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Civitavecchia, Italy

Civitavecchia is a city in the province of


, region of Lazio, in central Italy.

The name Civitavecchia means "ancient town". The town was built over an Etruscan settlement. The harbor was built at the beginning of the 2nd century AD. Today it is a major port for cruise ships and ferries and is known as the main port for Rome, some 80 Km (50 miles) to the south.

Main sights

The massive Forte Michelangelo was first commissioned from Donato Bramante by Pope Julius II, to defend the port of Rome. The upper part of the "maschio" tower, however, was designed by Michelangelo, whose name is generally applied to the fortress. North of the city at Ficoncella are the Terme Taurine baths frequented by Romans and still popular with the Civitavecchiesi. The modern... Read more

Civitavecchia, Italy

Civitavecchia is a city in the province of


, region of Lazio, in central Italy.

The name Civitavecchia means "ancient town". The town was built over an Etruscan settlement. The harbor was built at the beginning of the 2nd century AD. Today it is a major port for cruise ships and ferries and is known as the main port for Rome, some 80 Km (50 miles) to the south.

Main sights

The massive Forte Michelangelo was first commissioned from Donato Bramante by Pope Julius II, to defend the port of Rome. The upper part of the "maschio" tower, however, was designed by Michelangelo, whose name is generally applied to the fortress. North of the city at Ficoncella are the Terme Taurine baths frequented by Romans and still popular with the Civitavecchiesi. The modern name stems from the common fig plants among the various pools. And also next to the town is the location of the cruise ship docks. All major cruise lines start and end their cruises at this location, and others stop for shore excursion days that allow guests to see Rome and Vatican sights, which are ninety minutes away.


  • As the primary seaport for Rome, Civitavecchia has trains that frequently take commuters and cruisers into the city. Commuter trains take about 80–90 minutes to reach the main station in Roma...the Termini...and to return from there. With fairly-early departures, the service makes effective day-trips possible...though rush-hour times find them rather full.
  • Tickets cost about 4.5 euros each way. Or you can purchase round trip B.I.R.G. tickets for roughly twice that. As of Summer 2009, the latter tickets allowed you unlimited us of Rome city buses and the Metro.
  • Cruisers are usually provided shuttles from their ship to and from the port pedestrian entrance. From there, you'll find the train station about a 10 minute walk along the seashore.
  • Take care with your belongings...few needed for a day-trip. Thieves like to grab items and jump off trains just as the doors close.
  • Drinks are allowed on the train

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Civitavecchia, Italy: Port Information

There are two types of trains from the Civitavecchia port to the Rome: regular and intercity. Intercity is faster than the first one (0.46 hours vs. 1.18), but two times more expensive, also, it needs the reservation. Check the website.
Another way to get to the Rome is the Argo shuttle buses.

Get around Civitavecchia, Italy

Civitavecchia, the port of Rome, is the point of arrival and departure of hundreds of ships, cruises, ferries travelling all around the Mediterranean. From here it is possible to reach Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily, Spain, France, some other small islands, and even north Africa. A good transportation system links the port to the Eternal City.

What to see in Civitavecchia, Italy

  • National Archeological Museum. Preserves exciting finds from the Roman port and Taurine spas (just outside Civitavecchia), and the 845 inscription that celebrates the city's reconstruction after being destroyed by the Saracen.
  • Michelangelo stronghold. The impressive fortress built in the sixteenth century with the assistance of the great Michelangelo Buonarroti.
  • Terme Taurine. The thermal complex built by the Roman Emperor Trajan is still nowadays well preserved. The rests of the Terme Taurine are situated north, around 1 hour walking from the harbour. Civitavecchia Pro Loco provides free buses from the harbour. For information +39 3382707567, +39 0766 20299
  • Ficoncella Thermal Bath. North of the city close to the Terme Taurine there is the Ficoncella bath frequented by Romans and still popular with the Civitavecchiesi. The modern name stems from the fig plants among the various pools.
  • La Cattedrale. The cathedral of San Francesco d'Assisi was built by the Franciscans over a pre-existing small church built from 1610. The current edifice, with Baroque-Neoclassical lines, was erected in the eighteenth century. It's situated between the historical centre of the city and Viale Garibaldi.

What to do in Civitavecchia, Italy

Visit Rome! Click the link to find out about attractions in Rome. 

What to eat and drink in Civitavecchia, Italy


The main street between the train station and the harbor has a lot of restaurants, pizzarias, bars, etc. for some good food that can be found relatively cheap. Many people hang out here at night and sit around and have a bite to eat and some vino. Great place to people watch in this small town.

