For thousands of years the Tiber River was the main portal of goods into Rome. The river brought almost all of the food and materials necessary for the million residents in the days of old. In more recent times, however, the Tiber hasn’t been navigated by boats and many felt the water way might be cursed or simply plagued with bad luck. But in 2003, the first of the new boats to sail the Tiber launched and river boats are now sailing up and down the Tiber River at regular intervals.
At first only a small flight of steamboats made the trip along the river with much celebration by celebrities, politicians and locals alike. The boats were crammed to overflowing so that everyone can experience the Eternal City by water. The boats were so popular they added other services such as regular stops at bridges along the river to better serve Romans and visitors and some even travel to destinations outside of Rome such as the ruins of Ostia.
The original fleet of steamboats spurred the development of many other water craft on the river. Dinner cruises and wine cruises have sprung up and are a popular means of seeing the city. View Rome as you never have before – from the ancient river.
Cleaning the Tiber
To join the European Union years ago, Rome was required to clean the Tiber which had become extremely polluted over the centuries. The clean-up began with gusto and has been very successful. A river that was formerly something of an eye sore, or at least offensive to the nasal passageways, is now as clean as a naturally muddy river can be. The politicians and people of Rome are dedicated to keeping the river clean and to the continued presence of boats on the water ways.
Currently you can reserve a spot on a boat for a special occasion through many different websites. Bateaux Rome operates many of the special boats and for prices less than 12 Euro a person, you can enjoy a river tour. Or participate in a full-fledged dinner tour in the evening while you enjoy the night lights of Rome from the water. The dinner tour is 54 Euro. Other cruises include a wine bar cruise, a day trip to Ostia Antica and a summer-time night cruise to let you sample some of Rome’s summertime celebrations.