If you're taking a Mediterranean cruise that has a stop in Rome, your ship will actually dock in Civitavecchia, a port city that's located about 37 miles north of the Italian capital. If Rome is your destination, then you can leisurely make your way into the city and enjoy your time there, which hopefully includes at least a few days to take in all that Rome has to offer.
For many cruise ships, Civitavecchia is just a port of call and passengers only have the day to disembark and explore. Getting to Rome is definitely possible either by public transit or a hired shuttle service, but you need to plan ahead in order to make the most of your limited time in the Eternal City.
|Train||50 minutes||from $5||Arriving quickly and cheaply|
|Shuttle||1 hour, 10 minutes||from $70||Guided tours of Rome|
What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Civitavecchia to Rome?
The train is by far the least expensive method for getting from Civitavecchia to Rome, and you have two different train options to choose from. The cheapest option is to use one of the several regional trains that leave throughout the day and cost just under 5 euros, or about $5, each way, bringing passengers to Roma Ostiense or Roma Termini stations in under an hour. The downside to using these trains is that the times may not match up with when your cruise ship arrives or departs, or worse, a delay on the return trip could mean you don't make it back to the ship in time.
The second option is the Civitavecchia Express, a special train for cruise passengers that leaves twice every morning as people are disembarking from their ships and returns to Civitavecchia later the same day. This train costs 15 euros for a roundtrip ticket—roughly $16—so even though it's a little more expensive than the regional train, you can rest assured that your train will be waiting for you when you arrive and are ready to return. One other advantage of the Civitavecchia Express is that only this train makes a stop at the Vatican (San Pietro) train stop, so it's ideal for passengers who want to use their time in Rome to visit the Holy See.
The Civitavecchia train station is about a mile and a half from the port, or 20 minutes on foot. For a couple of extra euros, you can book a bus with the Civitavecchia Express train ticket that picks up from the port entrance and brings you directly to the train station.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Civitavecchia to Rome?
The cheapest way to get from Civitavecchia to Rome also happens to be the fastest. Both the regional trains and the Civitavecchia Express shuttle passengers to Roma Ostiense station in about 50 minutes and to Roma Termini in one hour (only the Express train stops outside of the Vatican, which takes 40 minutes). Roma Termini is the main train station and connected to both of Rome's metro lines, with easy connections to the rest of the city. Roma Ostiense is located in the heart of Ancient Rome and within walking distance of sites like the Colosseum and Circus Maximus.
Is There a Shuttle Service Available?
One of the least stressful ways to spend some time in Rome is to hire a shuttle or private car service. You can either book a seat in a shared van that brings a group of people into Rome or hire a private car that oftentimes includes a tour guide. Companies include Civitavecchia Cab Service, Zelit Limousine, and My Cab in Rome.
Even though it's much pricier than taking the train and usually slower due to Roman traffic, the convenience of having a car waiting for you at the port and not worrying about train stops is well worth the extra cost to many. If you choose a private car service that includes a guided tour, it's an efficient way to get the most out of your few hours in Rome.
When Is the Best Time to Travel to Rome?
Cruise ships arrive in Civitavecchia throughout the week but always in the morning, and using the Civitavecchia Express is the best way to coordinate your train into the city. If you choose to use a car service, your trip to Rome is likely to be held up by morning commute traffic, so don't forget to take into account when planning your itinerary.
The most popular cruise season is during the summer months, but you'll enjoy your excursion into Rome much more if you visit in the spring or fall. Summer in Rome can be brutally hot and it's also the high-season for tourists, so most of the attractions will be packed.
What Is There to Do in Rome?
If your port of call is in Rome and you only have a few hours to explore this iconic city, you should plan ahead and know exactly what sites you want to see before you arrive. Rome is filled with world-famous attractions and you'll have to select which ones to prioritize. Ancient sites are scattered across the city, such as the Colosseum, Circus Maximus, and Pantheon. The Trevi Fountain is arguably the most famous fountain in the world and not far from the Spanish Steps. You likely won't have time to visit Rome and Vatican City if you only have a few hours, so choose the one that most interests you. Don't forget to save some time for a quick lunch, since you can't visit Rome without trying local dishes such as spaghetti carbonara, cacio e pepe, and thin crispy pizza.