Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
Civitavecchia is the port for Rome. It is approximately an hour by train from Rome and an hour by car from the airport.
Where You're Docked
Civitavecchia is a huge port with multiple piers that can accomodate cruise ships. A free shuttle service is usually provided between your ship and the port gates (beside the fort and close to McDonalds). There are a lot of fake Civitavecchia port websites. The official one is here http://www.portidiroma.it/ with English cruise schedules here http://www.portidiroma.it/en/content/ship-arrivals-and-departures
Update June 2014 - Reports indicating the shuttle drop off location has changed due to construction work at the old drop off site. The new location is a parking lot off Via Turco adjacent to the Europcar rental office (see google map in the Maps section below). You can walk the 1 mile (20 minutes) to the train station (stazione), or take public buses that run along Via XVI Settembre for a €1 fare. There may be also be direct shuttles from the parking lot to take you to the train station for the same fare.
Money and Tipping
The best way to get from Civitavecchia to Rome is to take the train with the journey taking just over an hour. There is an excellent guide here on how to do this. http://www.roninrome.com/%20transportation/cruising-come-to-rome-for-the-day-2
Within Rome, a self-guided walking tour combined with the metro is the best way to see the sights. The metro can only get you to the Colosseum, Spanish Steps and a couple of blocks away from St Peters. Within the city center, you can also board compact electric buses which is included if you bought a BIRG ticket. See the maps section for a route map for the 116, 117 and 119 routes.
If you didn't buy a BIRG ticket, single trip tickets in Rome are €1.50 (B.I.T.) and valid for 100 minutes on buses, metro or trams. Day passes (B.I.G.) are available for €6 and there is a 3-day ticket for €16.50. Tickets can be bought at newsstands displaying a "T" or ticket machines. For buses and trams, tickets need to be validated onboard. http://goo.gl/8GNqUH
To/From the Airport
Rome is served by Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport (FCO) approx 22 miles southwest of Rome. There is a train station here where you can take the Leonardo Express train to Termini, Rome's main railway station for €14 (30 min journey). Non-express trains are €8. You will need to transfer at Termini to continue to Civitavecchia or transfer at Trastevere if taking non-express trains. Fixed fare taxi rates to Civitavecchia are €120 and €45 to Ostiense Station in Rome (Jan 2014). http://www.adr.it
Must See Sights
In the height of summer, the main sights in Rome may have long lineups. See the Day in Rome section for a sample itinerary. Also consider buying a Roma Pass if planning to visit many attractions.
Shopping & Restaurants
In Civitavecchia, there is a Carrefour Express supermarket on Via Leopoli at Via Roma and a Todis supermarket two blocks away on Viale Giacomo Matteotti northeast of the roundabout. The city's central market is nearby (closed Sunday). Locations are marked on the google map in the maps section. If driving from Rome, there is a large Co-op supermarket on the southern end of town. Before taking your shuttle, grab a gelato from the shop across from McDonalds but make sure you finish it before boarding.
In Rome, there are two supermarkets in Termini Station. Conad is on the track 1 side and Despar is under track 29. Be wary of cover charges and surcharges for sitting in restaurants and cafes. There may be an additional surcharge for sitting outside vs inside. In popular cafes, you will see locals standing and drinking by the counter. Set menus at restaurants tend to be the best deals.
In Civitavecchia, there is a post office about two blocks west of the train station on via Giardano Bruno. In Rome, you can buy stamps at tobacco shops but if you need a post office, there is one at Via Giovanni Giolitti, 14, on the south side of Termini Station. The Vatican has it's own post office on the southwest side of the St Peters Square (to the left if facing the Basilica).
Free wifi was introduced to the Civitavecchia downtown area Dec 2012. Search for the network "CIVITAVECCHIA WiFi". Cafes and restaurants by the fort in Civitavecchia and along the water may provide free wifi for customers. McDonalds, cafes and restaurants are generally good places to look for wifi.
Day in Rome
If you want to enter churches such as St Peters Basilica, you need to have knees and shoulders covered. Be wary of begging gypsies asking if you speak English and pickpockets in crowded places and on the metro. Beggars also hang out at church entrances. Most churches do not charge for entry.
With your BIRG ticket, you can ride the metro in Rome as well. From Termini train station head off to either the Vatican or Colosseum. You probably don't have time to enter both so you may need to pick one. If it is busy, you may not have time to go to either sites. The Colosseum is reached from Colosseo metro and the Vatican from Ottaviano metro. At the Colosseum, be wary getting your picture taken with a gladiator since they want money for this service. From the Colosseum metro, take a quick detour to San Pietro in Vincoli church to see Michaelangelo's Moses statue. You can then walk through the forum towards the Vittorio Monument. Walking through the Forum requires an entry fee and the only entrance is on the Colisseum side. If you don't want to pay for entry, just walk along the fence and peer in for free. From Vittorio, walk north towards Via Del Corso to Trevi Fountain and throw a coin backwards over your shoulder to ensure you'll be back in Rome. Take a short detour over to the Spanish Steps nearby before continuing west to the Pantheon. Have a quick look inside and continue west to Piazza Navona. Admire the fountains before heading northwest toward Castel St Angelo. Next, head west to St Peter's Square where you'll have to queue to visit the basilica. It is free but you need to go through a security check so the line moves quickly. Make sure your knees and shoulders are covered or you might not get in. In the basilica, make sure you don't miss Michaelangelo's Pieta on the right side and you can also pay to get to the top of the dome. Metro station Ottaviano is nearby to take you back to the main train station. If you want to send a postcard from the Vatican, the post office is on the southwest side of the piazza (on your right when you exit the basilica).
Daytrips from Rome
Visit the roman ruins at Ostia Antica easily reachable from Rome and close to the airport. http://www.roninrome.com/sites-and-attractions/day-trip-from-rome-ostia-antica
Maps (right-click to save)
Rome Electric Bus Routes
Civitavecchia with supermarkets and bus locations marked
Weather and climate for Rome http://www.turismoroma.it/about-roma/clima?lang=en
Suggested Port Guides