If you’ve chosen to study at an American university in Rome, chances are you’ve got an exploratory spirit. You’re a traveler by nature and in addition to keeping up with courses and enjoying the rich cultural and historical offerings of the city itself, you may well find yourself looking for short day and weekend trips to surrounding areas.
If you plan to study in Italy for just one semester, or stay for the duration of your degree – you will want to make time for a few short excursions to at least one or two of these beautiful destinations.
Here are a few often-undiscovered gems John Cabot University students will enjoy:
A Day At The Beach
There’s so much to see in bustling, urban Rome that visitors often forget they’re only a half hour away from the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. There are several seaside towns dotting the coast, but Santa Marinella is a well-known favorite. Start your day or weekend trip from one of Rome’s train stations – Termini, Trastevere, or San Pietro – whichever one is closest to you. There’s only one street leading out of Santa Marinella station, which will take you either (right) toward the beach or (left) toward some fabulous and inexpensive seafood dining at “Tavola Azzurra 2.” Take your pick, or do both, and enjoy!
The Ruins of Ostio Antica
Why not combine your trip to the seaside with a visit to the stunning ruins of Ostio-Antica? This destination is a great alternative to the iconic Pompei if your time off doesn’t allow for the longer journey. This ancient port town and archaeological site is amazingly well preserved – and is often considered the most underappreciated sight in all of Italy. Just 30 minutes from the Colosseum, Ostio Antica offers visitors the chance to explore amazingly preserved ruins of the ancient town including bars, restaurants, theatres – even a brothel.
To get there, take metro line B to the Piramide metro stop and follow signs to the Roma Porta San Paolo train station. You can take any of the trains, since they all go in the right direction, and then get off at Ostia Antica.
Cooking In The Sabine Hills
If you’ve been in Italy for even a small amount of time, you already know that Italians love their food. And if you’re interesting in learning how to cook a dish yourself, consider a day trip into the beautiful Sabine countryside. The train to Fara Sabina takes less than an hour, and not many tourists know about it – so you’ll be wandering off the beaten path. Visitors enjoy medieval castles, Renaissance palaces, cultural events, art exhibitions, and hiking trails. And for study abroad foodies, you can even sign up for a cooking class with Convivo Rome who provides convenient half-day events.
What’s your favorite day trip out of Rome?