- The centre of Rome doesn’t lend itself to cycling: there are steep hills, treacherous cobbled roads and the traffic is terrible.
- Bikes can be transported on certain specified bus and tram routes, and on the metro at weekends and on weekdays from 5.30am to 7am, from 10am to noon and from 8pm until the end of service. However, some line A stations are off-limits to bikes: Spagna, Barberini, Repubblica, Termini, Vittorio Emanuele and San Giovanni.
- Bikes can be carried on the Lido di Ostia train on Saturday and Sunday and on weekdays from the beginning of service to 12.30pm and from 8pm until the end of service. You have to buy a separate ticket for the bike.
- On regional trains marked with a bike icon on the timetable, you can carry a bike if you pay a €3.50 supplement.
- Rome’s public bus service is run by ATAC.
- The main bus station is in front of Stazione Termini on Piazza dei Cinquecento, where there’s an information booth.
- Other important hubs are at Largo di Torre Argentina and Piazza Venezia.
- Buses generally run from about 5.30am until midnight, with limited services throughout the night.
- Rome’s night bus service comprises more than 25 lines, many of which pass Termini and/or Piazza Venezia. Buses are marked with an 'n' before the number and bus stops have a blue owl symbol. Departures are usually every 15 to 30 minutes, but can be much slower.
The most useful routes:
- n1 Follows the route of metro line A.
- n2 Follows the route of metro line B.
- n7 Piazzale Clodio, Piazza Cavour, Via Zanardelli, Corso del Rinascimento, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Largo di Torre Argentina, Piazza Venezia, Via Nazionale and Stazione Termini.
For route planning and real-time information, Roma Bus is a useful phone app.
Buses from Termini
From Piazza dei Cinquecento outside Stazione Termini buses run to all corners of the city.
St Peter’s Square
Campo de’ Fiori
Terme di Caracalla
Useful Bus & Tram Routes
Termini, Via Nazionale, Piazza Venezia, Viale Trastevere
up to 5
Trastevere, Testaccio, Viale Aventino, Circo Massimo, Colosseo, San Giovanni, Porta Maggiore, San Lorenzo, Villa Borghese
up to 6
Piazza Venezia, Via Arenula, Trastevere
up to 12
Piazzale Clodio, Piazza del Risorgimento, Lungotevere, Testaccio, Ostiense, Basilica di San Paolo
up to 5
Termini, Via Nazionale, Piazza Venezia, Largo di Torre Argentina, Borgo Sant'Angelo
up to 12
Similar route to 40 but slower and with more stops
up to 12
Termini, Via Nazionale, Piazza Venezia, Via del Teatro Marcello, Piazza Bocca della Verità, Testaccio, EUR
up to 7
Stazione Tiburtina, San Lorenzo, Piazza Barberini, Largo di Torre Argentina, Corso del Rinascimento, Piazza del Risorgimento, Cipro-Vatican Museums
up to 5
Largo Colli Albani to Via Appia Antica
Termini, Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore, Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, EUR
up to 6
Termini, Piazza della Repubblica, Villa Borghese, Auditorium Parco della Musica, Piazza Mancini
up to 6
Car & Motorcycle
- Driving around Rome is not recommended. Riding a scooter or motorbike is faster and makes parking easier, but Rome is no place for learners, so if you’re not an experienced rider, give it a miss. Hiring a car for a day trip out of town is worth considering.
- Most of Rome’s historic centre is closed to unauthorised traffic from 6.30am to 6pm Monday to Friday, from 2pm to 6pm Saturday, and from 11pm to 3am Friday and Saturday. Restrictions also apply in Tridente, Trastevere and Monti; evening-only Limited Traffic Zones (ZTLs) are operative in San Lorenzo and Testaccio, typically from 9.30pm or 11pm to 3am on Fridays and Saturdays (also Wednesdays and Thursdays in summer).
- All streets accessing the ZTL are monitored by electronic-access detection devices. If you’re staying in this zone, contact your hotel. For further information, check https://romamobilita.it.
Driving Licence & Road Rules
All EU driving licences are recognised in Italy. Holders of non-EU licences should get an International Driving Permit (IDP) to accompany their national licence. Apply to your national motoring association.
When driving you'll need to carry: vehicle registration certificate; valid driving licence; proof of 3rd-party-liability insurance cover.
A licence is required to ride a scooter – a car licence will do for bikes up to 125cc; for anything over 125cc, you'll need a motorcycle licence.
- Drive on the right, overtake on the left.
- It’s obligatory to wear seat belts, to drive with your headlights on outside built-up areas, and to carry a warning triangle and fluorescent vest in case of breakdown.
- Wearing a helmet is compulsory on all two-wheeled vehicles.
- The blood alcohol limit is 0.05%; for drivers under 21 and those who have had their licence for less than three years, it's zero.
Unless otherwise indicated, speed limits are as follows:
- 130km/h on autostrade
- 110km/h on all main, non-urban roads
- 90km/h on secondary, non-urban roads
- 50km/h in built-up areas
A good source of information is the Automobile Club d’Italia, Italy’s national motoring organisation.
To hire a car you’ll require a driving licence (plus International Driving Permit if necessary) and credit card. Age restrictions vary, but generally you’ll need to be 21 or over.
