Ships in a the Harbor
Most of the time, toursts are only familiar with Civitavecchia as the port associated with Rome. Never mind that it is about as much Rome as Southampton is London or Le Harve is Paris. Thought that counts and nearest ocean port is the hook for cruise ships. All of the great cities were port towns once in their history when ships were small and locating at the interchange of river and sea was both smart and good for commerce Today, those of us hooked on cruising only think of the inconvenience to us and not the current reality of commercial logistics and shipping. In real world terms, most goods move between continents by ship. Major harbors are a necessity.
Having both cruises out of “Rome” before and arriving in Civitavecchia the night before a cruise or three, I at least somewhat familiar with the town. I know how to get from the train station to my favorite hotel. From the train station to the port. The location of the post office and the Saturday morning market. How to find both shops and wifi. That might have been why I ignored all the offered tours & travels today in favor of ship watchings.
This harbor is primarily one that supports container ships. The cruise ships that dock are served by customs officials in tents, baggage handlers and port buses to prevent idiots walking somewhere dangerous. What I hadn’t realized was that it is also a major embarkation point for travelers and goods for Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica and Barcelona. I don’t know why it surprised me – traveling by ferry would make sense both for trucks and vacationers. Being able to move a fair amount of goods along with one’s self and personal transport is often a smart thing.
So I watched the Queen Elizabeth, the newest of Cunard’s three ships board her passengers for a seven day cruise to Venice. (Ok, so I looked it up. I couldn’t find a cruise starting on the 20th, but there is one listed for the ship starting on the 27th in Venice….)
There was the Barcelona bound ferry with rear doors large enough for the biggest 18 wheeler.
and the MSC Lirica which I don’t remember as being quite as old or small as she appeared. But then, I haven’t been on her for three years and the perspective from deck 3 there is much different than a 9th deck balcony on the Independence.
There are also the container ships and tugs all of which I enjoyed from my bird’s eye view.