Route time: 6-8 hours

6-8 hours


Route Difficulty: Medium



Route Budget: Medium


Route stops

  1. The Port of Civitavecchia

    Welcome to the Port of Civitavecchia: find out all about cruises, ferries, parking lots, shuttles, infopoints and much more.

  2. Castle of Santa Severa

    Castle of Santa Severa: how to get there, what to see, museum opening hours and other useful informations to organize your visit the best of it.

  3. Visiting the Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano

    History, visiting hours, prices, directions on how to get there and further useful information about the Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano.

When you think of a castle, you inmediately picture a fantasy world, made of ladies and knights, duels, intrigues, love and mysteries.

For all of you who are hopeless dreamers, here's an alternative itinerary that will take you to visit two wonderful castles in Lazio, in only half a day.

From the sea to the lake, from the coast to the inland: we are talking about the Castle of Santa Severa and the Castle of Bracciano, two wonderful examples of Medieval architecture symbolically united by a common element: water.

The water of the Thyrrenian Sea that washes the walls of the Castle of Santa Severa and the water of Lake Bracciano that symbolically embraces, surround and protects the castle with the same name from which panoramic viewpoint visitors can enjoy a fairy-tale landscape.


In order to complete this itinerary you will necessarily have to rent a car or book a car and driver hire.

We recommend, obviously, that you book in advance. You can find online different companies that offer this kind of service and arrange day and time of arrival.

If you are at the Service Center Largo della Pace and you are looking for a car and driver hire, talk to our colleagues at the Information Point and they will be happy to point you the different available options so you don't run up against some unlicensed rascal.

Both if you decide to rent a car or hire a car and driver keep in mind that it is important to respect carefully the journey and visit times of the stops, so as to get to your cruise vessel before she sets sail.

Very likely you will have about 6-7 hour ashore: most cruise ships, in fact, arrive at the port of Civitavecchia between 6am and 9am and set sail around 7pm, but you will have to check with your company the exact times to avoid any inconvenience.

1. From the Port of Civitavecchia to the Castle of Santa Severa

The Castle of Santa Severa is the first stop of your itinerary. We advise you to visit it before lunch, so you will have the rest of the day available.

Getting to the Castle of Santa Severa from the Port of Civitavecchia by car is really easy. If you don't have a GPS or smartphone know that there are 2 options:

  1. drive along the State Road Aurelia (SS1) towards Rome for about 30 minutes, pass Santa Marinella and follow directions to the Castle. At km 52,500 of SS1 turn towards the Castle, drive along the tree-lined boulevard until the end of the road.
  2. drive along the State Road Aurelia (SS1) and take the highway at Civitavecchia Sud (toll €1.30). Drive on the highway and exit at Santa Marinella/Santa Severa. You'll find yourself on the SS1 again, so follow the same directions of option 1. The advantage of option 2 is that driving on the highway you will avoid the traffic on the Aurelia.

If you have instead hired a car and driver, seat back, relax, and enjoy the ride!

Castle and beach of Santa Severa

Castle and beach of Santa Severa

The Castle of Santa Severa is one of the most important monuments of historical interest on the Thyrrenian Coast north of Rome. Perfect destination for those who want to visit the old Medieval town and spend a relaxing day at sea!

To discover the story of the castle and for further information, we recommend you to read the specific article about the castle.

The castle castello in alcuni periodi dell'anno si apre al pubblico per visite guidate su prenotazione. To learn more about prices and opeing days please refer to the official site.

In addition to the visit to the castle itself, in town are also artisan and artist shops where they show and sell their products, the Sea and Navigation City Museum and the Sea Bookshop.

To learn more about prices, opening hours and other information about the museum click here.

Before getting back on road, take a nice walk by the sea and, if there's still time, take also a refreshing bath!

Entrance gate to the Castle of Santa Severa

Entrance gate to the Castle of Santa Severa

Sea and Navigation City Museum - Santa Severa

Sea and Navigation City Museum - Santa Severa

2. From Santa Severa to the Castle of Bracciano

The Castle of Bracciano is abou 30 km from S. Severa and to get there you only need to take SS1 until the crossroads with Furbara. From there, turn left and take SP2C (Via Furbara Sasso) that runs perpendicular to the Aurelia until you reach your destination. Keep driving straight until the crossroads with the SP493 (Via Braccianese Claudia II tronco) and foloow directions to Bracciano and then to the Castle.

Along the road you'll find some wonderful towns like Borgo Due CasetteSasso (named after the promontory) and Sambuco: take the chance to stop by any of the many trattorias for a nice lunch break.

This region is in fact famous for wine production and fine cuisine. The main plates are based on wild game; boar, hare and pheasant, but also other products like mushrooms and cheese. As a side, don't miss the famous Roman artichokes served fried or alla giudia, known and appreciated around the world.

Typical Roman Artichocks

Typical Roman Artichocks

Now that you have a full stomach, it's time to visit the wonderful Castle of Bracciano!

Overlooking the lake with the same name, in the middle of the Roman Tuscia, the castle offers an itinerary through many centuries of history enclosed within its walls and the austere towers of one of the most fascinating private residents in Europe.

Orsini-Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano

Orsini-Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano

To know more about the story and other curious facts about the Castle, we recommend that you read this article about the castle, at the bottom of which you will find prices, contact details, opening hours and other visitor information.

Our advice again is to book your visit in advance so you won't risk to waste your time queuing.

A beautiful view of the Castle of Bracciano

A beautiful view of the Castle of Bracciano

A few more tips

Once you finish your visit it's time to get back on road! It will take you about an hour an a half to get to the Port of Civitavecchia, so if your ship is leaving at 7pm, it's better that you start driving back at about 5pm. It's better to avoid risk, don't you think?

Borgo del Sasso and Church of the Holy Cross (Cerveteri) - Wikipedia Commons: Photo by Marco Leli - CC BY-SA 3.0

Borgo del Sasso and Church of the Holy Cross (Cerveteri) - Wikipedia Commons: Photo by Marco Leli - CC BY-SA 3.0

If otherwise, you have plenty of time, or you are in time with the schedule, allow yourselves to wave a last goodbye to this magical land and stop a few minutes to admire the suggestive Borgo del Sasso with the Church of the Holy Cross that preserves intact its structure and, especially, the inimitable atmosphere of the old medieval town.

The church, originally devoted to st. Philip Neri, was founded by marquess Filippo Patrizi in the 16th century as a church to the palace and to the little town that was growing around.

In 1642, finally, the chapel of the Madonna was added, as well as the lateral aisles.

Leave the church and take Via Furbara Sasso. At the exit Santa Marinella /Santa Severa take highway A12/E80, towards Civitavecchia!

Last tip: if you are late, exit at Civitavecchia Nord and you'll be at the Port before you know it!

There's very likely a fantastic cruise waiting for you, but we are sure that these magical places will be forever in your hearts.

Enjoy your trip!

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