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Where to go for a "day off" from Rome sightseeing?

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Dec 29th, 2007, 05:01 AM
  #1
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Where to go for a "day off" from Rome sightseeing?

Hubby and I are leaving the morning of New Year's Eve for 8 days/nights in Rome. We plan to stay in Rome the whole time, and will do a daytrip to Pompeii (and Sorrento if time allows). We know that's a long daytrip, but Pompeii in particular is a must-see for us.
This brings me to my question: we'd like to do one more "daytrip", but I've had trouble finding an appopriate place. Here's our list of preferences:
-Small town atmosphere, to give us a break from the hustle and bustle of the big city
-Easy to get to, either by public transportation (preferred) or by car if necessary
-We don't particularly want to go to a place that's loaded with "sights" or museums that we'll end up running to and from all day
-We enjoy scenic vistas and just relaxing at a cafe or park while taking in the view
-We love good food and good wine!

From that, does anyone have any suggestions to offer? Thanks in advance!

Jen
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Dec 29th, 2007, 05:32 AM
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Hi Jen - Lots of nice options from Rome

Pick any from:

Orvieto
Assisi
Tivoli (Hadrian's Villa, Villa d'Este
Castel Gandolfo
Spoleto
Cortona

Hope this helps ...

Steve
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Dec 29th, 2007, 05:33 AM
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Take a look at Orvieto. You can get there by train. It is one of the old hilltop towns north of Rome.
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Dec 29th, 2007, 06:17 AM
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Thank you both, Steve and simpson. I'll take a closer look at Orvieto since you both recommended that, but will also keep watching the thread for any more suggestions.

Thanks again!
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Dec 29th, 2007, 06:46 AM
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You could pack a picnic and go visit the ruins at Ostia Antica.... One of the metro/trains from Rome has a stop very near the entrance.
http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...2&tid=34619236
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Dec 29th, 2007, 06:58 AM
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Another vote for Orvieto--a beautifully situated hilltown with interesting sights and lovely scenery, but also very pleasant to wander. Frequent trains, about 1 hour from Rome. From the Orvieto train station walk across the street to the funicular which takes you to the top of the hill and the old town. A bus meets the funicular and takes you to the center.
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Dec 29th, 2007, 07:05 AM
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Take a look at this question I posed last year, and the responses:


http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34895007
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Dec 29th, 2007, 07:09 AM
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I highly recommend taking a daytrip to Orvieto. It is a lovely hilltop Etruscan town. There are brightly-colored ceramics shops as well as better-than-average tourist shops.

You can tour the "Journey in the City Underground" (it takes a little over an hour). There are caves and tunnels that intersect beneath the streets and building of the current town of Orvieto. Many underground structures are still in tact.
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Dec 29th, 2007, 07:19 AM
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Orvieto is a great choice. The Duomo is superb, and there is real culture there, to boot. PLenty of good restaurants (Orvieto has participated in the Slow Food movement since the beginning) - if you stay for dinner you might try "Il Funaro", a great place for truffled pizza or steak = a former rope factory carved out of the tufa plateau that is Orvieto's unique setting. And by the way, from up on that plateau, there are some excellent views - though the best view may be OF Orvieto, when driving toward her from the west at the end of the day - she is truly like a city of gold in the light of the setting sun.

Speaking of light, wherever you go, leave early so you'll have as much daylight as possible. You might consider staying the night - have your Rome hotel check you out for the night and stash your baggage, and take just an overnight for the trip. That way you could travel by day both ways and thoroughly relax.

Besides Orvieto you have the other nearby towns already mentioned - Orvieto does have quick and easy direct train connection going for it. It's a good-sized town, much more than a village, but with lots of charm and atmosphere up on the plateau. Good art galleries (also an artist's collective of sorts, where gallery-studio-living spaces co-exist - had a great time there visiting with artists and talking about their work), various hotels, welcoming cafes where you could while away half the day should the weather be cold. Look for the shop of Mastro Paolo, the ceramicist, near the duomo. His work is a contemporary twist on the classic Orvieto or Deruta-types - and as he's been at it for 50 years or so, he's a sort of minor legend in his own time.

Have a great time - buon viaggio!
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Dec 29th, 2007, 07:34 AM
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Jen, here's a link to Orvieto info:
http://www.orvietoonline.com/orvieto...eto.html#11277

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Dec 29th, 2007, 07:42 AM
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A sincere thank you to all for the great input and suggestions. After reading your posts and doing a little research online and in my guidebooks, I think Orvieto is the perfect place for us to go! I actually don't know how I missed it when I first started reviewing our options - perhaps I was suffering from a bit of information overload from all the research!
Planning a trip with so many options can be overwhelming, and that's what makes forums like this one so great!
Thank you again!
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