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starting time:9:00 AM
The excitement of your cruise continues on disembarkation day continues with our Post Cruise Medieval Magic Tour from Civitavecchia taking you on an exciting journey to magnificent towns and villages of bygone eras that inspired fables and legends. Imagine stepping into a place that looks like a movie set for King Arthur, and walking through an opulently furnished castle that transports you back in time to kings, lords, ladies, and knights who dwelled in magnificent castles.
You don’t have to imagine it because medieval villages and castles that have witnessed the passage of centuries around them are yours to enjoy on your debark tour of the Roman countryside.
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*** Dates on the Booking Form Calendar that are NOT Selectable, are NOT AVAILABLE.
Our signature Post Cruise Medieval Magic tour was inspired by many of our enthusiastic guests who proclaimed they felt as if they were magically transported back to the Medieval era when they visited the enchanting sites in this tour.
Discover Tuscania, the remarkable medieval town with majestic views, imposing churches, and grand remains of formidable castles that served as inspiration to poets and writers for centuries. Stop for lunch in the charming clifftop village of Ceri where time stood still. Visit the imposing Castello Orsini-Odescalchi (Bracciano Castle), a picture-perfect example of opulence, architecture, and art.
Your journey into the past begins with a drive through the bucolic landscapes of the Roman countryside to your first destination.
Considered one of the oldest towns in Italy settled since the Neolithic Age more than 3,000 years ago, Tuscania was founded in approximately the 7th century BC on a promontory of tuff rock that became an acropolis.
Legends surrounding the founding of Tuscania are fascinating and plenty. One legend has Tuscania may have been founded by Ascanius, the son of the Trojan hero Aeneas, where he discovered 12 puppies, giving the settlement the Etruscan name of Tus-Cana (similar to the Latin word for dog “canis”). Another legend tells us Tuscania was founded by Tusco, the son of the demigod Hercules.
The name Tuscania also derives from the word “Tuscus”, Latin for Etruscans when the Romans called it “Tuscana”, the city of Tusci (not to be confused with Tuscany, the region of Italy also named after the Etruscans). For centuries until 1911, this captivating medieval town was also known as Toscanella.
Due to its strategic position near the sea and along important trade routes, Tuscania grew and prospered when it was an Etruscan city, and later thrived when it was part of the Roman Empire. Vestiges of Tuscania’s great Etruscan and Roman pasts are visible throughout the town in the forms of Etruscan necropoli and artifacts, ruins of Roman villas, thermal baths, and Roman roads.
During the Middle Ages, Tuscania took on its characteristic medieval appearance with architectural developments that can still be admired today. Cobbled alleys, historic buildings, fortified city walls, medieval towers, quaint squares with fountains, charming atmosphere, and picturesque views make this medieval town delightful to visit. It’s no wonder that for decades, Tuscania has been selected by the film industry as the perfect backdrop for historical films.
Visitors can’t help but feel inspired by the enthralling landscapes with imposing churches and evocative castle ruins that can be admired from the belvedere. Upon visiting Tuscania in the early 1900s and seeing this view for himself, English novelist and poet D.H. Lawrence wrote: “The Most beautiful view in all Italy: the Etruscan valley of Tuscania”.
While in Tuscania, you have the opportunity to visit two historically and architecturally significant churches: the imposing 8th century AD Romanesque-Lombard style Basilica of San Pietro built on the ancient Etruscan acropolis surrounded by impressive towers and a bishop’s palace, and the magnificent 11-12th century Santa Maria Maggiore at the foot of the hill.
The ancient mysteries that surround Tuscania also extend to these Medieval era basilicas with facades beautifully adorned with intricately carved symbolic figures of both early Christianity and paganism. The basilicas are believed to have been built to orient towards the solstices: Saint Peter’s Basilica orienting towards the summer solstice and Santa Maria Maggiore orienting towards the winter solstice.
(*If you will be touring on a Monday when both churches are closed, you may admire them from the outside).
Your relaxing drive continues from Tuscania through the rustic Roman countryside to Ceri, a charismatic 13th-century clifftop borgo (hamlet) steeped in medieval history as it was once a fortified fortress with crenelated walls protecting the village. Beautifully positioned on a natural cliff surrounded by sprawling valleys, Ceri offers a panoramic view of beautiful landscapes interspersed with green forests and cultivated fields scattered with farms.
Etymologically, the word borgo (hamlet or village) indicates a small settlement built around a castle generally during medieval times. Ceri too is a cluster of historic houses built around its 15th-century castle, Palazzo Torlonia, which was owned by some of the most illustrious Roman families such as the Orsini, Odescalchi, Anguillara, and Torlonia.
The moment you arrive at the foothill of Ceri, you will feel as though you are about to travel back in time. A single winding lane wide enough for just one vehicle to pass through at a time will take you from the ancient gate below to the village square on the top.
The quaint village square is surrounded by historic buildings of a multitude of shades of earthy pink and ochre. The dominant building in the square is the 11th-century church dedicated to the Madonna of Ceri whose interior is spectacularly adorned with vibrant medieval frescoes depicting scenes from the Old Testament.
