Last Updated on October 24, 2023 by Ingrid & Alex
Some years ago I stayed for work in Rome for about 2 months, which were very special times. You can never get bored in Rome and not even 2 months (ok, only the weekends out of which some I’ve spent in other beautiful Italian cities) are enough to see and experience everything in the città Eterna.
But even though you can always find a lot of things to do in Rome, it never hurts to take a trip outside of town and my favorite one was my Rome to Tivoli day trip!
And if you don’t just believe me, take Sanne’s word as well!
When weekends came, we tried to make the best out of the two free full days ahead and see as much as possible, eat as much as possible, and drink as much as possible (yes, coffee, what else?).
With this in mind, one early Sunday morning, I took two of my colleagues and went for a day trip, on the outskirts of Rome.
I don’t remember exactly how we found this place, but I am definitely happy we did find it and we’re lucky to enjoy a warm autumn day, escaping Rome and its utterly Instagrammable streets only just for a few hours and headed to Tivoli.
Rome to Tivoli day trip // Best way of doing a Rome to Tivoli day trip
The city is 30 km to the northeast of Rome and we took a bus from Ponte Mammolo metro station where there is also a central bus stop. The trip took about 50 min and it was…interesting to say the least.
Prepare for the worst (at least that is the way it was some years ago), the smell, the oh-so-crowded bus, the noise. And I’m sorry to admit that 90% of the people getting squashed in that bus were my fellow – citizens (because yes, we love Italy). But it’s all worth it once you get to the final destination.
Busses go every 10 min and you can check the connections and timetables here.
Another option is to get to Tivoli by train.
Trains leave daily, almost every hour, from Roma Tiburtina station. The ride is between 45 minutes and 75 minutes, depending on the train type. Prices are very affordable and you can book your ticket here.
The most comfortable option is to book an organized tour from Rome to Tivoli.
Rome to Tivoli day trip // What did we do in Tivoli?
Tivoli is a nice small town, typically Italian, with narrow streets, small coffee shops, yummy street food, and even yummier ice cream. It is also a very old town, historical traces of settlement in the area date back to the 13th century BC.
Our first stop was, of course, a coffee place in a Piazza, because we needed a refill after the long (or at least so it seemed) trip. The place was packed with Italians who were out for a Sunday mid-day coffee and socialization.
I just love how the Italians interact and are rigorous about their morning (after lunch, afternoon, and after dinner) coffee, about aperitivo, about just getting out there and enjoying a conversation.
The next stop, and the most important one – basically the reason why we were there – was La Villa D’Este and even more so, its beautiful gardens. You can find more information related to operating hours and prices here.
Beautifully set on a hill, offering an overall view of the surroundings, the Villa is dating since the 1500s and has been commissioned by Pope Alexander the VIths grandson.
The interior is now a museum, from the paintings available here to the frescos on the walls and ceilings. From most of the rooms, the view is unbelievable down the main axis of the gardens and terraces.
Of course, you can find also a small terrace where you can sit down, have a coffee and take in the incredible view.
Once you start to descend into the gardens, you come to understand how amazing this place really is. Full of trees, flowers, statues, and yes, fountains. There are several levels and a whole lot of fountains, water splashing all around on this hill.
The one I liked most was actually created from 100 small fountains, as a matter of fact this is actually its name Le Cento Fontane (The Hundred Fountain). From one end to another, the wall is filled with moss and small fountains.
Getting even lower, you come to the basis of the gardens, where just by walking around, you can discover several lovely fountains with sculptures and lakes.
The Rometta fountain
The Fontana dell’Ovatto
And the lady with a lot of boobs :)) (it is actually the statue of the goddess Artemis of Ephesus the twin of Apollo in Greek mythology)
After having spent a lot of hours just enjoying the Villa and its gardens, we got right back to the city to indulge in real Italian frozen yogurt and got back to see Rome at night.
This is what I would call a perfect Sunday! What about you? Have any ideas for a perfect Sunday trip?