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4 WINTER DAY TRIPS FROM ROME

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October 16, 2019

4 WINTER DAY TRIPS FROM ROME

Winter in Rome is gorgeous – you can enjoy sunny days, clear skies and evenings made for cosy Roman trattorias. However, the lower temperatures mean many tourists choose this as their prime time to visit the Eternal City as it is more manageable to see Rome during this season than in the heat of July or August.

To escape the crush and enjoy the best of the rest of Rome’s region (Lazio), consider including a day trip to some of the lesser known places which are equally fascinating in their own way. Check out the list below, and start plotting your winter day trip from Rome:

Paganico Sabino

Paganico Sabino

The Sabine hills to the north-east of Rome are full of beautiful hill-top towns with breath-taking views. A ‘sagra’ is a food and drink festival which focuses on one particular type of food or variety of grape and people come from all around to visit a sagra – walking around the village, tasting the food from the various stands and mingling with the locals. One fantastic sagra is held in the village of Paganica Sabino in early November and is the ‘Castagnata’ (the chestnut festival) – between the beautiful decorations and the smell of roasting chestnuts, you will be sure to return to Rome feeling a winter glow!

map rome to Paganico Sabino

What else to do there:

  • Visit the beautiful Lago del Turano and walk off some of the effects of the sagra at a stunning lake near Paganico Sabino
  • Admire the 16th century frescoes by the ‘Maestro di Paganico’ in Santa Maria dell’Annunciazione church

Where to eat:

  • The stalls at the ‘Castagnata’ festival will tempt you with lots of delicious food that you can eat on the go
  • Trattoria Lontero (Via Turenense): Enjoy a warming bowl of pasta, topped with local truffles

How to get there:

  • It takes about an hour and 15 minutes to reach Paganico Sabino from Rome, by car

 

Orvieto

Orvieto

Orvieto really does tick all the boxes when looking for the perfect one-day winter escape from Rome. It is easily accessible via car and train (see below) and its dramatic skyline, perched up on a rocky outcrop, is quite breath-taking. The town is a manageable size to fully explore in a couple of hours, but make sure you get off the main drag between the entrance to the town and the Duomo (Cathedral) as it is the smaller, quieter streets which are the ‘authentic’ Orvieto. The 14th century Duomo is the highlight of the town, and its façade rivals Siena and Florence for the majestic Gothic architecture and you can find some extremely high quality restaurants when you want to take the weight off!

Orvieto

What else to do there:

  • For a true bird’s-eye view over the town and the surrounding country, climb the stairs (or take the elevator part of the way) up the Torre del Moro. The entrance can be found on Corso Cavour and a ticket costs €2.80
  • Stretch your legs by walking around the tufa rock (on which Orvieto is situated). You can access the ‘Anello delle Rupe’ from several points from the town – follow the brown signs, or ask the locals. From here, you can explore the Etrusan necropolis, which gives a glimpse of Orvieto’s complex history.

Where to eat:

  • On a cold winter’s night, it is hard to beat a bowl of pici (local pasta shape, like a much thicker spaghetti) with a wild boar ragu at Trattoria del Moro Aronne (Via San Leonardo)
  • For a slice of history alongside your dinner, go to Ristorante al Pozzo Etrusco da Giovanni where you will find a well dating back to 500 BC (Piazza de’ Ranieri)

How to get there:

  • By train: take the train from Rome Termini. Tickets cost either €8.25 or €17.50 online (see below) and take exactly the same time (1 hour 15 minutes), so choose your train carefully! (Prices quoted are from the Trenitalia website)
  • By car: it takes about 1 hour 30 minutes and involves tolls so have loose change readily available

 

Caprarola

Caprarola

Caprarola is a small unassuming town near on the south edge of Lago di Vico, one of Lazio’s attractive lakes which hides a surprising secret. It is the home of Villa Farnese – home to Alessandro Farnese (the future Pope Paul III). The house is built around a pentagon courtyard and the grand rooms contain some beautiful frescoes, but it is the gardens climbing up behind the house which are really spectacular. The villa is open Monday – Saturday from 9:00-14:00.

map rome to caprarola

What else to do there:

  • You could visit Villa Lante (30 minutes away) which is also known for its beautiful gardens, as well as the ancient town of Viterbo. Driving around this area takes you along the edge of Lago del Vico which is a volcanic lake.
  • Ronciglione has an interesting medieval quarter, located on a steep rocky outcrop. Here you can find typical local produce – which tends to be hazelnut related products such as chocolate spread, noccino (a liqueur made from nuts) and local cheeses.

Where to eat:

  • L’Antica Cantina (Via Madonna delle Grazie, Caprarola): another hidden surprise in Caprarola – authentic, delicious meals served in a wine cellar.
  • Taverna della Canonica (Via San Francesco d’Assisi, Ronciglione): heavenly steaks!

How to get there:

  • It takes about an hour to get to Caprarola from Rome, by car

 

Sutri

 

Sutri

Italy is particularly beautiful at Christmas, with all its lights and decorations so why not get into the Christmas spirit by visiting the picturesque ancient town of Sutri which is famous for many reasons, not least for its living nativity scene (presepe vivente)?

map rome to sutri

What else to do there:

  • Visit the ancient Roman ruins – the necropolis, amphitheatre and mithraeum
  • There is a lively Christmas fair each year (Caffeina Christmas Village) where you can do your Christmas shopping, enjoy the fairground rides and the general atmosphere of a Lazio village in the lead up to Christmas! This generally opens in the third week of November.

Where to eat:

  • Osteria il Mitreo (Via Cassia, Sutri): a buzzy, lively atmosphere and a sumptuous Sunday lunch
  • Osteria dell’Oca (Via dell’Ospedale, Sutri): excellent food, but you may have to wait a bit for service

How to get there:

  • It takes about 50 minutes to get to Sutri from Rome, by car.

 

Useful links:

Train tickets are available from www.trenitalia.it or www.italotreno.it
Cars are available for hire from https://www.europcar.com/en/car-rental/locations/italy/rome and other rental companies.

Alexandra Tweedie

Blog Writer at Crib Med
Alexandra was born and grew up in the UK but travelled around Europe frequently at every opportunity. Italy was always particularly enticing, and eventually she moved to Rome in 2016. Since then she has made the most of exploring all that the city has to offer – from exhibitions in the main museums to wine bars in the lesser known areas – and sharing this via blogs and showing friends the ‘other’ side of Rome!
Alexandra Tweedie

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