Ceri is also well regarded for its delicious local cuisine enjoyed at family-owned restaurants with panoramic views and terraces. Using secret recipes passed down from generations of Italian grandmothers, local dishes include fresh and seasonally sourced local ingredients and tasty regional wines. Sit for a repast of traditional Italian dishes at a local restaurant in Ceri surrounded by all the charm this medieval village offers.
After a tasty lunch and a stroll through Ceri, you will once again join your driver for a scenic drive to the fabled Lake Bracciano and its medieval town of Bracciano crowned by the magnificent 15th-century castle Castello Orsini-Odescalchi (or Bracciano Castle for short).
Throughout Bracciano’s historic center there are places forgotten by time: a warren of winding Medieval streets and lanes, and glimpses of the imposing castle towers peeking from behind rooftops of historic buildings. At every turn, you’ll find yourself immersed in medieval history.
Crowning Bracciano is the well-preserved Bracciano Castle, commissioned in 1470 by Napoleon Orsini, of the powerful Orsini family. The castle’s strategic geographical location impelled powerful families such as Colona and Borgia to fight bitterly for its ownership. The centuries-long political intrigue lasted until 1696 when the castle was sold to the Odeschalchi family who still owns the castle today.
Part opulent residential castle, part towering military fortress, Bracciano Castle is one of the largest and best-maintained castles in Italy. The castle serves also as a museum with over 20 lavishly adorned rooms, a large castle kitchen, an armory room, and a central court. A stone spiral staircase connects the ground floor of the castle to the upper floor.
You’ll feel as if you’ve traveled back in time as you stroll from room to room, admiring the lavishly decorated with original Renaissance-era furnishing, freezes, paintings, and frescoes created by some of Rome’s most renowned artists of that period. Once upon a time, Italy’s most illustrious figures such as kings, popes, lords, and ladies lived and slept in this enchanting fairytale castle.
A walk along the ramparts of the castle walls will reward you with gorgeous views of the lake surrounded by green forests and pretty countryside landscapes. Originally a volcanic crater, the shimmery Lake Bracciano is one of the most pristine lakes in Italy renowned for its clarity and purity.
From here, you will be joined by your driver for a relaxing journey to your hotel in Rome, committing to memory each spellbinding moment you spent exploring the magic and wonders of Medieval Italy.
Thank you for booking our Post Cruise Medieval Magic Tour from Civitavecchia, and for choosing Stefano’s RomeCabs for your tours and excursions from Civitavecchia. We look forward to showing you the magic of Italy!
Payment can be made in EUROS directly to your driver on the Date of the Tour or prepaid in advance via PayPal or Credit Card.
If you wish to PREPAY via PayPal or Credit Card, you may do so online when CONFIRMING your BOOKING by SELECTING your preferred option of payment.
We kindly request that cancellations be made at least 7 days in advance of the Date of Service.
Cancellations must be made in writing via E-Mail and confirmed by our office as assurance. We do not accept cancellations by telephone, text message, or 3rd party.
** Cancelations for PREPAID SERVICES will be refunded the Net Rate we receive from your prepayment. Net Rate: actual service price minus PayPal/Credit Card fees retained by PayPal/Credit Card as they do not reimburse us the fees they retain from your payment.
* Bracciano Castle Admission Tickets:
Entry admission to Bracciano Odescalchi Castle is currently approximately 10 Euros per person. Tickets can be purchased upon arriving at the site. * Admission Ticket prices are subject to change with notice.
Odescalchi Castle offers private tours in English with advance reservations at 180 Euros including tickets. Please inform us in advance if you wish to reserve a private guide for your visit to the castle. Private Tours of Bracciano Castle require Non-Refundable prepayment as Bracciano Castle does not issue refunds for cancellations.
Otherwise, you will SELF TOUR the castle on your own.
If you wish to Self Tour the Castle, please READ: Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano: TOURING TIPS
Lunchtime will be in Ceri, and lunch enjoyed at a local restaurant (your driver can offer suggestions). Ceri is famous for local home-cooked cuisine at reasonable prices that draw Italians and visitors from all over the region. There are no sandwiches or sliced pizza anywhere in the hamlet or its environs. Ceri.
Sedans priced for 1-2 passengers can accommodate up to 2 standard suitcases and up to 2 small carryons.
Minivans for up to 8 passengers can accommodate up to 6 suitcases and up to 6 carry-ons in TOTAL. If you anticipate bringing luggage in excess of what the standard 8-seater vans can accommodate, please inform us prior to booking this service so we can help ensure that everyone and their luggage will travel safely inside the vehicle.
For tours from Civitavecchia Port, your private driver will meet you on the Pier next to your Ship at your scheduled pick-up time holding a sign with the NAME in your reservation.
Please do NOT leave the ship area, and do NOT take a shuttle bus outside the port.
Look for the driver in the same area as ALL private drivers will be waiting for their clients.
This chauffeur-driven tour includes an English-speaking Private Driver who is not a Licensed Tour Guide.
Italy's laws prohibit Drivers from guiding or accompanying guests Your driver will be obliged to remain with the vehicle while you visit sites. For this reason, we recommend private licensed tours, sites, and monuments if you require in-depth information.