Car hire is available at both Rome’s airports and Stazione Termini. Reckon on from €20 per day for a small car. Note also that most Italian hire cars have manual gear transmission.
Avis (Termini office 06 481 43 73; www.avisautonoleggio.it)
Europcar (Termini office 06 488 28 54; www.europcar.it)
Hertz (Termini office 06 488 39 67; www.hertz.it)
Maggiore National (Termini office 06 488 00 49; www.maggiore.it)
To hire a scooter, prices range from about €30 to €120 depending on the size of the vehicle. Reliable operators:
- Blue lines denote pay-and-display parking – get tickets from meters (coins only) and tabacchi (tobacconist’s shops).
- Expect to pay up to €1.20 per hour between 8am and 8pm (11pm in some places) in central areas. After 8pm (or 11pm) parking is free until 8am the next morning.
- Traffic wardens are vigilant and fines are not uncommon. If your car gets towed away, call the traffic police.
- There’s a comprehensive list of car parks on www.060608.it – click on the transport tab then car parks.
- Useful car parks:
- Rome has two main metro lines, A (orange) and B (blue), which cross at Termini. A branch line, ‘B1’, serves the northern suburbs, while work continues on a third line C, which currently runs through the southeastern outskirts from San Giovanni. However, you're unlikely to need these two lines.
- Trains run between 5.30am and 11.30pm (to 1.30am on Fridays and Saturdays).
- All stations on line B have wheelchair access and lifts except Circo Massimo, Colosseo and Cavour. On line A, Cipro and Termini are equipped with lifts.
- Take line A for the Trevi Fountain (Barberini), Spanish Steps (Spagna) and St Peter’s (Ottaviano-San Pietro).
- Take line B for the Colosseum (Colosseo).
- Official licensed taxis are white with a taxi sign on the roof and Roma Capitale written on the front door along with the taxi's licence number.
- Always go with the metered fare, never an arranged price (the set fares to/from the airports are exceptions).
- In town (within the ring road) flag fall is €3 between 6am and 10pm on weekdays, €4.50 on Sundays and holidays, and €6.50 between 10pm and 6am. Then it’s €1.10 per kilometre. Official rates are posted in taxis and at https://romamobilita.it/it/media/muoversiaroma/muoversi-taxi.
- You can hail a taxi, but it’s often easier to wait at a rank or phone for one. There are taxi ranks at the airports, Stazione Termini, Piazza della Repubblica, Piazza Barberini, Piazza di Spagna, Piazza Venezia, the Pantheon, the Colosseum, Largo di Torre Argentina, Piazza Belli, Piazza Pio XII and Piazza del Risorgimento.
- To book call the automated taxi line, which sends the nearest car available; a taxi company direct; or use the ChiamaTaxi app.
- MyTaxi is another good app. It allows you to order a taxi without having to deal with potentially tricky language problems.
- Note that when you order a cab, the meter is switched on straight away and you pay for the cost of the journey from wherever the driver receives the call.
Tickets & Passes
Public-transport tickets are valid on all buses, trams and metro lines, except for routes to Fiumicino airport. Tickets:
BIT (a single ticket valid for 100 minutes; in that time it can be used on all forms of transport but only once on the metro) €1.50
Roma 24h (24 hours) €7
Roma 48h (48 hours) €12.50
Roma 72h (72 hours) €18
CIS (weekly ticket) €24
Abbonamento mensile (a monthly pass) For a single user €35
Children under 10 travel free.
Buy tickets from tabacchi (tobacconist's shops), newsstands and vending machines at main bus stops and metro stations. Validate in machines on buses, at metro entrance gates or at train stations. Ticketless riders risk a fine of at least €50.
The Roma Pass (48/72 hours €28/38.50) comes with a travel pass valid within the city boundaries.
Travelling Out of Town
For destinations in the surrounding Lazio region, Cotral buses depart from numerous points throughout the city. The company is linked with Rome’s public-transport system, which means that you can buy tickets that cover city buses, trams, metro and train lines, as well as regional buses and trains.
There are a range of tickets including a daily BIRG (biglietto integrato regionale giornaliero) ticket, which allows unlimited travel on all city and regional transport until midnight on the day it's activated. It’s priced according to zones; tickets range from €3.30 to €14.
Get tickets from tabacchi and authorised ATAC sellers.
Apart from connections to Fiumicino airport, you’ll probably only need the overground rail network if you head out of town.
- Train information is available from the Customer Service area on the main concourse in Stazione Termini. Alternatively, check www.trenitalia.com or phone 89 20 21.
- Buy tickets on the main station concourse, from automated ticket machines or from authorised travel agencies – look for an FS or biglietti treni sign in the window.
- Rome’s second train station is Stazione Tiburtina, four stops from Termini on metro line B. Of the capital’s other train stations, the most important are Stazione Roma-Ostiense and Stazione Trastevere.
Rome has a limited tram network. For route maps see www.atac.roma.it.
The most useful lines:
- 2 Piazzale Flaminio to/from Piazza Mancini.
- 3 Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia to/from San Lorenzo, San Giovanni, Testaccio and Trastevere.
- 8 Piazza Venezia to/from Trastevere.
- 19 Piazza del Risorgimento to/from Villa Borghese, San Lorenzo and Via Prenestina.
Rome is a sprawling city, but the historic centre is relatively compact. Distances are not great and walking is often the best way of getting around.