- WHERE TO STAY
- CRUISE PORTS
There is a very good train service between Rome and Rome's Cruise Port, Civitavecchia. The core service is broadly a twice hourly service on commuter style trains taking around 70 to 80 minutes to travel the full route. Punctuality and time keeping are not strong points of this service.
The terminus in the centre of Rome is Termini Station, but there are interim stops attractive to those travelling to and from Fiumicino Airport or have a hotel around the Vatican area.
There are also much less frequent long intercity long distance trains that will do the journey in around 45 minutes non-stop. Tickets for these cost well over double that of the commuter trains.
In 2019 a new service was launched called the Civitavecchia Express, designed for cruise traveller transfers into Rome. This service is quicker and has guaranteed seating, but does not go to Termini Station. Its two station stops are the San Pietro and Ostiense stations. You can either use the bus, taxi or metro to get to Termini station or to explore the rest of Rome.
The terminus in Rome City Centre, Termini Station, is the main public transport hub for Rome in the city centre.
The trains travel at quite a speed from the outskirts of Rome to Civitavecchia but are frustratingly slow within Rome taking a circuitous route around and into the city centre. Of a typical 80 minute journey, 30 minutes will be spent within the Rome urban area.
For many people it can make sense to get off at other stations than the Rome terminus at Termini, especially if you are on a day trip or going to Fiumicino, Rome's main airport.
Travelling from Civitavecchia a typical train will stop at S. Pietro (40 min), Trastevere (50 min), Ostiense (55 min) and finally Termini (70 min). S. Pietro is around 15 minutes' walk to the Vatican and St Peter's Square.
Trastevere is the interchange for a frequent airport train to Fiumicino Airport.
Ostiense is an interchange with the Rome Metro which can take you direct to the Colosseum or Spanish Steps.
Both Civitavecchia and Rome Stations have manned ticket offices that take credit cards and there are also ticket machines. Ticket machines are easy to use, take all major credit cards and support several languages including English.
Beware, the queues at Termini Station especially can be very long for the manned ticket offices.
Most frequencies between Civitavecchia and Rome are by local stopping train. There are infrequent intercity trains that run non-stop between Civitavecchia and Termini Station, in the Civitavecchia to Rome direction punctuality especially is not good.
This is not Switzerland, do give yourself plenty of contingency - the trains are reliable but are subject to delays.
Important - if you buy a ticket for the local trains, it is flexible and you have to stamp it before you board the train using the machines around all the stations. You risk a heavy fine if you produce an unstamped ticket for a ticket inspector. Further details of this are on our main Rome public transport page.
You can also purchase tickets in advance on the Tren Italia website. (use the banner link below.)
(Last checked January 2020)
|Service||Standard adult fare one way|
|Ticket Type||Local train||Inter-city|
|Civitavecchia - Rome (Termini Station)||€4.60||€9.90-€16*|
|Civitavecchia - Rome (S.Pietro / Vatican)||€4.60||€9.90-€16*|
|Civitavecchia - Rome (Fiumicino Airport) via Trastevere||€11.00||N/A|
* On-line inter-city train prices are extremely variable, the earlier you book the cheaper the fare
† Not all inter-city trains stop at S.Pietro
Note: Fares on The TrenItalia site for Civitavecchia local trains are only displayed up to seven days in advance. Inter city trains, 4 months.
• Cheapest advance purchase fares • Pay by credit card • Instant confirmations • Timetables
A combi-ticket that combines:
Round trip train tickets from Civitavecchia to Sant Pietro Train Station (near the Vatican)
Rome hop-on, hop off sightseeing bus day ticket
Skip-the-line entrance to the Colosseum
20% discount on top museums/attractions (e.g. Vatican Museums, Borghese Gallery)
Free Colosseum app - includes a free audio guide for many other highlights in Rome like Pantheon
• Entrance tickets to the Colosseum (skip the line) • Round trip train ticket from port to centre Rome • Hop-on Hop-off bus • 20% discount on top attractions
The local trains themselves are more often than not run with double deck carriages. The picture is of a typical interior, seats are not allocated.
There is a small space between the seats where you can put a medium size case and overhead luggage rail. It's not as bad as it might look, luggage will be a problem if you have two or more large cases per person, plus hand luggage.
Trains are not normally crowded at all except at the height of the commuter period into Rome, in the morning and out in the evening.
At Rome's Termini Station there is a left luggage office so it is possible to have a brief visit to see the sights of Rome before catching a late flight or train.
In 2019 a new service was launched called the Civitavecchia Express. This service is designed for cruise passengers, as it connects Civitavecchia with Roma San Pietro and Roma Ostiense stations. Civitavecchia station is about a mile from the cruise port but there are plenty of taxis and a local bus available to take you there.
