Sure, even an eternity wouldn’t be enough to see everything the Eternal City has to offer. But when you need a break from the traffic and city bustle, try one of our favorite escapes, especially perfect for beating the summer heat…
I love living in Rome. I live in one large open-air museum, and it’s basically impossible to grow bored here. But, when the sweltering summer heat comes around and the tourist invasion begins, even the most avid Rome-lovers can appreciate a quick getaway to some of the fabulous hidden gems that surround the city.
Lago di Bracciano – Trevignano Romano
Just about 30 minutes outside the city lies Lake Bracciano, a drinking water reservoir for Rome and therefore one of the cleanest lakes in Italy. Three towns border the lake: Bracciano; Anguillara Sabazia; and, our favorite, Trevignano Romano. Motorized boats are prohibited on the lake, so it’s an ideal place for swimming, sailing, or canoeing. Trevignano Romano boasts some of the cutest lakeside bars and cafes, where you can sip a Pinot Grigio and take in a delightful summer afternoon alongside the resident swans. We’ve spent so many gorgeous spring and summer days enjoying aperitivi and bottles of white wine in these little bars. We’ve even brought our own bottle, a pizza, and a beach towel – the more economical (but also really fun) option. The town is full of adorable boutiques and gelato shops, so there’s something for everyone here.
Sometimes we like a DIY situation. 👌🏼
By far the most convenient way to reach Trevignano Romano is by car. However, if you don’t have one (or any generous Roman friends with cars), Bracciano can be reached by train from Rome in just under an hour. From there you’ll need to hop on a bus to Trevignano. Not the fastest method, but we feel these towns are definitely worth the day trip!
If you don’t have the time or budget to chase down the dolce vita of the Amalfi Coast or the Riviera, don’t fret. You can still enjoy some fantastic seaside living, on one of Rome’s many charming beaches.
Santa Marinella is a quiet, beautiful seaside gem with a suburban-vibe. You’ll see the local joggers, dog-walkers, and babies in strollers, all out and about, enjoying the sunshine. Clean beaches, elegant beach clubs and bars, and a laidback atmosphere make this one of my favorite spots to chill. Being from California, the beach reminds me a bit of Santa Monica’s sleepy shores.
Passoscuro, not far from Rome’s Fiumicino airport, is another excellent choice if you want your feet in the sand and a drink in your hand. We visited Nautin Club just last week, and rented two lounge chairs for the day (14 Euros for the two of us). We soaked up the sun for a few hours, but perhaps the highlight was our lunch at the club’s restaurant. We ordered a perfect Gewürztraminer, before our very knowledgeable waiter brought us a delicious seafood salad laced with avocados. I followed this with a starter, rather than a main course, but this place did not disappoint. My fried calamari and shrimp were exactly what I needed. Leo opted for a plate of spaghetti alle vongole (clams), a dish we’ve both had countless times, but this was really something else. We could try to recreate it, but we would only be disappointed.
We had originally agreed that we wouldn’t order dessert (since we are at the beach and in our swimsuits, after all) but our waiter’s recommendation we decided to share a delizia al limone from Sal de Riso and it was heavenly.
Castel Gandolfo – Lago Albano
It’s known as the pope’s summer residence, but for us it’s a perfect spot to enjoy a spritz. The shores of this large lake are dotted with bars, cafes and restaurants, and much like Trevignano Romano, you can easily rent a paddle boat for the day or take a swim. Plus, it’s easily reachable from Rome’s Termini station in just around 40 minutes.