How to spend one day in Civitavecchia

Overlooked by many travelers, Civitavecchia is much more than just a cruise port and gateway to Rome. With an intriguing history, the friendly locals are eager to welcome you to their town before you embark on your cruise. And they hope you stay the night, too, rather than just pass through.

If you are visiting Rome before you start your Mediterranean or Greek Isles cruise, plan to spend the night in Civitavecchia before your cruise begins. That way, you wake up on embarkation day and enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your hotel without the panic of making the long journey from Rome to reach your cruise ship on time. Civitavecchia is about 80km northwest of Rome, and there are various options to travel to the port city to start your cruise.

How to get from central Rome to Civitavecchia

To get to the Civitavecchia for your cruise from Rome, you have these alternatives:

Private Transfer – If you are more than two people and want a private, door-to-door service, we recommend booking a private transfer before you leave home. It is the most expensive option, but you can share the cost with your fellow travelers. Book a pick-up from your Rome hotel directly to your hotel.´in Civitavecchia.

Taxi – Ask your hotel about pre-booking a cab. It takes just over an hour to get to Civitavecchia from central Rome. Traffic and queues, however, are unpredictable, especially in peak season. Taxis charge a flat rate. Establish the fare with your driver before you start. Expect to pay around 120 euros.

Train – Traveling by train from Rome’s Termini station to the train station at Civitavecchia is easy and will save you money.

You can buy train tickets for a local train for around 5 euros per person. There are ticket windows (be prepared to queue) and automated machines at the train station where you buy your ticket.

If you have a paper ticket, you must remember to get it stamped at one of the many ticket machines before boarding the train. Otherwise, you risk a heavy fine on board. You do not need to do this if your ticket is digital and you download it onto your phone.

There are shops, cafes, a tourist office, and even a shopping center located on the lower floor of Termini station. When you reach Civitavecchia train station, the distance to the city center is 2km, so you will most likely need a short taxi ride to get to your hotel.

How to get from Rome Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport to Civitavecchia

If you are traveling straight from the airport in Rome to Civitavecchia without staying in Rome before your cruise, here are transportation options from the airport to the city of Civitavecchia:

Private Transfer – After a long flight, it’s nice to have a driver meet you in the arrivals lounge holding a sign with your name on it. However, this is the most expensive option, but you can share the cost with your fellow travelers. Expect to pay about 100 euros per person, or less if you travel as a small group.

Taxi – Plenty of taxis at the airport offer a door-to-door service with a journey time of 1 hour. Expect to pay around 140 euros for your taxi journey. Late evenings or very early morning journeys tend to incur an extra surcharge of 20%.

Train – At Rome’s international airport, Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport, it’s easy to find the train station. Once you have been through security, collect your luggage. Then follow the arrows directing you to the train station.

At the station, purchase a ticket from the machine or at the manned ticket booth. You must change trains at Rome’s central train station, Termini. Remember to validate your ticket before you board the train at one of the Trenitalia machines.

You can also purchase train tickets before you leave home on Trenitalia’s website. Trenitalia is the primary train operator in Italy. To book, choose your origin, Fiumicino Aeroporto, destination Civitavecchia and the date and time you want to travel. The journey is about 1.5 hours and costs approximately 25 euros per person. There are luggage racks on the train where you can place your suitcase.

When you reach Civitavecchia train station, the distance to the city center is 2km, so hop in a taxi to your hotel, unless you have chosen a hotel within walking distance from the station.

Where to stay in Civitavecchia

It’s easy to visit Civitavecchia on a day trip, but we recommend you make the most of your time here by booking an overnight stay to enjoy the city day and night.

Here are our recommended hotels to help you relax and soak up the laid-back atmosphere of this charming, 2nd-century coastal town.

