Hidden Gems Near Rome: Discover Italy’s Best-Kept Secrets

Hidden Gems Near Rome

Embark on a journey to uncover the hidden gems nestled in the vicinity of Rome. From charming villages to secluded natural wonders, explore the lesser-known treasures awaiting discovery just beyond the bustling streets of the Eternal City. Join us as we unveil the secrets of hidden gems near Rome.

Rome and Nearby Wonders

Beautiful shot of the famous Roman Colosseum amphitheater under the breathtaking sky at sunrise

Have you already explored all the incredible wonders that the Eternal City has to offer, or are you looking to venture off the well-trodden path? These amazing destinations, located near Rome, offer a perfect blend of relaxation and fascination. Discover the wonders near the Italian capital, from captivating historical sites to charming villages frozen in time and enchanting landscapes. Sure, let’s have a look!

Ostia Antica

Roman Village View at Ostia Antica Archeological

Accessible from Rome by car or subway, Ostia Antica is a must-visit for history and archaeology enthusiasts. Situated by the sea, at the entrance of the Tiber river, this magnificent archaeological park resembles a miniature Rome. It is enveloped by lush greenery and stands as one of the most well-preserved archaeological sites from the Roman era.

Civita Di Bagnoregio

Rear view of a young woman standing on a bridge, Civita di Bagnoregio

This charming village perched on a hill is often referred to as “the dying town” by the locals. Its origins can be traced back an impressive 2,500 years ago to the Etruscans! This village, located about two hours from Rome, is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful destinations in Italy. The location can be reached by crossing a lengthy bridge, which is only accessible by walking.


Visiting this gem, located just an hour from the capital, is truly worth it. You’ll have the opportunity to wander through its charming narrow streets and get lost in its beauty. The town was deemed uninhabitable in 1935, but it was later repopulated in the 1960s by a vibrant community of hippies and artists. There is a popular belief that, during the night, the alleys come alive with the enchanting melodies of witches.

Lake Bolsena

If you have a deep appreciation for nature, you will discover the ideal location in this stunning lake that was formed by volcanic activity. When you visit Rome during the summer, it offers a pleasant respite from the scorching temperatures of the city. Indeed, Lake Bolsena is among the rare lakes in Italy that are suitable for swimming.

Lake Nemi

Situated in the crater of an ancient volcano, this small lake, just an hour away from Rome, is a serene oasis. It’s no surprise that the Romans regarded the surrounding woods as sacred! Nemi is famous for its delicious wild strawberries. According to the legend, they were said to have been born from the tears of Venus, who was deeply saddened by the loss of Adonis.

Anguillara Sabazia, Lake Bracciano

This beautiful village is perfectly mirrored in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Bracciano, offering a delightful opportunity for swimming and relaxation. Located just over 30 km (18.5 miles) from the capital, it’s the perfect destination for a day trip. The town provides picturesque views from every angle. Make sure you don’t miss it, especially during sunset.


Subiaco is one of the ‘most beautiful villages in Italy’ and is situated on a limestone spur, offering a breathtaking view of the Parco dei Monti Simbruini. The village is steeped in history and tradition, serving as the birthplace of Benedictine monasticism. On the road connecting the monasteries to the historic center of Subiaco, there are visible remnants of emperor Nero’s villa. The location is approximately a 45-minute drive from Rome.


Villa Gregoriana and Tivoli, Lazio, Italy. Tivoli waterfall

Tivoli is located in the beautiful Roman countryside, just 30km (18.5 miles) from the capital. It is easily accessible by car, train, or bus. Tivoli, with its rich history dating back to the ancient origins of Rome, is home to remarkable treasures like the Baroque Villa d’Este, known for its breathtaking waterfalls (photo), and the grand Villa Adriana, once the splendid residence of Emperor Hadrian. Both have been designated as world heritage sites.

Isola Liri

A majestic waterfall measuring 30 meters (98.4 ft) gracefully cascades alongside a captivating medieval castle nestled in the heart of the historic center. Isola Liri is an excellent choice for exploring the beautiful architectural wonders in the vicinity, such as the Abbey of Casamari and Montecassino. The town comes alive in the evening, with a vibrant atmosphere created by the abundance of restaurants and bars lining the Liri river.

Sacred village of Bomarzo

The town of Bomarzo is well-known for its Parco Dei Mostri, which was created in 1547 by Prince Pier Francesco Orsini. This park continues to captivate philologists, scientists, and historians with its enigmatic mythological statues, alchemy symbols, and diverse array of monsters. They persist in their efforts to unravel the secrets of this magical forest.


