Excursion Destination

Ostia Antica is the ancient port of Rome, located in the west of the city and easily accessible from San Paolo or Piramide by a kind of regional train (included in the normal ATAC ticket). The site is relatively large and boasts numerous ancient ruins, mosaics and a large theatre. An excursion there can be easily combined with a trip to the beach in Ostia.


Viterbo can be reached by regional train for €5 from San Pietro or Valle Aurelia in about 2 hours (to Viterbo Porta Romana). In addition to the freely accessible cathedral, the small, pretty town also houses the Palace of the Popes and a museum next to the cathedral. There is a detailed audio guide in German for all three parts, which is included in the entrance fee to the palace and museum (€9). In addition, a little further north is the Basilica di San Francesco alla Rocca and numerous other churches, some of which were bombed during the Second World War. During the reconstruction, care was often taken to restore the churches in the original style of construction and furnishing as far as possible, so that intervening epochs (Baroque, Renaissance) were skipped.

(Testamento dei Melantonini p. 18)


Subiaco …is one of the “most beautiful villages in Italy”, the most beautiful places in Italy. You can get to the city, 70 km east of Rome, by bus, for example, which leaves several times a day from the Ponte Mammolo metro stop. An hour and a half later at the latest, you will have forgotten all the stress of the capital. In the small village you can meet hikers as well as scouts and there are leisure activities such as rafting. If you want to combine exercise with a little (spiritual and historical) education, you should go on a hike to the monastery of San Benedetto. Here, in the 12th century, a monastery was built over the cave where Benedict of Nursia (founder of the Benedictine Order) lived as a hermit for three years in the year 500. In the chapels you will be amazed by impressive frescoes! Today, the monastery is looked after by the monks who live in the Santa Scolastica monastery (1 km below San Benedetto). Here, too, it’s worth a visit – and if you’re lucky, you’ll even get a free guided tour that gives you a look inside the monastery. Perfect for a Sunday!



Where today the Abbey of Monte Cassino sits enthroned high on the mountain of the same name, Benedict of Nursia founded his first monastery and thus the Benedictine Order. For this community he wrote his famous Rule of Order (the so-called Rule of Benedict). All this happened in the 6th century A.D. But also, in later centuries Cassino was again and again the scene of important and sometimes dramatic events. The bombardment of the monastery by the Allies in 1944 undoubtedly falls into the latter category, when the abbey was razed to the ground and several hundred civilians who had sought shelter with the monks were killed. To get there: trains run regularly from Termini to Cassino, the town at the foot of the mountain. The 8.00 am train is recommended, because then you get the only bus in the morning that goes up the mountain (10.00 am from the station forecourt) a and you get to the monastery early enough to enjoy some peace and quiet there before the big rush of groups starts.

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“Team Fregene” appreciates the length and cleanliness of the beach, the small beach bars, the availability of toilets and showers. You can also rent fancy sunbeds and umbrellas or let off steam on the volleyball court. Departure with the COTRAL bus from Via Aurelia, tickets available there at the kiosk. Cost: €1.20 per trip (with the Metro annual ticket).

“Team Santa Severa” is probably made up of the “romantic” type: here on the beach, there is a castle, which is quite pretty to look at in the sunset. There is also an associated museum. If you want to relax here, take the regional train from Roma Termini in the direction of Civitavecchia. There is a kiosk for a snack.

“Team Nettuno” appreciates the seaside resort in the former fishing village with its good restaurants and some sights. It is also worth strolling through the small shops in the alleys. By train from Roma Termini or by COTRAL bus from Anagnina.

The nearest beach is probably the one in Ostia – but it doesn’t knock you out.

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The picturesque town of Orvieto is about an hour and a half’s train ride from Rome. From the train station you can take a funicolare (funicular railway), which has become rare today, up the mountain and into the fun. Old castle walls, a beautiful view of olive, fig and apple trees, winding alleys and lots of greenery characterise the townscape. With the shops on Corso Cavour, the main shopping street or perhaps rather “alley”, you could furnish an entire holiday home. From lavender sachets to tea towels to oil jugs, you can buy everything there. The most impressive and, from today’s perspective, probably most surprising thing is the large cathedral, which looks amazingly similar to the one in Siena. Conceived and built in the late Middle Ages, it still bears witness to the former importance of the city, which was even the Pope’s residence for a time after the Sacco di Roma, the sacking of Rome in the 16th century.



For a very, very long time, Tivoli has served the rich Romans as a place to breathe, as the three villas testify. The Villa d’Este, an aristocratic Renaissance retreat, the Villa Gregoriana with many caves and waterfalls, and the Villa Adriana, Emperor Hadrian’s sprawling country estate, located just outside the city. Especially the Villa d’Este and the Villa Adriana are highly recommended! Otherwise, Tivoli is a nice little town that invites you to stroll through the small streets. There is also a very nice circular hiking trail over the neighbouring mountains, which you can hike in a half day in a relaxed way. Tivoli is definitely worth more than one visit! You can get there either by train from Tiburtina (2,60€ approx. 1h) or by COTRAL bus from the bus station Ponte Mammolo (2,10€ approx. 50min).


Castel Gandolfo

Idyllically situated above a deep blue lake amidst wooded slopes, Castel Gandolfo was for many centuries the ideal place to escape Rome, which is so stuffy in summer, for a few weeks. Pope Francis, however, put an end to this tradition and opened the papal palace and gardens to the public. Today, visitors can not only walk past Benedict’s desk, which is decorated with a Bavarian ensign, but also visit his bedroom. But Castel Gandolfo has even more to offer than the Pope: a pretty market square (see photo), but also a bathing area or a hiking trail around the lake. How to get there? By train from Termini, the journey takes about half an hour.



Well, tired, stressed and annoyed by the constant horns, alarms and sirens? You don’t have much time, maybe just an afternoon? Then you’ve come to the right place: Frascati. Go to Termini, buy two tickets (return for €2.20 each) and get on the train to Frascati. Less than 30 minutes later you’re there – and in a completely different world. In Frascati you won’t meet any tourists, but mingle with the real Italian people. From my own experience, this little town is particularly suitable for a short culinary excursion: in the upper market square you can treat yourself to a panino with porchetta (speciality of the region: tasty grilled pork) and a glass of Frascati wine. But beware: this well-known Italian white wine has a lot to offer. To balance out the hearty meal, you can move on, settle down in one of the cafés and enjoy a cappuccino and delicious pasticcini. Frascati – in short, it’s relaxed here.


(Confessio Romana)

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