Getting Around Rome

Rome cityIt is best to travel in Rome using public transportation, as driving here can be hellish especially if you are on a motorbike. Here are some tips that are helpful in going around the Eternal City.

Stazione Termini

This Metro underground railway station is the heart of the transport system. Not only does the two rail lines pass through here, but there is also a major bus station nearby.

Beware of "fake" taxis

Some private citizens dress up their cars to make it look like cabs, strategically locating themselves at airports and railways waiting for unsuspecting travelers. Before riding a cab, make sure that it has a taximeter and an ID. Authorized taxis are white in color.

Roman taxis are the most expensive

Riding a taxicab in Rome is very expensive. Not only it has a pretty high flag down rate, additional charges are also asked for luggage (including shopping bags), night-time rides, and even public holidays. Despite that setback, flagging for a cab in Rome is very easy with all the cab stands placed all over the city.

Never call for a cab

If riding a cab is your thing, it is best to flag one instead of phoning for one. When you call for a taxi, the cab’s meter starts running when it is summoned, not when it arrives to pick you up. By the time a cab arrives at your location there may already be a substantial amount on the meter.

Walk around at the city center

The heart of Rome is best felt by strolling around. It even becomes romantic once you travel with your partner holding hands.

Just keep on walking across the road

Crossing a street in Rome can be challenging. The crosswalks are rarely located at signaled intersections, not to mention the very intimidating traffic. However, if you are at a crosswalk the secret to getting across is to just start walking. Don’t run, just walk. Although the cars would not slow down, they would just avoid you instead.

Buses are not for those who hurry

Rome’s buses are not famous for running on strict and reliable schedules. However, buses are a great way to get around the city. One of the most popular buses is the #40, which runs from Stazione Termini to Castel Sant’ Angelo near the Vatican. Meanwhile, the #64 bus-running from Termini Station to the Vatican-is notorious for pickpockets. Tickets are bought are the "tabaccheria" (it has a big "T" sign in front), as well at newspaper kiosks or vending machines in some Metro stations. One transport ticket (or "biglietti per autobus") is valid for one Metro ride and as many bus rides as possible in 75 minutes time. It costs only one euro.

The "24 hour" ticket

Similar to the transport ticket, the "24 hour" ticket allows you to ride the Metro, bus, or tram, on the day that you buy them (not for 24 hours after buying them). Take note that many tabaccherie close on Sunday, so buy your tickets in advance. You can also purchase tickets with longer period span, such as a three-day ticket costing 11 euros.

Night buses

Metro stations close at 11:30 p.m. while regular buses and trams stop at midnight, making night buses useful during the wee hours. Take note that the frequency of the night buses can be less during the summer as well on Fridays and Saturdays; and that the drivers maneuver the buses at high speeds.

Catch a glimpse of history on the trams

The Tram routes mostly skirt the historic center, with convenient stops at the Vatican, the Colosseum, and the Trastevere district. The #8 Tram runs into the center, not far from the Pantheon; while #225 just north of the Piazza del Popolo is what you should ride if you want to catch a soccer game (or futbol as it is called here) at one of the stadiums north of the city.

Navigate through the city faster with the Metro

Rome’s underground railway system consists of two lines, both crossing at Termini Station. The Metro is the most punctual form of public transportation in Rome and it gets extremely crowded during rush hour. Just make sure that when riding such crowded trains, keep guard of your wallet and other valuables.

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