Civitavecchia, as a “stepping stone” to Rome, is a classic port on Mediterranean cruises and is called at by most cruise lines in this context. Here you will find all the information you need to explore Civitavecchia/Rome on your own. Hints on the most important sights and helpful tips on how to get around on site await you on this page. You will also find this information visualized on our map.
Highlights of Rome on your own
Rome is of course a “must” for every cruise guest on the route in the western Mediterranean. The eternal city attracts with numerous attractions such as the Forum Romanum, the Colosseum and St. Peter’s Cathedral. It is also adorned with masterpieces by the Renaissance artists Michelangelo, Bernini, Raphael and many more.
Hardly any other city combines so many different eras with so many contemporary witnesses in such a lively and charming way. Starting with the mostly still very well preserved monuments of antiquity, the countless paintings, frescoes and statues of the Renaissance, up to the lively city life of the Italian capital: Rome offers simply everything, here no wishes remain unfulfilled.
But is the metropolis also suitable for being explored on your own? What needs to be considered?
Colosseum and Roman Forum
The Colosseum was the scene of the famous gladiator fights in ancient Rome. Built around 70 AD under Emperor Vespasian, the Colosseum is still the largest amphitheatre in the world. While walking through the still very well preserved walls of the Colosseum, one can still hear the swords of the gladiators literally clanging. When planning a visit to the Colosseum, however, you should also take into account the opening hours, which change depending on the season. In summer it usually closes at 19:15 hrs depending on the sunset, while in winter you can only visit the building until 16:30 hrs. Those who visit the Colosseum on the first Sunday of the month will be happy to save the entrance fee. It is generally free on this day. However, you might have to reckon with more crowds then.
Not far from the Colosseum to the west lies the central square of ancient Rome, the Forum Romanum. Here you can admire the impressive ruins of numerous temples of the ancient Roman deities, and while strolling along the Via Sacra you can get an idea of how public life was in ancient Rome.
Beside many sunny days in Rome, the weather even in Italy can be crazy. On rainy days it is advisable to choose sturdy shoes, as the stony ground is partly old and worn out.
The Colosseum and the Forum Romanum border each other so that the visit of both sightseeings can be perfectly combined.
St.Peter’s Basilica and St.Peter’s Square
Rome is the centre of the Catholic Church and seat of the Pope. A visit to St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square should not be missed by any cruise guest. Behind St. Peter’s extends the independent national state Vatican City, which is usually not accessible to tourists.
It took more than 120 years of construction (from 1506 to 1626) and more than 10 master builders to build St. Peter’s Basilica. It is thought to be the tomb of the Apostle Peter, to whom the building owes its name. The interior of the cathedral is dominated by the impressive dome of Michelangelo, the largest self-supporting brick building in the world.
What you should know when you visit St. Peter’s is that your shoulders and knees must be covered in any case. So make sure you are dressed appropriately on the day of the visit.
St. Peter’s Square, which extends to the east of the cathedral, was planned by Bernini. It is here that the largest Catholic mass in the world is held annually at Easter, and if you stand in the centre of the oval square, which is 787.4 ft (240 metres) wide, you can easily imagine how hundreds of thousands of people can be seated here. North of St. Peter’s Square is the Sistine Chapel, with the world-famous ceiling painting by Michelangelo.
St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square are located west of the Tiber, about 2.4 miles (4 km) from Rome’s main railway station. If you are not afraid of walking, you can visit numerous other sights along the way.
The Trevi Fountain is probably one of the most famous fountains in the world, but certainly the most popular in Rome. Built in the 18th century according to a design by Nicola Salvi, the fountain is in the classicist style and impresses with its countless sculptural details from a maritime scenery on 164 ft (50m) width.
The fountain enjoys great popularity among tourists, as the custom is to throw a coin into the fountain. Those who do so are said to return to Rome in any case. If you throw two coins, you will fall in love with a Roman. And if you even have three coins left, you may even find your spouse in Rome.
The Trevi Fountain is about 0.9 mile (1.5 km) west of the main railway station, so it can be easily reached on foot. However, you should take care of your bags and rucksacks on site, as the Trevi Fountain is one of the most popular places for pickpockets. Of course, this is true throughout Rome, as well as for the other sights you visit.
Other world-famous fountains can be found in Piazza Navona, about 0.6 mile (1 km) west of the Trevi Fountain. The four-stream fountain (Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi) by Bernini in the middle of the square is worthy of special mention. But Piazza Navona does not only derive its unique character from its history: the numerous cafés that line the square attract city dwellers and tourists alike and create a wonderfully relaxed and charming atmosphere, especially in the early evening hours.
Tourists who want to enjoy Piazza Navona in a special tranquillity and who do not like crowds, arrive early in the morning, before 10 a.m., or in the evening they can enjoy the illuminated buildings. But also outside these times, Piazza Navona is one of the highlights of Rome that is not too crowded, so it is also suitable for visits at other times.
Villa Borghese is a beautiful park located in the north of the city centre, about 1.2 miles (2 km) from the railway station. If you want to retreat from the often quite hectic life in the big city and relax a little in green surroundings, this is the right place.
The approximately 2 square miles (5 square kilometers) large park belonged to the Borghesian dynasty of princes in the 17th century. Since the beginning of the 20th century, however, the villa has been in state ownership, so the park is open to everyone.
Things to know for shore excursions in Rome
Cruise lines and routes
Most of the cruise routes in the western Mediterranean include a stopover in Civitavecchia and thus the opportunity for shore excursions to Rome. Among others, there are Mediterranean cruises by Costa and MSC, which make a stopover in Civitavecchia.
