10 Things To See in CivitavecchiaThe best to see and do in Civitavecchia: tips and useful information.
What should you not miss when visiting Civitavecchia? To put together a list of “must-see” places is not an easy task!
In Civitavecchia you find a lot of monuments and archeological sites that testify to the historical presence of different cultures and civilisations. The city, developed from an Etruscan village, took on an increasingly strategic role in Roman times thanks to the proximity to Rome and to its founder, the emperor Trajan. Later in the Middle Ages, the different Popes in charge contributed a lot to the prestige of the city, commissioning the construction of historic buildings that you can still admire today.
Today the ancient Centumcellae is a very important center along the Lazio coastline. Every year over 5 million people pass through the port: they are cruise and ferry passengers, crew and other visitors.
Civitavecchia offers a lot of things to do and see: you can enjoy its mild weather, visit its historic port and Medieval centre, explore its archeological and natural sites and much more!
1. FORT MICHELANGELO AND THE HISTORIC PORT OF CIVITAVECCHIA
Fort Michelangelo is not only one of the symbols of Civitavecchia but also one of the most important architectonic structures of the Lazio coastline. Enclosed in the historic port, it is a must-see for visitors who have just disembarked in the Port and it's a good place to have walk.
Seat of the Harbor Master Office, Fort Michelangelo has been recently at the center of redevelopment works.
2. THE TAURINE BATHS
The Taurine Baths of Civitavecchia, also known as Baths of Trajan, are a remarkable archeological site located in the northern area of the city. Among the ruins there are tanks, massage rooms and different environments, all decorated with friezes, mosaics and marbles. Are you ready to immerse yourself in Ancient Rome?
The Taurine Baths are open all year long from 9.30 a.m. to 13.30 p.m. For further information and to find out all details on how to plan your visit, please read this article!
3. FICONCELLA THERMAL BATHS
If you are looking for a way to spend a day of relax, the Ficoncella Thermal Baths are the right place for you! After a few minutes in these miraculous waters you will never want to leave!
The structure is very old and it was already known and appreciated in ancient times. People used to come here frequently in alternative to the famous Taurine Baths , even in Roman times.
The water that still flows from the source is the same in which the emperor Trajan bathed many centuries ago and it is famous for its therapeutic properties. Find out how to plan at best your visit to Ficoncella baths!
4. MARINA AND THE PIRGO
Marina di Civitavecchia includes the stretch of seafront starting from Fort Michelangelo, passing through Viale Garibaldi and the Pirgo beach resort, until arriving to the Borgo Odescalchi.
The Marina has recently been at the center of redevelopment works and has become an authentic hub for the city, hosting events and concerts. The heart of the area is Piazza della Vita (formerly Piazzale degli Eventi) which is located in front of Fort Michelangelo. The square is very lively during the summer, when you can also find exhibitions of local products, stalls, carousels for children, pubs, street food and open bars.
5. THE NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF CIVITAVECCHIA
The National Archaeological Museum of Civitavecchia is located a few steps away from Fort Michelangelo, inside the eighteenth-century building commisioned by Pope Clement XIII in the eighteenth century.
The museum has got three floors and presents important findings from the dawn of civilisation, the ancient age and the Middle Ages. A dive into the past among Etruscan finds, bronzes, ceramics and much more!
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6. OLD TOWN CENTER
In Civitavecchia's old town center you find Piazza Leandra - in the heart of the old Medieval district where there is the small Chiesa della stella ("Church of the Star") - then Archetto Passage which leads to Piazza Saffi: in this square you can see the old city walls built by Antonio da Sangallo (under commission of the Pope Leone X).
Find out the best way to visit the city center from the Port of Civitavecchia through our itinerary.
7. LA FRASCA PINE FOREST
La Frasca is a town located about 9 kilometers from the Port of Civitavecchia. This coast strech is one of the most suggestive and interesting one from a naturalistic point of view. The continuous sea erosion has created an indented beach formed by small bays and creeks, so it's the ideal destination for snorkeling lovers! The beautiful rocky sea bottom is the natural habitat for fish, shellfish and mollusc.
Opposite to the coast there is also a splendid pine forest: it's a good shelter from the heat of sun in summertime and it's a perfect place to do a picnic with your family.
8. THE MARKET
Civitavecchia Market - also known as San Lorenzo Market - is located in the heart of the historic city center, near Piazza Regina Margherita. Here local people come to buy fresh food products (such as fruit and vegetables) and to buy fish in the well-known Fish market, which is the flagship of the city.
Visiting the morning market is a pleasant and funny experience, because the area is very lively and busy: there are not only market stalls, but also many bars, pizzerias and shops.
9. CIVITAVECCHIA CATHEDRAL
The Cathedral of Civitavecchia, devoted to Saint Francis of Assisi, is the main church of the city. Destroyed during the second world war, the church was rebuilt in 1950 by architect Plinio Marconi.
Outside, it presents a solid and elegant structure, decorated with 2 big statues on the tympanum representing St. Francis of Assisi and St. Anthony of Padua ; inside it has a single nave, where you can admire precious works of art like the Nativity attributed to Domenico Zampieri (known as Domenichino)
Since December 13th, 2015, the Cathedral is the Seat of the Diocese of Civitavecchia and Tarquinia. The opening of the Holy Door was on occasion of Pope Francis' Jubilee of Mercy: for this event, the entrance gate was restored with the plaque of the Jubilee.
10. The Church of the Prayer and Death
The Church of the Death is absolutely the oldest church in Civitavecchia and if you are walking among the characteristic tiny streets of the old town, it is worth a visit. Built in 1685, the church is bound to the birth and work of the Confraternity of Death and Prayer, constituted in the second half of the sixteenth century to give adequate burial to the corpses abandoned outside the city walls or dispersed in the sea.
NOT ONLY ART AND CULTURE...
Finally, if at the end of your visit to the main points of interest of the city you have also come a little hungry, do not worry! In Civitavecchia tourists and visitors will find a wide range of restaurants...but it must be said that, being a maritime city, the real specialty is represented by fish restaurants!
Traditional cuisine is bound to the sea, so there are many typical fish dishes like Civitavecchia's Fish Soup, "Fettucine allo Scoglio" (long fresh pasta with seafood), Civitavecchia's Poached Baby Octopuses, Periwinkles, Filled Calamari and much more. Try it for yourself!
So there are many things to do and see in Civitavecchia! We have prepared for you this short greatest hits with some stops that we consider to be essential to get an overview of the city. But we know that Civitavecchia is much more than that.
Did we forget something important? Any suggestion or recomendation is welcome!