It’s the excitement of passing ancient Roman ruins, the smell of the salty Mediterranean Sea, and popping into villages untouched by time. Those looking to throw some excitement in their Roman holiday should consider renting a car and making the drive to Naples.
Rome’s streets are famously hard to navigate (even on foot), but throw in scooters, roundabouts around ancient monuments, and aloof tourists, you’ll want to make sure you rent a car from a dealership not directly in the city’s center. Consider the airport locations of Hertz Car Rental at Ciampino Airport or Rome Fiumicino where you can easily escape the city and hit either the A1 autostrada for a quick two-hour drive, or, for the adventurous, take the four-hour route that winds along the coast past amazing points of interest. And while we have some suggestions below, the best part about driving in Italy is having the freedom of spotting and pulling over to see unnamed ancient towers, getting lost in tiny villages and sampling incredible local cuisine, or pulling up to crystal-clear lakes and isolated beaches.
So get lost and explore.
The remains of one of Rome’s largest port cities; this historic site is one of the best-preserved ancient sites in Italy. Walk into homes, still-complete mosaics and frescoes, and walls that once stood proudly on the mouth of the Tiber. The nearby town, Ostia, is a popular hangout in the summer for Romans looking to get closer to the sea and is lined with restaurants and shops.
This seaside village is a picturesque look at Italian life in the summer months. It was, after all, the chosen home of the Emperor Tiberius for its strategic location between Rome and Naples. With sweeping views and clean beaches, visitors looking for more will be fascinated by the collection of Imperial statues that were discovered in 1957 under a collapsed grotto that nearly killed Tiberius.
What’s a road trip without snacks? Mondragone is at the heart of mozzarella country. You won’t find it too hard to find the famous cheese in the city, but visit the most famous, Salumeria da Roberto, where you can purchase everything you need for a antipasto picnic on the beach or nearby ruins of a castle.
Naples is reaching past its reputation as a dangerous city by embracing its ancient past with new museums and cultural attractions, building new properties with tremendous views of the sea and Mount Vesuvius, and, of course, continuing its long-standing culinary traditions that have made the city a namesake on menus around the world.