lunch

Day Trip from Rome: Castel Gandolfo

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day trip from rome Finding a nice day trip from Rome that is accessible, easy to get to, and worth the extensive public transportation travel time, is sometimes difficult for visitors. A day trip from Rome to Castel Gandolfo covers all the bases.

Primarily known as the Pope’s summer residence, Castel Gandolfo is a small village that overlooks gorgeous Lake Albano that's surrounded by Lazio’s mountains. The lake itself is a nice day trip itself in the summer with beaches, boats or bikes for rent and the classic Italian waterfront atmosphere, but even in the winter it makes for a great visit.

day trip from rome

Tickets for the quick regional train from Rome are €2.75 each way and can be bought at Termini Station in Rome and validated on the platform in Castel Gandolfo. You also get the added benefit of a scenic train ride through the Italian countryside for less than the price of an American coffee.

day trip from rome

You can sightsee in the village, with a trip to the Pope’s castle, a walk through the charming village and of course, a long lunch in one of its delicious trattorias. We headed up there for Sunday lunch and a trip to a local mercatino. Even in the winter, the town was alive with tourists, locals, fresh food markets, small boutiques and many restaurants.

day trip from rome

The lunch itself was incredible and a great reminder of how amazing food in the country can be. After checking reviews, we went to Arte e Vino. The food there was typical Lazio, hearty and delicious. We got wine, an an appetizer, and two pastas for around €35 and everything was top notch. I would’ve grabbed one of their amazing desserts if I had had room by the end of the meal.

day trip from rome

day trip from rome

If I’m eating in the country, the one thing I will always order (besides the house wine) is a plate of meats and cheeses. They’re always so fresh and as a prime example, Arte e Vino’s mortadella drizzled with truffle oil was the best mortadella I’ve had in Italy. I actually wanted to cancel my primo and get a second round of mortadella after finishing up the first plate. It was that good. My pasta con ceci (chickpeas) in a sourdough bread bowl was a close runner-up, however, and filled my mortadella void. The only issue we had with Arte e Vino was the very slow service, but this sometimes happens during Sunday lunch at one of the most popular restaurants in town.

day trip from rome

Castel Gandolfo makes for a great day trip from Rome. The tasty food, amazing views, and ease of transport make it one of my highly recommended choices. I can’t wait to go back for a seafood lunch and a boat ride on the lake once it gets warmer out.

day trip from rome

day trip from rome

More information

If you want more information about making a longer trip out of it or renting a car to explore the area, try this Trip Advisor post.

And take a look at Natalie of An American in Rome’s post about Castel Gandolfo here.