THE ROME TOOLKIT
Rome’s taxi drivers are no better or worse than those in any other city. Some will try to fleece you, others won’t. To minimise the risk, make sure your taxi is licensed (it’ll be white or yellow with the letters SPQR on the front door), and always go with the metered fare, never an arranged price (the set fares to and from the airports are an exception to this rule). Official rates are posted in the taxi and on www.romaturismo.it (click on Rome Welcomes You, Transportation, When in Town, Taxi).
Hailing a passing taxi doesn’t work in Rome. You must either wait at a taxi rank or telephone for one. In the centre you’ll find ranks at Stazione Termini, Largo di Torre Argentina, the Pantheon, Corso Rinascimento, Piazza Navona, Piazza di Spagna, Largo Goldoni, Piazza del Popolo, Piazza Venezia, the Colosseum, Piazza GG Belli in Trastevere and near the Vatican at Piazza Pio XII and Piazza Risorgimento. To book a taxi by phone, try the following:
Cosmos (06 8 81 77)
La Capitale (06 49 94)
Pronto Taxi (06 66 45)
Radio Taxi (06 35 70)
Samarcanda (06 55 51)
Tevere (06 41 57)
Note that if you phone for a taxi, the meter is switched on immediately and you pay from wherever the driver receives the call.
Bus & tram
Rome’s buses and trams are run by ATAC (800 43 17 84; www.atac.roma.it). The main bus station is in front of Stazione Termini on Piazza dei Cinquecento, where there’s an information booth (7.30am-8pm). Other important hubs are at Largo di Torre Argentina, Piazza Venezia and Piazza San Silvestro. Buses generally run from about 5.30am until midnight, with limited services throughout the night on some routes.
H Stazione Termini, Via Nazionale, Piazza Venezia, Largo di Torre Argentina, Ponte Garibaldi, Viale Trastevere and into the western suburbs.
8 Tram Largo di Torre Argentina, Trastevere, Stazione Trastevere and Monteverde Nuovo.
23 Piazzale Clodio, Piazza Risorgimento, Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II, Lungotevere, Ponte Garibaldi, Via Marmorata (Testaccio), Piazzale Ostiense and Basilica di San Paolo.
40 Express Stazione Termini, Via Nazionale, Piazza Venezia, Largo di Torre Argentina, Chiesa Nuova, Piazza Pia (for Castel Sant’Angelo) and St Peter’s.
64 Stazione Termini to St Peter’s. It takes the same route as the 40 Express but is slower and usually more crowded.
170 Stazione Termini, Via Nazionale, Piazza Venezia, Via del Teatro Marcello and Piazza Bocca della Verità (then south to Testaccio and EUR).
175 Stazione Termini, Piazza Barberini, Via del Corso, Piazza Venezia, Via dei Fori Imperiali, Via di San Gregorio, Circo Massimo and Stazione Ostiense.
492 Stazione Tiburtina, San Lorenzo, Stazione Termini, Piazza Barberini, Piazza Venezia, Corso Rinascimento, Piazza Cavour, Piazza Risorgimento and Cipro-Vatican Museums (metro line A).
590 Follows the route of metro line A and has special facilities for disabled passengers.
660 Largo Colli Albani, Via Appia Nuova and Via Appia Antica (near Tomba di Cecilia Metella).
714 Stazione Termini, Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore, Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano and Viale delle Terme di Caracalla (then south to EUR).
910 Stazione Termini, Piazza della Repubblica, Via Piemonte, Via Pinciana (Villa Borghese), Piazza Euclide, Palazzetto dello Sport and Piazza Mancini.
Rome’s night bus service comprises more than 20 lines, most of which pass Termini and/or Piazza Venezia. Departures are usually every 30 minutes with buses marked with an N after the number. Night bus stops have a blue owl symbol.
The most useful routes:
29N Piramide (Piazzale Ostiense), Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II, Piazza Risorgimento, Viale Belle Arti, Piazza Ungheria, Viale Regina Margherita, Piazza Porta Maggiore, Piazza Porta San Giovanni, Via Labicana and Piramide.
