Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy

Rome Civitavecchia Port: Ship to Rome DIY Shore Excursions Guide

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but you can still experience its magic on a day trip from your cruise! My first visit to Rome was in 1998, and that coin in the Trevi Fountain worked its spell โ€“ I’ve spent weeks exploring the Eternal City since and always look forward to returning. Even if it’s a quick stop from Civitavecchia, let me help you plan a DIY Rome adventure.

p.s. If the travel into Rome is too much for you, this is how I spent a day in Civitavecchia!

Cruise Starting or Ending in Civitavecchia?

Read my embarkation guides for your logistics planning below:

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Rome (Civitavecchia): Is a DIY Excursion Easy? ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž (Straightforward)

My DIY Shore Excursion rating for Rome Civitavvechia cruise port is ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž (Straightforward). Here’s why:

  • Easy Connections: You’ve got options! Trains or coaches offer budget-friendly ways to reach the heart of Rome.
  • Flexible Train Stops: The train from Civitavecchia stops at several stations in Rome, letting you hop off closest to your chosen sights.
  • Spontaneous vs. Planned: Even without pre-planning, strolling around Rome, enjoying gelato near the Trevi Fountain or the Spanish Steps is a treat. But, if you want to see the Colosseum or Vatican Museums, pre-booking tickets is a must, especially in peak summer months.

Rome Civitavecchia Cruise Port Essentials: What You Need to Know:

Where is Rome Civitavecchia Cruise Port?

Located about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Rome on the Tyrrhenian Sea, Rome Civitavecchia cruise port offers convenient access by train & direct coach to the city centre. ๐Ÿš„ The train ride from Civitavecchia and Rome city centre takes 45 minutes to an hour.

Port Address: Porto di Civitavecchia, Banchina 25, 00053 Civitavecchia RM, Italy

Currency: Euros

  • ๐Ÿ’ณ Card: I had no issues paying with card 95% of the time, from train tickets, local metro/bus tickets to restaurants, convenience stores and museums
  • ๐Ÿ’ถ Cash: Smaller businesses, such as bakeries and street vendors will be cash only, so I would advise to carry some euros in cash
  • Tip: โ€œBancomatโ€ is the Italian word for ATMs

Language: Italian

Official Websites:

Recommended Transport App: In Rome, Citymapper is my preferred app for navigating public transportation.

Getting from Civitavecchia Cruise Terminals to Civitavecchia Station

Rome Civitavecchia Port Map, showing cruise terminals
Source: Port Mobility, download PDF here

Which Quay / Berth / Dock? Rome Civitavecchia cruise port has 8 berths or quays: Docks 10, 11, 12, 12bis (x2), 13, 13bis and 25. It may look complicated from the map but it’s straightforward. Here’s how:

  • Know your Dock: Check your shipโ€™s daily guide to see where it will dock. This will help you pick the best option to get to Civitavecchia train station.
  • Docks near Dock 12: If your ship is near Dock 12 (see map above), you have three choices:
    • Walk (Recommended): I’ve done this walk and it’s 20 minutes on flat ground. This is the fastest way, rather than wait for the shuttles.
    • Paid Shuttle: Take the direct shuttle bus to the station (โ‚ฌ6). Note paid shuttle route is not marked on the map above. Purchase tickets onboard.
    • Free Shuttle + Walk: Ride the free shuttle to โ€œFort Michelangeloโ€ (marked “1” in map above) and walk to the station (about 10 minutes, flat ground)
  • Docks further away: Youโ€™ll likely take a shuttle to the main terminal near Dock 12, then choose one of the options above.
  • Dock 25:
    • Paid Shuttle: Take the direct shuttle to the station (โ‚ฌ6). Purchase tickets onboard.
    • Free Shuttle + Walk: Get off at Largo della Pace (see map below). Itโ€™s a 15-20 minute walk on flat ground to the station from there, or you can take another shuttle to โ€œMilo del Bicchiereโ€ near Fort Michelangelo for a shorter walk.

My recommendation is walk to the train station, because the paid shuttle runs only every 20-25 minutes. A taxi is always an option but obviously queue times vary.

