This central region of Italy is, of course, dominated by the Baroque splendour of Rome and, indeed, a couple of my suggestions for out of way places to visit are in or around the capital. But there is still plenty to be enjoyed outside of the city for the more adventurous traveller. If you find the crowds of Pompeii off-putting, why not relish the peace of Ostia? Here you can explore the ruins of what was ancient Rome’s port, where all the food and luxuries necessary to maintain the capital of the empire were offloaded, ready to be shipped inland by barge up the Tiber. Alternatively, visit the hills to the south where the rich built their country villas as places to relax away from the unbearable heat of summer in the city. In Castel Gandolfo you can even visit the Papal palace with its wonderful gardens. Alternatively, try one of our suggested places to visit.