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Rome day trip--Orvieto, Tivoli, or somewhere else?

My husband and I will be on the February 19, 2023, Best of Rome in 7 Days trip. We want to do an escorted day trip from Rome before the tour. I was leaning toward Tivoli, because I'd love to see Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este. But I've noticed most day tours do not go there in February. Maybe because of the weather? Maybe it's too far out to book a day tour? I've checked the websites for both estates, and they appear to be open in February. So now I am considering Orvieto (or somewhere in Umbria) as alternatives. Any thoughts on where to go at that time of year? (Note: We will be staying in Naples post-trip and will be visiting Pompeii so we don't want to do that before.)

Posted by
6054 posts

IMHO the only "practical" one-day runout trip towards (if not, in) Tuscany is Orivieto. It's very nice. Doing both d'Este and Hadrian's Villa in one day, by public transportation is an intimidating prospect. You'll be very tired and cold by the end, but maybe also face sunburned. (Are both open in February? They are largely outdoors.) We went to the two on two different trips that included Rome.

It sounds like maybe you are considering a package product by bus. That takes a lot of uncertainty out of it, if a more regimented experience.

It is also difficult to visit Naples and Pompeii as a runout from Rome. Is that your plan?

Posted by
8921 posts

A day trip to Tuscany. It is such a large area that I can’t imagine a day trip there. Maybe just Orvieto by train?
We loved the visit to Tivoli and it’s beautiful fountains but wonder what it would be like in the winter?
You mention “ tours available”, but whose tours are these? Will you be over jet lag on this extra day pre- RS tour?
We love Rome, so much to see and do. Maybe an extra free day there could be well spent? The last time we were in Rome was Dec, Jan 2020 right before COVID struck. It ranged from quite cold to pleasant. Late Feb should be nice.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you for your responses!

I'm sorry. I wasn't clear in my first post. I am looking at an escorted day trip to Tivoli or Tuscany. You get on a bus in the morning and get back to Rome later that day.

And the day trip to Pompeii will be from Naples, which we will be visiting after the main tour.

Posted by
2147 posts

I wasn't clear in my first post. I am looking at an escorted day trip to Tivoli or Tuscany.

Imsteiner, you might want to revise your original post to reflect that for future responses. People don't always read all the comments before posting.

Posted by
2853 posts

I just concluded the Best of Tuscany tour that is 12 days in length. I cannot imagine a one day bus tour from Rome that would be meaningful. I have been to Tivoli and Orvieto. Tivoli in the winter, since we’re talking gardens and fountains, seems very unappealing. Orvieto is about a 90 minute train journey from Rome. It is a wonderful hill top town to visit with many sights, good food. Though it’s in Umbria, not Tuscany, it makes for an easy and memorable day trip from Rome.

Posted by
1983 posts

hey hey imsteiner
another option closer to rome is a tour to the countryside of frascati beautiful countryside day trip: castelli romani
read up about what you will see at these small villages. a 20-30 minute train ride from roma termini to frascati and pierpaolo will meet you and away you go. lake nemi and its wild berries
old article but talks about the lake, it's wild strawberries growing in the woods, diana of the woods (goddess of hunting). the boat museum and annual strawberry festival in june in frascati
bakery/fire oven family owned. saw a special about this place and they make the "best" porchetta sandwich. son also makes pizzas. the buxom cookie from frascati
read up about nonna rosanna who is 94 and still baking, plus other pastries in the bakery.
few tours offered in their winery and little village of frascati, known for wine. read "about & meet us". the family and all involved with adventure.
a 20-30 minute train ride from roma termini to frascati and get picked up by guide for what ever tour you decide on. get out of the hustle and bustle of rome for half a day and enjoy

Posted by
449 posts

You can take a one hour train to Orivetto. Before hand hire a local guide for a walking tour. It is a lovely town with surprisingly lots to see. There are I think nine sites on their city pass. We saw most on our two day stay there. You don’t need it for a short trip. It is quite different from Rome. Great wine. Amazing Duomo. Small interesting museums. Nice shops. Highly recommend

Short easy train ride. Except it is the furthest gate at the Termini station in Rome. It is an easy way to get your feet wet exploring on your own.

I would also suggest watching some videos on YouTube. People post all the time who have just been at places. Some are really good some are really not done well.

Posted by
449 posts

Think the OP knows where it is located. They did say Umbria.

Posted by
3424 posts

Another advantage to Orvieto is that should you encounter bad weather, there is indoor stuff to do.

Posted by
142 posts

Another vote for Orvieto. Not sure if there is a
organized day trip. We did a day trip from Rome by train,independent, no guide. Super easy, really nice and very different than Rome.

Posted by
1875 posts

Yes, Orvieto. Especially if you want to try to do a daytrip on your own--this is easy peasy.

We did it in 2017. Left our apartment by Campo de' Fiori at 9:00, bus to Termini, bought tickets at the kiosk, left Termini at 10:30, arrived Orvieto before noon, funicular up to the hilltown right when you get off the train. Wandered a little, sat down to a wonderful homemade tagliatelle/cinghiale lunch, wandered some more, toured the amazing cathedral, stopped in some shops, caught the 5:30 train back to Termini, back around 7:00. All by ourselves!

Posted by
333 posts

Hey, fellow Rhode Islander! As the others have said, Orvieto is easy to do on your own and it gets you out of the hustle and bustle of Rome. The hardest thing about it is the long walk to the train track in Termini. I'm writing to add that if you have the Rick Steves Rome guidebook, there is a chapter on Orvieto. It's a very popular day trip.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you, everyone, for your very helpful responses. Based on your suggestions and further research, we have decided to do a day from Rome trip to Orvieto on our own and not go to Tivoli on this trip. We will also consider a half-day escorted trip to Frascati if we have time. While staying in Naples, we plan to hire a driver to take us to Pompeii and tour the Amalfi Coast.

Posted by
2435 posts

Orvieto is a wonderful day trip from Rome. The train trip itself is about 70 minutes, but you need to add some time to each end — getting to Termini station and then walking to the somewhat distant track for the Orvieto train — and then in Orvieto taking the funicular from the train up to the old town, plus a taxi or bus or long uphill walk to the wonderful Duomo and many interesting sites nearby. Probably close to 120 minutes each way, from arriving at Termini to arrival at the Duomo. Give yourselves a long day in Orvieto as there really are many things to see and do in this ancient small town, including underground sites, lots of great restaurants and some neat shops.
If you still have interest in your original idea, both Walks of Italy and Dark Rome offer day-long guided bus tours from Rome to Tuscany, visiting towns (often Montepulciano and Pienza), stopping at a rural abbey or church or two, and a full luncheon at a winery. I did one of these tours several years ago. It was a wonderful way to cover all this ground and visits in a single day, but it was a very long day. You can try to nap on the bus on the way back to Rome, in the dark. These tours may not be offered every day, so you would need to match with your schedule. These are group bus tours. Doing this as a private tour in a car would likely be possible and excellent, but quite pricey, Doing it on your own, probably not feasible.