Paolo's Private Driving Tours

Family business since 1949.

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Day trips from Rome, long range

In a different page, I describe some of the touring you can do in the immediate surroundings of Rome, in this one you'll find some suggestions for tours to other places that are further from Rome. World famous places like Florence, Pompeii Sienna and more.

In a day's time you can travel from Rome to Florence and get a pretty good idea of the city, take a trip south to see the world famous excavations of Pompeii and enjoy the breathtaking panoramas of the Amalfi Coast or other fascinating cities like Siena and Assisi.

The drive to the above mentioned places takes between two and three hours each way and therefore you're up for a long day.

Generally these day trips take about ten or twelve hours and half of the time is spent traveling while the other half is spent sightseeing.

Surely not the ideal situation, it would be better to spend at least one night in at least one of the cities you visit, but if you don't have that kind of time, this is the ideal solution.

All the day trips I list in this page are enjoyable and even the time spent driving on the motorway will be pleasant. The from the car's window you'll see enchanting hilltop towns, rolling hills, lakes, mountains, castles, abbeys and more. Depending on which day trip you will choose to take, you'll also be able to stop at some of them, walk around them and have a great lunch experience..

Some of the day trips include a visit to a winery or an oil press or other places producing typical foods and drinks or other artifacts. For example, during the day trip on the Amalfi Coast we can stop to tour a Cameo factory, a ceramic factory near to Assisi, a "mozzarella" cheese factory near Naples and other interesting places. This doesn't mean that we'll have to stop and visit these places, we only will if you'll be interested, otherwise we'll use the time to see more sites or we'll just spend more time in the sites we have planned to see.

The itineraries you'll read about in this page, and all the other itineraries in this websites are only suggestions, their purpose is to give you an idea of you can see in the time you have allotted to tour around and the distance, in time and mileage, between places.

The general idea is that you can design your own itinerary depending on your own interests, your preferences, your budget, your time.

Day trip to Florence Day trip to Tuscany Day trip to Pompeii and the Amalfi drive Day trip to Pompeii Day trip to Assisi Day trip to Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoregio Day trip to the land of the Etruscans World War Memorial tour
 
The "Ponte Vecchio" bridge in Florence.

 

Day trip to Florence Day trip to Tuscany Day trip to Pompeii and the Amalfi drive Day trip to Pompeii Day trip to Assisi Day trip to Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoregio Day trip to the land of the Etruscans World War Memorial tour return tu menu return to top of page
 

Travel to Florence for the day and tour its major highlights. The view from Michelangelo's Square, the David, the Cathedral, Signoria square. Stroll on via Tornabuoni and via Calzaiuoli where the famous shops of Florence are. Have some typical Tuscan food in an authentic restaurant on get a quick "panino" sandwich while you tour around.
We'll drive on the A1 motorway from Rome and, depending on the traffic, we'll be there in 2.5/3 hours. Our first stop in the "Cradle of the Renaissance" will be the Piazzale Michelangelo offering a spectacular view of the city of Florence.

We'll then drive to the city center and start exploring this world famous, fascinating, city. Our fist stop in town will be the "Accademia" museum, where the famous David by Michelangelo is housed. I will make a reservation for you, so you'll not have to stand in line to get in. Then we'll drive to the Duomo and you'll be able to tour inside the church and walk around this beautiful area of the city.

Florence is much smaller than Rome, so walking is better than driving around.

From the Duomo, you can walk the beautiful via dei Calzaiuoli and look at the fashionable shops on your way to the Ponte Vecchio Bridge, the traditional gold market of Florence. You can see the "Uffizi" museum, but visiting it would take would take at least 3 hours, which means approximately half of the time you'll spend in Florence, so I warmly recommend not to plan your day trip that way.

We'll also see the Santa Croce church, where the famous one where the prominent Florentines, like Michelangelo and Galileo, are buried.

Santa Croce is a Franciscan church and these monks are the ones who started working the leather in Florence. Their original Leather School is still part of the church's monastery and can be visited.

     

 

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Tuscany, Sant'Antimo

Tuscany has the most famous landscapes in Italy, is renowned for its wines and foods. Always full of tourists from all over the world who spend days or weeks there, which is the thing to do. The only problem is that it's quite far from Rome, so going for the day is a little tiring and I would prefer to take you somewhere closer to Rome for sceneries and wine, but if you really want to go to Tuscany..

We'll drive to one of Tuscany's most beautiful cities: Sienna. After spending some time there, strolling between the famous Piazza del Campo and and the Duomo.

Then we'll drive to the Famous city of towers: San Gimignano.

You'll enjoy its evocative medieval streets and squares, plus the myriads of wine and souvenir shops.

