Rome is a large capital, which is why in order to explore it to the full extent of its sights, tourists must find a way, timesaving and cost efficient alike, to search it out from end to end. It’s true certain parts of the city, such as the historical center (Old City), can be the ideal set for long pleasant walks, but the advantages of getting around on foot can only go that far. The most efficient (from the point of view of the time spent and of the prices paid) solution refers to the public transport means managed by ATAC. Thus, the bus, the tram and the metro lines of Rome are excellent for covering long distances. Pleasant trips can also be made by bicycle or even by moped. Taxis can also be resorted too, as well as driving around in Rome, but in these cases the disadvantages must be carefully pondered on (high prices and heavy road traffic).
Certain parts of Rome are definitely worth discovering on foot. The Historical Center, which lies just south of the Vatican, the Vatican itself, and Colosseo form a pretty compact area. They are replete with major sights, such as Piazza Navona, the Imperial Forums and the Trajan Market, the Capitoline Museums, the Vatican Museums and the Vatican Gardens. Sometimes the motorized traffic, not to mention the pedestrian flow, can get quite busy, but, all in all, if geared up beforehand with patience, will, curiosity and, of course, proper footwear, tourists can get the chance to admire some of the most celebrated attractions of the capital at their own pace.
As said, ATAC is the company in charge with managing the public transport system of Rome. Its tourist opening is proven, amongst others, by the fact owners of a Roma Pass (which is, by design, a tourist tool, though locals can also use it) have free access to all of the public transport lines (bus, tram and metro alike) within the limits of the period of validity of the pass. The tickets can be bought from selling points like tobacconists’ (tabaccheria) and newspaper stands (giornali), whereas automatic ticket selling machines can only be spotted in the major stations of Rome. Tickets must, of course, be validated in order to avoid possible unpleasant situations which might lead to the fining of the transgressor.
In order to learn all there is to know about the public transport of Rome, ticket sale points, bus, tram and metro schedules, night buses and bus lines conceived especially to tourist purposes, validation and travel rules, follow the indications below (useful information can also be learned about the car parks in Rome, which is essential for people who either come to the capital by car or who want to get around by car):
The underground of Rome is crossed by two metro lines: Linea A (or the Red Line) and Linea B (or the Blue Line). The Red Line is delineated by the Battistini (northwest Rome) and the Anagnina (southeast Rome) terminals, whereas the Blue Line is delimited by the Rebibbia (northeast Rome) and the Laurentina (south Rome) terminals. The two lines intersect in Stazione Termini, and, from a tourist point of view, plenty of the stations are conveniently located close to reputed sights, such as the Vatican, the Coliseum, Circus Maximus and Piazza di Spagna. For the exact map of the metro lines, as well as schedules, connection points with other means of transport and the like, please visit ATAC.
There are two types of tram lines in Rome: the urban lines and the metropolitan or regional lines (in Italian, ferrovia urbana and ferrovia metropolitana, respectively). Line 19, for instance, is ideal for people who want to visit the Vatican and then head directly to the Villa Borghese Gardens. Plenty other lines are dotted with stops close to major tourist attractions, but for extensive trips to the outskirts of Rome, the metropolitan lines are advisable. In order to see the detailed map of the network of urban and regional tram lines, visit ATAC. Useful information can also be learned about the so-called Leonardo Express, the line which makes the connection between Roma Termini and Leonardo da Vinci Airport.
Getting around by bus in Rome definitely has its advantages. The bus trips are highly reliable, and often the view they offer is, of course, more rewarding than the sights one can enjoy while if traveling by metro or by the regional trams. There are several lines that crisscross the Old Center which are the tourists’ favorites. The night buses can also be taken into account by tourists who spend their vacation in Rome, since the capital is nothing but a fairytale at night in particular in summer, when plenty of nightlife opportunities are available to the inquisitive visitor. Visitors should, on the other hand, keep an eye on their valuables, since the buses of Rome can get quite crowded at rush hour, which is the moment when pickpockets start to operate. In order to see the complete list of bus stops, bus lines, bus schedules, ticket sale points and the like, please visit ATAC.
When it comes to driving around in Rome, there seems to be a consensus of opinion: it should be avoided, if possible. First of all, the traffic is more of a nuisance than the opportunity of a pleasant cruise, drivers don’t seem to pay to much attention to the general traffic rules and pedestrians are largely just as full of surprises, so to speak, when it comes to crossing the street. Secondly, the traffic signs (allegedly illogically placed) and the plethora of one-way streets add to the list of considering the road traffic in Rome is nothing but chaotic. On top of that, car parks, though not scarce, and even if not as expensive as one might believe at first, do tend to encumber one’s vacation budget, not to mention there are several limited traffic zones (ZTL) where getting to by car is impossible (or, at least, forbidden) by design.
For tourists curious enough to venture into such a challenge, the car rental companies scattered throughout Rome, as well as in its immediate surroundings (at the two airports, for instance) are a solution at hand.
Cycling in Rome is an experience difficult to qualify: while it is generally deemed a pleasant tourist undertaking, it is also largely considered risky. It takes, indeed, serious urban cycling skills to manage to enjoy visiting Rome on two wheels, but there are areas (as well as moments) where riding a bike falls nothing short of the expectations one might make in respect to their holiday in the capital of Italy. On top of that, locals seem to be very fond of biking around in the city.
In order to ride a bike in Rome, tourists can either resort to the services offered by the bike rental operators or to try the bike sharing system of the capital. The latter can still be labeled as an expanding project, from the point of view of the specific infrastructure and of the number of vehicles available to the public use. The bike stands are not necessarily scarce, but rather clustered in north Rome (several stations part of the bike sharing system of Rome can be spotted in Lido di Ostia and the surrounding towns).
In order to learn all there is to know about the bike sharing system of the capital, bike stands, subscriptions, prices, rules of employing the vehicles and the like, please visit Bike Sharing Roma.
Getting around by taxi in Rome comes with its ups and downs. Taxis are great as airport transfer solutions, as well as ideal for emergency situations, but a taxi trip is much pricier than the alternative of using the public transport. The cabs are easy to identify (they are white and their license must be displayed on the doors) and clustered in the numerous taxi stands in Rome (at the airports, train stations, piazzas, tourist-oriented public places). Hailing a taxi is, thus, easy to do and, in fact, even more recommendable than calling one, since taxis which come upon order start to charge the fee from the moment of their undertaking the order, not when they pick up the client.
Tourists are also advised to mind the vehicle they get in. Rome is famed for its fake taxis, that is, vehicles which are not licensed to provide the specific services owned by private individuals with no legal right to transport passengers.
Traveling by scooter or moped is very popular with the locals of Rome. Tourists can take their example and enjoy the benefits of this means of transport, such as the rapidity of a trip and the possibility to squeeze through the traffic jams, while avoiding the risks one implicitly takes if they choose, instead, to get around by motorbike (motorbike accidents are frequent in Rome, such that this type of vehicle has gained the reputation of being highly dangerous, though the blame should obviously be put on the carelessness of the irresponsible road hogs).
If decided to try this thrilling manner of exploring Rome, the best alternative is to turn to the services provided by the scooter rental companies in the capital.Go to top