Being the Port of Rome, the City of Civitavecchia is the gateway to one of the most beautiful and interesting travel destinations in the world. Yet, the Port of Civitavecchia contains several sights well worth a visit before embarking for Rome, Sicily, Sardinia, or one of the many wonderful locations available to you through the Port of Civitavecchia.
The 16th Century fortification called Forte Michelangelo was commissioned by Pope Julius II and completed by Michelangelo under the rule of Pope Paul III. In fact, Michelangelo designed part of the “maschio” tower. The structure contains 8.2 thousand square meters and contains four 21-meter diameter towers. Built on the remains of ancient Roman barracks, the fortress is protected by walls from 6 to 7.6 meters thick, and it was surrounded by a moat that no longer exists. Located at the port to protect the Port of Civitavecchia from pirates, the structure has been preserved. Visitors can see the ancient entrance, the bronze chain pulley that operated the drawbridge, and warnings to leave your weapons at the door. Ruins of the Roman barracks beneath the building have been partially excavated.
The Franciscans built the 18th Century Cathedral of San Francesco d’Assisi on an earlier 17th Century church. The Baroque-Neoclassical design of the building attracts many visitors. The foundation stone for the Basilica di San Francesco d’Assisi was laid by Pope Gregory IX in 1228, and the original church was completed in 1253. The church contains frescos and stained glass windows created by some of the finest artists and craftsmen of the time.
The Baths of Traiano were popular with the Romans. Archaeologists first surveyed the baths in the mid 18th Century, and the government undertook more scientific investigations in the 20th Century. Roman poet Rutilio Claudio Namaziano told the story of their origination when a bull scraped the ground to uncover a hot spring. Some scientists think the baths were connected to Trajan’s villa. The Etruscans constructed the first rudimentary baths, and the Romans created new buildings in the 1st Century BC. The baths fell out of use during Byzantine rule, and while there have been proposals to restore them, they remain in fascinating ruins to history lovers.
The Port of Civitavecchia also has wonderful beaches and reefs that are protected by near-growing pine trees. The beach of Saint Augustine is popular and full of amenities, and divers enjoy exploring the reefs there. The water at the Port of Civitavecchia is some of the cleanest on the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea, and it supports a healthy sea environment with many species of fish, shellfish, and seaweed. The seabed also holds several archaeological treasures like amphorae, furnishings, jewelry, statues, and fragments of doomed ships.
The Archaeological Museum of Civitavecchia is located in an 18th Century building once owned by Pope Clemente XIII. Built to house the papal garrison, it is a perfect setting for the displays of artifacts from the millennia that have been collected in the area.
The La Scaglia tombs date from the 6th and 5th Centuries BC. These underground chambers are covered with sloping roofs, and they contain benches along the walls and anterior chambers.
Travelers who want to see the Port of Civitavecchia or travel by sea to Rome can find a very long list of scheduled cruises on the Cruise Compete website.