Take time out of Rome with Hertz

Get away from the crowds on some fabulous drives to the seaside, ancient caves, Renaissance gardens and hilltop fortresses


Yes it can be crowded, but with good reason: the birthplace of St Francis boasts two of Italy’s most admired basilicas, Santa Chiara, and especially San Francesco, where Giotto’s ethereally beautiful frescoes illustrate the life of the saint.

Don’t miss the lovely walk to the the saint’s hermitage and caves, on the wooded slopes of Mount Subasio outside the city. En route, Orvieto, a hill town dating back to Etruscan times, is perched on top of a giant rock outcrop and makes a great lunch stop.

More info: www.assisionline.com

  1. Travel time: two hours

© Alessandra Sontorelli

Ostia Antica

Like Pompeii but without the crowds, Ostia Antica offers a peaceful day strolling along the shady roads and well-preserved remains of ancient Rome’s harbour city, once the hub of Rome’s trade links with the rest of the world. Among the evocative remains are a wealth of stunning frescoes and mosaics.

More info: www.ostiaantica.beniculturali.it/en

  1. Travel time: 30 minutes

© Alamy

Santa Marinella

There are plenty of beaches close to Rome, but our favourite lies to the north-west at Santa Marinella, a pretty seaside town with clean waters, a sandy beach and some of the best seafood in the region. Stroll along Via Aurelia, find a spot you like and indulge; we like Tavola Azzurra 2, Via Aurelia 111b.

More info (Italian): www.santamarinella.com

  1. Travel time: one hour


Brave modern Tivoli’s concrete outskirts to find its two Unesco World Heritage Sites. Villa Adriana is Emperor Hadrian’s country retreat, a stunning estate of pavilions, gardens and courtyards (don’t miss the ornamental pool and the theatre), but just as magnificent are Villa d’Este’s 16th-century Renaissance gardens.

More info (Italian): www.comune.tivoli.rm.it/intro

  1. Travel time: one hour


Dating from Etruscan times, the centro storico of Viterbo is a medieval walled town full of beautiful churches and palazzos, including the papal palace, built when political factions drove the popes out of Rome in the 13th century. Don’t miss the cathedral of San Lorenzo and the sulphurous pools where locals wallow smeared in clay.

More info: www.italia.it/en/discover-italy

  1. Travel time: 90 minutes

* Travel times are approximate

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