40N Follows the route of metro line B.
55N Follows the route of metro line A.
78N Piazzale Clodio, Piazzale Flaminio, Piazza Cavour, Corso Rinascimento, Largo di Torre Argentina, Piazza Venezia, Via Nazionale and Stazione Termini.
Long-distance national and international buses arrive at and depart from Stazione Tiburtina.
National companies serving Rome:
ARPA (0862 41 28 08; www.arpaonline.it in Italian) For L’Aquila and Abruzzo.
Bargagli (057 778 62 23; www.bargagliautolinee.it in Italian) To/from Orvieto.
Cotral (800 15 00 08; www.cotralspa.it in Italian) For destinations in Lazio.
Sulga (0862 41 28 08; www.sulga.it in Italian) Runs to/from Perugia and Assisi.
Rome is served by most of the world’s major international airlines and by a growing number of low-cost operators. Most airlines have counters in the departure hall at Fiumicino airport (Leonardo da Vinci Airport) and some have ticket offices in the city centre, usually on or around central Via Barberini.
Most domestic flights are operated by Italy’s national carrier, Alitalia (06 22 22; www.alitalia.it), although Air One (199 20 70 80; www.flyairone.it ; Via Sardegna 14) and Meridiana (89 29 28; www.meridiana.it ; Via Barberini 67) fly a number of routes.
International airlines with direct connections to Rome:
Air Berlin (AB; 848 39 00 54; www.airberlin.com)
Air Canada (AC; 800 871 27 786 ; www.aircanada.com)
Air France (AF; 848 88 44 66; www.airfrance.com)
Alitalia (AZ; 06 22 22; www.alitalia.it)
American Airlines (AA; 06 660 53 169; www.aa.com)
British Airways (BA; 199 71 22 66; www.britishairways.com)
Brussels Airlines (SN; 899 80 09 03; www.brusselsairlines.com)
Delta Air Lines (DL; 848 78 03 76; www.delta.com)
EasyJet (U2; 899 67 67 89; www.easyjet.com)
Emirates (EK; 06 452 06 060; www.emirates.com)
Lufthansa (LH; 199 40 00 44; www.lufthansa.com)
Malaysia Airlines (MH; 06 421 54 371; www.malaysiaairlines.com)
Qantas (QF; 848 35 00 10; www.qantas.com)
Ryanair (FR; 899 67 89 10; www.ryanair.com)
Singapore Airlines (SQ; 06 478 55 360; www.singaporeair.com)
Thai Air (TG; 06 47 81 31; www.thaiair.com)
Travel websites worth checking for tickets:
Cheap Tickets (www.cheaptickets.co.uk)
Rome is served by two airports: the main international airport Leonardo da Vinci (FCO; 06 6 59 51; www.adr.it), better known as Fiumicino, and Ciampino airport (CIA; 06 6 59 51; www.adr.it).
Thirty kilometres from the centre of town, Leonardo da Vinci is divided into three terminals: Terminal A (for domestic flights), Terminal B (for domestic and international flights to Schengen countries) and Terminal C (for all other international flights). The terminals are within easy walking distance of each other in the main airport building.
Facilities at the airport include a post office, internet access (in Terminal A’s Atahotel Executive Centre), some 140 shops, and a left-luggage office (7am-11pm) on the ground floor of Terminal C. To leave a bag costs €2 for up to seven hours and €3.50 for seven to 24 hours; luggage over 110cm long, or weighing more than 55kg, costs €6 per day. Make sure you have your passport handy, as a photocopy will be made when you leave your luggage.
Ciampino, 15km southeast of the city centre, is used by low-cost airlines and charter operators. It’s not a big airport but there’s a steady flow of traffic and at peak times it can get extremely busy. Facilities are limited but you will find a post office and Banca di Roma.
Transfers To Rome & Beyond
By public transport the most straightforward option is the Leonardo Express train that runs every 30 minutes.
