Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

The cruise port of Civitavecchia is called the cruise port of Rome, but it is still more than 45 miles, or time-wise, over an hour away. If your Western Mediterranean cruise is scheduled for full day in port, to see the best of the best of the Eternal City, you’ve got to hit the ground running!

There are several alternatives for getting to Rome from Civitavecchia. Cruise line sponsored shore excursions or a private tour guide are both good options, the latter being the more costly option. For independent travelers, there is a train station within walking distance from the port offering quick and inexpensive transfer to the city. Once in Rome, it’s very easy to walk just about everywhere.

Whichever way you choose to explore Rome, if you’re a first-time visitor, here are some highlights you may want incorporate in your itinerary. Walk through the Roman Forum which was the central commerce and business area of the city around which Ancient Rome developed. To save time, and for great photos, it may be viewed panoramically from Capitoline Hill.  A visit to the Colosseum is a must, and if you’re traveling with kids, they’ll love having their picture taken with a gladiator! Savor a dish of rich and creamy gelato as you meander over to the Piazza Navona. Stroll over to the architectural wonder of the Pantheon, built in 126 AD as a temple for pagan gods, and now a Catholic church.  

In Rome, you’ll find out that Italians are more than just pasta and pizza. To rest and rejuvenate find a trattoria and have some authentic Italian food! You may then choose seek out the Arch of Constantine, built in 315 AD, the largest of the three remaining Roman arches. Dedicate some time to the Basilica of St. Peter, and wander through the Vatican Museum, the highlight of course being the Sistine Chapel. Most importantly, regardless of whatever else you do in Rome, be sure to stop by the Trevi Fountain. Legend says that one who throws a coin in the fountain shall one day return to Rome!

Tip: Take advantage of the fact that many sights across Rome offer the opportunity to book admission tickets online and in advance for a set entry time.

It is said that “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and it’s foolish to think you can see it all in a less than 12 hours! If your Western Mediterranean cruise departs or returns to Civitavecchia, consider spending an additional few nights in Rome.