For cruise passengers: How to travel for mere pennies from Civitavecchia (Rome harbour) to Tarquinia (a coastal town, Italy).

Goal: the great Etruscan Art Museum in Tarquinia, open all week (closed on Mondays).

Etruscans: the main civilisation before the Romans came up. The people who invented pasta.


A free advice/tip by your Amsterdam art guide , History, Art History and Architecture. Academic tours worldwide by scholar-lecturer, art historian based in Amsterdam, Drs. Kees Kaldenbach*

I have seen some 1000 museums around the world and am VERY enthused about the Etruscan museum Museo Archeologico Nazionale Tarquiniense in Tarquinia. It is comparable to the Villa Giulia Etruscan museum in Rome.

How to get for mere pennies from Civitavecchia to Tarquinia (Italy)

Civitavecchia (Italy) is the big cruise port near Rome. Cruise ships out there will try to sell you an expensive bus trip from Civitavecchia to Tarquinia (Italy) by private bus for a lot of money. The excursion sales desk will probably dishonestly explain, for making Cruise line money, not providing truth or being fair is their mission in life.

This info is valid as of September 12, 2012. Please get an update from the Tarquinia Tourist Info to make sure.

Step 1. Take the free shuttle from the cruise ship to the town of Civitavecchia.

Step 2. Walk past the group of private chauffeurs who offer cut price trips to Rome etc. (A car full of passengers, full day in Rome, round trip was offered to me for E 200 per car. Beats the price on board!)

Step 3. Walk left for 100 meters up to the Duomo (church)

Step 4. Purchase 2 tickets (one for going and one for returning) for each person, from the local tobacconist. Price a mere E 1.30 a piece. If no tobacconist is open, just board the bus without one, play the dumb, helpless tourist and a fellow passenger may take pity and sell you a ticket. The bus driver does not sell tickets.

Step 5. Wait for the BLUE Cotral bus in the shelter opposite the Cathedral, thus across the street. Below is the 2012 time table to Tarquinia in the right hand column. Because this is Italy no proper time table has been affixed to the bus shelter. Ha! Crazy tourist! You want luxury, you take the overpriced luxury "Pullmann" bus line! Please expect the blue bus to be very basic and quaint and rural. I rode one in which 85% of the inner lights were broken and the seat belts were iffy. Italians are a strange breed ideed. Wonderful and infuriating. If ony the Swiss managed the state of Italy. Sigh. Latest bus schedule here: Transport to Etruscan museum


Bus timetable, weekdays from Civitavecchia to Tarquinia (Italy), in the right hand column. Only 2 buses on Sunday.

Step 6. The bus ride takes only about 15 minutes and arrives at the upper bus station in front of the main gate of the historic town.

Step 7. Walk up 5 meters to the Tourist office on the right, then 50 meters up and enter the Etruscan museum on the left hand side.

Step 8. For E 8 you buy a double ticket both for the museum and the necropolis (funerary cave group) out of town, a 15 min walk. After the city gate on the upper right hand corner of the map, go almost straight in the 11o-clock direction, not left in the 9 o'clock direction. Street signs are missing here. If ony the Swiss were running Italy.


The great Etruscan Art Museum in Tarquinia

WHOPEE. Inside a heaven full of halls, chock full of Etruscan art. Do not forget to go to the upstairs departments. More funerary art. Complete burial caves have been rebuilt here. Erotic art galore. A very old umbrella! Red-decorated and black-decorated Greek vases, many VERY good ones. We saw labels of various objects lent out to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC. This will give you an idea of the exquisite quality here.

The museum staff once had a hand-out in which numbered list explained what you were looking at. Now the hand-outs are gone. Nobody takes care of making a few new photocopies. This is Italy!


Step 9. You may want to walk later on to the Necropolis / Cemetary. Follow the signs.


Urn of sorts. Cremation was also an Etruscan custom.


Wall ornament found inside an Etruscan tomb.


