Rome has an integrated public transport system, the tickets work on all metro, buses, and trams in the urban area. Tickets (biglietti) can be bought from tabacchi (look for the ‘T’ signs outside), newsstands, and at metro stations. Regular tickets cost €1 and are valid for 75 minutes from the moment they are first stamped. Within those 75 minutes you are entitled to use any combination of buses, trams, and one Metro journey.
You will need to stamp your ticket in the yellow machines when getting on the bus or tram, and/or put it through the turnstile when entering the Metro. A 1-day pass costs €4, and lasts from the moment you stamp it until midnight of the same day. A 3-day pass costs €11, and lasts from the moment you stamp it until midnight of the third day. A 7-day pass costs €16, and lasts from the moment you stamp it until midnight of the seventh day.
Alternatively the Roma Pass combines museum entrances with a three-day travel pass (see “Roma Pass” below), and is available to buy at the Enjoy Rome office.
Rome’s wealth of underground ruins, combined with a friable sub-soil, means that the two line Metro system skirts around the historic centre. Work is currently underway on the third Line C, but it isn’t going to be ready any time soon. For now useful stops for the central sites are:
Colosseo (Line B)-for Colosseum, Forum, and Palatine Hill
Spagna (Line A)-for Piazza di Spagna, Villa Borghese
Ottaviano (Line A)-for St Peter’s and Vatican Museums
Flaminio (line A)-for Piazza del Popolo, Villa Borghese
Barberini (line A)-for the Trevi fountain.
Bus stops have the numbers of the buses which serve the stop. Below each number is the list of the stops on that route. The stop that you are at (should) be marked in red; if you take the bus it will continue down along the stops listed to the end of the line. These are the regular routes, buses are sometimes subject to deviation.
A few useful routes to get you started.
40 Express- From Termini to piazza Pia (Castel Sant’Angelo) along via Nazionale, piazza Venezia, largo Argentina (for the Pantheon), corso Vittorio Emmanuele (for piazza Navona), to piazza Pia (for Castel Sant’Angelo, St Peter’s).
64- From Termini to Stazione San Pietro, following much the same route as the 40, but with more stops, and terminal at the Stazione San Pietro. For St Peter’s, get off at the stop after the tunnel once you have crossed the river. Once notorious for pickpockets, you should still be careful.
116-This tiny electric bus cuts a meandering route through the narrow streets of the centro storico. It starts on via Porta Pinciana, just off the top of the via Veneto, and passes piazza Barberini, piazza di Spagna, piazza del Parliamento, via Zanardelli, corso Rinascimento, Campo de’ Fiori, piazza Farnese, via Giulia, Lungotevere, Santo Spirito, Terminal Gianicolo (for St Peter’s).
170- From Termini along via Nazionale to piazza Venezia, and along the river to Testaccio and EUR.
175- From Termini, piazza Barberini, via del Tritone, via del Corso, piazza Venezia, Theatre of Marcellus, Aventine, Piramide, Stazione Ostiense.
714- From Termini to Santa Maria Maggiore, San Giovanni in Laterano, Baths of Caracalla, and south to EUR along the via Cristoforo Colombo.
H- From Termini, along via Nazionale, piazza Venezia, largo Argentina, Ponte Garibaldi, viale Trastevere, Stazione Trastevere.
Hop-on, hop-off tour buses
There are a plethora of companies operating open air tour buses in town, the 110 is run by the City transport authority and is reliable. For more information, www.trambusopen.com.
110 Open Air hop-on, hop-off city tour bus. Ticket is valid for 24 hours, full price €20; reductions for Roma Pass holders, and children aged 6-12 €15.
Buses depart every 20 minutes from Termini from 8.30am to 8.30pm, and make 11 stops. The total tour takes 2 hours.
Taxis are (by law at least) not allowed to pick you up by being hailed on the street. Instead there are taxi ranks dotted around town where they congregate. This combined with high prices compared to other major cities, and a dearth of licences and hence of cabs, makes taking a taxi in Rome a fairly tiresome experience. Most tassisti are agreeable, manage a bit of English, and are honest with the meter. However a proportion, and this rises in the drivers waiting at the airport, can be unpleasant and unscrupulous. Even if the meter is on, tricks include setting it to the after 10pm or “out of town” (extra-urbana) tariffs unjustifiably. Sadly there’s little you can do to tell if that’s the case. If it sounds absurd, protest, take down the licence number, and/or ask for a receipt (ricevuta). There is no requirement to tip the taxi driver unless you wish to reward particularly good service, although it is usual to round up to nearest euro. If all this doesn’t put you off, bear in mind that most restaurants and hotels will be happy to call one for you.
All city and state-run museums and archaeological sites offer free entrance for EU residents under the age of 18, or over 65, and discounts for EU students up to the age of 26. EU schoolteachers can also get a discount on production of valid identification. The ticket office will require ID, so make sure you have something with you. Non-EU students, children, and over-65s have to pay full price. The Vatican Museums (part neither of Italy, nor of the European Union) offers discounts to all children under 18, and all students under 26 on production of valid ID, although no discounts are available for over-65s.
Roma Pass is an integrated museum and transport card. It costs €25, and you can pick it up at Enjoy Rome, as well as at all major museums and archaeological sites in the city (except the Vatican) and Tourist Information Points. The card lasts for 3 days, which begins with the moment of the first use and runs until midnight of the third day. It offers free access to two museums or sites (the Vatican Museums are NOT included), and the Colosseum, Forum, and Palatine Hill together count as one site. After the two free sites have been visited, the card gives discounts on any further participating museums, sites, or exhibitions. Roma Pass also offers unlimited use of public transport within the urban area during the three-day period. (NB the Roma Pass can be used for entry to the Galleria Borghese, although tickets will have to be reserved in the usual way, Galleria Borghese below).