Rome's Metro (subway) system is very useful and quite safe as long as you are alert. Although the bus network is extensive and buses run frequently (though they're still crowded!), the Metro is much simpler to master.
Note: Rome is a very safe city, but you should be careful of pickpockets on crowded buses and Metro trains. Carry your money and documents in a secure bag or money belt in front of you, and always keep an eye on where other people's hands are!
Tickets for both the bus system and Metro can be purchased from tabacchis, bars, or vending machines at metro stations and major bus stops. There are three main types:
B.I.T. € 1.00 Standard ticket, valid for one Metro ride or 75 minutes on all buses.
B.I.G. € 3.10. Daily ticket, valid for unlimited metro, bus, and train travel within the "Comune di Roma". This includes Ostia, but not Fiumicino airport or Tivoli.
C.I.S. € 12.39. Weekly ticket, valid for everything listed under the B.I.G. ticket.
Note: Although it may appear to be so, the bus and metro system is not free! For the Metro, validate your ticket before boarding the train. For the bus, look for the orange stamping machines onboard. If you are caught without a validated ticket, the fine is € 51.65.
The Metro system has only two lines, A and B, which cross at Termini. You'll find that the Metro bypasses much of the historical centre, which can be frustrating when you're trying to reach the famous sights and characteristic neighbourhoods. The reason for this is that there is still so much of ancient Rome beneath the modern city that they can't dig a tunnel for the trains without running into 2,000 year-old brick walls, mosaic pavements, and marble columns! You can see some evidence of this in the Repubblica and Termini stations.
Trains run approximately every 7-10 minutes, from 5:30am until 11:30pm every day (until 0:30am on Saturdays).
Note: The Metro stations on Line A do not have handicapped facilities (except for Cipro-Musei Vaticani and Valle Aurelia); alternatively, bus 590 does the same route as the Metro line and has wheelchair access. (See the list of useful bus lines below.) All the metro stations on Line B are fully wheelchair accessible except Circo Massimo, Colosseo, and Cavour. (Cavour is accessible only at the entrance for direction Laurentina).
Eur Fermi (COTRAL)
Eur Magliana (Ostia Antica)
S. M. de Soccorso
Ponte Mammolo Rebibbia(COTRAL)
Baldo degli Ubaldi
Re di Roma
Arco di Travertino
Useful Metro stops
Spanish Steps: Line A: Spagna.
Vatican Museums: Line A: Cipro/Musei Vaticani.
St. Peter's Basilica: Line A: Ottaviano.
Colosseum: B: Colosseo.
Circus Maximus, Baths of Caracalla, and Aventine Hill: Line B: Circo Massimo.
Appian Way and Catacombs: Line A: Colli Albani, then bus 660.
There are hundreds of bus lines, running from 5:30am until midnight. All buses run in both directions.
The most useful for the traveller are:
40 Express: Termini (Viale Einaudi) - Via Nazionale - Piazza Venezia - Largo Argentina - Chiesa Nuova - Piazza Pia (for Castel S. Angelo and St. Peter's)
64: Termini (Viale Einaudi) - Via Nazionale - Piazza Venezia - Largo Argentina - Corso Vittorio Emanuele - Stazione S. Pietro (basically the same route as the 40 Express except it's smaller, more crowded, and makes many more stops)
H: Termini (Viale Einaudi) - Via Nazionale - Piazza Venezia - Largo Argentina - Ponte Garibaldi - Viale Trastevere - (then continues into the western suburbs, ending at Via Capasso)
8 Tram: Connects the historic center with Trastevere. Largo Argentina - Ponte Garibaldi - Piazza G.G. Belli - Piazza Mastai - Piazza Ippolito Nievo - Stazione Trastevere - Monteverde - Casaletto
492: Stazione Tiburtina - San Lorenzo - Termini - Piazza Barberini - Piazza Venezia - Corso Rinascimento - Piazza Cavour - Piazza Risorgimento (for the Vatican Museums)
23: Piazzale Clodio - Piazza Risorgimento - Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II - Lungotevere - Ponte Garibaldi - Lungotevere - Via Marmorata - Piazzale Ostiense - Basilica di S. Paolo
170: Termini - Via Nazionale - Piazza Venezia - Via del Teatro di Marcello - Bocca della Verità - (then south to Testaccio and EUR, ending at Piazzale dell'Agricoltura)
714: Termini - Piazza S. Maria Maggiore - Piazza S. Giovanni in Laterano - Viale delle Terme di Caracalla - (then south to EUR, ending at Piazzale P.L. Nervi)
660: Largo Colli Albani - Via Appia Nuova - Via Appia Antica (near the Tomb of Cecilia Metella).
910: Termini - Piazza della Repubblica - Via Piemonte - Via Pinciana (Villa Borghese) - Piazza Euclide - Palazzetto dello Sport - Piazza Mancini
590: Handicapped facilities. Same route as Metro Line A, but it runs every 90 minutes (schedule posted at the bus stop).
In an effort to minimize pollution in the small backstreets of the historic center, the city has established several electric bus lines to navigate alleyways barely wide enough for a Vespa. They do not run on Sundays.
