—  Comune  —
Comune di Civitavecchia
Civitavecchia fort and harbour

Coat of arms
Civitavecchia is located in Italy
Location of Civitavecchia in Italy
Coordinates: 42°06′N 11°48′E / 42.1°N 11.8°E / 42.1; 11.8Coordinates: 42°06′N 11°48′E / 42.1°N 11.8°E / 42.1; 11.8
Country Italy
Region Lazio
Province Rome
Frazioni Aurelia, La Scaglia
 - Mayor Giovanni Moscherini
 - Total 71.95 km2 (27.8 sq mi)
Elevation 4 m (13 ft)
Population (2008)
 - Total 51,969
 - Density 722.3/km2 (1,870.7/sq mi)
Demonym Civitavecchiesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 00053
Dialing code 0766
Patron saint Saint Fermina
Saint day April 28
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 kilometers west-north-west of Rome, across the Mignone river. The harbor is formed by two piers and a breakwater, on which is a lighthouse. The name Civitavecchia means "ancient town".



Civitavecchia in 1795, etching by William Marlow.

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

The harbor 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 high Middle Ages, Centumcellae was a Byzantine stronghold. Captured 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 April 16, 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.


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 ("Michelangelo's fort") was first commissioned from Bramante by Pope Julius II, to defend the port of Rome, and was completed in 1535 by Giuliano Leno and Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, under Paul III. The upper part of the "maschio" tower, however, was designed by Michelangelo, whose name is generally applied to the fortress. The edifice, measuring 100 × 82 m (328.08 ft × 269.03 ft), has four towers with a diameter of 21 m (68.90 ft). The main tower, of octagonal shape, has sides of 12 m (39.37 ft). The walls have an impressive thickness of 6–7.6 m (19.69–24.93 ft). The fortress was built over an ancient Roman construction, probably the barracks of the classiarii ("mariners") of the Imperial Fleet.
  • The Rocca ("castle"), re-built in the late 15th century by Pope Sixtus V. A Palazzo Apostolico was added by Pius IV in the 16th century.
  • The cathedral of San Francesco d'Assisi was built by the Franciscans over a pre-existing small church built from 1610. The current edifice, with Baroque-Neoclassical lines, was erected in the eighteenth century.
  • 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 fig plants among the various pools.
  • Next to the town is the location of the cruise ship docks that service all of the Rome area. All major cruise lines start and end their cruises at this location, and many others stop for shore excursion days that allow guests to see Rome and Vatican sights, which are about 90 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
{{{year high C}}}
Average low °C (°F) 7.1
{{{year low C}}}
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 harbor survived until 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.

Twin towns and sister cities

Civitavecchia is twinned with:


See also


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Civitavecchia — Civitavecchia …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Civitavecchia — Escudo …   Wikipedia Español

  • Civitavecchia — Statue de Giuseppe Garibaldi à Civitavecchia …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Civitavecchia —   [tʃivita vɛkki̯a], Hafenstadt in der Provinz Rom, Latium, Italien, am Tyrrhen. Meer, 51 700 Einwohner; Erdölraffinerie, Zement u. a. Industrie; der Hafen dient der Versorgung von Rom und der Valle Latina mit Rohöl u. a. Importen; Fährverbindung …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Civitavecchia — (spr. tschiwitawéckja), Kreishauptstadt in der ital. Provinz Rom, liegt 71 km nordwestlich von der Hauptstadt am Tyrrhenischen Meer, an der Eisenbahn Rom Pisa und an der alten Via Aurelia in öder und ungesunder Gegend. Den Hafen von C. legte… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Civitavecchia — (spr. tschiwitaweckĭa), Festung in der ital. Prov. Rom, am Tyrrhen. Meer, (1901) 17.589 E., Kriegs und Handelshafen, Schiffswerfte …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Civitavecchia — Ci·vi·ta·vec·chia (chē vē tä vĕkʹyä) A city of west central Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea west northwest of Rome. Its harbor is the chief port of Rome. Population: 45,836. * * * ▪ Italy       town and episcopal see, Lazio (Latium) regione, the… …   Universalium

  • Civitavecchia — Original name in latin Civitavecchia Name in other language Chivitavekk ja, Civitavecchia, chivuCivitavecchiaitavuCivitavecchiaekkia, Чивитавеккья State code IT Continent/City Europe/Rome longitude 42.09325 latitude 11.79674 altitude 22… …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Civitavecchia — Sp Čivitavèkija Ap Civitavecchia L C Italija …   Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė

  • Civitavecchia — geographical name commune & port central Italy in Lazio on Tyrrhenian Sea WNW of Rome population 50,856 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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