Kid-Friendly Day Trip from Rome: Bracciano & Trevignano Romano
Updated: Dec 17, 2019
A detailed day trip Itinerary to Bracciano and Trevignano Romano, Italy with kids.
This suggested itinerary day trip from Rome reads a bit like a “choose your own adventure” book with options for all ages like a tour with a princess, a daring escape game repelling down the side of a castle, sailing lessons, a water park, relaxing on a beach, and/or discovering ruins outside a medieval town. If adventure is not your speed, this day trip itinerary also provides options for a relaxing break from the busy city streets of Rome and hordes of tourists.
These adventures and an authentic look at Italian life can be found about 20 miles northwest of Rome during a day trip on the shores of Lago di Bracciano (Lake Bracciano), a popular summer destination for Romans. Surrounding this lovely lake are three picturesque towns: Bracciano, home to a 15th-century castle; Anguilara Sabazia, a charming medieval town with a small gravelly beach; and Trevignano Romano, also with a beach, small historic center, and a lovely boardwalk lined with restaurants with a lake view.
This suggested itinerary day trip from Rome covers Bracciao and Trevignano Romano and is accessible by train from Rome. If you do have access to a car, I recommend also taking time to visit Anguilara Sabazia on your day trip. If you have a car and time allows, our favorite place for lunch is La Caletta just outside of Anguillara Sabazia, a lovely lakeside Mediterranean restaurant with a small beach where the kids can play.
Day Trip Suggested Itinerary
How to get to Bracciano
Start your journey at the Roma S. Pietro station near Vatican City. At the Roma S. Pietro station, you will want to buy a Metrebus ticket for an unrestricted number of journeys in the Lazio Region on trains and buses. You will be traveling between two zones from Rome to Bracciano (Zone 1 and 2) and will need to purchase a ticket for six Euros a person. (This is the cost at the time this article is published).
Once your tickets are purchased, stamp the tickets in the yellow machine on the platform before boarding to validate them. The ticket is valid until midnight. Stamp the ticket only once and keep it with you in case an inspector asks to see it.
Take the local train from the Roma S. Pietro station to Bracciano station (just under an hour ride from Rome). Visit the Trenitalia website for times. Please note Italian trains and buses are notorious for not running on time. You should arrive on time but don't be surprised if the train or bus doesn't.
Once you arrive, take the 8-minute walk from the Bracciano train station to the Castello Odescalchi di Bracciano. See below map for directions.
Castello Odescalchi di Bracciano is a 15th-century castle and fortress. Once used as a military defense structure and a residence to the feudal lords, it now operates as a museum and event venue. (Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes happened to be married there). The castle grounds are fascinating to explore. Inside, you will find a collection of art, ceramics, a medieval weaponry room, and more. In addition, they hold special activities for children like a tour with a princess and an “escape room” like experience complete with repelling down the side of the castle for more adventurous families.
Check the website and call to confirm the museum is open the day you plan to visit. It will sometimes be closed for filming and private events.
Special Activities for Kids at Castello Odescalchi di Bracciano
Visit with a Princess every Sunday at 11:30. In the fairy tale Castle of Bracciano with its soaring towers and colorful flowering gardens the kings and princesses of days gone by wait serenely for visitors, young and old, to play together, tell stories and solve riddles. Storytelling, riddles, and games - an itinerary tailor-made for children to discover the Castle. This tour is guaranteed to plunge participants into the wonderful world of history and the imagination.
Duration: 1 hour
A private tour in English can be arranged in advance for € 120 for a group of 1 – 10 people.
Every Sunday at 11:30 tours are in Italian: Admission price: € 8.50 for adults, € 6 for children aged 3+.
All children must be accompanied by an adult.
The Castle Escape
This is a different approach to the interactive activities held in the Castle for families and children. After the traditional tour to discover all the secrets of the old rooms, participants visit a separate part of the Castle: the old stables. To avoid being thrown into the Castle’s dungeons, participants have to invent their own escape route. They play games and are taught little tricks about how to tie simple knots and use ropes so that they can literally lower themselves down the castle walls to escape imprisonment. Trained staff are on hand to supervise and ensure safety. This amusing game is a unique way to experience the old walls and personally discover the real heart and soul of a fortress.
For families and children aged 5+
Tour available in English
Duration: approximately 2 hours (one hour guided tour and one-hour activities)
Admission price: € 15 per person (special rates and discounts available)
For families and children aged 5+
Tour available in English
The Secret Passage
Discover the "Secret Passage" in the Odescalchi Castle during an exciting tour designed for families and children aged 8+. After the full guided tour of the Castle rooms, participants will be provided with the proper equipment to scale the walls as a roped party to reach the ramparts and patrol paths and enjoy the incredible, breathtaking view. From this vantage point, participants can take in the town of Bracciano, the Tolfa mountains, Mount Soratte, Terminillo, and the Lucretili Mountains as well as splendid views of the lake.
