This is a great view of the historic Darsena Romana (Roman Dock), Civitavecchia, Lazio, Italy, on the Tyrrhenian Sea 82km North West of the Colosseum in Rome. The view is from the third floor of our apartment building which is located in the historic city centre and shows the birds, small boats, fishing fleet, ferries, cruise ships, occasional navy ship and general goings on of a working harbour.
At centre of the image is the "Bicchiere", the remains of the Fort of Saint Peter, one of the original towers dating back to around 200AD which protected the inner harbour. You can find an excellent history of this tower at https://civitavecchia.portmobility.it/en/molo-del-lazzaretto.
A BIT OF HISTORY; Civitavecchia was born as a small Etruscan settlement, and then definitively assumed the name of Centumcellae in Roman times, when the emperor Trajan (106 AD) sensed that the rocky coast with its many inlets was the right place for the construction of a large port. Centumcellae experienced the period of maximum splendor in the imperial age, from AD 314 to 538. Subsequently the city passed to the rule of the Byzantine empire, and then in AD 754 to the more benign rule of the Papal States. Most of the great city monuments present in the port and city are due to the benificence of many of the Popes who followed. In 828 the city was briefly occupied by the Saracens who almost completely destroyed it. The city 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, permanently removing the port from papal control.
During World War II
bombings severely damaged Civitavecchia, and caused many 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.
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