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Comune di Civitavecchia
Civitavecchia fort and harbour
Civitavecchia fort and harbour
Coat of arms of Civitavecchia
Coat of arms
Civitavecchia is located in Italy
Location of Civitavecchia in Italy
Country Italy
Region Lazio
Province Rome
Frazioni Aurelia, La Scaglia
 • Mayor Pietro Tidei (PD)
 • Total 71.95 km2 (27.78 sq mi)
Elevation 4 m (13 ft)
Population (2008)
 • Total 51,969
 • Density 720/km2 (1,900/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Civitavecchiesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 00053
Dialing code 0766
Patron saint Saint Fermina
Saint day 28 April
Website Official website

Civitavecchia is a town and comune of the province of Rome in the central Italian region of Lazio. A sea port on the Tyrrhenian Sea, it is located 80 kilometres (50 miles) west-north-west of Rome, across the Mignone river. The harbour is formed by two piers and a breakwater, on which is a lighthouse. The name Civitavecchia means "ancient town".


  • History 1
  • Economy 2
  • Main sights 3
  • Geography 4
    • Climate 4.1
  • Transport 5
  • Education 6
  • Twin towns and sister cities 7
  • Personalities 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


Civitavecchia in 1795, etching by William Marlow.

The modern city was built over a pre-existing Etruscan settlement.

The harbour was constructed by the Emperor Trajan at the beginning of the 2nd century. The first occurrence of the name Centum Cellae is from a letter by Pliny the Younger (AD 107). The origin of the name is disputed: it has been suggested that it could refer to the centum ("hundred") halls of the villa of the emperor.

In the early Middle Ages, Centumcellae was a Byzantine stronghold. Raided by the Saracens in 828, it was later acquired by the Papal States.

The place became a free port under Pope Innocent XII in 1696 and by the modern era was the main port of Rome. The French occupied it in 1849. On 16 April 1859 the Rome and Civitavecchia Rail Road was opened for service. The Papal troops opened the gates of the fortress to the Italian general Nino Bixio in 1870.

During World War II, Allied bombings severely damaged Civitavecchia, and caused civilian casualties. Louis Till, the father of Emmett Louis Till (a boy from Chicago, murdered in Money, Mississippi, sparking the African-American Civil Rights Movement), was convicted of the rape of two local Italian women and the murder of another in Civitavecchia.


Civitavecchia is today a major cruise and ferry port, the main starting point for sea connection from central Italy to Sardinia, Sicily, Malta, Tunis and Barcelona. Fishing has a secondary importance.

The city is also the seat of two thermal power stations. The conversion of one of them to coal has raised the population's protests, as it has been suggested it could create heavy pollution.

Main sights

The massive Forte Michelangelo was first commissioned from Donato Bramante by Pope Julius II, to defend the port of Rome. The upper part of the "maschio" tower, however, was designed by Michelangelo, whose name is generally applied to the fortress. North of the city at Ficoncella are the Terme Taurine baths frequented by Romans and still popular with the Civitavecchiesi. The modern name stems from the common fig plants among the various pools. And also next to the town is the location of the cruise ship docks. All major cruise lines start and end their cruises at this location, and others stop for shore excursion days that allow guests to see Rome and Vatican sights, which are ninety minutes away.



Civitavecchia experiences a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa).

Climate data for Civitavecchia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 12.8
Average low °C (°F) 7.1
Average precipitation mm (inches) 94
Source: [1]


View of the port
View of station platforms

The Port of Civitavecchia, also known as "Port of Rome",[2] is an important hub for the maritime transport in Italy, for goods and passengers. Part of the "Motorways of the Sea"[3] it is linked to several Mediterranean ports and represents one of the main links between Italian mainland to Sardinia.

Civitavecchia railway station, opened in 1859, is the western terminus of the Rome–Civitavecchia railway, which forms part of the Pisa–Livorno–Rome railway. A short line linking the town center to the harbour survived until the early 2000s.[4] It counted two stations: Civitavecchia Marittima, serving the port, and Civitavecchia Viale della Vittoria.

Civitavecchia is served by the A12, an unconnected motorway linking Rome to Genoa and by the State highway SS1 Via Aurelia, which also links the two stretches. The town is also interested by a project regarding a new motorway, the Civitavecchia-Venice or New Romea,[5] nowadays completed as a dual carriageway between Viterbo and Ravenna (via Terni, Perugia and Cesena) and commonly known in Italy as the Orte-Ravenna.


The commune has multiple preschools,[6] primary schools,[7] junior high schools,[8] and high schools.[9] Polo Universitario di Civitavecchia is located in the city.

Twin towns and sister cities

Civitavecchia is twinned with:


See also


  1. ^ "Civitavecchia historic weather averages in Italy". Intellicast. Retrieved 3 June 2009. 
  2. ^ (Italian) Port of Civitavecchia website
  3. ^ Infos at R.A.M. website (search the list of ports)
  4. ^ (Italian) Historical infos and pictures about the Civitavecchia-Cv. Marittima rail line
  5. ^ (Italian) Article at ANAS website
  6. ^ "Scuole dell'Infanzia." Commune of Civitavecchia. Retrieved on December 21, 2014.
  7. ^ "Scuole elementari." Commune of Civitavecchia. Retrieved on December 21, 2014.
  8. ^ "Scuola media inferiore." Commune of Civitavecchia. Retrieved on December 21, 2014.
  9. ^ "Scuole medie superiori." Commune of Civitavecchia. Retrieved on December 21, 2014.
  10. ^ "Twinning with Palestine".  
  11. ^ The City of Bethlehem has signed a twinning agreements with the following cities Bethlehem Municipality.
  12. ^ "::Bethlehem Municipality::". Retrieved 2009-10-10. 

External links

  • (Italian) Commune of Civitavecchia
  • Port of Rome
  • Images of Fort Michelangelo
  • Video Civitavecchia in English
  • Archeological sites
  • Official web site of CIVITAVECCHIA WiFi, property of the City of Civitavecchia
  • Civitavecchia Transfers to Rome
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