5 Things to Do in Rome If You Arrive by Cruise Ship

February 4, 2015
Enrico Catani

Founded in the 2nd century AD, the Civitavecchia Port is located about 60 miles north-west of central Rome, about an hour's drive from both airports and Rome itself (depending on the traffic).
Civitavecchia means "old town" and was once known as "Centumcellae". Today, the town is mostly famous for its major cruise ship port, one of the busiest in the Entire Mediterranean.
If you’re arriving on a cruise ship to the port of Civitavecchia, a half or full day shore excursion is the best way to enjoy the best attraction in Rome, but also in its surrounding.

1. Visit the Colosseum

Considered one the “Seven wonders of the world”, the Colosseum is one of the most glorious man-made buildings ever made.
Completed in 80AD, this magnificent amphitheatre could house over fifty thousand spectators! It was built using the most sophisticated engineering techniques of that time, including an elevator system and the possibility to flood the stage for mock naval battles. Designed as a place to entertain Ancient Romans in brutal and bloody games, such as the gladiators’ mortal fights, the Colosseum still preserves its magical atmosphere from the past.
If you arrive in Rome by cruise ship in the morning, you can easily book a shore excursion that will take you to visit the Colosseum directly from the Civitavecchia Port. Otherwise, if you arrive in Rome on your own, you can join a guided tour that will take you to visit all the highlights of Ancient Rome, including the interior of the Colosseum, with its complex underground set of rooms and passageways, and the Roman Forum: an essential eXPerience if you visit Rome for the first time!

2. Discover the treasures of the Vatican City

Located in the very centre of Rome, this independent sovereign state is one of the most fascinating and visited places in the world.
Despite its small size, the Vatican City boasts and artistic and historical heritage that has no equal:  the main points of interest include theSaint Peter’s Basilica, one of the greatest places of worship; the Vatican Museums, the largest museum complex in the world with over 1400 rooms and sheer size that stretches over 9 miles; and the Sistine Chapel, the 15th Century Pope's private chapel, with the ceiling frescoes beautifully painted by Michelangelo. 
Let’s just say that a thoroughly visit of the Vatican is almost a prerequisite if you are in Italy… If you arrive in Rome by cruise ship in the morning, you can easily book a shore excursion that will take you to the Vatican directly from the Civitavecchia Port. Otherwise, if you arrive in Rome on your own, you can join a guided tour that will give you the opportunity to admire the Saint Peter's Basilica & Square, the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel.

Visit Vatican City

3. Enjoy a panoramic tour of Rome

With over 2,500 years of history, Rome preserves an historic and artistic heritage that has no equal in the world. Walking through its picturesque historic centre you might have the feeling of traveling back in time, as you admire monuments and sceneries from different historical periods, harmoniously mixed at every corner.
Our panoramic shore excursion of Rome will give you the opportunity to visit all the main attractions of the city. You will visit the Capitol Hill, and the Tabularium (ancient public library) from the 1st century BC, and the Imperial Forum, an archaeological site that preserves the remains of the Roman Empire. The itinerary also includes the Circus Maximum, the Trevi Fountain (one the greatest Baroque masterpieces in the world), the  Spanish Steps, the  Pantheon and the  Piazza Navona, embellished by the presence of three monumental fountains.
In the late afternoon we will drive you back to the ship in Civitavecchia. This is truly an exclusive eXPerience that you will never forget!

4. Wander the shopping streets of Rome with a professional shopper

Italy is the country of fashion and design, and Rome in particular is one of the world’s fashion capitals with a distinctive style and great contributions to the fashion industry. So, if your cruise ship is stopping in Rome for a day, why don’t you take advantage of it and you indulge in a day dedicated to luxury and shopping?
Our shopping tour will help you browsing the charming fashion world of Rome, with a shopping session accompanied by a professional shopper & image consultant. A great opportunity to save time and money, as the expert will guide you through the most elegant shops in the historic centre or the best outlets (depending on what you prefer), allowing you to avoid making purchasing mistakes!
The ideal choice for shopping lovers!

5. Tivoli and the Roman Castles

If you’ve already seen the major attractions of Rome and you’re looking to see something new, we suggest booking a shore excursion to explore the surroundings of the city. In fact, the regions that surround Rome are rich in picturesque towns, natural treasures and centuries-old culinary traditions.
For example, from the port of Civitavecchia you can visit the town of Tivoli, which was a favourite resort for Roman travellers. Here, you can visit two enchanting ancient villas: Hadrian’s Villa, which contains the most luxurious palaces of the Roman Empire, and the Villa d’Este that boasts the finest Baroque gardens in all Italy.
Another fascinating destination from the port of Civitavecchia is the Castelli Romani, which is a countryside area composed by 13 towns nestled atop the green rolling hills (the so-called “Colli Albani”). Among the greatest landmarks in the Castelli Romani is certainly the town of Frascati, dominated by the 16th century Villa Aldobrandini, whose beautiful façade dominates the surrounding Italianesque gardens; Grottaferrata, a lovely village with a medieval heritage; Castel Gandolfo, which overlooks the Lago di Albano, a lake of volcanic origin.
Beyond villas, ancient ruins and breathtaking landscapes, the Castelli Romani are known for their culinary traditions and wine productions, which you can eXPerience through a gastronomic guided tour. The ideal choice to take a break from the rigorous and nerve-racking city life. 

(?) How to arrive in Rome from Civitavecchia

Although not-so-close, the Porto of Civitavecchia is well connected to Rome, with several buses and railway services operating every hour. However, if you want to reach central Rome in the most comfortable and relaxing way, optimizing time and making the luggage transport easier, we suggest a private tranfer from Civitavecchia.
The trip will take 60-80 minutes, and it will be cheaper than the cruise's line transfer service. In order to avoid scam or fake private drivers at the exit of the port gates, it's best to pre-book a private transfer service from Civitavecchia to central Rome… And don’t forget to book the return to the port!
This option is by far the least stressful of all: an English-speaking private driver will wait you at the dock. Cars are clean, equipped with all comforts and can accommodate all special requests such as baby seats and extra baggage.
Also, if you’re looking for some cheaper solutions, you can rely on our shared shuttle transfer, both from the Civitavecchia port to Rome and return.

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