There are four easy ways one can arrive in Cerveteri. One is to drive oneself. It is about a 45-50 minute drive from Roma, depending on which part of the Capital City you are leaving from. The second option is taking a taxi, which can set you back anywhere from S75.00 – $100.00. Option number three is taking a COTRAL bus from Roma to Cerveteri. This costs only around $4.00, and takes about an hour. The final option is to take a train to the Ladispoli/Certeveri Station, and then either, a local bus or a taxi, from there. Once in Cerveteri, most of the buses will leave you off in Piazza Aldo Moro, which is right outside of the Centro Storico, or the Historic Center of the town. From this piazza, it is simple to walk anywhere you need to go to, including the necropolis of Etruscan tombs, located a short distance outside of the city. There are also buses that go directly to the necropolis, but more on that later.
I had made arrangements with the taxi driver that I had met in Ladispoli, Eleonora, to drive me to Cerveteri on a Thursday morning. It was not that far of a ride, and having been hit by a car the day before, I was in no mood to be lugging suitcases on and off of buses! By this time, the pain had begun to set in, and I wanted to make things as easy for myself as possible.
Once I was in the car, Eleonora asked me where I was staying, in Cerveteri. I told her that I had booked a room at the Residenza Principi Ruspoli.
“Ah, you are staying in the castle,” she replied.
“I am?” I asked, shocked.
The Residenza Principi Ruspoli occupies a part of the Palazzo Ruspoli, which makes up part of the castle situated at the top of the city. The palazzo, as we see it today, dates from 1533, when it was rebuilt by the Orsini Family, as a baronial palace. Later, it would pass into the hands of the Ruspoli Family, and today is home to the Princesses Maria Pia Ruspoli, and Jacinta Ruspoli.
This was going to be my home, for the next four days! Once that you step inside of the Palazzo, you immediately feel the history and the age of the place. Walls and stairways are lined with hunting trophies of ages past: Boar and deer heads, exotic birds, all mounted and preserved, watching over the property, and its guests.
The palazzo is full of antiques and artwork. The buildings frescoes were done by an artist named Rossi, who was a pupil of Benvenuto Cellini. The palazzo has also played host to many celebrities over the years, including Pope Innocent VIII, D. H. Lawrence, Handel, and Princess Margaret of England. Entering into the rooms of this place was like walking onto a film set, except that this was real, and for the next few days, I was living there! Actually, for the first night, I would be the only guest, and would have a section of the palazzo all to myself! My bedroom was off of a large communal room, filled with tapestries and antique furniture.
My room was beautiful! It had a fireplace, frescoes on the ceiling, a nice table to sit by the window and, like the rest of the palazzo, was furnished with antiques. There was a small sitting room between the bedroom and the bathroom. The bathroom was the size of my living room in New York City.
From my windows, I had a lovely view of Piazza Santa Maria.
Breakfast was provided for an additional €10, and was served in a breakfast room, off of the large terrace that fronted the palazzo.
As difficult as it was to force myself to leave the palazzo, I wanted to explore the town a bit, so off I went.
The tourist information kiosk is in the middle of Piazza Aldo Moro, so that is where I began my explorations.
The Centro Storico of Cerveteri is small. It takes less than an hour, to leisurely walk every single one of its winding streets.
At the bottom of the Centro Storico, there is a piazza/car park with lovely views.
Piazza Risorgimento is a lovely square in the middle of the Historic Center, with a really beautiful water fountain adorning one end.
Next up: Part 2 of Day 1 in Cerveteri!
Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author is not responsible for the quality of any other translations that may appear. If you have enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from Cerveteri, as well as other Italian destinations. Grazie!