Civitavecchia (; meaning "ancient town") is a city and ''comune
'' of the Metropolitan City of Rome
in the central Italian
region of Lazio
. A sea port
on the Tyrrhenian Sea
, it is located west-north-west of the center of Rome
. The harbour is formed by two piers and a breakwater, on which stands a lighthouse. Civitavecchia had a population of around 53,000 .
The modern city was built over a pre-existing Etruscan
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
(530s), ''Centumcellae'' was a Byzantine
stronghold. It became part of the Papal States
in 728. As the port was raided by the Saracen
s in 813–814, 828, 846 and finally in 876, a new settlement in a more secure place was therefore built by order of Pope Leo VII
as soon as 854. The Popes gave the settlement as a fief to several local lords, including the Count Ranieri of Civitacastellana
and the Abbey of Farfa
, and the Di Vico, who held ''Centumcellae'' in 1431. In that year, pope Eugene IV
sent an army under cardinal Giovanni Vitelleschi
and several condottieri
, Ranuccio Farnese
and Menicuccio dell'Aquila among them) to recapture the place, which, after the payment of 4,000 florins, became thenceforth a full Papal possession, led by a vicar and a treasurer.
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 Empire
occupied it in 1806. 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. This permanently removed the port from papal control.
During World War II
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
has a secondary importance.
The city is also the seat of two thermal power station
s. The conversion of one of them to coal
has raised the population's protests, as it is feared it could create heavy pollution.
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
sights, which are ninety minutes away.
Civitavecchia experiences a Mediterranean climate
(Köppen climate classification
The Port of Civitavecchia
, also known as "Port of Rome
", is an important hub for the maritime transport in Italy, for goods and passengers. Part of the "Motorways of the Sea
" 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. 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
and by the State highway SS1
'', which also links the two stretches. The town is also interested by a project regarding a new motorway, the Civitavecchia-Venice
or ''New Romea'', nowadays completed as a dual carriageway
) and commonly known in Italy as the ''Orte
The commune has multiple preschools, primary schools, junior high schools, and high schools. Polo Universitario di Civitavecchia is located in the city.
Twin towns and sister cities
Civitavecchia is twinned
, Palestinian Authority
, since 2000
(b. 1980), football player
(b. 1966), professional boxer
*Alessio De Sio
(1968), journalist, city mayor from 2001 to 2005, director of communication of "Hitachi
" Rail Italy ex 'AnsaldoBreda
(b. 1950), former football player
(b. 1941), former track athlete
(b. 1971), road bicycle racer
(b. 1924), journalist, founder of ''la Repubblica
(b. 1971), game designer
(b. 1948), former water polo player
*Civitavecchia di Arpino
* Port of RomeImages of Fort MichelangeloCivitavecchia "The port of Rome" GuideVideo CivitavecchiaArcheological sitesOfficial website of CIVITAVECCHIA WiFi, property of the City of Civitavecchia
Category:Coastal towns in Lazio
Category:Mediterranean port cities and towns in Italy
Category:Renaissance sites in the Lazio
Category:Roman sites in Lazio
Category:Roman harbors in Italy