Civitavecchia excursions · Rome · Coliseum · Vatican · Castel Gandolfo

For your trip to Rome you have about half a day. What you can do and what you should look for, read here.

The cruise ships arrive in Civitavecchia in the morning and continue in the evening. So you have about 10 hours for your shore excursion to Rome or the surrounding area.

Civitavecchia is a typical seaport and there is not much to see outside the harbor. Most Crusaders use their stay for a visit to Rome. If you want to make the best use of your time in Rome, you should prepare well and avoid queuing.

But of course there are other sights as well. Civitavecchia is located in the Etruscan region. North and south of Civitavecchia you can follow the Etruscan traces. In the south of Rome lies the volcanic lake Lago di Albano, above which rises the summer residence of the Popes in Castel Gandolfo. Further east, Assisi is in the Umbria region, with the Basilica of St. Francis.

Day trips to Rome

Civitavecchia is the port of Rome and a shore leave to Rome is a good idea. There are so many sights in Rome that you will inevitably have to choose what interests you most.

In any case, the shore excursion must be well planned so that you are back on time on the ship.

The Rome day pass from Civitavecchia is a service by Ticketbar. The day pass includes:

  • Train from Civitavecchia to Rome St. Peter and back
  • Hop on hop off bus
  • Colosseum ticket including reservation
  • 20% discount on more tickets

By train to Rome

The cheapest solution is to travel by train. Your destination station in Rome should be either Roma San Pietro at the Vatican or Roma Ostiense at the pyramid. The main station Roma Termini central station is further away and is not centrally located.

From Roma San Pietro it is only a few hundred feet to St. Peter’s Basilica and from there you can explore the Baroque city center of Rome passing the Castel Sant’Angelo. At the Castel Sant’Angelo is also the stop of the yellow hop on hop off bus of the Roma Cristiana pilgrimage line.

From Roma Ostiense there are two stations in one direction with the metro to the Colosseum, in the other direction two stops to the Basilica of St. Paul outside the walls.

The journey from Civitavecchia to San Pietro or Ostiense costs 4.60 Euro, to the main station Termini 5 Euro, fast trains cost more. Train connections are approximately every half hour. Timetable and booking options can be found on the website On the website, enter Civitavecchia as departure and Roma San Pietro or Roma Ostiense as destination. For the return trip, of course, vice versa. If you do not use fast trains, you can also buy a day ticket “BIRG” for four zones. It also includes all public transport in Rome. The bus “Argo” from the harbor to the train station is not included. Price of BIRG online 13 Euro + shipping.

If you come from the cruise ship, you can take the free shuttle to the Fort of Michelangelo and walk a half mile from there to the train station. In this way you should be in about two hours from the ship at your destination station in Rome.


Civitavecchia Excursion · Vatican

Entry to St. Peter’s Basilica is free, but there are almost always long lines outside the security checkpoint. You should definitely book the tour or the audioguide. This gives you the preferred access to the security check and saves you up to an hour in the queue. With the ticket for the preferred entry, you can pass the queue on the right. Under the arcade of the Bernini on the right side of St. Peter’s Square, behind the post office, you will find the staff of the official tour operator of the Vatican, who will let you pass with the preferred ticket directly at the security checkpoint. Persons with disabilities and their companions can use this service free of charge.

You will need about an hour to visit St. Peter’s Basilica, with the preferred entry. If you want to go up to the dome, you will need at least one more hour. For the dome, there are unfortunately no preferred tickets and you have wait in the queue at the box office.

On Wednesday morning, St. Peter’s Basilica and Dome are closed until the end of the Pope’s Audience, as well as during Pope’s Mass and on Sunday until the end of the Angelus prayer at 12:30.

If you want to visit the Vatican Museums in addition to St. Peter’s Basilica, you should book the Combined Tour for Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica. It has a duration of 3 hours. Without reservation, you will not get into the Vatican Museums. The walk from San Pietro station to the Vatican Museums has a length of 1.2 miles, less than 30 minutes. You definitely have to be there on time for the beginning of the tour. Read more about the Vatican Museums.

