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The Best Roman Archeological Sites Outside Rome

Are you looking for the best Roman Archeological Sites, outside Rome? We all know the famous Romans sites of Rome, the Forum, The Colosseum, The Pantheon, etc. But not many of us know that there are some stunning roman sites outside Rome. To be sure, some are in better shape than the ones from Rome! Let’s explore these best archeological sites outside of Rome together.

Tivoli Hadrian Villa

Tivoli is a small town located about 40km east of Rome. Therefore, you can get to Tivoli in about 40 minutes by train from Rome Termini Station. Once you reach Tivoli, the main Roman attraction is Emperor Hadrian’s Villa.

Indeed, it is the archeological site of one of the best preserved Roman Villas. It is massive, it covers almost 250 acres. It was built around the year 128 AD by Emperor Hadrian, and he used it as his primary residence.

The Villa has many different pools, fountains, and baths. It also includes many areas with columns (Known as colonnades), libraries, gymnasium, and theater.

If you want to have a real inside of the Emperor’s life, you should visit the small island retreat, which was the Emperor’s private place to go away from the government. On the island, you’ll be able to see even Hadrian’s private toilet!

Tivoli Hadrian Villa is one of the Best Roman Archeological Sites Outside Rome

The Villa is massive, and it will take a few hours to explore and a lot of ow walking, sometimes on very uneven surfaces.

While visiting Tivoli, you should spend some time visiting another fantastic site that has nothing to do with the Romans.

Villa D’Este

Cardinal Ippolito D’Este built this incredible Renaissance villa between 1560 and 1579, and it is most famous for the amazing gardens and fountains. The Villa is also known as the “Villa of hundreds of fountains” because of the enormous amount of fountains and water features.

Villa D'este is One of the Best Roman Archeological Sites Outside Rome

Ostia Antica Is One Of The Best Roman Archeological Sites

Ostia is about 35km southwest of Rome. In Roman times, the city was the port of Rome. The archeological site, Ostia Antica, is massive. As a result, plan at least half a day if you wish to explore it.

According to many people, it is even better than Pompeii because it is less crowded with tourists. Above all, it’s an archeological site that best represents the roman lifestyle. The city got abandoned because the sand from the Tiber River slowly made the port unusable. For this reason, Ostia feels like it’s frozen in time.

If you plan a visit, some of the most remarkable sites are the theatre, the Bath of Neptune, the old military camp, and the ancient Synagogue. The Synagogue is considered the oldest one in Europe. On top of that, you can explore some incredibly preserved roman shops, apartment complexes, warehouses, and the famous public toilet.

Ostia Antica is one of the Best Roman Archeological Sites Outside Rome


Herculaneum is a Roman site, located about a half-hour south of Naples. You can reach the site quite easily from downtown Naples either by train, bus or taxi. 

Herculaneum is one of the two Roman cities destroyed in 79 AD by Mount Vesuvius eruption. Even though it is smaller and less famous than its sister city, Pompeii, Herculaneum is still incredibly remarkable. In fact, in Herculaneum same building have the second floor intact, and some of the furniture inside of the house did not burn down. As a result, a visit to Herculaneum offers some differences from the Pompeii. On top of that, Herculaneum is slightly less famous than Pompeii, making it less crowded with tourists.

Image by Allan Lee from Pixabay

The most famous sites in Hecolaneum are the baths, The house of Neptune, the gymnasium, the home with the Mosaic Atrium, and the Villa of the Papyri that is considered one of the most luxurious villas in the Roman world.


Pompeii is probably as famous around the world as Rome itself.  Indeed, it is  It is about 25km south of Naples and like Herculaneum can be easily reached from Naples by train, bus or taxi.

Pompeii is one of the Best Roman Archeological Sites

Since it is incredibly famous, the site usually gets packed with tourists. I suggest you visit off-season (late fall, early spring) if you can.

people of Pompeii frozen in time

Some of the best features of Pompeii are the perfectly preserved streets, with sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, and carriages tracks. Also, some of the magnificent mansions are still intact, like the famous House of Vietti. On top of that worth, a visit is also the bath, the amphitheater, the forum, and the renowned brothel. Finally, no tour in Pompeii is complete without looking at the casts of the people of the city frozen in time at the time of the eruption.

Paestum Is One Of Best Roman Archeological Sites You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

The Roman archaeological site is about an hour and a half south of Naples, and one of the best ones you’ve likely never heard of. The city was originally a Greek colony with some impressive Greek temples still standing. In the year 273 BC, the roman captured the town and made it a Roman city. The Romans added some features to the city that are still standing like the amphitheater, the city walls, and an outdoor swimming pool.

Temple of Neptune in Paestum - one of the Best Roman Archeological Sites
Temple of Neptune


The city of Baiae is a perfect example of a roman beach resort town for the rich and the famous of their time. It is located in the Gulf of Naples, about 25 km north of the city. At its peak, Baiae had some of the best villas in the Roman times. Even Emperor Augustus used to spend time there. Augustus also built a grand thermal bath in the city.

Unfortunately, due to the volcanic activity of the Campi Flegrei volcano, most of the city is now underwater, and it can be explored by snorkeling or by glass-bottom boats.

The Rich City of Aquileia

Aquileia is located in Northern Italy, about one and a half hours away from Venice.  Alos, Aquileia was one of the wealthiest cities of (Roman) Northern Italy until the Attila the Hunn attacked them in 425 AD.  To be sure, Attila the Hunn almost destroyed the city. The survivors of Aquileia fled to the nearby lagune and founded Venice.

In the archeological area, you can still see the amphitheater, the forum, and some grand houses. The main church in Aquileia got built on top of the ancient Roman basilica.  There, you can still admire some incredible roman mosaics.

The sites in the post are just some of the most famous Roman relics in Italy, almost every town in the country has some Roman history. I hope I inspired you to visit some great sites that tell us the story and the culture of one of the most influential civilizations of all time.


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  1. Really fascinating, thanks for this! I’d love to see some of these less well-known sites some day 🙂

  2. Pingback: My Day in Verona

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