How to get from Civitavecchia port to Rome & the new Civitavecchia Express train

A common cruise dilemma when planning a cruise to Italy is how much time you need to see Rome before or after your Mediterranean cruise.

It is possible to see a lot of Rome in just a few days before you board your cruise ship from the port of Civitavecchia. Indeed most cruise passengers spend, on average, just three days in the city.

But if you want to experience Rome, you’ll need to stay as long as your time and budget allow. It is one of the most awe-inspiring, rewarding, and memorable cities you will ever visit in your lifetime. 

So if you are lucky enough to plan a cruise from Rome and want to spend more time in the city after your cruise, it is now easier than ever to travel by train from the cruise port at Civitavecchia to Rome city center.

The introduction of the new Civitavecchia Express train from 1 April to 1 November (during the primary Mediterranean cruise season), together with the Civitavecchia Port Link bus service, means your transfer from your cruise ship to central Rome is smooth and hassle-free. 

It is also the fastest and cheapest way to travel compared to a private transfer or a private shuttle service.

The port city of Civitavecchia lies about 85km northeast of Rome. It takes 10 minutes by bus to travel from the cruise terminal to the station. And it takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes to travel from the station in Civitavecchia to Rome, the most popular stop being Roma terminiYou do not need to change trains.

Fast and reliable train services

Trenitalia is the primary train operator in Italy. Their website allows you to book your train journeys throughout Italy and the Civitavecchia Express train and Civitavecchia Port Link bus service about three months before your travel date.

Trains in Italy are generally very reliable. Choose between fast trains, regional trains, or express trains. They all offer luggage space and comfortable seating. Some trains are older than others. Our tip is to pay a few euros extra per person to get a seat in a higher-class cabin where possible. It’s more comfortable, and you have more areas to place your suitcase.

Civitavecchia Express train and Civitavecchia Port Link bus service

The Civitavecchia Express Train gets you quickly from Civitavecchia port to central Rome with no traffic jams or heat to contend with.

From the port itself, the Civitavecchia Port Link shuttle bus takes you from the port entrance, called Largo Della Pace, to the train station in Civitavecchia. From there, it is a seamless journey into Rome. You buy both tickets together as a package.

And when you have purchased a ticket, you are guaranteed a seat on board the train. No one is left standing.

How often does the Civitavecchia Express Train leave the Civitavecchia train station?

Every morning there are two trains. The departure times consider the arrival times of cruise ships into Civitavecchia port. You will find that all the major cruise lines use this port for cruises starting in Rome.

At the moment, the departure times from Civitavecchia train station are:

Monday through to Saturday – 9.35 am

Sunday and Public Holidays – 08.30 am

Daily – 10.20 am

These times are subject to change, so be sure that you check the train times carefully when booking through the Trenitalia website.

How much does the train journey cost?

The combined train and shuttle bus ticket costs just 12 euros per person (this can change, so check the website to see your total price at the time of booking).

Children under 3 yrs old travel free and have no luggage size limits.

Children under 12 yrs old who are traveling with an adult are accessible on the train, and they only pay the shuttle bus fare of 2 euros.

Is the train journey direct and non-stop?

The train journey from Civitavecchia port to Rome is direct. It does stop at various stations along the route, but you do not need to change trains. You have three choices of stops in Rome:

First stop: Roma San Pietro Station (St. Peter’s)

This journey only takes around 35 minutes. Get off the train here if your hotel is close to Vatican City or the area around Castel Sant’Angelo, or if you want to visit the Vatican Museums.

Second stop: Roma Ostiense Station

From Civitavecchia port to Ostiense is about a one-hour journey. This is the closest stop to the Colosseum or Circus Maximus but still not within walking distance. You will need to continue your journey using the underground metro train for two stops to get to the Colosseum. Rome Ostiense is in southern Rome; it is unlikely you will be staying in this area as it’s pretty far away from all other sights.

Third stop: Roma Termini Station 

This is the most popular stop to disembark the train at Rome’s central station, called Termini. Either your hotel will be around this area, or there are plenty of taxis to take you there. Alternatively, the metro station offers routes A and B around the city to the most famous sights, such as Piazza Navona and Trevi Fountain.

And, of course, at Termini station, you can take the regional train to the airport if you are traveling home.

Is there an Express train for the journey from Rome to Civitavecchia to start my cruise?

Yes! You can also book the express train from Rome to Civitavecchia train station if you want to go in the other direction. However, there is currently just one train daily for this journey that leaves Rome at 3.30 pm. This will be too late if you want to join your cruise ship on the same day.

So you can use the express train to get to Civitavecchia if you are staying at a hotel in Civitavecchia the night before you start your cruise. You will need to take a regional train to get to Civitavecchia earlier in the day.

The regional train has very regular daily services from Rome’s Termini station and costs around 5 euros per person.

To summarize, the new Civitavecchia Express train together with the Civitavecchia Port Link bus service works well if you are extending your cruise vacation to stay in Rome after your cruise. Or if you want to get to Rome’s termini station to connect to a regional train to the airport. But for a journey from Rome out to Civitavecchia port, use the regular regional train earlier in the day to ensure you do not miss your cruise check in time.

How do I book my ticket?

Book your ticket for the Civitavecchia Express train and Civitavecchia Port Link bus service via Trenitalia’s website. You can even download their app and purchase the ticket via the app.

Note that this ticket will not include any metro, buses, or trams when you are in Rome.

Using the same website, you can also book regional and intercity trains. If you have paper train tickets, you must remember to get your tickets validated at the machines in the train station before climbing on board.

Can I purchase a train ticket on board the train?

The simple answer is no. You must always have a valid ticket when you get on the train, whether it is an electronic ticket on the Trenitalia app or a paper ticket. If you are carrying a paper ticket, you must also remember to validate the ticket at the ticket machine marked at the station before you board your train.

What are my other options for traveling between Civitavecchia port and Rome?

Regional trains frequently run between the Civitavecchia and Rome’s central station, Termini. You do not need to use the express train if you find a regional train better suited to the time of travel you need.

Take the port shuttle bus from your cruise terminal for 2 euros to Civitavecchia train station. Then the train from Civitavecchia to Roma Termini. The journey time is anywhere from 47 minutes if you book the fast train for around 11 euros, to 1 hour and 26 mins for a regional train costing about 5 euros which is the cheapest option.

Choose the departure time, journey length, and price that suits you on the Trenitalia website. Alternatively, you can purchase a ticket at the train station in Civitavecchia.

Does the express train link to the airport?

To get to Rome-Fiumicino airport, Rome’s international airport, also known as Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, you will need to get the regional train. The Civitavecchia Express Train does not service the airport.

When you book a train ticket for a regional train from Termini station to the airport, choose the one offering a direct service in the quickest time, around 30 minutes.

What are the Frecce trains in Italy?

Trains called Le Frecce are the modern high speed that connects to destinations all over Italy. Some of these trains travel up to 360km per hour.

There are 3 different types of Le Frecce trains: Frecciabianco, Frecciarossa, Frecciabianca. So if you see these train names, you know you are traveling on a fast train. They are more expensive than the regional trains. However, they are faster, have frequent connections, are more modern, have better facilities, and are a fantastic way to travel in Italy. They are also more expensive.

If you are extending your stay to include other regions in Italy, then the fast train is an easy and comfortable way to travel. You can travel by fast train to areas such as Florence and Venice.

Meet the author: With more than 20 years experience from the travel industry, Mattias offers tips, expert advice and a unique perspective anchored in having worked with market leading cruise lines, tour operators, consolidators, airlines and hospitality suppliers. Read more..