Did you know you can get from Rome to Siena by bus in 2 hours? From Tiburtina Station, there a regular bus service run by a private Company named Sena (don't expect strikes or delay, here) which will bring to Siena in a few hours. In you are interested in discovering the charming Siena, you can extend your Roman staying with some extra beautiful days ! Get in touch with the Sena Company, or simple book the RomanBox "B&B > Rome + Siena + Bus Connection" from http://romanbox.com/node/1
Expect to be groped and spat on while riding the overcrowded buses in Rome. Yes, an Italian man spit in my face because he felt we were taking up too much space and then my two friends were groped by two different men on the same bus. And don't expect fellow passengers to assist. None came to our assistance.
Overcrowded buses are a management problem and lead to crimes of this type. Public transportation is mismanaged and corrupt in this beautiful city. We felt fortunate that we were not pick-pocketed.
Lastly, what kind of culture condones this type of behavior?
Uff-da, there’s a lot to see in Rome...
The best way to explore this city is on foot as you’ll run into something fascinating around just about every corner but sometimes you might want to get from point A to B without expending the shoe leather? Rome’s public transit system of buses, trams, regional trains and metro is how you do that. I’m covering more specifics on metro/regional trains as we didn’t take the buses (except from the airport) but you can find some useful info for those here:
The metro is easy because they currently only have 2 lines - Red A and Blue B - with a third line C under construction. Take a look at this diagram:
The two lines form a rough X with the intersection point at Termini, and skirt a large section of the Central Storico (that blank space in the middle). Line C will help that situation when completed but digging has been problematic due to two millennia worth of history lurking below so construction is running behind schedule. But the other two lines will get you closer, if not directly to, some of the hot tourist sites.
Tickets can be purchased by machine (which take euros) at stations, or from humans at newsstands, tabacchi and some bars. Look for signs with the big T, like the one shown in photo 2, or which advertise Biglietti ATAC. Tickets come in several forms:
• BIT singles: these are good for 100 minutes and allow you to transfer as many times as needed between buses and trams plus one single metro ride with an in-station (can’t exit turnstiles and go back in) transfer between A and B allowed at Termini if needed, and one single, one-way, 2nd class journey on trains within the ATAC system. If not using a pass, it’s nice to have a few of these tucked in a pocket in case you poop out somewhere. Once you validate, do pay attention to the expiration time stamped on your ticket so you’re off transport before the clock runs out.
• BIG one-day ticket: covers unlimited travel on any ATAC transport until midnight of the day validated
• BTI three-day pass: same as a BIG only valid until midnight of the 3rd day after validation date
• CSI weekly pass: Same as BIG and BTI but good until midnight of the 7th day after validation date.
Each type of ticket/pass MUST be validated just before its first use, and you MUST have it with you until your journey is complete or for the life of the pass. This is your proof that you paid for your bus, tram, metro or train rides if checked by an official. Fines are high if caught with an expired ticket or no ticket at all, and they do not allow for excuses - even from clueless tourists.
Validation methods are different per form of transport:
• Bus/tram/Rome-Pantano and Rome-Viterbo train lines: time-stamp machines are near doors on the transport vehicles
• Metro, the Rome-Lido regional train line and Trenitalia SpA regional trains: tickets are fed into machines leading to your platform
• Other ATAC-system trains: tickets should be time-stamped in the yellow, orange or green-and- white machines near the tracks
See the arrow at the end of the BIT ticket shown in photo 1? Stick that end, arrow side up, into the stamping machines for buses, trams and trains. For metro and noted trains, stick that end, arrow side up, into the slot on a metro entrance machine and retrieve your ticket when it spits out the other end and the gates open to let you enter.
With the exception of transferring from bus to metro for your one allowed ride, you’ll only validate a pass or ticket once - which starts the clock ticking.
Machine didn’t work? Immediately find an inspector and explain what happened.
For which trains you’re allowed to take, look again at the same diagram for the metro; you’ll see colored lines for regional trains FRI - FR8, and grey lines for 3 urban trains. Look for the stations noted along each of those lines and find those indicated in RED. Those are the last stations accessible by BIT, BIG, BTI or CSI without buying a more expensive Trenitalia ticket, and do note that this includes the airports: you’ll need to fork over a higher fee to get to those or use a different form of transport.
So ready to jump on the metro or a regional train? See the next review, “Around Rome by Rail.”
