the Roman landscape. Villa Adriana is another ancient display of buildings and gardens that were built during the Reign of Roman Emperor Hadrian (2nd Century A.D.). After a long walk in the gardens, you can sit down, relax, and enjoy a nice meal in the heart of the Tivoli gardens. Nimb Terrasse is known for its seasonal cuisine and primarily focuses on local harvests.
Santa Marinella is a beautiful beach front located 45 minutes by train from the heart of Rome. The train to Santa Marinella leaves from several of the train stations around Rome: Roma Termini, Ostiense, Trastevere, or San Pietro. The train’s final destination will read either Pisa or Civitavecchia. This beach is free and the beach is well kept up and clean. Most beaches near Rome are not known for majestic mediterranean beach fronts; however, Santa Marinella is one beach that is considered to be a beautiful, scenic, and relaxing environment for a fun day in the sun. After a warm day in the sun, Santa Marinella has some great seafood fresh from the sea. L’Acqua Marina is an elegant and fresh seafood restaurant. There is inside and outside patio space to enjoy a great meal in a great social environment. It is about 50 euros for two people, but the seafood is fresh and relatively cheaper than a seafood restaurant located in the heart of Rome.
Many people do not realize that the beaches of Ostia are only 30 minutes from city center. To travel to Ostia from the heart of Rome, take the Metro line B to Piramide or Roma Porta San Paolo station if traveling by train. Follow the signs to Lido, take the train (they only go in the one direction) and get off at Ostia Antica. Then cross the sky-bridge and continue straight until you reach the parking lot: the entrance to Ostia Antica is on your left. Places to see in Ostia include: necropolis, the baths of Neptune with its mosaic, the grand Square of the Guilds, the warehouses, Via Casa di Diana, and the Forum with its temple. The theater from ancient times is still used for performances in the summer months. If you are looking to get a bite to eat, Ferrara’s is right off the sea near the pier. It is good food for an fairly cheap and affordable price.