Have a bit of an extended stay in Rome? Then you MUST…read you’ll be totally missing out if you don’t make it here…MUST make a point to take a day trip to Sperlonga, Italy. We are 100% convinced it is Italy’s secret hidden gem.
Sperlonga is tiny beach town about 1.5 hours away from the Rome city center. White washed Italian home lined cliffs, bougainvillea covered streets, white sandy beaches overlooking the turquoise blue waters of the Tyrrhenian sea- this place is a MAGIC.
Dating back to the 1950’s, Sperlonga used to be a hidden getaway for movie stars and actors from Rome and we can completely see why.
So if you only are able to take one day trip from Rome, this.is.it.
Take the train from Termini out to Fondi-Sperlonga. You can purchase tickets ahead of time on Tren Italia or GoEuro, or simply use the straightforward self-service stations at Termini. You will most likely be looking for the train headed to Naples. Tickets are 6.50 Euro one way and only a little over an hour ride there….a steal for the beauty you’re about to bathe in.
Hop off at the Fondi stop (Note: the train station is not labeled Sperlonga, pay close attention as many times the Italian trains have no announcement or screen notifying you of each stop) and simply go through the train station exit and immediately head to your right to the bus stop.
From here, you will wait for a bus that takes you to Sperlonga beach. The bus is 1.50 Euro (cash only) and only about a 15 minute drive to the coast.
PRO TIP: Make certain to look up the return train and bus times before leaving (and screenshot them on your phone) so you know what your return options are before heading home! We have definitely learned the hard way on some European excursions and were stranded in a town with no way back to the city until the next day…not the WORST problem in the world, right?! But important to note.
*If you can take longer than a day trip, we say go, go, go! We initially went out for just a few hours, but fell in love with the little seaside town so much we decided to go back for an overnight stay. Because goodness THAT view in the morning from the sea facing balcony, cappuccino in hand- WORTH IT. (We recommend Florenza Residence or Hotel Aurora…anything with that view though)
There will be two main stops on the bus to Sperlonga, the first one at the top of the hill in the historic center, and the second at the beach. Do yourself a favor and get off at the top of the city center and meander your way down to the water. The winding pathways of bougainvillea covered doorways and white washed cobblestone paths are pure magic and not to be missed.
Also note- If bringing a stroller, this is also the recommend route, as there really is no easy way to get back up to the city center once down at the beach….trust us we learned the sweaty and exhaustingly hard way 🙂
AT THE BEACH
The beach is split up into various “sections”- a public strip of sand (no umbrellas and free to anyone who chooses) and several private groups of umbrellas. Each private area typically has a resort or hut of some kind associated with it. It is 20 euro to rent an umbrella with two chairs for the day and well worth the comfort and reprieve from the hot Italian sun.
There are showers and places to rinse off your feet at the back of the shore and we even heard waiters come around to take aperitif orders around 5pm daily…What?!
Take a walk down the beach and you’ll find restaurants, cafes, and a nice amusement park type area for little ones- a small playground, trampoline park, a carousel, and train. Keep in mind the rides do not open until 5pm though! (Another reason to book that oversight stay!)
This little hidden gem of a city is still beautifully untouched from the wave of summer escapading Italian tourists and probably one of our very favorite parts of our month long stay in Rome (read how we spent 1 month in Italy for 1k here)!
We’re convinced Sperlonga is Italy’s best kept secret and the perfect way to escape the bustling city of Rome for a day or two. Comment below and let us know if you make it out there, we would love to hear what you think!