Let’s face it: We’re already big fans of European public transportation. But when a bus or tram offers a freebie historical tour of a city, we’re downright nutsy about it. Next stop, Rome!
In Rome, one of the best ways to get around the city (especially if you’re tired of walking) is to get on the bus. And, we don’t mean one of those open-air tourist traps. There are many everyday city buses that will take you past historic relics, major attractions, and lesser known sights in Rome, but our favorite bus is the #40 city bus.
Touring Rome by #40
The #40 bus is the express version of the uber-crowded city bus #64. If you take it from its starting point at Termini Station (normally leaving every five minutes), you’ll eventually end up at the Vatican. But, along the way, you’ll tour the historic city center, passing by the Forum before heading onto Piazza Venezia, Largo Argentina (where you can find the remains of Pompey’s temple and columns that date to 80 A.D.) before finally crossing the Tiber. Here, you’ll get a great view of Castel Sant’Angelo, the site of the first tomb of the Emperor Hadrian. Make sure you gaze left to check out Bernini’s Bridge of the Angels. Finalemente, you’ll pull up to Vatican City.
Get your ticket and get on board
A ticket costs you €1 and can be used for up to 75 minutes, including transfers and unlimited hop-on-hop-off action. Traffic can be wild, so find a seat if you can, and get comfortable. Just remember, in Rome, you always board the bus via the front or back doors, but you exit via the middle door.
For more information about getting around Rome nearly—free ride.
Vatican bonus: Visit St. Peter’s Basilica for free once you get dropped off in Vatican City.