You can have a memorable lunch in lovely, one thousand-year-old, walled in town of Monteriggioni or a quicker break consisting in local cheeses, salami, prosciutto and Chianti wine at a typical road side self-service restaurant.

If you are really interested in wine, I can arrange for you to visit of a winery where you can have a lunch based on typical local foods and sample different kinds of Chianti wines while lectured, in a very charming and entertaining way, about its production.

 
Chianti landscape

 

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Sorrento, Marina Grande.

Most tourists go to Pompeii in the morning and, in the summer, that means thousands of people concentrating in one place in the time span of 3/4 hours, the place is pretty big but, can you imagine? I prefer to go to Positano and Sorrento in the morning, before throngs of tourists crowd up these little towns, and hit Pompeii in the afternoon, making it the last stop before Rome.

This also makes the ride back to Rome shorter, usually my clients are back at their hotel about two hours after we leave Pompeii.

We make a pit stop on the way, either at a Cameo factory or anywhere else along the way to Positano and get to the place when it's still rather quiet and enjoyable. Next stop is Sorrento, the town famous for the "Limoncello" liquor, the inlaid wood work, the embroidery, mozzarella, sea-food and more...

We walk around Sorrento and, eventually, have lunch there at a nice seaside restaurant. If you don't care for a two-course, traditional lunch and would rather save the time to do more sightseeing and shopping, we can stop at a nice cafeteria further down on the way to Pompeii, where you can still have some authentic foods, but it would be much quicker.

Driving guides aren't allowed to guide their clients through the excavations of Pompeii so, if you want a nice tour of Pompeii, you have to hire a local guide. They're very knowledgeable and speak good English. The guided tour lasts 2 hours and price is 100 Euros. The alternative is to use a portable audio guide.

 
View of Mount Vesuvius, the volcano that destroyed Pompeii.

 

Day trip to Florence Day trip to Tuscany Day trip to Pompeii and the Amalfi drive Day trip to Pompeii Day trip to Assisi Day trip to Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoregio Day trip to the land of the Etruscans World War Memorial tour return tu menu return to top of page

 

Mustafà Restaurant in Seinao.

Some people want to see Pompeii, but don't want a twelve-hour day and go all they way to Positano and Sorrento. As you probably read before on this website, I'm always ready to tailor your tour according to your desires and so, if your target is Pompeii, that's fine by me. But it would be a pity to go all they way out there from Rome and not see the beautiful coast line. Plus, everybody gets hungry at a certain point, and Pompeii isn't really a good place to have lunch at: high prices and low quality. So why not drive just a little further and get to the coast to have a nice lunch by the sea?

There are two different way this day trip to Pompeii can be arranged:

  • Leave Rome early enough, 7:30/8:00 am, to get to Pompeii around 10:30/11:00 am. Tour the place and be done by 1:00 pm. Drive 20 minutes to the seaside, have a nice lunch and be back in Rome by 5/6:00pm;

  • Leave Rome around 9:30 am or so, go directly to the coast, have lunch around 12:30 and tour Pompeii in the afternoon. you would enter Pompeii around 2:30 pm, be done by 5:00 pm and back in Rome around 7/7:30 pm.

Driving guides aren't allowed to guide their clients through the excavations of Pompeii so, if you want a nice tour of Pompeii, you have to hire a local guide. They're very knowledgeable and speak good English. The guided tour lasts 2 hours and price is 100 Euros. The alternative is to use a portable audio guide.

 
View of Mount Vesuvius, seen from Sorrento.

 

Day trip to Florence Day trip to Tuscany Day trip to Pompeii and the Amalfi drive Day trip to Pompeii Day trip to Assisi Day trip to Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoregio Day trip to the land of the Etruscans World War Memorial tour return tu menu return to top of page
 

 

Assisi

Assisi is a beautiful town on the western flank of Monte Subasio, in the heart of the beautiful, mountainous, landlocked, region of Umbria.

Its medieval, mystical, atmosphere permeates any visitor, may he be a devout of St. Francis on a pilgrimage or a tourist visiting its historical sites.

Our tour will start from the Basilica of Santa Maria Degli Angeli, which is located at the foot of the Subasio mountain and not in Assisi itself. If we leave Rome at 8:00 am, we should be getting there around 10/10:30 am. We'll tour the Basilica before climbing to Assisi and visiting the Basilica of St. Francis.

Once in Assisi, you'll visit the Basilica before going to lunch in one of the local restaurants, Assisi is a spiritual city, but it's also a place where you can taste the renowned Umbrian food and wine. If you don't care for the typical Italian lunch, you can have a lighter meal in a self service cafeteria.

After lunch we drive to St. Clare's church to visit it and eventually drive up to the ruins of the castle before getting back on the road to Rome.

