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Magic on NCL Jade: Taking the Long Way to the Port in Rome

a sunset over a body of water
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Trip Index:

Getting there
Hotel Review: Hilton Rome
Taking the long way to the port
Review: Jade Penthouse Suite 10166
Day in Olympia, Greece
Day in Piraeus, Athens Greece
Day in Kusadasi, Turkey
Hotel Review: Four Seasons Istanbul at Sultanahmet
Day in Naples/Pompeii, Italy
Hotel Review: Hotel Holiday Bolsena

There were several ways to get from Rome Airport to the Port of Civitavecchia. I could have taken the train that ran from the airport to the central station in Rome, then connected on to a second train to the port. I knew the trains would be packed with people heading to the cruise port though, and didn’t relish the idea. It also meant backtracking since instead of going in a straight line I’d have to take the train all the way back into Rome and then back and over to get to the port which seemed like wasted time.

Another option was to take a taxi at 130 EUR, or a car with driver for 140 EUR. We chose to rent a car for the day instead and take the scenic route to the Port. The total for a one-way rental from Hertz with pickup at the airport and drop-off the same day at the cruise port was 41 EUR, including unlimited miles. Wanting to get on the road early, we left the Hilton Rome hotel after breakfast and walked to the airport.

The Airport Hertz rental office didn’t open until 7am, so as soon as the doors opened we quickly got things settled and got in the car.


The most direct route went straight through towns and then on to the port.

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 5.25.52 PM

The more scenic route we chose went inland to Lake Bracciano and Lake Martignano before continuing on to the coast, which sounded like the best option since we weren’t in a rush.


The small streets were quiet, and every now and then I caught a glimpse of a castle or interesting architecture.


Once down near the lake there was a boating area not currently in use, which was the perfect spot for watching the sunrise.



The water lapped quietly at the shore, punctuated by the quack, quack, quack of some ducks in the distance. It was a peaceful way to start the day, much preferred to taking the train.

Click here to watch a video of the early morning view.

Just across the street we stopped at Casina del Lago, a popular morning café where there were several other people already enjoying a cup of coffee.



Continuing on down the road we stopped again at a seaside town, parking near the entrance to La Torre Flavia. The guide office was closed but a sign warned us not to bring any plastic, and showed a sampling of the animals nearby.




Following the path we passed by some large ducks, wetlands and came to a quiet beach.



The sand near the water was dotted with small round balls, perhaps seaweed tossed about in the waves?



Torre Flavia rose up majestically in the distance. A massive structure, it looked as though it had been transported from a different time. La Torre Flavia is a military installation that was built back in Roman times. It was rebuilt in the 1500’s by Cardinal Flavio Orsini, which is how the structure got its modern name. It was not armed with guns until the 1600’s, and later on there was a bitter dispute between the Duke of Bracciano and the Apostolic Camera when the Duke wanted to turn it into his private residence. The Apostolic Camera refused.


The Allied bombing in the 2nd World War made the once strong upper floors of the tower unusable. You can still see the openings that look like windows that were reserved for guns, which once defended soldiers.


There are reports that lightning split the tower at one time and cannons damaged the tower, though it is difficult now to tell what areas that occurred in.


The tower was originally paved with slabs of lava with limestone with brick staircases and a cement core. In more recent years, the sea has swallowed remnants of the tower. Although there are efforts today to preserve what is left, it will be difficult since it has now broken into several sections and the sea continues to erode the foundation.


It was a cool Indiana Jones moment, exploring a place all by ourselves that many people don’t even know exists. We walked back to the car and continued on, stopping once more by the ocean before getting into town.


After the sightseeing and a great morning, we dropped off the car and were ready to get on the big ship.

Next up: Embarkation

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    1. Scott, there were no difficulties while driving in Italy since we used GoogleMaps. The only place that has felt a bit challenging was in downtown Milan on a previous trip, but if you just take it easy the drive will be just fine.

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