Schettino asked to be allowed to take part in a court-ordered inspection of the emergency generator in the ship's wreckage off the Tuscan island of Giglio. The January 2012 maritime disaster killed 32 people.
A crush of journalists hampered movement of Schettino's vehicle when he arrived at port and later surrounded him as he walked to the boat that ferried him to the wreckage, Italy's news agency ANSA reported.
"Stop them, you must stop them, I can't get past," he reportedly said to police.
ANSA said Schettino apparently sought refuge in a restaurant at one point.
Schettino is on trial in Grosseto in Tuscany on charges of multiple manslaughter and dereliction of duty.