The excitement doesn’t stop here. Participants can experience the thrill of descending into the dark depths of the Castle. Using simple speleological techniques, the roped party will lower itself into the Castle’s main cistern and then exit through a secret passage! Contact the castle for more information on when they offer this experience.
Duration: approximately three hours. Guided tour: one hour; activities: two hours.
For families and children aged 8+
Tour available in English
Admission price: € 29 per person (special rates and discounts available)
There are multiple good family-friendly lunch options near the Castle in Bracciano. A few I suggest are:
1. For Seafood, Mediterranean, Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten-free options, Trattoria del Castello.
2. For an Italian Deli, Frashetta Bracciano. Try the Porchetta, [porˈketta]) is a savory, fatty, and moist boneless pork roast of Roman culinary tradition.
3. For Pizza, Seafood, Mediterranean Vegetarian, and Gluten-free options, Enjoy.
How to get from Bracciano to Trevignano Romano
If you have older children who do not need car seats, the fastest way will be to take a taxi. Use the “mytaxi” app.
(Rides on buses, do not require car seats). The ticket you purchased at the train station covers your bus fare. You will not need to stamp or show your ticket when getting on the bus, just have it with you in case an inspector asks for it.
I have two bus options for you based on the season and your interests. Both options start at the same bus stop in Bracciano at Piazza Pasqualetti (see below map) via the Bus Cotral headed towards “Roma Saxa Rubra – Saxa Rubra”.
Check the Cotral website for times, enter Bracciano for "Partenza" (start) and Trevignano Romano for "Arrivo" (arrival). Select " Partenza da p.zza Pasqualetti" then "Transita per / Arriva a p.zza Emanuele III" to see the departure times.
If the weather is warm and you would like to enjoy the beach, get off in 15 stops at "Trevignano , V Mosca Inc V Asinelli," just after you have passed Via degli Asinelli on your right. (About a 24-minute drive). Walk South on Via degli Asinelli towards the lake. Walk across Via della Rena to get to the promenade along the lake. Turn right and head West along the boardwalk to the beach.
What to do on the beach.
Casina Beach. Rent beach chairs and an umbrella. If you leave Bracciano before lunchtime, you could grab lunch here at their bar. (Via della Rena, 78, 00069 Trevignano Romano RM, Italy)
Water World Beach. A water park with inflated slides & trampolines on the water. View the website for more information. (Via della Rena 90, Trevignano Romano, Italy).
When you are ready to head to Trevignano’s town center, walk back on the promenade, East.
If you want to skip the beach, get off in 18 stops at Trevignano, Via 4 Novembre at Piazza Vittorio Emanuele III.
Things to do in the town center.
Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta. From Piazza Vittorio Emanuele III walk through the Porta dell’Orologio gate to the historical center of Trevignano Romano. Wander through the charming alleys towards the Church of Santa Maria Assunta. Inside, you can see a fresco painting that represents the assumption of Mary created by one of Raffaello’s disciple.
Orsinis Fortress. From the church of Santa Maria Assunta follow the signs up the stairs to the fortress with a beautiful view of the lake and town. The same family once owned this fortress as the castle in Bracciano. It was burned down in 1496, ordered by the Pope Borgia, due to his dislike of the Orsini family. This is not a stroller-friendly site; it can only be reached by stairs.
One of the highlights of Trevignano Romano is the tree-lined promenade with outdoor cafés gelato shops and restaurants. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy time with your family. Whether you spent the afternoon on the beach or exploring the historical center, the highlight not to be missed is the evening passeggiata that takes place on the promenade. A passeggiate is a daily occurrence in the early evenings especially in smaller towns where Italians take a walk and greet friends and family on the streets, stop into shops and do their afternoon shopping for an evening meal. Stop for a gelato or espresso in one of the many shops along the way and enjoy the atmosphere.
Around 7:30 to 8 pm, the restaurants that line the boardwalk start opening up. End your day with an enjoyable meal at one of the many restaurants and trattorias that line the promenade. During the summer, take in the beautiful sunset view from Lago di Bracciano over dinner. If you are taking the bus back choose a restaurant close to Piazza Vittorio Emanuele III where you will be catching the bus.
How to get back to Rome
There is no train station in Trevignano Romano so you must first get back to Bracciano by taxi or bus.
Taxi to Bracciano
You should be able to find a taxi in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele III or use the app “mytaxi.”
Bus to Bracciano
The latest bus leaving Trevignano Romano departs from Piazza Vittorio Emanuele III around 9:40 (21:40) or 9:00 (21:00) on Sundays and Holidays. Check the schedule on the Cotral website.
Get on the bus that says it’s headed to “Manziana - c.so - V.Emanuele” to get back to Bracciano and get off at Piazza Pasqualetti. From there, walk 8 minutes to the Bracciano train station. (See below map.)
Train to Rome
Take the regional train from Bracciano to Roma S. Pietro where you began! Visit the Trenitalia website for times.
Join my Travel Facebook Group to connect with me and other families interested in Italian Travel & Culture with kids! Ask for advice or share your experience on traveling with kids to Italy.
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