This town is truly a must-visit destination, with its rich history as an Etruscan settlement and its significance as a center for bronze working during Roman times. The 13th-century cathedral in this place is truly remarkable, often referred to as ‘the golden lily of the cathedrals.’ Make sure you don’t miss out on the incredible view from the Torre del Moro.

Garden of Ninfa

In the 16th century, Cardinal Niccolò III Caetani, with a deep passion for botany, commissioned the creation of this enchanting location. The English garden was constructed near the ruins of the ancient medieval city of Ninfa. The 8 hectares of this place provide a habitat for over a thousand plants and serve as a stopover for various species of migratory birds.


Cervara, located at an impressive altitude of 1050 m (3444.8 ft), proudly holds the title of being the second-highest municipality in the province of Rome. It’s no wonder that the area boasts some of the most stunning views. The Scalinata Degli Artisti is a captivating pathway that winds through the charming stone houses of the village, paying homage to the many artists who found inspiration in Cervara di Roma during the 19th century. The walls of the staircase proudly display the town’s tribute to Ennio Morricone, who holds the esteemed title of honorary citizen.

Saturnia’s Thermal Baths

Saturnia (Italy) - The thermal waters and little village of Saturnia in the municipal of Manciano, province of Grosseto, Tuscany region

These incredible spas have a rich history that spans over a thousand years, with their sulfurous waters flowing at a soothing temperature of 37º Celsius. Interestingly, the Etruscans and Romans held them in high regard. The thermal waters also nourish the ‘Cascate del Mulino:’ charming natural limestone pools that have been sculpted by the water over many centuries. They offer a serene haven that can be explored without any restrictions. It may be best to avoid visiting them on the weekend, as it can get quite crowded and limit the overall experience.

Lake Canterno

For those who enjoy the outdoors, this lake is one of the most captivating and poetic travel destinations. It is best visited in the spring, when nature is at its most beautiful, and is surrounded by oak forests and the Ernici mountains. But remember that swimming is not permitted in the lake.

Castel Gandolfo and Lake Albano

Castel Gandolfo, elected as one of the ‘most beautiful villages in Italy,’ is conveniently located just over 30 minutes away from the capital. Famous for being the location of the former summer residence of the popes (now part of the Vatican Museums), this town boasts an elegant historic center that is a must-visit for those seeking a perfect blend of nature and art in a single excursion.


This small town has a rich history, dating back to the Paleolithic era and founded by the Spartans. It is beautifully situated on the Pontine seafront. The Romans were quite fond of this place and would often visit during their summer breaks. They constructed magnificent villas here, the remnants of which can still be admired today. For instance, the villa of emperor Tiberius boasts terraces that offer stunning views of the sea. Sperlonga is a charming destination that offers beautiful white houses and stunning views of the sea from its narrow streets in the historic center. It is a place that can be enjoyed throughout the year.


Ovindoli is a truly remarkable destination for winter sports enthusiasts, nestled in the beautiful Sirente-Velino Regional Natural Park. With 21 slopes, three chairlifts, a ski lift, and the longest moving walkway in Italy, this place has it all! It is also great during the summer for individuals who enjoy the refreshing mountain air instead of a beach vacation. This picturesque mountain town is conveniently located just 1.5 hours away from Rome.

Santa Severa

Pictorial sunset scenery with Castle in Santa Severa , Italy

In addition to being a magnificent beach resort, Santa Severa is home to numerous historically significant landmarks. One of the most charming and memorable locations in all of Lazio is the castle with the same name (picture). Constructed atop the remnants of a significant Etruscan town (Pyrgi), Santa Severa is conveniently accessible from Rome via train. It’s only fifty kilometers (31 miles) away.


The origins of this town predate the Roman era. The evidence can be found in the impressive cyclopean walls of the acropolis, which, according to some experts, have been dated back to the Iron Age (VIII / VII century BC). In addition to the medieval tower that provides a commanding view of the town, the ruins are definitely worth exploring. Arpino is also known for its incredible gastronomy. Finally, the view that greets visitors from its narrow streets is truly unmatched, especially when the sun sets.


As we draw our exploration of the hidden gems near Rome to a close, it’s clear that these lesser-known treasures hold a special allure all their own. Beyond the well-trodden paths of the Eternal City lie quaint villages, breathtaking landscapes, and hidden historical marvels waiting to be discovered. These off-the-beaten-path destinations offer a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Italy’s cultural and natural heritage, inviting travelers to step off the tourist trail and embark on a journey of authentic discovery. As you reflect on your adventures in this enchanting region, remember that the essence of travel lies not only in the famous landmarks we visit but also in the moments of serendipity and surprise that await us when we venture off course. So, until we meet again on the roads less traveled, may your travels be filled with wonder, curiosity, and the joy of uncovering the extraordinary in the ordinary.

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