One Way to do Rome

Cruise ship itineraries that include Rome actually berth at the port of Civitavecchia and passengers have a number of transport options to get to Rome. This thread details making the journey by train.

It is an account of how my wife and I utilised the Italian rail system, Trenitalia,  to get us to Rome and the places of interest we chose to see in what we considered reasonable time. 

We have holidayed in Rome on two occasions and  over time have done Civitavecchia to death on previous visits. That actually is a little bit unfair: for this visit in particular  it was February and the chances of dining al fresco at one of our favourite restaurants was pretty slim!

This was the first occasion we had travelled the route by train. Civitavecchia railway station is approximately 15 minutes walk along the waterfront from the port entrance- easy to find. Shuttle buses usually run from the cruise ship berths to the port entrance, though walking is an option as there were no restrictions during our call.

Once at the station we purchased return tickets at 9 €uros per person. The trains run approximately three  per hour. The ticket purchased is good for the return train journey, use of the Rome metro and use of the Rome bus services. To use the latter two services your ticket must be ‘validated’ in one of the machines at the station, either Civitavecchia or at your destination in Rome.

Passengers with  walking or standing difficulties should note that the earlier trains tend to get very crowded, not just with cruise passengers. Civitavecchia is not the start of the service and sales of tickets often outstrip passenger capacity during commuter times…

The train journey is approximately one hour. For those who may wish to visit The Vatican there is an option to leave the train at the Roma S. Pietro station stop. Otherwise, stay with the train to Rome Termini Station.

The Rome Termini is a very large railway station, with very few toilet facilities. It is however very central to the major historical sites.  It is advisable to obtain at least a basic Rome Guide or street map.

The route we planned to take is as above. At the top right-hand corner is the entrance to Roma Termini (the main station). Once outside we headed directly away from Roma Termini for one block and turned left into Via Cavour, continuing along Via Cavour keeping Piazza dell’Esquilino, with the apse area of Santa Maria Maggiore, to our left…




…continuing  past a slight curve and then turning  left again  into Via degli Annibaldi


The Colosseum is at the end of this road…

… the Arch of Constantine…


…and the Temple of Venus with the  Bell tower of Santa Francesca Romana, in the distance…



Leaving the Colosseum behind we proceeded along the Via Dei Fori Imperial, keeping The Forum ruins on our left…



..while looking across  across  the Forum to the Curia and The church of Santi Luca e Martina 



Directly opposite the forum is Trajan’s Market with the Tower  Milizie in its background…



This end of the Via Dei Fori Imperial is also the home for the statues of some of Rome’s greatest figures including none other than…



…and a short 5 minute walk to the end of Via Dei Fori Imperial is, in my opinion, the grandest of Rome’s monuments, the Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland)…



More commonly known  as the monument to Victor Emmanuel II,  it was completed in 1925 to celebrate the re-unification of Italy. It holds the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the ‘Eternal Flame’.

The photograph of  Altare della Patria was taken from the Piazza Venezia, and a camera check reveals that we were now just over two hours from leaving the Termini station: we were well on course and, with Victor Emmanuel behind us we headed along the Via Del Corso where we stopped for lunch before  taking a left turn onto Via Del Seminario for the short walk to the Pantheon. Retracing our steps along Via Del Seminario and one block further along Via Del Corso, we arrived at The Trevi Fountain




The Trevi Fountain actually completed our to-do-list of sites to see in Rome on this particular visit. However, with a few hours to spare before the planned departure time of our train to Civitavecchia, and a consultation of our tourist guide book, we found we were ideally placed for further little exploration….



And so it was that we headed in the direction of the Piazza di Spagna , with its ‘Column of the Immaculate Conception’…




and of course, The Spanish Steps


….with the church of the Santissima Trinità dei Monti  and the Obelisk Sallustiano dominating the area above.


From the top of the Spanish Steps it was a relatively easy to follow Via Sistina and Via della Quattro  Fontane back to Via Cavour (where we started along) and the Rome Termini.

We caught a train back to Civitavecchia  with two later trains in reserve  had we either wanted to spend more time in Rome or met with something untoward.

There really is so much to see and do in Rome that a one day visit  from a cruise ship cannot hope to cover: for those who may wish to visit The Vatican there is an option to leave the train at the Roma S. Pietro station stop;  otherwise, stay with the train to Rome Termini Station.

We have another planned call into Civitavecchia this year and intend looking at another interesting place not so far as Rome.

Interested? Sign up to follow my blog and be amongst the first to read about it.




10 responses to “One Way to do Rome

  1. Love Rome, its true about the Trevi Fountain too, I first went as a teenager, threw in my coin and have returned three times! Another very informative blog with super photos.

  2. Wonderful detail as usual Richard. Thank you such an excellent review, already printed off for the voyage in September.

  3. There’s a suggestion that at the moment (May 2014) the shuttle bus is not dropping people off at the dock gate at Civitavecchia; instead, it’s going to a car park somewhere in Civitavecchia town, and further away from the station than the dock gate.

    • Not just a suggestion Tom, a fact. My wife and I used the system earlier this week when we visited Civitavecchia on Ventura.

      The port shuttle takes you from the ship to a transfer point outside a dock gate some distance from the one we have been used to in the past. From this transfer point there is another shuttle bus that will take you to the train station. This second shuttle is chargeable at €3.20 return per couple.

      It would be a long way to walk, a good 30 – 35 minutes.

      Hope that helps, feel free to use the info on your blog.

  4. An interesting place to visit from Civitavecchia is Tarquinia-about 30 mins on a public bus. This is a pretty little walled hill town with a large number of underground Etruscan tombs with painted frescoes on the walls in an area on the edge of the town. There is also a small museum in the town centre with artifacts recovered from the tombs which is also worth seeing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.