Civitavecchia Excursion · Colosseum

Instead of the Vatican Museums, you can also visit the Colosseum. Coliseum and Vatican in one day can not be done by public transport. For the Colosseum you need a reservation. The fastest access to the Coliseum is the entrance to the arena. However, the tickets for the arena are sold out very quickly. Read more about the Coliseum.

From the Ostiense train station, take the metro line B to the Colosseum. After visiting the Colosseum, walk to Via dei Fori Imperiali and continue to the city center.

Civitavecchia Excursion · City center

The classic walk from St. Peter’s Basilica to the city center takes you past the Castel Sant’Angelo over the bridge Ponte Sant’Angelo and on through Via di Panico and then left through Via dei Coronari to Piazza Navona. In the winding streets of Rome, a navigation device may be useful. If you would like to visit the Castel Sant’Angelo, you should book the preferred entry too. You will need at least one hour for the visit and you’ll have a magnificent view of the city from the roof of the Castel.

From Piazza Navona continue to the Pantheon and then to the Trevi Fountain, from there to the Spanish Steps. On the way you should allow yourself an ice cream, for example behind the Pantheon at Giolitti in Via degli Uffici del Vicario 40. This route from St. Peter’s Basilica via the Trevi Fountain to the Spanish Steps has a distance of about two and a half miles.


At least at the Spanish Steps you have to see how much time you have left. From here you can either take the metro to Termini station and then take the train to Civitavecchia or change to the metro B to the pyramid. Walking, it is one and a quarter miles from the Spanish Steps to the Coliseum, through the tunnel under the Quirinal, or one and a half miles via Via del Corso and past Piazza Venezia. From Via del Tritone, take bus 85 to the Coliseum. Also for the Coliseum, there is the possibility of the preferred entry.

From the Coliseum, you can take the metro for two stops to the pyramid and from there, return to Civitavecchia from Ostiense Station.

If you have the ticket for the yellow hop on hop off bus, you should take it at the stop at the Castel Sant’Angelo and drive to Piazza Navona. From there, walk past the Pantheon to the Trevi Fountain. If you are well on foot, make a short detour to the Spanish Steps. Otherwise, go straight from the Trevi Fountain to Piazza Santi Apostoli and then take the yellow bus at bus stop 6 and go to the Coliseum. After visiting the Colosseum, take the yellow bus again and go to Castel Sant’Angelo. From there it’s a mile, a twenty minutes walk, to the San Pietro station.

By shuttle bus or private driver to Rome

When traveling by shuttle bus from Civitavecchia to Rome, you are less flexible and you have less time in Rome available. However, one is better secured and need not worry about being back at the ship in time. When traveling by bus you can choose between the pure transfer or the guided tour. Any tickets for preferred entry to St. Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum or Castel Sant’Angelo are not included and must be booked separately.


Especially comfortable is the ride with private chauffeur. He picks you up directly at the ship and so you also save the time for the port shuttle. In this way you will get the most time available for the shore excursion. In addition, the driver can customize the tour to your wishes.


If you are not so interested to see Rome, maybe you can get excited about a trip to Tarquinia. Tarquinia is situated north of Civitavecchia. There are etruscan tombs, which you can visit near this picturesque village. The Etruscans ruled before the Romans in this area and the remains date from this period. The necropolises are UNESCO World Heritage and go back to the 9th century BC. The frescoes testify life in the time.


Castel Gandolfo

Castel Gandolfo overlooking Lake Albano
Castel Gandolfo View to the Lake Albano

Castel Gandolfo is the traditional summer residence of the Popes. However, Pope Francis has decided to stay in Rome during the summer and the summer palace can now be visited. In addition, you can visit the Pontifical gardens at Castel Gandolfo. In Castel Gandolfo it is cooler than in Rome. It lies on the edge of the volcanic cone over the Lake of Albano.

The tour also provides the opportunity to visit the catacombs on the Via Appia Antica in Rome.


Assisi Basilica of St Francis
Assisi Basilica of St. Francis

Assisi is a small town in Umbria close to Perugia. St. Francis was born here and here is his basilica. Many pilgrims come here. A trip to this very well-kept city is certainly worth it. In Assisi you can also eat very well. It is cooler than in Rome.

The journey to Assisi takes around two hours.

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