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

A common cruise dilemma when planning a cruise vacation to Italy, is how much time do you need to see Rome either 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 3 days in the city.

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

So if you are lucky enough to be planning 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 Civitavecchia station to Rome city center.

The introduction of the new Civitavecchia Express train from 1 April to 1 November (during the main 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 one of the cheapest way to travel when 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 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 main train operator in Italy. Their website allows you to book your train journeys throughout Italy and now the Civitavecchia Express train and Civitavecchia Port Link bus service about 3 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 get more areas in which to place your suitcase.

Civitavecchia Express train and Civitavecchia Port Link bus service

The Civitavecchia Express Train gets you from Civitavecchia port to central Rome quickly 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 Civitavecchia train station?

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

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

Monday through to Saturday – 9.35am

Sunday and Public Holidays – 08.30am

Daily – 10.20am

These times are subject to change so be sure that you check the train times carefully when booking through 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 time of booking).

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

Children under 12 yrs old who are travelling with an adult are free 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, however it does stop. This offers customers the convenience of where they want to get off in central Rome. There are 3 choices:

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

This journey only takes around 35 minutes. Get off the train here if you are staying 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 Rome Ostiense is about a one hour journey. This is the closest stop to the Colosseum or Circus Maximus but still not walking distance. You will need to continue your journey using the underground metro train 2 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 quite 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 route A and route B around the city to the most famous sights such as the Ancient Rome and the Colosseum.

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

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

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

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

The regional train has very regular 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, 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 Civitavecchia Express train and Civitavecchia Port Link bus service via Trenitalias 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 a 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 clearly marked at the station before you get on board your train.

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

Regional trains run frequently 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 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 around 5 euros. This is the cheapest option.

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

Does this express train link to the airport?

To get to Rome-Fiumicino airport – that is Rome’s international airport, otherwise 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 to get from Termini station to the airport, Fiumicino Aeroporto, choose the one offering a direct service in the quickest time, which is around 30 minutes.

What are the Frecce trains in Italy?

Trains called Le Frecce are the modern high speed that connect to destinations all over Italy. Some of these trains travel at 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 travelling on the fast train. They are more expensive than regional train, however are faster, have frequent connections, are more modern, have better facilities and are a fantastic way to travel in Italy. 

If you are extending your stay to include other regions in Italy, then the fast train is a easy and comfortable way to travel. You can travel by fast train to regions 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..