Friday, May 20, 2011

Exploring around Civitavecchia

Walls  of the port and  Duomo 
For  those  adventurous cruisers who prefer to explore   the area around Civitavecchia port on their own  to  get a glimpse into the daily life of the local people, an inexpensive alternative is  now available.  
Duomo  of  Civitavecchia 
With a bit of foresight and planning a day ashore can be  enjoyed  on your own for  a  few  euro.
The port of  Civitavecchia is continuing  to grow  exponentially with more than 2 million passengers disembarking  here annually.
  Thanks to the free shuttle bus  that criss crosses the port continually, passengers are safely transported  to the port's main exit dominated by the magnificent 16th century fortress designed  for  Pope Julius II  by Michelangelo .
Michelangeo fortress -where shuttle buses  stop 


looking  down from the bus stop to the Info  kiosk and shuttle bus stop  

Its been about  2 years now that  the information kiosk has been set up  here  to dispense brochures and  travel information.
 It is  run by the Lazio Region  with multi lingual hostesses  who  give out free information, sell tickets  for  the train, bus and  tours.
ask the girls  for information...they speak English !!

After dodging  a few persistent  taxi drivers  offering outrageously expensive  transfers to Rome, a short walk along the   palm-lined  boardwalk brings to the train station (15 minutes along the sea) or around the corner  (5 minutes walk)  to the white facade of the city's main church and the local bus stop.

You can also  purchase  bus tickets at the tobacconist shop or newspaper kiosk  nearby. 

bus stop  in Civitavecchia to Siena, Aquila, Viterbo.etc.

From here for a few euro (I paid  1.50 for a one-way ticket home)  one can travel independently to the lovely  nearby towns of Tarquinia, Tolfa,Tuscania, Viterbo and Vetralla  using  the  inexpensive  blue  buses of the Cotral  transport system.

Don't expect  air conditioned luxury   for these  fast buses   are used mostly by students and non-drivers  commuting to school or work.

Check   the timetables carefully beforehand online -rarely are they posted at the bus stops- and remember to allow ample time to return to the dock. Our usual  bus home to Vetralla leaves at  9:00 am but we are always a bit early. 

Beware of the terrible word "sciopero" which means the buses are on strike.
 Find out  when the bus will return and learn to say the name Civita - vecchia- not just "port" which may be misunderstood as "airport".
At  the bus stop...overlooking  the cruise docks
Even better have a postcard showing your ship and the phone number  of the ship company's port liason with you. Buon viaggio!



  1. Lots of cruisers want to know special places to visit near Civitavecchia ...please name your favorite place, restaurant, museum, activity ...

  2. and why not to spend a day in the country and cooking and drinking wine at Fontana del Papa!!

  3. This info booth was working at 8:30 am while the Tarquinia booth, hidden around the corner was tightly closed. Question for the Regione Lazio tourism board: When will there be a hop-on, hop-off tour bus concession from Civitavecchia to the surrounding countryside??

  4. I am happy to announce that a "hop-on, hop-off" bus service has been set up for cruisers in Civtavecchia for the day. There is also a free bus service to the "mall" Scaglia perfect for cruise employees who need to do a bit of inexpensive shopping.

  5. Unfortunately I have to report that the information booth -an essential service of information - has disappeared of October 2012.
    The hop on hop off bus is still working and the free shuttle to the mall is too.

  6. When I asked Giugielmo Nardocchi (responsible for communications of the UNPLI Italian Pro Loco groups) why the info point at Civitavecchia was closed, he told me that the local politicians were afraid the Pro Loco would gain too much power. (!)

  7. updating: passengers are now shuttled off to Largo della Pace where there is an enclosure, city buses for the ride to the train station (about 2 euro) or they can walk but its over 1 km.