The best of both worlds: 5 of the best places to live near Rome Italy

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Rome is an amazing city to live in, with so much to offer: ancient architecture, renaissance art, and all the modern comforts and conveniences of a major European city.

But for some of us, big city life isn’t ideal. Especially in Rome, life can be too hustle-and-bustle and perhaps a little on the dirty side for some.

Fortunately, the region of Lazio is home to some amazing smaller towns surrounding the outer reach of Rome, from the Castelli Romani to the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Whether you have a car or want to live somewhere you can commute into the city by train, Lazio has plenty of well-connected towns and cities that offer the tranquility and slower-paced vibes you’re looking for, reacheable in about one hour from Rome.

We’ll cover five of the best places to live near Rome and a couple that you may want to avoid:

1. Bracciano – Best for outdoor activities

Just 19 miles and an hour by train ride away from the heart of Rome, Bracciano sits on the shores of the lake the city is named after, offering stunning views and a serene atmosphere. The town’s picturesque setting provides a peaceful and relaxing environment, perfect for those seeking a slower pace of life surrounded by natural beauty.

One of many things Bracciano is famous for is the Odescalchi Castle, a medieval fortress that overlooks the town and the lake. This historic landmark offers a glimpse into the past, one that reflects the local cuisine as well. Near the castle, you can find plenty of restaurants and markets that offer traditional Italian dishes and ingredients, including fresh seafood and regional specialties.

The town is situated along the shores of Lake Bracciano, a pristine body of water surrounded by picturesque landscapes. If you live in Bracciano, you can indulge in water activities like boating, swimming, and picnicking, all against the backdrop of breathtaking natural beauty.

The area also offers amazing shaded hikes around the lake, where you can take quick stops for dips in the cool water on hot, sunny summer days.

2. San Felice Circeo – Best for waterfront living

San Felice Circeo is one of the most stunning areas in Lazio, situated along the Tyrrhenian Sea coast, offering expats access to beautiful beaches and stunning sea views. Living in this coastal Italian town can provide a relaxed and serene atmosphere all year round, perfect for those who enjoy the sea and outdoor activities like swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.

San Circeo is also within reasonable commuting distance to Rome, about an hour and a half drive to the city center, so you’ll still get the modern comfort of Rome if you need to get away from the big city and be near the beach. There are a few buses that run to Rome, too, but they take a pretty long time and are not very convenient.

The Parco Nazionale del Circeo (Circeo National Park) is nearby, offering a diverse range of landscapes, including forests, wetlands, sand dunes, and coastal areas. Nature enthusiasts and hikers will appreciate the opportunities for exploration and outdoor adventures, like hikes with breathtaking, one-of-a-kind coastline views.

Of course, it can’t be a small town in Italy without history. San Circeo has a medieval town center, ancient ruins, and churches. As the town sits on the sea, the area is renowned for its seafood, and there are plenty of cafes, trattorias, and mom-and-pop restaurants to enjoy.

3. Tivoli – Best for year-round things to do

Living in Tivoli is like stepping through a timeline of important Italian eras. The town is probably best known as the location of Hadrian’s summer home, dedicated to his daughter Adriana. Villa Adriana is a UNESCO heritage site and one of the best-preserved ruins in the country, placing you in the mind of this ancient Roman emperor.

The town is home to another amazing UNESCO heritage site, too, called Villa D’Este. This villa is a Renaissance-era home and garden. You can walk through this amazing site, made famous for its fountains, elegant facade, and incredible architecture.

But that’s not the only great thing about Tivoli. The town rests in the Sabine Hills, providing stunning panoramic views of waterfalls, olive groves, and hills. Expats can revel in the natural beauty, go for leisurely hikes, and enjoy outdoor activities amidst the tranquil countryside.

Tivoli also hosts various cultural events, festivals, and exhibitions throughout the year. As an expat, you can engage with the local community, learn about Italian traditions, and immerse yourself in the cultural fabric of the region.

