A few weeks ago I had an assignment that asked for some information about the cruise ship terminal in Civitavecchia. It had been a long time since I had been there so Mark and I decided to take advantage of a sunny Autumn Saturday and see what there was to see.
First it is super easy to get there and back from Rome. It takes about an hour. I booked an intercity train ticket online (€11 for a two for one Saturday special fare. Regional trains are (€ 5.00) and there were working automatic ticket machines at the Civittavecchia train station.
From the train station we walked towards the center of town up the wide Corso Centocelle and found a large outdoor produce market. There were melons from nearby Taraquina and the first of the fall pears from Cesena. We strolled through stands of just harvested bitter greens, grapes and tomatoes down to the covered shopping boulevard Centro Commerciale I Portici along the via Aurelia. You will find optical shops with chic Italian sunglasses, stores for all of your nautical and fishing needs and traditional cafes for a coffee and gelato break.
See Some Ruins
Running next to the via Aurelia is a small section of wall that was originally built in the year 1000 BC when Civitavecchia was a powerful port under the emperor Trajan known as Centumcellae. In the 1400's the structure was added to and a fortress called La Rocca was constructed. What you see is all that remains after extensive bombing during World War II. Around the corner near the water there was a small exhibit that had working models that showed how ancient Roman ships operated.
Have a Cocktail
It was sunny, It was Saturday. We had taken a long walk, seen some historic things. It was time for a cocktail. We took the long way around the Forte Michelangelo to the Fruit Bar in the Piazza della Vita. We sat under grass covered umbrellas while samba music played and had Campari Spritzes by the sea.
Via Duca d'Aosta, 8
For lunch we debated between the casual and creative dishes we spied at the casual Pyrgo Cafe and the much for classic Caprasecca al Mare. I just had to have the gnocchi with cima di rape and vongole that I saw coming out of the kitchen so we opted for Pyrgo Cafe. It was an excellent choice. My pasta lived up to my expectations of it and Mark had an equally delicious spaghetti with cozze (mussels)and vongole (clams). We drank cold white Pecorino until the sun started to drop.
Walk Along the Lungomare
The beach chairs and umbrellas had all been packed away fro the season so we took a walk near the water and also along the very lovely Pyrgo promenade. From the well created placards along the way, I learned the name comes from a group of people who lived on the Lazio coast long before the Romans and the history of a day by the seaside popularized in the late 1800's.