You don’t need to travel far to Lazio if you are looking for a day trip to Rome. It’s the region that is home to Italy’s capital. Many people make the mistake of skipping Lazio when they travel to Umbria or Tuscany. These are seven hidden gems in the Lazio region. (Lazio has so many things to offer, make sure you check out part II in this post. ).
Bracciano Castle and Odescalchi Castle
The perfect escape is located just one hour away from Rome via train. It is a charming medieval town. The castle of Odescalchi, built in 15th century, was home to two papal families, the Orsini and the Borgias. Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise were also guests. wedding! (We have included the castle in our post 10 most beautiful castles of Italy. ).
Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli
Emperor Hadrian fled Rome in his search for a better life. He found refuge in his luxurious, sprawling villa. The villa is still intact today with its columns, marble pavement and ancient statues. It gives you a glimpse into ancient Rome’s opulence.
The Etruscan tombs at Sutri
The Etruscan Necropoli of Sutri is an archaelogical site that few people have ever heard of. Sutri, one of the most important towns in the ancient civilization Etruria’s, has 64 Etruscan tombs that date back to the 6th through 4th centuries B.C. This is 600 years before the Pantheon in Rome was constructed! It is worth visiting the Roman amphitheater. Sutri can be reached in 45 minutes from Rome by car.
Civita di Bagnoregio
This little gem of a town is one the most impressive sights in Italy. Civita di Bagnoregio was struck by an earthquake in 17th-century Italy. It was so destructive that much of the town fell. You can see the remnants here. Even Saint Bonaventure’s home, which was built on the edge of the cliff, was also destroyed. It is a small town with only a few residents, but the beauty of the area makes it worth visiting. You should see it now as erosion continues to destroy the town.
Castel Gandolfo e Lake Albano
Albano Lake is a great escape from the heat and can be reached easily by train from Rome. It’s worth visiting year round to see Castel Gandolfo. This charming, small town overlooks the lake is where the Pope vacations in summer.
Viterbo is a spa and town.
Viterbo, with its Romanesque cathedral and walls dating back to 11th century, is one of the most well-preserved medieval cities in Italy. Aside from the draw of its winding streets and attractions–including the Museo Civico with archaeological finds, Pinacoteca, and botanical garden–the biggest reason to go to Viterbo is its spa. These thermal baths have been around since Roman and Etruscan times. They are a great place to unwind and relax.
Cervara di Roma
Cervara di Roma, a medieval town located on top of a mountain in Lazio’s lush Monti Simbruini is unlike any other. The Cervara people, who are less than 500, have made Cervara a popular destination for artists. They welcome international students and artists to their town and allow them to create sculptures and murals on the stones and walls. A visit to Cervara is more than just a scenic view of the surrounding countryside. It’s also a tour through an art museum.