As an alternative to doing a long ride from the port to Rome and a long return, are there excursions near the port that we can do on our own, perhaps by taxi. Tarquinia is offered by the ship as a short excursion Is that worth doing? Can we get there by taxi or public transport without breaking the bank? Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated.
You can take the train to Rome in just over an hour, and to Tarquinia in just 13 minutes. So a taxi is not necessary, unless it is your preference. Train times, details and fares in English here: trenitalia.com/homepage_en.h... Data is not held months in advance, so just look for the same day of the week next week; neither times nor fares will change much, if at all, before you come. No need to buy tickets in advance online. Ticket machines have English language options and are easy to use (and fares are very reasonable indeed). They accept cash and give change, and will also accept cards with chip & PIN (unchipped cards are not accepted). You can also use the ticket office, although there may be queues. Make sure you validate (date-stamp) your ticket before boarding. There are on-the-spot fines for non-validation and conductors do check. So perhaps you might decide to visit Rome after all? Visiting under your own steam will certainly be a great deal cheaper than the cruise excursion! Tarquinia is on my list for when I'm back in Rome in July and has a superb Etruscan cemetery with beautifully decorated tombs. But if archaeology is not your thing I'm not sure whether a visit will be worth while. Have a look at the VT pages and tips members have written about Tarquinia: Tarquinia Travel Guide If you want a slightly longer journey you might consider Grosseto (around an hour on the train): Grosseto Travel Guide
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Tarquinia is certainly worth doing. You can catch a CoTRAL bus from in front of the cathedral (very short walk from the entry to the port area) to the big piazza on the west side of Tarquinia. Next to the big piazza is the national Etruscan museum housed in a Rennaissance palazzo. As leics notes, there are also some of the best preserved painted tombs outside the City walls - buy a joint ticket at the museum and save some money. If you are into horse art, look for the Etruscan terra cotta rendering of horses high on one of the walls. The tombs are outside the walls, but the town isn't that big - you can walk it easily enough if you are mobile. Now let's suppose that leics is right and you don't care about archaeology (Mamma Mia!!!), walking through the pleasant streets of Tarquinia then out into country lanes where the necropolis is, is very pleasant without the intrusion of archaeology. ;-) NOTE: at the entrance to the port in Civitavecchia is a small green hexagonal building that says "Information" all over it. You should go there, because they have specific information on which bus to take and what to do in Tarquinia. In fact, a year ago March when I was there, one of the ladies in the Information kiosk was an Englishwoman married to an Italian and who lived in Tarquinia. Note only did she offer me a small guidebook on Tarquinia along with directions, but she also showed me the name and address of her father-in-law's restaurant in Tarquinia - in case you were worried about eating among strangers... ;-) Bill
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