Entry and visa
Italy is part of the EU and the Schengen area. Any UK citizen who holds either a full UK passport or a BOTC, BOC, BPP or BS passport can travel to Italy visa-free. However, many non-EU nationals who reside in the UK are still required to get a Schengen visa to travel to Italy.
Most cruise lines allow a Mediterranean cruise with identity card. However, depending on the entry requirements of the cruise line and other ports of call, you may be required to carry a valid passport.
Please contact the cruise line for information about the valid entry requirements.
The western Mediterranean and therefore also Civitavecchia and Rome are classically visited during the summer months. Here it is mostly hot and dry in the middle of Italy.
But spring and autumn are also a good time to travel. Here is shoulder season in Italy and it is calmer. Off-season is winter. But some cruise lines now also have year-round offers for the western Mediterranean.
Transfer to the cruise ship port terminal
As Civitavecchia is an important port for Mediterranean cruises, it also often serves as a departure and arrival port. For this reason, many passengers travel to Civitavecchia by plane, for example, and need information about transfers to the cruise port terminal. There are various train connections that connect the airports with the port and other transfer possibilities. These are listed on the Cruise Port Terminal page, among others.
The cruise port terminal of Civitavecchia (Rome Cruise Terminal – RCT) alone offers 5 piers for the handling of cruise ships. There is also a separate terminal for ferries (Autostrade del Mare – ADM). Even though the Civitavecchia is the stepping stone to Rome, the distance between the port and the metropolis is a bit longer. This should be considered in any case when planning a shore excursion on your own. Possibly, therefore, an organized excursion is the better option.
How do I get to the city centre?
Free shuttle buses take passengers from the port to Largo della Pace. There is also a service centre. If your ship is moored at the long pier parallel to the city, a short stop will be made at each berth to pick up more passengers. From Pier 25 the shuttle bus goes directly to Largo della Pace. From there you can explore the city on foot.
How do I get to Rome?
Getting from Civitavecchia to Rome on your own is no problem with the necessary information. Especially with the train you can reach the metropolis without any problems.
Local public transport
A cruise excursion to Rome is ideal from Civitavecchia. From Largo della Pace to the railway station is about 0.9 mile (1.5 km) and you can either walk or take the Argo bus. Tickets are available at the Port Information Centre, they cost 1.8 pounds per trip. From piers 10-13 and the new Amerigo Vespucci terminal you can get off at the Fort Michelangelo stop, as it is only 1968.5 ft (600m) from the station.
At the train station of Civitavecchia you have several possibilities to get to Rome. Regional trains are particularly popular with cruise passengers, as they are cheap and run at least every half hour. Line FL5 will take you to Roma Termini via Roma San Pietro in about 1 1/2 hours. The so-called BIRG ticket can be purchased for 11 pounds and includes both the return journey and public transport in Rome. Alternatively, you can buy a single ticket that costs 4.5 pounds, i.e. 9 pounds for the outward and return journey. However, public transport in Rome is excluded here.
The Intercity runs in 50 minutes to Rome Central Station (Roma Termini) and has much fewer stops than the regional trains. A one-way trip in 2nd class costs 10 pounds per person.
A particularly fast alternative is the train Le Frecce. This train takes you to Roma Termini within 45 minutes without any stops. This train has only a few connections a day, so you should check the timetables here in advance.
In general, you should always allow enough time for the return journey, as disruptions or train cancellations may occur. For more information about timetables and costs, please visit Trenitalia.
Since Rome is a good 43.5 miles (70 km) from Civitavecchia, taxis are relatively expensive. If you still want to take a taxi to Rome, you will have to expect a price between 109 and 136 pounds per trip.
Locomotion in Rome
Rome can be explored in many ways. The following options are suitable.
The city can be easily explored with Rome’s well-developed transport network. Although there are only two metro lines (Line A and Line B), there are countless buses and trams that run at short intervals. Contrary to Germany, the ticket prices are very cheap, a single ticket costs only 1,36 Euro and is valid for 100 minutes. Children under the age of 10 travel free when accompanied by an adult, and you can find more information about prices and timetables on the ATAC website.
Hop-On Hop-Off Buses
The usual Hop-On Hop-Off buses also operate in Rome. These are a good alternative to public transport, as they stop at or pass by all the main sights and you can still enjoy a great view. There are several operators for Hop-On Hop-Off buses in Rome, so it is advisable to inform yourself in advance.
If you are good on foot, you can also explore Rome on foot, as many sights are not so far apart. However, you should not underestimate the hot temperatures in summer and drink enough water. In addition, you should make a plan in advance which sights you would like to see.
Website port operator and tourism organisation
- Port operator: Civitavecchia Port
- Official webseite: Civitavecchia, Rom
- Online travel agent: Wikitravel
Alternative to excursions on your own
The distance between Civitavecchia and Rome is an important factor that should be taken into account when planning a Rome excursion. As the two places are separated by a somewhat longer distance, an excursion on one’s own in this port is rather less recommendable. But those who still want to go to Rome on their own initiative should invest some time in the organisation.
But more comfortable is the variant of the guided excursion. Also “My Cruise Excursion” offers you this option, where you can sit back and spend little time in advance. You will be picked up from the ship and taken to Rome in a relaxed manner. There your tour guide will show you the highlights of the metropolis with plenty of insider knowledge. Thanks to small groups the atmosphere remains personal and the excursion individual.
Especially passengers who want to avoid the masses on their shore excursions will feel at ease with “My Cruise Excursion”. The tours offer all the advantages that go hand in hand with shore excursions on your own – they are inexpensive, often flexible in their programme and convince with small groups that create a personal atmosphere. Since they are guided nevertheless, guests benefit from the information content, which the tour guides ensure with their insider knowledge.