Rome has two underground lines. Both lines (blue and red line) crosses each other at Termini (see Termini train station) tube station. The blue line runs from Rebibbia to Laurentina and includes stops near EUR, St. Paul Outside the Walls, Piramide, Colosseum and so on. The red line runs from Battistini to Anagnina. It includes stops near the Vatican Museums (Cipro), the Vatican (Ottaviano), Piazza del Popolo (Flaminio) and so on.
Metro lines run from 5.30 a.m. to 11.30 p.m. (12.30 p.m. on saturdays).
Public buses in Rome run from about 5.30 to midnight daily. There are night buses that run all night as well.
The major bus terminus is in front of Termini train station.
Here are some useful bus lines;
64 Termini – piazza Venezia – piazza San Pietro.
75 Termini – Colosseo.
H piazza Venezia – Trastevere.
Tickets are sold at newspapers' stands, tobacco shops and from the vending machines at all stations. There are several kinds of tickets. BIT (biglietto integrato a tempo) is valid for 100 minutes once you stamped it. You can use this for one ride (only) by metro and as many rides as you like on buses and trams. BIG (biglietto integrato giornaliero) is valid for 24 hours after you stamped it. This is valid for unlimited rides by buses, trams and the metro until midnight of the day it was stamped.
You have to validate your ticket into a machine when you are inside a bus or a tram.
ATAC is responsible for public transportation in Rome, which includes metros, buses, and trams. While Rome is a very walkable city, Sylvain's feet were getting tired after a week so we started relying on public transportation a bit more, especially to get to areas that were located on the opposite end of the city from our hotel. We used the metro and tram, which are fairly easy to figure out. Rome's metro system only has 3 lines (I'm guessing that running into priceless ruins everytime you dig a tunnel under the city has a lot to do with it!), and the tram system is a bit more extensive, but it's just as easy to use. In both cases you can buy tickets in advance in a tabaccheria, or get them at the metro station or on board trams from automated machines. Tickets only cost 1.50 Euros, and although there are daily and weekly options available at 6 and 24 Euros, we didn't use public transportation often enough to make it profitable to buy one of those. You always need to validate your tickets; when you travel by metro, you have no choice but to validate them as you cross the turnstiles, and on board trams or buses, you need to use the yellow validation machine. Tickets are valid for 75 minutes, during which you can take one metro ride and as many buses or trams you want. Don't forget to hang on to your validated ticket in case an inspector shows up!
So if you've read my previous tip….
... now you have your ticket or pass in your hot little hand and are ready to roll!
See this handy diagram for metro and trains around the city and further afield:
Find the station on the red A line or blue B line closest to you and the one closest to where you wish to go. You’ll want to use a city map: metro stations will be marked with a white M in a square red box. Locate your Metro station from the street by looking for signs with that same white M/red box.
Enter the Metro by inserting your ticket or pass into the machine slot at the entry gates: facing up and arrow end forward. The machine will suck it in, spit it out the other end, the gates will open, and you collect your ticket/pass on the way through. KEEP YOUR TICKET until you get to your destination. The machine will look similar to photo 3 (taken in the Paris metro).
Here's a helpful little youtube video for buying a ticket at one of the station machines -if you haven't purchased one at a newsstand or tabacchi - and proceeding through the turnstiles (although price is outdated):
Find your platform: you need to know which direction you’re going as platforms will be marked by the terminus of the line. Let’s say you’re going to St. Peters (Ottaviano S. Pietro) from St. John in Laterano (San Giovanni)? Both stations are on line A, and you’ll take the Metro going north so you want the platform for Battisitini - which is the northern terminus of that line. Going back? You’d want Anagnina as it’s the southernmost terminus on the other end. The subway will stop at all stations indicated on your map between where you are and the terminus. Make sense?
You need may to jump from Line A to Line B to get where you’re going: no problem. You’re allowed to switch lines at Termini on a single ticket as long as you do not go outside of the exit turnstiles.
All platforms have a route board for double-checking which direction you're going, and stations on the line (photo 4).
You’re allowed to take any of the eight regional FRI - FR8 trains and 3 urban trains in the system on a pass or BIT ticket but ONLY as far as the stations marked on the diagram in RED. Any farther and you need a Trenitalia train ticket. Many tourists to Rome don’t sightsee far enough out to use these trains but they’re handy (and cheap) if day-tripping to Ostia Antica or out to rural points near Via Appia Antica (Torricola or Capannelle).
To use a BIT ticket for one of the trains, simply validate it at one of the time-stamping machines near the tracks and hang onto it for the length of your journey. Same goes for a one, three or 7-day ATAC pass if it hasn’t already been validated.
