Day Trippin’ in Italy: 6 Simple Day’s Out

If you have limited time, say two weeks to see the highlights of Italy, then the best way to see more than just the big cities and towns is by incorporating a few day trips into your holiday.

There is a lot to cover if you really want to make the most out of your time in Italy. Of course you’ll want to spend some time in the main cities and towns, soaking up the history, discovering hidden gems and eating the delicious food. But getting out of these cities and towns will have you visiting some of the country’s most spectacular regions and towns.

Here are my suggestions on some of the places that are not only simple to get to from Italy’s major cities and towns, but also places that I guarantee will wow you and make you want to come back and spend more time there in the future.

From Rome – Orvieto

Little known Orvieto is one of the most dramatic looking hill towns in Italy. The town sits perched high on a plateau with vertical cliff faces all around it and stunning views of the surround countryside from just about every angle. It’s history dates back to the Etrusans and you will find lots of monuments and museums scattered throughout the town showing the towns rich history.

Why You Should Visit

  • See the incredible medieval Duomo, the centrepiece of the town. This impressive building took over four centuries to complete and features an exterior that is covered in mosaic which shines in the sunlight.
  • Take in the stunning views of the green rolling hills of the surrounding countryside from the many viewing points around town or from the top of the Torre del Morro, the towns 47 metre high tower.
  • Wander the steep, winding, cobblestone streets and browse the delis for local delicacies like wild boar jerky and check out the local artisan stores for quality handmade goods.

Getting There & Around

Frequent trains depart Rome’s Termini Station each day arriving in Orvieto in just over an hour depending on the type of train you catch. IC and Eurostar services are faster but they are also more expensive. Ticket prices start from €15.00 per person one way.

From the train station in Orvieto, it’s an easy walk to the Funicular which will take you up to the town. Once you up there, the best way to explore is on foot. You can easily walk to the heart of the town from the Funicular in 10-15 minutes.

From Florence – Tuscan Countryside

The Tuscan countryside is a region famous for it’s food and wine, rolling hills, fertile plains and historic hill towns. The colour’s of it’s landscape at various times throughout the day are arguably unmatched in beauty by any other region of the world. There is a lot to see in the region, but these are some of the best places to visit in Tuscany.

Why You Should Visit

  • Visit a charming little family owned Chianti winery to taste their wine, sample their food and enjoy their warm hospitality.
  • Explore one of the many small, historic and medieval hill towns like San Gimignano famous for its 14 towers.
  • Spend time in the Gothic city of Siena and see it’s stunning cathedral and wander its cobblestone streets.

Getting There & Around

Unless you have your own car, a day trip to Tuscany is best done on a tour. There are lots of different options starting at your standard group tour taking in a winery or two, a few of the hill towns and villages and maybe a stop in Siena. A fun option is a day cycling through the hills of Tuscany with a tour guide.

GetYourGuide offer the full range of tours options and their website is a good place to start planning. Prices for a basic day tour start from €40.00.

From Venice – Verona

The Roman city of Verona is famous for it’s Roman remains but most of all it’s connection to the tragic Shakespearean love story, Romeo and Juliet. It’s artistic heritage it one of the richest in Italy with operas and fairs happening throughout the year.

Why You Should Visit

  • See the Arena di Verona, the Roman arena that is virtually intact and is still used during summer each year to host operas and various other performances.
  • Get romantic visiting Juliet’s house and seeing the famous balcony. While it’s all just a story by Luigi da Porto made famous by Shakespeare, you can rub Juliet’s right breast for luck and battle the crowds to get a shot of the famous balcony.
  • Hang in Piazza della Erbe, the largest open air market in Verona and a great place to grab a meal, browse the stalls and watch the people going about their daily life. It full of sculptures, frescoes and use to be a Roman Forum back in Roman times.

Getting There & Around

There are a few services per hour that depart Venice for Verona each day. The journey takes just over an hour depending on the type of train you catch. Beware that some of the slowest trains can take over two hours. Make sure you get off at Verona Porto Nuova station as this the station closest to the city centre. Tickets start from €10.00 per person one way.

