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Civitavecchia: Cruise Port Sightseeing Rome Links

Civitavecchia City Guide

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Il Lazzaretto - Civitavecchia

ABOVE: Il Lazzaretto may look like a fort, but it was built in the Middle Ages as a hospital for patients with contagious diseases. (It now houses the Comune's historical archives.)

Sightseeing and Museums in Civitavecchia

What to see

Civitavecchia's city center is compact, and you easily get around on foot.

Port of Civitavecchia Sightseeing in Civitavecchia begins in the Port, where you can get a good view of the cruise-ship and ferry basins from just inside the main or south entrance. The Forte Michelango, a fortress that was commissioned by Pope Giulio II in the early 1500s, is next to the port gate. (The building was badly damaged by World War II bombing and restored in the 1950s. Today, it's used for exhibitions and cultural events.)

Defensive wall and Porta LivornoBehind and above the port, a 17th Century defensive wall forms one side of the Lungoporto Gramsci, an elevated pedestrian walkway next to modern apartment buildings.

Civitavecchia fishing portSteps lead down to the port from several points along the walkway: One staircase will take you to the fishing port, where fish are unloaded in the morning and nets dry under the arcades later in the day.

As you walk around or behind the port, look for two small medieval buildings: Il Lazzaretto (top photo), a hospital for communicable diseases in the Middle Ages, and the tiny fortress of La Rocca on the site of the Darsena Romana, or Roman Dock, where the port of Civitavecchia (then called "Centumcellae") was founded.

Back in the city center, the Corso Centocelle is a pedestrianized shopping street that heads inland for several blocks. The tourist office's free map identifies places worth seeing, including the Piazza Fratti in the former Jewish Ghetto.

Terrenia Ferry in CivitavecchiaIf you have time, walk along the harbor breakwater (where anglers fish from the shore) and follow the curving waterfront of the Marina di Civatevecchia, which has been turned into an attractive seaside promenade with benches, flower beds, a playground, and other amenities for residents and visitors.

Palm tree in CivitavecchiaAt the eastern end of the promenade, where the tiny peninsula called the Pirgo juts into the sea, private beach clubs offer sunbathing and other activities in warm weather.

We also suggest a walk along the Viale Garibaldi (the row of hotels, apartment buildings, restaurants, and shops facing the watefront promenade), where you'll find a gelateria near the port. Prices for a cone or cup of gelato are reasonable, with an optional dollop of whipped cream at no extra charge.

For more sightseeing pictures with captions, see our Civitavecchia Photo Gallery.

Museums and excursions

Museo Nazionale Archeologico CivitavecchiaThe National Archeological Museum is just to the right of McDonald's as you approach the Port of Civitavecchia's south or downtown gate. The Roman sculptures, historical exhibitions, and other displays on the main floor mostly have labels in both Italian and English; upstairs, you'll find hundreds of Roman and Etruscan objects that were excavated in and around Civitavecchia, with labels in Italian only. Admission is free.

Outside the city, Le Terme Taurine (a.k.a. the Taurine Baths or Baths of Traiano) are open to the public. You can explore the baths on your own or take a guided tour. Nearby, the Ficoncella hot-springs complex offers an opportunity to to soak away your aches and pains with Civitavecchians. (Ask the tourist office for up-to-date hours, prices, and transportation advice.)

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