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you are here: Home Latium Roman coastline Civitavecchia


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Located in the province of Rome, Civitavecchia is an active port on the coast of Lazio, second in Europe for number of cruise passengers, embarking to the most famous tourist destinations in the Mediterranean. Mentioned for the first time in Pliny the Younger in 107 AD as "Centum Cellai, the discovery of small rustic buildings in the area attest the presence of populations of Etruscan origins, experts merchants who, through the exploitation of the mines of the Tolfa mountains, intensified trade with the neighboring populations. A large increase in the economic and social growth of the city and its port was recorded when new commercial needs arose for Rome, as Ostia and the ports of the South were insufficient: the works were assigned to Apollodorus of Damascus in 102 A.D. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Civitavecchia first passed under the Byzantine rule and then under the direct control of the Papal States. Reduced to ruins, during the Saracen raids of 813 and 828, the survivors were forced to shelter in the inland areas, less vulnerable to pirate attacks. The current name was registered only after year 1000, when the old residents of "Centumcellae" returned to live in the "Civitas vetula". The State of the Church strove to strengthen the defenses of the city and entrusted to Antonio da Sangallo the building of fortified walls, ordering the construction of towers, defensive systems and a permanent fleet in order to make Civitavecchia a bulwark against the incursions Saracen, thus becoming again the port of Rome.

Sites of Interest:
- the ancient Aquae Tauri, the Roman city built on the ruins of a pre-existing Etruscan settlement, characterized by a source of sulfur water, whose therapeutic properties were known and appreciated since antiquity;
- the Statio of Algae, and remains of villages and cemeteries of the period of the Villanova population;
- the Etruscan Necropolis of Marangone;
- the tomb chambers in the district of La Scaglia, which date back to the VI and V centuries B.C.;
- the Roman villa on the seaside (first century A.D.), which occupies an area of about 4500mq and has a fish farm in the sea;
- the Terme Taurine;
- the Cathedral of San Francesco, built in the XVIII century on the site of an earlier religious building dedicated to the same saint, which was too small to accommodate the growing population of the city. The works were entrusted to the architect Francesco Navona;
- the Baroque Church dell'Orazione della Morte, with a Greek cross plan, features simple and elegant lines;
- the Church of Our Lady of Grace or Stella, probably the oldest in the city;
- the Church of the Holy Martyrs of Japan (XIX century);
- Fortress Michelangelo, commissioned by Pope Julius II (the same who commissioned Michelangelo to decorate the Sistine Chapel), built on the ruins of a vast and complex construction of the Roman era. The work was entrusted to Bramante and completed by his pupils, while the completion of the upper part of the castle was assigned to Michelangelo;
- the Rocca, built on the ruins of the ancient Roman port, and now incorporated in a XVI century building;
- the fortified walls, built in 1630 by Pope Urban VIII;
- the touristic port of Riva di Traiano;
- several interesting wrecks that emerge from the seabed.


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