Civitavecchia is a seaside city and the port serving the city of Rome. The city is serviced by frequent train service from Rome along with service to other Italian cities. The Cruise port is only a short eight block walk along the waterfront on Via Aurelia from the train station (Note: Currently the cruise buses are not running from the main port entrance but from a port entrance six blocks farther west – see note in red and the map below). Once inside the port gate there are free shuttles to the cruise ships. There is an open air bus area with current ships marked on the buses. Often the port runs free shuttles to and from the Civitavecchia train station.
The main port entrance is marked on the above map with a red 1 and is located behind the McDonalds. The shuttle terminal to catch buses to the cruise ships is marked with a red 2.
Where the Ships Dock – Civitavecchia is both a cruise ship embarkation port as well as a popular port of call and for that reason it can have a large number of ships in port from time to time. On one day we counted seven cruise ships tied up. Because of the size of the port it requires a shuttle to get out of the port or to your ship, no walking out.
Embarking-Disembarking – This is a working port without a cruise ship terminal. Disembarking varies by the individual ships gangway design and can present a steep ramp or even stairs. Walking out of the port is usually not an option so shuttle buses (free) are required for embarking as well as going ashore.
Port City Characteristics – This port has an average wheelchair infrastructure typical of large cities. The city above the water front has moderate hills. There are inclines on many sidewalks and intersection crosswalks may have curbs or other wheelchair obstacles. Many side streets have pavers and often sidewalks are typically too narrow for wheelchairs.
Taxis are available but are famous for overcharging. A short ride from the port to the train station can be quoted as high as €10 or €15.
Taking a taxi into Rome or to the airport can be an expensive trip with fares running from €150 to €300.
If you are catching a cruise from Rome and are flying in, most cruise ships sponsor shuttle buses from the airport that average $65 per person. If you are on a budget there is frequent train service that can get you to Civitavecchia for as little as $7. Catching the Leonardo Express, an express service into Rome, requires you to go into the central Rome Station and transfer to a local train to go to Civitavecchia. You can also catch a commuter local train at the airport station (FM1) and switch trains at Trastvere station for service to Civitavecchia. If it is rush hour and you have large suitcases, commuter trains can be awkward as the Italians don’t take kindly to bags taking up seats.
Visiting Civitavecchia – Civitavecchia is a nice city with a number of good hotels and restaurants within walking distance of the port. The main business district is right next to the port and there are a number of shops in the area as well as a pedestrian walking mall. There’s the Civitavecchia Market – also known as San Lorenzo Market only about six blocks above the port entrance in the heart of the historic city center, near Piazza Regina Margherita. Locals come to shop for fresh food products and fish in the well-known Fish market. Spending time at the market is a pleasant and fun experience, with a lively and busy atmosphere with not just market stalls, but also bars, pizzerias and shops.
San Lorenzo Market
Fort Michelangelo shown below is inside the port and it’s one of the symbols of Civitavecchia. It is also one of the most important historic structures of the Italian coastline.
The National Archaeological Museum of Civitavecchia is located a few steps away from Fort Michelangelo, inside the eighteenth-century building commisioned by Pope Clement XIII in the eighteenth century.
The Taurine Baths of Civitavecchia, also known as Baths of Trajan, are an archeological site in the north section of the city. Among the ruins there are tanks, massage rooms and baths all decorated with friezes and mosaics.