  • Pizzeria al Ghetto. Only open at night and worth the wait! Locals love this place. Outside tables fill up fast so get there early. Only two kinds of pizza, margarita or anchovy. Get it with a cold beer and enjoy the food and atmosphere.
  • Ristorante Stuzzichino, Via Pietro Manzi, 30, ☎ +39 0766 32945. Open at night and at lunch, it's situated in the historical city centre of Civitavecchia. You can taste the local seafood cuisine, in a cozy atmosphere. The restaurant is not very big, so it's recommended to make a reservation.

Safety in Civitavecchia, Italy

Rome is generally a safe place, even for women travelling alone. However, there have been rape cases around Termini station, so be careful (especially at night time). There is very little violent crime, but plenty of scams and pickpocketing that target tourists. As in any other big city, it is better if you don't look like a tourist: don't exhibit your camera or camcorder to all and sundry, and keep your money in a safe place. Consciousness and vigilance are your best insurances for avoiding becoming a victim of a crime in Rome. Remember, if you are pickpocketed or victim of another scam, don't be afraid to shout, "Aiuto, al ladro!" (Help, Thief!) Romans will not be nice to the thief.

Members of the Italian public are likely to be sympathetic if you are a crime victim. Police are also generally friendly if not always helpful. Carabinieri (black uniform, red striped trousers) are military police while the Polizia (blue and grey uniform) are civilians, but they both do essentially the same thing and are equally good, or bad. If you are robbed, try to find a police station ("commissariato") and report it. This is essential to establishing a secure insurance claim and to replace documents: the chances of it resulting in the return of your possessions are, however, fairly remote.

Rome is home to two rivals Serie A football clubs - A.S. Roma and S.S. Lazio; there's a long history of conflict, and even rioting, between the two. Never wear anything that shows that you support either of them during the Derby (when the two clubs play each other): avoid even wandering into groups of supporters of the other club, or you may be subject to heckling or even confrontation. Play it safe and refrain from openly supporting either club unless you are very familiar with the rivalry. If you are a fan of a foreign team that is playing in Rome, be careful as a number of supporters have been stabbed over the past few years. A.S. Roma's colours are yellow and red (more precisely, orange and garnet-coloured, the same you can see on the city's flag); S.S. Lazio's livery is composed by white and light blue (azure). Other tee-shirts not appreciated: Juventus (black and white vertical stripes), Milan (red and black), Inter (blue and black) - but they are twins with Lazio - and Napoli (light blue). However, don't take these tips too seriously: it is extremely unlikely that you'll ever get in any trouble whatsoever just for wearing other teams' tee-shirts (especially in the central areas).


Since Rome is incredibly popular as a tourist destination, a great deal of pickpocketing and/or bag or purse snatching takes place - especially in crowded locations - and pickpocketers can get pretty crafty. A 2010 study found that Rome was second only to Barcelona for pickpocketing of tourists.

As a rule, you should pretty much never carry anything very valuable in any outside pocket - the back pocket of your trousers is one of the easiest and most common targets. Keeping your wallet in your front pocket or in your bag is far from safe; you should consider using a money belt and carry only the cash for the day in your pocket.

Also, beware of thieves — they will use the old trick of one person trying to distract you (asking for a cigarette or doing a strange dance) while another thief picks your pockets from behind. Bands of kids will sometimes crowd you and reach for your pockets under the cover of newspapers or cardboard sheets. It is generally a good idea to be extremely wary of any strange person who gets too close to you, even in a crowd. If someone is in your personal space, shove the person away. As one frequent traveler put it, "Don't be afraid to be a dick in Rome." It is better to be rude than to be stolen from.

Termini (the main railway station), bus line # 64, the central stops of the Metro and Trevi fountain are well-known for pickpockets, so take extra care in these areas.

Remember that hotel rooms are not safe places for valuables; if your room has no safe, give your valuables to the hotel staff for safekeeping. Even if they do have a safe, hotels will usually warn you that they have no liability (unless you put your items in the hotel's safe). This is not true, as it is against the Italian normative on hotel responsibilities.

Be aware of the danger and take the usual precautions and you should be all right. You don't need to be paranoid, just keep your eyes open and use your common sense!

Tourist scams

Read up on the legends concerning tourist scams: most of them occur regularly in the city centre and you will want to see them coming.

One of the recent scams is when you get out of the airport and look for the airport shuttle to Termini Station. One of the three service providers (Schiaffini since previous reports), will sell you a ticket and hurry you to the bus, saying that the bus will depart anytime. Being worried and hurried, you forget to receive your change, and since this must be paid in cash, it will be very hard to show that no change was given. Also, it was witnessed that they don't give change and want exact change sometimes, since most people don't care about one or two euros, some will let this slip, and take the bus anyways. Beware, you're entitled to your change no matter if it's one cent or two euros.

