Route time: 3-5 hours

3-5 hours


Route Difficulty: Easy



Route Budget: Low


Route stops

  1. Discover Piazza Leandra, the oldest square in town

    The oldest square of Civitavecchia is named after the legend of a sailor and houses misterious paintings replica of the Room of Heliodorus in the Vatican.

  2. Church of The Virgin of Graces (or the Star)

    In Piazza Leandra the history of Civitavecchia involves also and especially the small Church of the Star

  3. Church of the Prayer and Death

    Saint Mary of the Prayer, better known as Church of Death is the oldest church in Civitavecchia: history, art and tradition in the heart of the old town

  4. Civitavecchia Market

    Everything about Civitavecchia Market: fish, fruit, vegetables and much more.

  5. Theatre Traiano

    The local theatre of Civitavecchia "Traiano" in honor of the Roman emperor founder of the city

  6. The Ghetto of Civitavecchia

    What to do, history and curiosities about this characteristic district of Civitavecchia

Are you looking for an easy and quick way to visit Civitavecchia's old town center in a day? Follow our route and you won't be disppointed! Civitavecchia is, in fact, a city rich in history, able to offer to visitors evident proof of different periods. The many Etruscan, Roman or Medieval buildings have made  Civitavecchia an important centre, such to be named the Port of Rome.


Civitavecchia was born as a small Etruscan settlement, and in Roman times got for good the name of Centumcellae, when emperor Trajan (106 AD) realized that the rocky coastline with its inlets was the best place to build a big port. Centumcellae lived the period of maximum splendour in Imperial times, from 314 to 538 AD. Later, the city was under the comand of the Bizantine Empire, and then, in the eighth century under the milder government of the papacy. Most of the big city monuments in the port and in the city were actually comissioned by many Popes during that period. In 828 the city was occupied by Saracens, who destroyed it almost completely. Survivors found shelter in a small district in the Tolfa forest and founded a new town named Leopoli.

An old legend talks about the first stop in our route: Piazza Leandra.


1. Piazza Leandra, the oldest square in the city, ows its name to an old legend whose main charcter is an old sailor called Leandro. Legend says that his words persuaded the inhabitants to go back to the sea to found again the old Centumcellae after the Saracen invasion.

In the center of the square, between two old buildings, there is a Medieval fountain turned on again in 2012.

Piazza Leandra is located in the center of a characteristic Medieval district

Piazza Leandra is located in the center of a characteristic Medieval district

The façade of the small Church of the Star

The façade of the small Church of the Star

2. In Piazza Leandra there is also the small and splendid Church of the Star (1688), one of the oldest churches in Civitavecchia. The church is site to the Archconfraternity of the Gonfalone, founded by Saint Bonaventure in 1274. Tradition has it that Saint Bonaventure, before imbarking to Lyon, drop in to see Civitavecchia where, joining the request of numbers of faithful, founded a confraternity that took the name of Company of the Gonfalone.

Inside it is possibile to admire many works of art, for example, the valuable wooden crucifix of the Corpse of Christ, that every year, on Good Friday, is carried along the streets of Civitavecchia during the suggestive Procession of the Corpse of Christ.

3. From Piazza Leandra, we recomment you to get to the close Piazza Aurelio Saffi through the suggestive 'Archetto' (Little Archway) passage that runs under the old walls (ninth century) and gives name to the district with the same name. From this passage, you can visit the wonderful Church of the Prayer and Death, absolutely the oldest in the city.

The inside room of the Church of Death

The inside room of the Church of Death

Piazza Aurelio Saffi with the suggestive

Piazza Aurelio Saffi with the suggestive "Archetto" passage

4. To get to the second stop of our route, you will only have to cross Via Giosuè Carducci up to the crossroad with Via G.Mazzini and you will be in front of the lively stalls of the Market. It will sound banal but we remind you that if you want to visit the market in its full swing you should go there in the morning! After 1 pm most of the stalls, peddlers and sellers put away their merchandise.

The Market of Civitavecchia, also known as San Lorenzo Market is located in the heart of the old city town, around Piazza Regina Margherita. It is here where every morning the inhabitants of Civitavecchia come to buy fresh products like fruit and vegetables, as well as for the famous and blooming fish market, flagship of the city all along.

The Fish Market

The Fish Market

5. Now from Via Doria go down the stairs that take you to Via Duca degli Abbruzzi until you get to the pedestrian area of Corso Centocelle. Go for a nice walk among the shop windows or take a short stop in one of the many bars that have tables on open air. There's nothing better than a relaxing break in a sunny day! Not far you will see the building of the Trajan Theater.

Corso Centocelle

The Trajan City Theater in Corso Centocelle

The Trajan City Theater in Corso Centocelle

6. From the opposite site of the theater you can access, through Via Cesare Battisti to the last stop of our route: the old district of the Ghetto of Civitavecchia. The Ghetto extends around Piazza Fratti and is absolutely one of the most busy areas of the city.

The area surroudning Piazza Fratti is always very busy both during the day and at night due to the presence of many restaurants, bars, pubs, pizzerias. There is also a useful wi-fi hotspot.

The Gheto of Civitavecchia

The Gheto of Civitavecchia

This route ends here! If you still have some time, get to Viale Garibaldi and go towards the promenade by the sea to visit the Seashore of Civitavecchia or, if you prefer, you can visitat the Old Port with all its many monuments.

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