We're going to be frank: The public transportation situation in Rome is about as chaotic as the city itself. The metro network can only extend so far, as ancient ruins keep getting unearthed every time the city tries to build a metro extension. Buses are crowded and ticketing is disorganized.
And Rome's winding historic streets, which have been alive and buzzing for millennia, are a wee bit confusing even for repeat visitors. But there's no need to stand around like a tourist! Grab a map and get moving.
Rome's trams link central Rome with the suburbs.
Metro and Bus Tickets
Buses and subway tickets are interchangeable. They can be purchased at tobacco shops ("tabacchis"), newsstands and a few bars. Ticket vending machines are also located in stations, on street corners and at major bus stops. Keep an eye out for the "ATAC" logo.
Tickets cost €1 and are valid for either one Metro ride or unlimited bus travel within 75 minutes of validation. A Biglietto Integrato Giornaliero (BIG) ticket allows for unlimited bus or train travel within one day and costs €4. A Biglietto Turistico Integrato (BTI, or a three-day tourist ticket) costs €11, and a Carta Integrata Settimanale (CIS) ticket for €16 is good for a week.
Rome's two Metro lines (site in Italian) form a giant "X" and intersect at the main Termini train station. The A line, (in orange on maps) travels between the Battistini station in the west-central and the Anagnina station in the southeast. The B line (blue) travels between the Laurentina station in the south and the Rebibbia station in the northeast.
Entrances are marked by signs with a white 'M' on a red square. The Metro lines run daily from 5:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m, and until 12:30 a.m on Saturdays.
Although Rome's bus routes might seem confusing initially, buses are a wonderful way to get around town. (The ATAC intercity bus company has booths all over town.) Each stop ("fermata") is marked with a yellow sign listing all the bus lines that halt at that particular stop, along with each route's other major stops.
Some buses run only on weekdays ("feriali") or weekends ("festivi"). While others have different routes on different days. Most bus routes start the day at around 5:30 a.m. and stop at midnight. The night buses ("notturni") run at 30 minute or one-hour intervals. In general, night buses are not as reliable as day buses.
The information booth at Stazione Termini is open from 7:30 a.m until 8 p.m.
Roman taxis are convenient but pricey. The initial charge for a taxi during the day is €2.33 (€3.36 on Sundays). The initial charge from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m. is €4.91. Supplementary charges for luggage run €1.04 per bag.
You can always call a taxi for a pick-up, but keep in the mind that the meter will start running as soon as the driver starts heading your way. A standard tip for a Roman taxi is 10%.
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