A particular scam is when some plainclothes police will approach you, asking to look for "drug money," or ask to see your passport. This obviously is a scam to take your money. You can scare them by asking for their ID: the Guardia di Finanza (whose personnel wears grey uniforms) are the ones doing customs checks.

Another recent scam involves men working near the Spanish Steps, around piazza Navona and outside the Colosseum. They approach you, asking where you are from, and begin to tie bracelets around your wrists. When they are done they will try to charge you upwards of €20 for each bracelet. If anyone makes any attempt to reach for your hand, retract quickly. If you get trapped, you can refuse to pay, but this may not be wise if there are not many people around. Carry small bills or just change, in your wallet, so if you find yourself in cornered to pay for the bracelet, you can convince them that €1 is all you have.

When taking a taxi, be sure to remember licence number written on the car door. In seconds, people have had a taxi bill risen by €10 or even more. When giving money to taxi driver, be careful.

Around tourist sites like the Trevi Fountain, Colosseum and the Spanish Steps there are groups mostly of men trying to sell cheap souvenirs. They may also carry roses and say they are giving you a gift because they like you but the minute you take their "gift" they demand money. They are often very insistent and often the only way to get rid of them is to be plain rude. Do the best you can to not take their "gifts" as they will follow you around asking for money. Simply saying: "No!" or: "Go away!" will get them off your back until the next vendor comes up to you. Also, be aware of the toys being sold by these vendors. One such item is a squishy ball which flattens when thrown onto the ground; they cost around €1. Once bought, they last a mere quarter hour before bursting - if you get one and are not careful you could end up ruining your luggage.

Occasionally, people may stand outside churches to charge an 'admission fee,' (€1-2) blocking the entrance unless they are paid. No churches in Rome charge a fee to enter - simply ignore them.

Be wary of places where you can exchange currency. Read ALL signs before changing money. Often times places set up just for currency exchange will add as much as a 20% service fee on all money being traded. The shops near the Vatican have especially high service fees, whereas places near the Trevi Fountain will be more reasonable. The best bet is to change enough money before you leave your home country. There are few places around the city that are under the table and are just interested in American money. These places charge no service fee. Or simply go to a bank.

Be careful of con-men who may approach you at tourist sights. The best advice to avoid scams is to get way from anyone that you have never seen before who starts talking to you. For example, a man could approach you asking for directions to a bar, strike a convincing conversation and invite you for a drink at that bar. He would then take you there with some (call) girls, offer you a drink (for which he doesn't mind paying); a (call) girl will approach you and make you agree to pay for a champagne for her. Eventually, you'll end up being asked to pay hundreds of euros for that bottle of champagne when billed.

A car may pull up next to you, and the driver asks you for directions to, say, the Vatican. He will strike up a conversation with you while he sits in his car and tell you he is a sales representative for a large French (or Italian or whatever) fashion house. He will then tell that you he likes you and he would like to give you a gift of a coat worth several thousand euros. As you reach inside his car to take the bag the coat is in, he will ask you for €200 for gas, as his car is nearly empty.


The former province of Rome is now covered by the new emergency number, 112, which works pretty much like 911. Carry the address of your embassy or consulate.

On anything else you may need for your Roman holiday, you can contact the official helpline of the Italian Ministry of Tourism: +39 039 039. 09:00-22:00 daily, in seven languages.

Language spoken in Civitavecchia, Italy

In Rome the population speaks Italian and the road signs are mostly in that language (except for "STOP"). If you are staying in the city, there are plenty of English alternatives to be found; Rome is a popular place to visit and there are maps and information in many languages available. Police officers and transit drivers are more than willing to help you get around and usually provide easier ways to get around.

Also, most residents speak - to varying degrees - the local Roman dialect which can be hard to understand if you've just picked up Italian.

English is widely spoken in Rome by the younger generations and by people working in the tourist industry; among 40+s the chance of finding English-speaking people is a lot less, and with 60+s as good as zero. Most Romans, however, always try to be helpful with the tourists by giving some basic indications - and since so many people have a limited knowledge of English, it is wise to speak slowly and simply.

Romance languages other than Italian - especially Spanish, French and Portuguese, can be also understood (Spanish better than Portuguese) due to their similarity to Italian, although not necessarily spoken. Romanian, on the other hand, is not well understood despite it being a Romance language. However, make sure not confuse Italian with Spanish, or to address locals in that language - they might not take it kindly.


8:02 pm
April 24, 2019


17.42 °C / 63.356 °F
overcast clouds

17.39 °C/63 °F
few clouds

15.85 °C/61 °F
light rain

15.92 °C/61 °F
sky is clear

15.43 °C/60 °F
few clouds



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