Already visited the Colosseum, Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and all of the other major sites of Rome? Here are my top 3 must-see areas outside Rome. Not your typical Florence-Tuscany and Naples options, these destinations are all still relatively off-the-beaten path – and not too far from Rome:
1. Gaeta is one of the most charming little towns in Lazio but as small as it seems, there are no shortage of things to do here. Gaeta is also home to some of the freshest seafood and most breathtaking beaches. One of the main reasons this city is so undiscovered is most likely due to its lack of transportation. The closest train station is Formia-Gaeta but from there, buses do run to the city center – just be sure to check the timetables prior.
2. Ponza – Rumor has it that Ponza was the inspiration for Homer’s The Odyssey. And as soon as you step foot onto this magical island, you will see why. The best time to go would be right after the Ferragosto holiday, as prices go down significantly.
3. Sardinia – This destination may be the most expensive of the three, but if you have the chance, you must make a trip over here. It’s only 15-30 minutes by plane but flights can be steep -especially during the high-peak season. If you want to explore the beautiful nature this magical land has to offer, renting a car is mandatory. But you can certainly make do without it if you stay close to the center or any of the island’s beautiful beaches, which are many.