The Civitavecchia Express service runs four daily journeys from 1 April to 1 November 2020. Two in the morning, bound for Rome and two in the afternoon bound for Civitavecchia. The timetable was worked out to meet the needs of many cruise travellers who wish to visit Rome in a day. The train times are quicker and more reliable than the commuter trains, there is also guaranteed seating, allowing an easier, more comfortable and faster transfer into Rome.
Fast journey times mean you can get to Roma San Pietro in 35/40 minutes and Roma Ostiense in 55 minutes.
For day trips this train should work well, but if you are staying in a hotel overnight or longer then you need to also consider that the stations visited by the Civitavecchia Express are not in the centre of Rome, so will require a taxi, metro or bus to take you the rest of the way.
You can walk from Roma San Pietro station to the Vatican in about 15 minutes or take a taxi, but if you have plenty of luggage you may not find this so appealing. Again you can use the Roma Ostiense station and transfer to the Metro to then reach Rome Termini, but you'll have to carry luggage across platforms. If Rome Termini is your final destination and your staying longer than one day, you may consider using the slower commuter trains that go directly to the Termini station from Civitavecchia. You can though use the two stations visited by the Civitavecchia Express as a jumping point into the rest of Rome, either through walking, taxi, bus or metro.
The Civitavecchia Express does offer a good solution for travellers from cruise ships who want to visit Rome in a day and for those travellers who travel light and appreciate a more reliable service with guaranteed seats. You can find out train times and ticket details at Civitavecchia Portmobility.
There is no direct public access to cruise ships in the port. You have to use free shuttle buses between individual ships docked and a cruise ship reception area called Largo della Pace just outside one of the dock gates, from here there is a local bus to the railway station or you can walk or take a taxi.
Local public buses leave from outside the main exit of the train station running roughly every 20 minutes, these take less than 10 minutes to Largo della Pace. The bus ticket can be bought at the news-stand or at the bar inside the station.
Local taxi cabs are also available immediately in front of the main exit to Civitavecchia Train Station as an alternative to the public bus to Largo della Pace.
It is possible to walk between the train station and Largo della Pace in about 15 minutes, though with luggage it may take longer.
The route is pretty straightforward with pretty smooth rights of way which you can roll your luggage along.
From the front entrance of the railway station turn right down the small access road to the wide coastal road and cross this road immediately to the promenade and turn right towards the centre of town.
The promenade footpath is very wide, parallel to the sea and very smooth without kerbs to negotiate. After about 5 minutes you come to the dock gates with a McDonald's on your right and the imposing Fort Michelangelo on your left.
Walk through the gates and immediately cross to the right hand side of the road. Now just follow the dock side, ignoring the spur that goes out to the left immediately after entering through the dock gates.
Now just follow the pedestrian path as it winds through the docks past fishing boats, and a terminal with toilets and shops. Most of the way the path is just a cordoned off strip of tarmac separate to the road and again the surface is very smooth. Eventually you come to a road junction by another set of dock gates and you just follow the pedestrian signs out of the docks labelled “Shuttle Bus To Cruise” to the Largo della Pace facility on the opposite side of the road to the port exit.
If you are visiting Rome on a stopover on a cruise ship, the train is an excellent way of avoiding the high prices of the cruise line offerings. The Civitavecchia Express has been designed with this very market in mind.
For most doing such a day trip on the public train, it is a good idea to get off the train at S. Pietro (St Peter's). Not only is it marginally cheaper than going to the terminus at Termini Station, but it will save you 30 minutes, maybe more. St Peter's Station is only 10 minutes' walk from St Peter's Square and the Vatican Museums. All the Rome hop-on hop-off sightseeing buses park in front of St Peter's Square.
There are also local buses from in front of St Peter's Station that will take you into the very heart of Rome.
By foot, on leaving the front of St Peter's Station there is a small square where the bus terminus is located. With the station building behind you, turn left at the back of the square down the Via Innocenzo, a one-way street with the traffic including the buses coming towards you.
Walk on the right hand side of the road and after about 100 yards/metres take the first right down the Via Nicolo. Walk to the end of Via Nicolo, (only about 75 yards) and turn left into the Via della Stazione di S.Pietro. You will see a petrol/gas station about 50 yards in front of you at a fork in the road. Our route forks right here in front of the petrol station down the Via Alcide de Gasperi keeping to the left hand side of this road.
After about 100 yards the Via Alcide de Gasperi joins the busy Via Delle Fornaci from the right. Keep on the left hand side of the road and you soon come to a wide underpass for pedestrians that takes you under a busy road. On the other side you see the Roman Columns of St Peter's Square immediately in front of you.