Civitavecchia is the gateway to the ancient city of Rome — and what a marvelous city Rome is!
If you have never been to Rome before it is definitely worth making the journey, but it can be a very long day. For those of you that don’t want to see the city, or for those of you that have already been, then let me give you some ideas on how to spend your day in port and do Civitavecchia without Rome.
The port of Civitavecchia is not one of the most exciting ports I’ve ever visited, but it does have enough to keep you occupied for a few hours, especially if the sun is shining. There are always several ships here so it can get quite busy, but for me that is half the fun.
There is usually a free shuttle service that will take you from your ships berth to the main port gates, but if you are young and mobile then it can often be nicer to just make the journey on foot – especially if there are several other ships in port worthy of admiring.
As you leave through the main port gate you will be met by the first place worthy of visiting, the National Archaeological Museum, which is right next door to McDonald’s – you can’t miss it. The museum offers visitors Roman sculptures, historical exhibitions, and other displays on the main floor, and Roman and Etruscan objects on the upper floor. It is only a small museum but admission is free and it is just a stone’s throw away from your ship.
If you take a stroll along Corso Centocelle and then cut left along one of the side streets you will soon come to the Civitavecchia outdoor market, one of the biggest and most interesting markets in the country. Here you can buy everything from batteries to the biggest bell peppers you have ever seen in your life! It is superb!Personally, I enjoyed browsing the fresh fruit and vegetables and I would highly recommend you sample some of the produce. The cherries are delicious and the peaches were perfectly fresh and juicy. If the sun is shining then a stroll around the market is the perfect way to spend your day in port.
Another option which you could probably combine with all of the above, is to take a walk along the newly refurbished promenade.
I would suggest you walk as far as you can as it is beautiful coastline and a stop at Il Pirgo is certainly a must. Great views and several delicious restaurants are just waiting for you to discover them. There is also a beach here so it could be a great option for those travelling as a family. It is just a small beach but it is very beautiful and within walking distance of the port even for the younger tots. Other beaches worth noting are Sant’Agostino and La Frasca, both are situated just outside of Civitavecchia so a bus or taxi to these would be advised.
As you walk along towards Il Pirgo it is worth noting that on the left side of the street there are also many bars are restaurants, this area is called Viale Garibaldi. The city’s main train station is also on this road.
The oldest part of the town, with its origins dating back to medieval times, is Piazza Leandra. Here you will find some of the best restaurants and cafes and many small boutique stores. To get here exit the port gates and walk along Corso Centocelle until you get to the first street on your left, turn down that street, you should then be on Corso Marconi. If you don’t see a street sign, don’t panic, just keep walking. A little ways down the street you will pass the San Francesco a’Assisi Cathedral on your right hand side. Once passed the Cathedral take a right and then a left – the Piazza Leandra is in that area. Don’t worry about getting lost in Civitavecchia, everything is relatively close together and you are never too far from the port area.
I have been to the port of Civitavecchia many times and on every visit I have done something different. I am not entirely sure I could ever completely fill a day here, but I like the fact that I can leave the ship for a few hours and take a slow walk around the market or along the promenade, then return to the ship and enjoy the fact that a lot of my fellow passengers opted to spend the day in Rome. It’s one of those ports where you think yes! The ship is mine for one day only and I am going to make the most of the free deck space.
Whatever you decide to do in Civitavecchia I am sure you will have a great day!