Though driving guides provide their clients with all the necessary information regarding the places they visit, they aren't allowed to guide their clients inside the churches of Assisi, therefore for a detailed guided tour of Assisi, you have to hire a local guide.

 
View of Assisi

 

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Civita di Bagnoregio

The area north of Rome, between the northern side of Lazio and the southern part of Umbria is called Tuscia, the name comes from the fact that it was originally inhabited by the Etruscans. These people, who already inhabited the area before Rome was founded, where technologically advanced and could do wonders with the local stone, the Tufah. They used it to built fantastic cities and their posterity was none of less, the Cities of Orvieto and Civita, built in the middle-ages, each on different plateau of Tufah. Not only the buildings were built using such volcanic stone, but the sides of the hills were cut into sharp cliffs so to serve the purpose of walls that protected the inhabitants of the towns from the enemy's attacks. We can stop at the oil press in Montecchio before going to Orvieto but if you shouldn't be interested on how olive oil is made, we can use the time to visit the nearby city of Todi.

In Orvieto we'll visit the famous Duomo church and stroll through the fascinating streets selling the local ceramics.

Lunch can be either in Orvieto or in Todi. Both places are famous for the Umbrian food and wine. If you want a light lunch, you can sample some of the cheeses, salami and prosciutto sitting out on the Duomo square and sampling also the wines of Orvieto.

From Orvieto, we'll drive to Civita di Bagnoregio, a very small, beautiful town perched on another plateau of Tufah which is unfortunately disintegrating an big efforts are being made to keep it from crumbling down. The original walk way to the town has collapsed and the only access now is via a concrete bridge.

 
View of Orvieto
 
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A tour around the beautiful land of the Etruscans, visiting their cemeteries, which are the only remainders we have of this populace and the towns built from the Tufah stone in the Middle Ages right where the Etruscans built their towns many centuries before using the same material.   We will drive to Tarquinia first. This is a lovely medieval town just one hour north of Rome. In Tarquinia we stroll around its attractive narrow streets and visit the Etruscan Museum (optional) Than we go and visit the Etruscan tombs located just outside the city. They are some of the most interesting Etruscan tombs have been found, famous for the quality of their fresco paintings. After visiting the tombs we drive to Ceri which is a little medieval town still conserving its original castle-like aspect.

In the afternoon we drive to Cerveteri to visit the little town itself and the Etruscan necropolis in the locality called “Banditaccia”. A must-see place! A unique atmosphere. The visit to the Banditaccia necropolis brings you back to the days of the Etruscans. Visiting it is very emotional experience. The place is like a city for the dead just carved out of the “tufah” stone. Each one of the cylindrical tombs has been sculpted like a house of stone. The diameter of the tombs is between 30 and 90 feet. Inside you find a hall and bedrooms for the master, his descendants and even for the slaves. The domed roofs are built using Tufah (tufo) blocks up to 3 feet of length, result of the carving of the cylinder.
The room inside was decorated like a rich home, with paintings and bas-reliefs.
Find out more about the Etruscans here.
When these tombs where found they contained the items that we can now see in the museums: arms, jewels, pottery, statues, mirrors and more.

 
View of Tuscania
 
Day trip to Florence Day trip to Tuscany Day trip to Pompeii and the Amalfi drive Day trip to Pompeii Day trip to Assisi Day trip to Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoregio Day trip to the land of the Etruscans World War Memorial tour return tu menu return to top of page
Anzio American War Cemetery

There are two different ways this tour can be operated:

  1. Anzio,  theatre of the famous Operation Shingle (January 22, 1944) and place of the American War Cemetery, will be visited first. If we leave Rome around 8:00 am, we should be getting there around 9/9:30 am. The visit of the Cemetery normally takes less than one hour, so we should be leaving the place around 10/10:30 am. The trip from Anzio takes a little less than two hours and it's a beautiful drive through the Pontina Plain first and the over the Lepini mountains with medieval villages which lay strewn on the hilltops. We can stop to visit one or two on the way and eventually have a nice lunch in one of them. We should be able to get to Cassino just when it reopens at 3:30 pm. We'll tour the Abbey and return to Rome around 6:30 pm.

  2. Also in this case we'll stop in Anzio first and then we'll drive to the surrounding of the modern city of Latina, founded by Mussolini after the Pontina Plain was reclaimed from the marsh. We'll visit the very interesting modern museum of Piana delle Orme. This museum consists in a series of pavilions housing theatre-like reconstructions that explain how the marsh was drained, and how the famous World War II battles of Anzio an Mount Cassino were fought using original machinery, vehicles, weapons, tanks (also one of the only three experimental amphibious Sherman tanks still existing). A great place to visit bringing memories back to the seniors and explaining very well that period of our history to those who hadn't been born yet.

www.pianadelleorme.com
 
 
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