  • Hotel Traghetto – this hotel offers complimentary breakfast with your booking. A shuttle bus is right across the street to take you to your ship. You are more or less next door to the entrance of the cruise terminal. A grocery shop is nearby if you miss essential items from your cruise packing list. This hotel will also arrange a transfer if you come straight from the Rome international airport. Contact them by email before you leave home for a price quotation. If you are over 65, remember to ask for their senior discount!
  • Hotel San Giorgio – this is a good hotel. Ask for a room with a sea view. Take a 5-minute taxi ride to the port on the morning of departure.
  • Hotel Mediterraneo – this is a clean but basic hotel within walking distance of restaurants and a supermarket. You can walk to the port from here. However, it’s better to ask the hotel to arrange transport with the shuttle bus in hot weather.
  • Hotel Traiano – this hotel offers a complimentary shuttle transfer to the port. Ask the concierge for help booking this when you check-in. They will also help with airport transfers if you contact them before you leave home.

How to see spend one day in Civitavecchia

Civitavecchia is a charming, small town, and, as the center of the cruise industry in and out of Rome, has one of Italy’s busiest cruise ports.

It makes perfect sense to spend the day in Civitavecchia and at least one night before embarking on your cruise. Forget the stress of transferring from Rome, 80 km away on cruise departure day. Instead, check into one of Civitavecchia’s hotels, enjoy a leisurely day and evening, and wake up refreshed and ready to board your cruise ship, docked just a few minutes away.

Start your day in Piazza Della Vita, the Square of Life. Walk along the wide promenade towards Fort Michelangelo, a Renaissance period fort located close to the port area. Dating back to the 16th century, the fort was initially built to protect the town and is today the most prominent landmark along its coast.

From the fort, walk towards Civitavecchia’s cathedral, the Cathedral of San Francesco d’Assisi, on Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. It is beautifully restored and free to go inside.

Chiesa Della Stella, the oldest church in Civitavecchia, is nearby, and there are plenty of choices for a coffee and pastry and one of the many quaint cafes lining the streets.

Civitavecchia is packed with food markets and restaurants. The main market, Mercato Di Civitavecchia, on Piazza Regina Margherita, is a great place to sample local produce.

A guided tour with local experts

Incitur, based in Civitavecchia, are local experts in their hometown. Contact them for excellent guided tours, both in and area of Civitavecchia. They are also a good alternative to the cruise line’s shore excursions for exploring Rome or further afield.

Just 5 km outside of Civitavecchia, Terme Taurine, or Taurine Baths, is an ancient Roman site earlier a thermal bath and worth exploring if you enjoy archeology. Nearby is the thermal complex of Ficoncella, where you can bathe in one of the five natural warm springs. Known for its healing properties, it is an ancient site, and its facilities are pretty basic. Entrance is 5 euros per person during the day.

After Civitavecchia – continue your discovery of Italy

With good transportation links, Civitavecchia offers numerous possibilities to combine your trip with buck-list destinations such as Florence, Rome, and Venice.

Some of the most popular train routes booked by cruise guests are:

  • Civitavecchia to Florence (Firenze Santa Maria Novella): Regional train and fast train “Frecciarossa”; the journey time is about 3 hours, often one change in Rome. Prices start from about 30 euros per person.
  • Civitavecchia to Rome (Roma Termini): Regional and fast train; the journey time is one hour. The price is around 5 euros per person.
  • Civitavecchia to Venice island (Venezia S Lucia): A direct fast train takes five hours often with one change in Rome. Prices start at around 50 euros per person.

Further afield, good rail links make it possible to reach Genoa (from here, you can go to Portofino), Milano (to visit spectacular Lake Como), and Turin in the north & Naples in the south. The name of Italy’s primary train operator is Trenitalia, and you can book train tickets around three months before your date of travel directly on their website here.

Meet the author: Sarah has created and booked hundreds of travel itineraries for thousands of customers during a career in the travel industry that spans 20 years. Having worked hand in hand with cruise lines, hotels, airlines and tour operators worldwide, she offers inspiring & detailed insights in the world of travel and tourism.