The Leonardo Express runs non-stop to Termini Station, the main transport hub in the centre of Rome. Termini Station Hotels are a very convenient area for accommodation for independent visitors.
The cheapest transfer option is the Terravision airport bus service that like the Leonardo Express terminates at Termini Station. The Terravision bus is less than half the price of the Leonardo Express, but takes around twice the time for the
Car & motorcycle
Motorcycle & moped
Average prices range from €50 per day for 125cc scooters to €95 for a 500cc motorcycle. Agencies include:
Bici e Baci (06 482 84 43; www.bicibaci.com ; Via del Viminale 5)
Cyclò (06 481 56 69; www.scooterhire.it ; Via Cavour 80)
I Bike (06 322 52 40; Villa Borghese underground car park, 3rd sector, Via Vittorio Veneto 156)
Treno e Scooter (06 489 05 823; www.trenoescooter.191.it ; Piazza dei Cinquecento) Show a train ticket and you get a 20% discount on the first day’s rental.
Rome’s main train station and transport hub is Stazione Termini (06 473 06 599; Piazza dei Cinquecento), from where there are regular trains to other European countries, all major Italian cities and many smaller towns.
On the main concourse, the train information office (7am-9.45pm) is helpful (English is spoken) but often very busy. To avoid the queues, you can get information online at www.trenitalia.com (accessible through the Link option on the home page of www.ferroviadellostato.it) or, if you speak Italian, by calling 89 20 21.
The station has the usual assortment of shops, snack bars and ATMs. In the hall parallel to platform 24 you’ll find the tourist office and a hotel reservation service. The left-luggage office (6am-midnight) is on the lower ground floor under platform 24. To leave an item costs €3.80 for the first five hours, then €0.60 per hour for each additional hour.
Rome’s second train station is Stazione Tiburtina, a short ride away on metro line B. Of the capital’s eight other train stations, the most important are Stazione Roma-Ostiense and Stazione Trastevere .
Apart from connections to Fiumicino airport, you’ll probably only need Rome’s overground rail network if you head out of town to the Castelli Romani or to Ostia.
Subway & light railway
Rome’s metro system is of limited value to visitors, with the two lines, A and B, bypassing much of the centro storico. The two lines traverse the city in an X-shape, crossing at Stazione Termini, the only point at which you can change from one line to the other. Trains run approximately every five to 10 minutes between 5.30am and 11.30pm (one hour later on Saturday). However, until 2008 or 2009, Line A is closing for engineering works at 9pm every night. To replace it there are two temporary bus lines: MA1 from Battistini to Arco di Travertino and MA2 from Viale G Washington to Anagnina.
The centre of Rome doesn’t lend itself to cycling: there are steep hills, treacherous cobbled roads, and the traffic is terrible. Things improve on Sundays when much of the city centre (and Via Appia Antica) is usually closed to traffic.
If you want to pedal around town, pick up andiamo in Bici a Roma (€7.50), a useful map published by Lozzi & Rossi Editore, which details Rome’s main cycle paths.
On Sunday, and weekdays after 9pm, you can take your bike on metro line B and the Lido di Ostia train (front carriage only), although you’ll have to buy a separate ticket for it.
You can also carry bikes on some regional trains, paying a €3.50 supplement. On Intercity and Eurocity/Euronight services the supplement is €5 on national routes and €10 on international journeys.
To rent a bike you’ll have to leave a photo ID in lieu of a cash deposit or, in some cases, a credit card number. Reliable operators:
Appia Antica Regional Park Information Point (06 513 53 16; Via Appia Antica 58-60; per hr/day €3/10)
Bici e Baci (06 482 84 43; www.bicibaci.com ; Via del Viminale 5; per hr/day €3/9)
Cyclò (06 481 56 69; www.scooterhire.it ; Via Cavour 80; per day €10)
Treno e Scooter (06 489 05 823; www.trenoescooter.191.it ; Piazza dei Cinquecento; per hr/day €5/10) Show a train ticket and you get a 20% discount on the first day’s rental.
Villa Borghese (Largo Picasso; per hr €3)