Civitavecchia Station to Rome City Centre: Train Logistics

  • Timetables: Check the latest schedules on Trenitaliaโ€™s English website. In the AM rush hour (7am – 10am), there is usually up to 6 train services an hour.
  • Tickets: Purchase tickets from the machines at Civitavecchia station. Buy a BIRG ticket for โ‚ฌ12 return (5 zones required for Civitavecchia). Valid for the entire day after validation, this ticket includes return train into Rome city centre and back, as well as metro and buses within Rome, making it extremely good value! You’ll also save time by not having to buy another public transit ticket once in Rome. Don’t forget to validate your ticket before boarding!
  • FL5 Line: The train from Civitavecchia to Rome stops at the following main Rome stations – pick the one closest to where you’re heading. Journey takes about 45 mins to an hour:
    • Roma San Pietro (Vatican Museums, St Peter’s Basilica)
    • Roma Trastevere (start for Spanish Steps/Trevi Fountain route)
    • Roma Ostiense (Colosseum and Roman Forum)
    • Roma Termini (Main transportation hub, good for Pantheon and Piazza Navona)

Coach Service from Civitavecchia Port to Rome Termini or Vatican

Want a direct ride? There’s an authorized coach service from Civitavecchia Port to Rome, stopping at the Vatican or Rome Termini. Tickets cost โ‚ฌ25 return and need to be pre-booked online.

My take: I still prefer the train. It runs more frequently, potentially giving you extra time in Rome depending on your ship’s schedule. The coach departs Civitavecchia at 9:30 am and returns from Rome Termini at 3:30 pm.

Note: Many private companies offer mini-van shuttle services from the cruise port to Rome. I haven’t used them personally, so they’re not covered in this blog post, but they could be a good option for you!

Sightseeing Routes – Choose your Rome Adventure

Remember, you can’t see everything in one day from Civitavecchia, so picking a focus makes the most of your time. Here are a few route ideas to get you started:

Route A: Vatican Immersion

Entrance to Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome
Entrance to Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome
  • Start: Roma San Pietro station
  • Best for: Art and history lovers, those wanting to experience the Vatican’s grandeur.
  • Attractions: Immerse yourself in art and history with the incredible Vatican Museums (home to masterpieces like the Sistine Chapel), the magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica (the heart of the Catholic world), and the historic Castel Sant’Angelo offering scenic views.
  • Info: Official Vatican Museums website:
  • Pre-planning Needed:
    • Pre-booking tickets to the Vatican Museums (which includes the Sistine Chapel) is a must; tickets are dated and timed. I used a “skip-the-line” ticket with fast entry, and I highly recommend it to avoid wasting precious time in long queues.
    • Bonus: The official Vatican Museums tour route (at least for the “skip-the-line” tickets, which use a separate entrance) conveniently leads you into St. Peter’s Basilica, saving you from having to queue twice!

Route B: Classic Rome Stroll

Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy
Trevi Fountain
  • Start: Roma Trastevere station
  • Best for: A taste of iconic Rome, a relaxed pace, people-watching and photo ops.
  • Attractions: Ascend the elegant Spanish Steps, make a wish at the world-famous Trevi Fountain, and wander through Trastevere’s charming streets filled with shops and cafes.
  • Info: Focus on good walking shoes for exploring at your own pace.
  • No pre-planning needed! Don’t forget to stand your back facing the monument and toss a coin over your left shoulder with your right hand into the water! This is supposed to guarantee your return to the Eternal City. It’s worked for me so far โ˜บ๏ธ

Route C: Ancient Wonders

Inside the Colosseum in Rome, Italy
Inside the Colosseum
  • Start: Roma Ostiense station
  • Best for: History buffs stepping back into Rome’s powerful past.
  • Attractions: Journey back in time by exploring the iconic Colosseum, where gladiatorial battles once took place, the ruins of the Roman Forum, the ancient city’s political heart, and the Palatine Hill, offering stunning views and glimpses of Roman palaces.
  • Info: Pre-booking advised! Official Colosseum site:
  • Personal Experience: Let’s just say the Colosseum’s non-pre-booked ticket line is more of a “free-for-all” than what we might consider orderly queuing. Think less British politeness, more Italian elbows! Trust me, save your sanity and pre-book a timed ticket for guaranteed entry. I didn’t and I could have saved myself some time and some stress!

Route D: Heart of Rome

Nazionale Repubblica, Rome
Nazionale Repubblica
  • Start: Roma Termini station
  • Best for: Mixing impressive sights with a lively Roman atmosphere.
  • Attractions: Marvel at the incredibly preserved Pantheon, an ancient Roman temple, relax in the vibrant Piazza Navona, and venture off the main tourist track to discover authentic Roman cuisine on nearby food streets. Stop by Nazionale Repubblica to enjoy the awesome views at the top.

Remember, the Eternal City has endless possibilities, so don’t feel pressured to see it all. Relax, embrace the Roman atmosphere, and savor your DIY adventure from Civitavecchia! Have a fantastic cruise, and if you found this guide helpful, please share it with your fellow cruisers. Buon viaggio! (That’s Italian for “have a good journey”!)

Featured Photo by Natasa Dav

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