Presentation case (exceptionally) without any explanatory text in Italian or English. The crab like thing below is for raking a fire (I think).


Erotic scene. Puritans and other prudes should seriously avoid this entire department.


This is the prize item, a group of almost lifesize horses decorating the side of an Ertruscan temple. Great!

All photography by Drs Kaldenbach, September 2012. Images are available in HQ full size as well.

About the author.

Drs Kees Kaldenbach tours and lectures all over Europe and the USA. He is based in Amsterdam and can be contracted for any art tour, which will be completely custom-designed according to your tastes and needs. International Travel in Europe: Tailor Made Art Tours throughout Western Europe by Drs. Kaldenbach. Including Tours to German cities.



Read a biography.

Menu of tours

Travel preparation advice specificaly focused on art, culture, museums.

In SPAIN I have visited these towns and can give you very good pointers: Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Santiago de Compostela, Valencia, Cordoba, Malaga, Granada.

In ITALY I have visited these towns and can give you very good pointers: Rome, Pisa, Florence, Tarquinia, Napels, Venice, Milan.

In FRANCE I am knowledgeable about high culture in Paris, Versailles, Lyon, Nice, Chartres, Loire castles, Grenoble, Limoges, Bordeaux.

In ENGLAND/UK/Ireland I can give you pointers in the art cities of London, Oxford, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Dublin.

In SWITSERLAND I visited museums of Geneva, Basel.

In GERMANY this Germany page will give you a good overview.

Full tour menu: Menu of tours.





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Menu of tours


Drs. Kaldenbach is chairman of the Circle of Academic Tour Guides of the Netherlands and Flanders (CATON)

You may also arrange this VIP treatment for business contacts or friends. Our cultural tour organisation office will take care of a unique and memorable experience.

Drs. Kees Kaldenbach is your private "scholar-lecturer on culture tours" *.

*Martha Gellhorn, Travels with Myself and another, p. 182.

Please contact me for time and fees of the tailor-made tour you ar interested in.

These tailor made tours are available upon request - please contact me to book a date. Minimum group size: 1 person. Maximum group size is limited to about 10 persons. With a megaphone I can also manage larger groups on the streets.

Menu of tours

Photo by Dick Martin.




The Rijksmuseum has done me the honor of linking the main Rijksmuseum site to my website. Start at and select Collection. Then choose 'Digital Collaboration' and the 'Digital Vermeer House'.

I conduct Rembrandt walks in Amsterdam for the Netherlands Bureau of Tourism, London and New York City offices. These clients include important journalists.

The travel site has devoted a main feature to my tours and walks.

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About Drs. Kees Kaldenbach:

Read a biography.

Drs. Kees Kaldenbach has been featured in television and radio documentaries, including BBC2 TV, NTV Japan, Danish TV and Radio Netherlands World Service. In July 2004 he was interviewed about Den Haag artists by Tetsuya Tsuruhara for the leading Japanese newspaper The Yomiuri Shimbun. In 2004 and 2005 he acted in an advisory role to additional BBC teams. Kaldenbach has written extensively on Vermeer and 17th century Den Haag, on Vincent van Gogh and on other art history topics.

Drs. Kees Kaldenbach is your private "scholar-lecturer on culture tours".

Further information is available on his encyclopedic web site:

See the TV programme on Dutch national TV on Kees Kaldenbach as masseur and art historian. NPS Nederland 2, Saturday, November 25 2006. Go to the Dutch programme Vals Plat. Then move the horizontal bar at the bottom to the desired date. The first minute starts with a clown in a car. Then my 9 minute bit of fame. Audio track in Dutch.


Contact information:

Drs. Kees Kaldenbach ,

Haarlemmermeerstraat 83 hs

1058 JS Amsterdam

The Netherlands

telephone 020 - 669 8119 (from abroad NL +20 - 669 8119)

cell phone 06 - 2868 9775 (from abroad NL +6 - 2868 9775)



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Launched September 10, 2012. Updated June 9, 2016.