Would you like to discover fascinating Ancient Rome without being bound to the usual itineraries? Here is a three-day plan to discover some offbeat original archaeological sites!

To visit Rome thoroughly, you would need several weeks, and it still wouldn’t be enough to explore it all! We have previously suggested some alternative itineraries for you to explore the Capital, also focusing on areas further away from the center, such as the EUR district, or tours tailored for cinema aficionados.

This time, however, we propose a three-day itinerary of ancient Rome, but don’t expect traditional suggestions such as the Imperial Forums or the Colosseum: we will take you to less visited but equally splendid archaeological sites! Come on, ask your boss for a Friday off, and pack your comfortable shoes: let’s go – unleash the archaeological weekend!

Friday: the Appia Antica Park

The Appia Antica Park has ancient roots: it was 312 B.C. when the consul Appius Claudius gave his name to a revolutionary new road linking the city to Campania, built with large, polished stones and thus suitable for all means of transport of the time.

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© Parco Regionale Appia Antica – ph. Luigi Maggio

Nowadays, the Park is a protected area that stretches between central Rome and the Alban Hills for 3,500 hectares, and its sites can be visited in spring and fall thanks to a rich program of guided tours.

The Park has several access and information points, the main one being the Appia Antica Service Center, which is open daily from March to October (with some hourly restrictions) and offers bicycle rentals. A highly original stop in green surroundings, during which you can imagine what hectic daily life was like on one of Ancient Rome’s main thoroughfares!

Saturday: the Domus Aurea

Domus Aurea means golden house in Latin; the name identifies the villa built by Nero after the great fire that destroyed Rome in 64 A.D., which the emperor exploited to seize a vast area, thereby depriving the Roman people of it.

The villa was destroyed after Nero’s death, and on its ruins Trajan built his baths, burying the Domus Aurea and thus facilitating its preservation over the centuries.

Today, if you want to experience the charm and opulence of ancient Rome, the Domus Aurea is a site you must see. The restoration site is open to guided tours. The tour route has been enriched with multimedia additions in virtual reality: a very engaging new mode of enjoyment for young children!

Sunday: the Archaeological Park of Ostia Antica

Sunday is the perfect day to visit the Archaeological Park of Ostia Antica, one of Italy’s largest and best-preserved archaeological sites.

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© Parco Archeologico di Ostia Antica

Originally, the city of Ostia was situated on the sea and river, a position that determined its strategic importance from a trade and military perspective. Today, the remains of its imperial ports can be visited-an excellent opportunity to learn about a different and lesser-known side of Roman archaeology. Weekends are one of the perfect times to enjoy the vastness and richness of the Park: check the full schedule on the official website.

Pro tip: if you plan your visit on Sunday, you can also visit the Decorated Houses to admire their beautiful decorations and frescoes from the imperial era, and maybe stop in Ostia for a hearty seafood lunch!

To Rome with Italo

The Capital is a stone’s throw away with high speed! With Italo, you have many daily train options to and from Rome. So if you’re an archaeology buff, you could also take a trip to Brescia, to the Brixia Archaeological Park, right in the center of the city. Always with the high-speed rail, of course!


Cover photo: © Parco Archeologico di Ostia Antica