Civitavecchia, Italy: The Access Port To The Eternal City

Civitavecchia, meaning ”ancient town”, is the modern port of Rome located west of the Eternal City. The city is the gateway to one of the most beautiful and culturally fascinating cities in the world – Rome! It is a busy ferry, cruise and cargo port with good transport links to Rome and the middle of Italy. The city has a bustling historic town with some wonderful attractions and nice beaches nearby.

It boasts the remains of old city walls, beautiful fountains, ancient buildings, quaint squares and a lot of Italian life.

A Little Bit Of History

The port was founded by the Roman Emperor Trajan in the second century and it was called Centumcellae. Even today, you can see the remains of the Trajan port inside the modern port.

Michelangelo Fortress, Civitavecchia, Italy - This is a wonderful fortress built to defend the port of Rome. It was named after Michelangelo as it was partially designed by him. It dominates the port and is a true gem of this town on the Tyrrhenian Sea.Michelangelo Fortress, Civitavecchia

In the Middle Ages, Centumcellae was a Byzantine settlement, which was taken in 828 by the Saracens. Later on it was taken by the Papal States.

Towards the end of the fifteenth century, the port was attacked and damaged by pirates.

Finally, the fortress was constructed to defend the port. The architect of the port was non other than the great Michelangelo!

The city was established as a free port in 1696, by Pope Innocent XII.

The construction of the railroad between Rome and this port city, in the nineteenth century, brought a period of prosperity to the town.

However, the destruction of the port during WWII brought an end to the decades of progress.

The port has been reconstructed and enlarged to a significant extent. This major cruise departure port is the third busiest Mediterranean port, and it has to accommodate the ever-growing rivers of tourists.

There are shopping centers, local stores along the promenade and an open-air market, perfect for shopping.

Manuele Blasi, Andrea Casali, Vittorio Tamagnini, Giulio Saraudi, and Roldano Simeoni are some of the notable personalities from this port city.

Where is Civitavecchia?

  • 49.7 miles/ 80 km from Rome, Italy
  • 162.1 miles/ 261 km from Florence, Italy
  • 182.6 miles/ 264 km from Naples, Italy
  • 152./8 miles/ 246 km from Livorno, Italy
  • 39.7 miles/ 64 km from Rome Fiumicino Airport, Italy
  • 52.8 miles/ 85 km from Rome Ciampino Airport, Italy
  • 178.9 miles/ 288 km from Naples International Airport, Italy

Things to See

  • Fort Michelangelo
  • Archeological Museum
  • San Francesco d’Assisi Cathedral
  • Municipal Theater


  • Sant Agostino
  • La Frasca
  • The Pirgo


  • Rome
  • The Madonna of Civitavecchia
  • La Finconcella
  • La Scaglia Necropolis
  • Terme Taurine
  • Tarquinia
  • Tolfa Mountains Natural Park

Civitavecchia bustles with foot traffic that spills from the hundreds of vessels docked at its port.

It has several quaint towns in its immediate vicinity and there are also a number of notable attractions in Civitavecchia itself, well worth a visit.

We wish you a fantastic Mediterranean cruise!