4. La Storta – Best place for families

Perhaps best known as the place St. Ignatius had his “mythical vision,” La Storta is actually a great place to settle for expats with young families. Nestled in, you guessed it, picturesque hills, La Storta is a hidden gem for families, offering a tranquil, family-friendly charm.

One of the best aspects of La Storta is its fusion of urban accessibility and serene countryside ambiance. The town is only around 15 miles away from Rome, just over a 30-minute drive or a one-hour train ride. So if you work in Rome or want to spend a day in town, the commute is quite short. But in the town itself, you can enjoy a safe, idyllic environment for kids and adults alike.

La Storta is also a key draw for many families because of the town’s emphasis on education and community. The city has a range of reputable schools, including St. George’s British International School, one of the best international schools in all of Rome.

British International School La Storta ItalyImage Credit: Wikitalia2

Besides the educational aspects, the town offers plenty of family-centered amenities. Parks and green spaces dot the landscape, providing plenty of spaces for outdoor adventures and quality family time. The tight-knit community provides a supportive network for families, too.

La Storta can offer expats with young families the best of both worlds. With the allure of cosmopolitan Rome within arm’s reach, La Storta is just far enough to provide a nurturing environment for young children.

5. Viterbo – Best city for a mix of culture and nightlife

Around an hour and a half north of Rome rests the “City of Popes,” Viterbo. The town sits between hills of hazelnut trees and the Sibillini mountains in a strategic location that made it a home for popes for hundreds of years (hence the name).

Because of the popes’ presence in Viterbo, the city was culturally and economically important for a long time, and though the town isn’t as large as it used to be, the old-world charm, historical significance, and cultural experiences still make it home to over 65,000 people.

Viterbo offers respite from the frantic rhythms of larger Italian cities. The city’s tranquil ambiance and proximity to natural wonders, such as hot springs and rolling hills, provide a serene backdrop for daily life. This setting encourages a deeper connection with nature and allows families to engage in outdoor activities, fostering a healthier and more balanced lifestyle.

Additionally, though the city is small by Rome’s standards, it boasts plenty of interesting things to do for those that enjoy dining and nightlife. Because of its northern location, close to the border of Umbria, the restaurants serve food similar to Tuscan dishes like truffle-packed pasta, wild boar sauce, and plenty of porcini mushrooms.

You’ll also be able to find amazing inexpensive wines from Umbria and Lazio. If you’re interested in immersing yourself in a more authentic Italian lifestyle, Viterbo is a great place for you to settle.

Places to avoid outside of Rome

There are countless amazing places to live around Rome, as the area is full of cultural significance, diverse landscapes, and so many things to do.

One place we’d warn against settling in is Ostia. Okay, before we get angry comments, we know that Ostia is a popular beach, and plenty of Romans take the train from Ostiense, accessible by the Metro, directly to the beaches of Ostia.

However, the beaches in this town are not as pristine as in towns like San Circeo. In some sections of the beach, you’ll feel so close to Fiumicino airport that you can breathe in the jet fumes. Also, the train that goes between Ostiense and Ostia is notoriously bad.

Otherwise, you’ll want to avoid places that are only accessible by car. Commuting to Rome from these towns by car usually isn’t a great idea, as the traffic inside the city is a bit of a nightmare. Additionally, you may want to look for slightly larger towns, as dealing with landlords, paperwork, and other bureaucratic issues in really small towns can be a huge headache.

Final thoughts

When you’re looking for places outside of Rome to live, you’ll have plenty of options. But the best places to settle are usually towns or cities with major train stations. Some of the smallest cities have trains that usually run to Termini station in the center of Rome every hour.

Instead of driving into Rome, find a place to live close to one of these train stations, or drive and park near the station outside of Rome. This gives you so many amazing affordable living options away from the busy Roman streets.

This article originally appeared on My Dolce Casa and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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