Travel Bug: Civitavecchia, Italy

 

Travel to Europe is long and at times stressful, but the journey to Civitavecchia was totally worth it.  A somewhat worn-out seaside town, the views from almost anywhere are beautiful here.

Upon arriving in Rome, you board a train out to Civitavecchia, usually for the express purpose of docking a cruise ship a day later, and this trip was no exception.  Having traveled for about 30 hours without sleep, we walked from our charming bed and breakfast up into the town for take out pizza (post-afternoon nap, of course).  The shop was filled with locals, which meant that this was going to be great pizza.  In fact, we hadn’t encountered any American tourists in this town at all.

We stayed the night at Bed and Breakfast Casamica, which has only two rooms.  The other room was occupied by a friendly family from Madrid, who we ended up chatting with for a couple of hours over a bottle of wine and a slab of prosciutto as the sun set.  Our room lead out onto a patio shaded by an overhead lattice of grapevines and a beautiful view of the Mediterrean Sea.  Unlike the other seaside port areas I’ve been to, this town appears to be unaffected by the influx of American tourists that take over every summer.  Maybe I’m just deluding myself, since Civitavecchia is the main port to Rome after all, and, I’m assuming, innundated by tourists during the high season.  But this particular day, I saw few people who looked American (i.e. wearing Nikes and fanny packs), and heard virtually no English.  Although the local venders and business owners don’t appear overly annoyed if you don’t speak more than five words in Italian, they also don’t cater to tourists…. There are no golden arches jutting into the sky over the red roof tops, no run-of-the-mill cheap souvenir shops with stupid t-shirts reading “I got drunk in Civitavecchia”…. you get the idea.   The point is, I’m sure there are far more charming and “Italian” small towns out there, but the view and close proximity to Rome definitely make it worth a visit, perhaps during a few week days that all the cruise ships are at sea.

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Lauren

Lauren Warnecke is a freelance writer and editor, focused on dance and cultural criticism in Chicago and across the Midwest. Lauren is the dance critic for the Chicago Tribune, editor of See Chicago Dance, and founder/editor of Art Intercepts, with bylines in Chicago Magazine, Milwaukee Magazine, St. Louis Magazine and Dance Media publications, among others. Holding degrees in dance and kinesiology, Lauren is an instructor of dance and exercise science at Loyola University Chicago.