116: Via Veneto - Piazza Barberini - Piazza di Spagna - Corso Rinascimento - Campo de' Fiori - Piazza Farnese - Via Monserrato - Via Giulia - Campo de' Fiori - Corso Rinascimento - Pantheon - Piazza Colonna - Piazza Barberini - Via Veneto (It also does a loop inside the Villa Borghese, stopping near the Galleria Borghese, before making its final stop at the top of Via Veneto.)
117: Piazza S. Giovanni in Laterano - Piazza del Colosseo - Via dei Serpenti - Largo Tritone - Piazza di Spagna - Piazza del Popolo - Via del Corso - Piazza Venezia - Piazza del Colosseo - Via Labicana - Piazza S. Giovanni in Laterano
119: Piazza del Popolo - Via del Corso - Largo Goldoni - Piazza Venezia - Via del Tritone - Piazza Barberini - Piazza di Spagna - Via del Babuino - Piazza del Popolo
Night buses (from 12:30am to 5:30am)
There are over 20 night bus lines. The main terminal stations are Termini (Piazza dei Cinquecento) and Piazza Venezia. From these two piazzas buses leave for all directions every 30 minutes. You can recognize bus stops for the night buses by signs with an owl on the top.
The most useful night bus routes:
78N: Piazzale Clodio - Piazzale Flaminio - Piazza Cavour - Largo di Torre Argentina - Piazza Venezia - Via Nazionale - Stazione Termini. A good bus to know if your hotel is near Termini but you plan to be out late in the historic center.
40N: Same route as Metro Line B. Good connection between Testaccio (use the stop at Piramide, in Piazzale Ostiense) and Termini, or if you need to catch a night train from Tiburtina station.
55N: Same route as Metro Line A.
29N: Piazzale Ostiense - Lungotevere Aventino - Lungotevere de' Cenci (across the Tiber from Trastevere) - Via Crescenzio (Vatican area) - Via Barletta - Piazza Marina (Flaminio) - Via Belle Arti - Viale Liegi (Parioli) - Viale Regina Margherita - Via dei Marrucini (San Lorenzo) - Via Labicana (Colosseum) - Viale Aventino - Piazzale Ostiense
New for 2000 is a fleet of privately operated blue and orange buses, established to accommodate the increased tourist and pilgrim traffic for the Jubilee year. The coaches are spacious, air-conditioned, and virtually empty at time of printing. It is important to note that the regular € 1.00 ticket good for the rest of Rome's buses, trams, and metros is not valid for the J buses. Tickets can be purchased at tabacchis, newsstands, and some of the major J bus stops, but what really sets them apart from their orange and red cousins is that you can also buy tickets on board the bus. If you buy your ticket on the bus, a small surcharge will be applied. There are eight different J bus lines, but only three are really useful for the average tourist:
J2: Termini - Via Nazionale - Via del Tritone - Piazza San Silvestro/Largo Chigi - Foro Romano - Santa Maria Maggiore - Termini
J4: San Paolo Fuori le Mura - Partigiani - Circo Massimo - San Gregorio - Colosseo - Foro Romano - Ponte Sisto - Piazza Risorgimento - Lungotevere della Vittoria - Stadio Olimpico
J5: Pio XI - Gregorio VII - Cavalleggeri - Navona - Foro Romano - Colosseo - San Giovanni - Santa Croce in Gerusalemme - Stazione Tiburtina
J7 connects the northern suburbs with Piazza San Silvestro, J8 the northwestern suburbs with the Vatican area, and J9 the western suburbs with the Vatican and Piazza del Popolo areas. Further information available at 800 076287 (toll-free).
Useful bus lines
From Termini, 40 Express or 64
From the Colosseum, walk 5 minutes to Piazza Venezia, then 40 Express or 64; or J4
From Trastevere, 23 (across the river at Lungotevere de' Cenci); or J4 from Ponte Sisto
Spanish Steps & Trevi Fountain
From Termini, 492 or 175 to Via del Tritone; or J2
From the Vatican, 62 or 492 to Via del Tritone
From Trastevere, Tram 8 to Largo Argentina then 62 to Via del Tritone
From Termini, 40 Express, 170, or 64 to Piazza Venezia, then walk for 5 minutes
From Vatican, 40 Express, 64 or 62 to Piazza Venezia, or J4
From Trastevere, Tram 8 to Largo Argentina, then bus 87; or J4 from Ponte Sisto
Pantheon, Piazza Navona & Campo de' Fiori
From Termini, 40 Express or 64 to Largo Argentina
From the Vatican, 40 Express, 64 or 62 to Largo Argentina
From Trastevere, don't be lazy cross the bridge and walk for 5 minutes!
From Termini, 40 Express or 64 to Largo Argentina, then Tram 8 to Viale Trastevere.
From the Vatican, 23 to Ponte Sisto, Ponte Garibaldi, or Ponte Cestio, or J4 to Ponte Sisto.
This table indicates approximately how long it takes to walk between B&B and different areas.
Distanza dal B & B "AllaDolceVita"
Piazza di Spagna
Fountaina di Trevi
less than 10 minutes
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