Verona train station is about a 20 minute walk to the centre of the old town where you will likely spend most of your time. Public transport is unnecessary as everything you will want to see and do is easily reach on foot. However, bus numbers 11, 12, 13 and 14 may be handy for getting you from the train station to the centre of town if you don’t want to walk.

From Milan – Lake Como

Lake Como is the third largest in Italy and is one of the deepest in Europe at over 400 metres deep. It has been a popular retreat for the rich and famous since Roman times and is lined with multi-million dollar villas with spectacular views and speed boats moored out front.

Why You Should Visit

  • Spend the day hopping from village to village by boat surrounded by some of the most spectacular mountain and lake scenery in the world.
  • Explore the pretty little, cobblestone village of Bellagio. It’s steep winding streets are lined with artisan stores and cafes perfect for a coffee or a bite to each.
  • See the villas that are owned by some of the world most rich and famous. Cruise past impressive holiday homes owner by Richard Branson, George Clooney and Madonna, just to name a few.

Getting There & Around

Local trains run at least once per hour from Milan Centrale station to Como Nord Lago station taking just over an hour. Note that there is three stations in Como, with Nord Lago being the one closest to the ferry port. Ticket prices can be as low as just a few Euro’s per person one way.

When you get off the train at Como Nord Lago you will find the ferry port literally across the road. Navigazione Lago di Como operates ferries that crisscross the lake stopping in most of the small towns and villages along the way. You can get a map, timetable and tickets from the office at the ferry port. A one way ticket costs €1.80 and prices go up from there for return and day passes. I highly recommend a day pass if you intend on getting off at a few different villages along the way.

From Naples – Pompeii 

The city of Pompeii was an ancient Roman town that was mostly destroyed and buried under 4-6 metres of ash and pumice when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. The town was lost for over 1,500 years and has been uncovered to discover a well preserved city full of artifacts.

Why You Should Visit

  • Be shocked and amazed at the destruction and devastation that took place on this site. A good tour guide will load you will facts and figures on the number of people who perished and the devastating stories that are attached to the towns people.
  • See some of the incredible and well preserved artifacts that have been uncovered. Everything from pottery pieces to everyday utensils plus so much more has been found buried on this site and is on display.
  • Catch a glimpse of the impressive volcano that caused such destruction, Mount Vesuvius, looming over Pompeii.

Getting There & Around

The privately operated Circumvesuviana trains depart Napoli P. Nolana station for Pompeii S. Villa Misteri station a few times per hour, taking around 40 minutes. Tickets will cost around €4.00 each way per person.

The entrance to Pompeii is just a few minutes walk from Pompeii S. Villa Misteri station and there are signs pointing you there.

From Sorrento – Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is as Mediterranean as it gets. With hot, sunny summers, picturesque villages set against a stunning mountain backdrop that are almost tumbling into the warm Mediterranean Sea. The towns are all connected by just one stretch of road but are best explored by sea, hopping from village to village.

Why You Should Visit

  • Exploring this incredible stretch of coast by boat offers views that have to be seen to be beleived. From the tower craggy cliff faces to the villages nestled neatly between the peaks at the waters edge, you’ll be constantly pushing your open jaw shut in amazement.
  • Wandering the towns of Amalfi and Positano will have you visiting the little churches, sitting by the fountains in the town squares, browsing the artisan stores for local pottery, lazing and swimming at the beaches and eating the mouthwatering fresh food.
  • Tasting the the locally made liqueur, limoncello, that this region is famous for. The lemons are grown on terraced gardens along the whole coast and are known to be among the freshest in the world.

Getting There & Around

From April to October each year, ferries travel between Sorrento and the the Amalfi Coast including the towns of Positano and Amalfi. You can easily visit both of these towns by hopping on and off the ferries which run from about 8am in the morning until 5.30pm in the evening, allowing you a few hours to check out both towns. Information is sparse on the internet for these services but most accommodation providers will have a timetable you can use to plan your day. Tickets start from around €12.00 per person.


Over to you!

Which day trip do you want to take in Italy? One of these or do you have something else in mind?

Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.

35 thoughts on “Day Trippin’ in Italy: 6 Simple Day’s Out”

  1. I love this post Jen! Italy has so much to offer in a relatively small area so day trips from the main centers are a great idea and are usually pretty easy to arrange as you’ve noted. I’ve been to most of these places over the years and they’re definitely all worth the journey, such a beautiful country!

    Reply
    • Thanks for your feedback Sarah! Don’t you wish it was as easy to travel around other countries in the world as it is in Italy!

      Reply
  2. I did a day trip from Venice to Verona in April- super easy to get to and beautiful city…at least what I saw of it because my lunch made my sick to my stomach so I had to cut my day short 🙁

    Reply
  3. We’re heading to Rome and Venice in six days, we can’t wait! Part of our travels will take us to Pompeii and Vesuvius, with some pizza (we hope!) in Naples!

    Great post Jen, we’ll let you know how the trip is going!

    Reply
  4. This December we will be in Italy and I was looking forward to it of course but after your article, I am so excited!! The wine, pizza and of course the history and culture who wouldn’t be excited!! Thank you so much for sharing

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    • It’s an amazing country Heather. And I’m so happy my article has got you excited for your trip. Will this be your first time to Italy?

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  5. I absolutely love Italy. I think it may even be my favourite country. Before I left Europe almost three years ago I used to visit Italy at least once a year. I have been to all the places you listed except for Naples and the Amalfi coast. I`d love to go one day though. It looks so stunning.

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    • It’s definitely up there on my top countries list too Tammy. Your very lucky to have seen so much. I hope you get to see the Amalfi Coast soon, it’s my favourite part if Italy.

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  6. Great ideas! I did the day trip to Pompeii and it was definitely worth it. Such a cool site! I’d love to spend more time in Tuscany next time I go. It looks amazing!

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  7. Great article! I did a few of those trips, all stunning indeed. I think no matter how often you return to Italy, there’s always another region to explore or a new dish to try 🙂

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    • Thanks Joao! I hope you really love it there and feel free to let me know if you have any questions about planning your trip, I’d be happy to help.

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  8. Ok I want to go on all of these day trips! Verona and Venice would be top of my list, such an old romantic ha. I’ve been to Sorrento and its was absolutely gorgeous. Italy is a fantastic country to visit with so much history and things to do/see. Really good suggestions here and beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing and making me want to go back

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    • So happy your like this post Kate. I loved loved loved Sorrento and would love to go back to this part of the world sometime myself.

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  9. There’s so much to explore and eat in Italy! I reckon I didn’t see the Tuscan landscapes and Sicily during my previous trips. Well, that gives me a chance to go back to the country! Lovely pictures and great tips for those who want to see the country.

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    • Absolutely a reason to go back! I think there is so much to see in Italy you could just keep going back time and time again and still find something new.

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  10. Great list. I have been to Verona, Milan, Venice, and Milan from your list. I would love to visit the Tuscan country side. I didnt have much time to visit while I was in Pisa but definitely going to go back for it next year.

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    • Thanks Margherita! That means a lot to me that your liked this post. Totally agree about Sorrento and the Amalfi coast, I think it’s my favourite part of the country.

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  11. Would love any of these! I visited Pompeii a couple of years ago (from Sorrento which is as easy as Naples, so you can do both that and the Amalfi Coast from the one place) but I think top of my list would be Lake Como, just looks so pretty.

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    • Lake Como very pretty indeed. We arrived there to cloudy sky’s and by the end of the day it was a perfect blue sky. Show how quickly the weather changes in the mountains.

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  12. Yessssssssss Jen! Finally!!! I’m Italian and get so frustrated when tourists stick to the most popular destinations, and claim to know Italy…your suggestions are great! I still need to go to Lake Como, shame on me!
    Valeria @ romenewyorklondonworld.com

    Reply
    • Thanks so much Valeria. While I think it’s important to visit the most popular sights because really they are popular for good reason, I believe in trying to find a good balance between that and getting off the beaten path a bit too.

      Reply

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