To get to Ostia Antica, buy a 1-day ATAC BIG pass and jump on Metro line B to Pyramid, which is next to the station for the Roma-Lido urban train, and then onto that train to Ostia: easy. We hopped the FR8 to Torricola - only a 9-minute journey - on BIT tickets, walked from there to the Via Appia Antica, and spent the day tracing the ancient road 6-7 miles or so back into the city.
Unlike the Metro, which runs every 5-10 minutes, and the ATAC urban lines, which run every 15-20 minutes or so, the Trenitalia-operated FR trains come less often so you’re going to want to check schedules on the Trenitalia website or on the posted boards (photo 5) at the train stations.
And again, do note that passes and BIT tickets will not get you to the airports.
This is my alternative to walking, the bus is king on a city. You get a nice seated ride, same price as other public forms of transport, air conditioned on most, and you see the city the sights and the local people all in one.
Highly recommend to all to use the bus in Roma, is a bit confusing as the buses only tell you the line number and end destination, but go to ATAC try the different numbers lines there, and at the bus stop there is a panel with all the stops they make, in addition on several you see the hourly schedule. 1,50€ has never been better spent.
Can't say enough ,use the bus in Rome, they are great, we use them all over even to go outside of Rome for the thrill and it was great, by the second week we were given directions to other travelers and cutting off lines to get home easier and less walking.
the ATAC site will tell you all, but the bus 62 along the best route of Rome goes from Bologna stop in Nomentana all the way to the Vatican!!! with great stops along the way. YOu have bus 40 from termini to the Vatican, and bus 38 takes you to shopping porta di roma (great), the 445 ,310 and 116 were use greatly too all nice experiences.
at the ATAC site you can put the number or the name of the place you want to go and if is a sight it will tell you the line. http://infopoint.atac.roma.it/fa.asp?lingua=ENG
have a above ground trip to remember anywhere.
another quaint way to move about any city and Rome is no exception is the tramway. Very nice trains running on tracks right in the middle of the city!
6 lines of tramway crisscross the city. this is a map of them from ATAC Rome transport site
Line 8 trasteverde
3B and 3 by colosseo and central
and Line 5 by termini are the best for visitors
the prices are the same as the metro and bus and you can interchange them tram to bus etc
within 100 minutes of travel from the time of validation on your first trip.
The Romapass is very convenient if you are planning on visiting lots of sites and museums and planning to use the bus and metro services for 3 or more days. With unlimited travel on the buses and metros for 3 days, a map of the city and the sites, two sites where you can get in for free and discounts on other sites and museums it is well worth the 23 euros pp. You can still use the pass to visit the sites and museums even after the bus and metro part of the pass has expired.
Another thing I'd like to mention is that the Romapass is of much better value than taking any of the tourist buses, which comes out to the same price for a day of travel and no free entrance to sites.
The price of the Roma Pass will go up to 34 euros on May 1st, 2013.
Metro is the way to go though it may be that you just want to get some where earlier on in the day and then you can walk back at your leisure .
At Metro Stations there are ticket barriers where you have to insert your ticket to enter and leave the Metro Station.
On buses and trams you will find ticket validation machines similar to that pictured. If you have a single ticket then enter the ticket into the machine,
We made use of Rome's Metro system during our visit to the city in October 2012.
We found it easy to use and a good value means of travelling between the city's many sights.
There are only two lines on the network:
Line A (shown as the red line on maps) runs from Battistini in the north-west to Anagnina in the south-east and includes useful stops for the Vatican (Ottaviano San Pietro) and the Spanish Steps (Spagna).
Line B (shown as the blue line on maps) runs from Rebibbia in the north-east to Laurentina in the south-west and includes useful stops for the Colosseum (Colosseo) and the Circus Maximus (Circo Massimo).
The two lines intersect at Termini train station and each line also connects with other railway stations throughout the city.
The cost of a single journey on the Metro is 1.50 Euros (as at October 2012).
Journeys that involve a change of Metro lines at Termini are still classed as a single journey.
A single journey ticket is valid for 100 minutes from the time of validation. The first time we purchased tickets we mistakenly thought that they were for unlimited journeys within the 100 minute timeframe, rather than for a single journey. We took a short journey on Line A from Lepanto to Spagna, spent a while visiting the Spanish Steps, and then returned to Spagna station to carry on our journey to the Colosseum, thinking that we could use our original tickets. They were rejected when we tried to access the turnstiles and we then realised our misunderstanding.
Tickets can be purchased from manned kiosks or from ticket machines at every station. The ticket machines are easy to use, provide instructions in several languages, accept coins and notes and give change. If you intend to make extensive use of the Metro, you will likely find it cheaper to purchase all-day tickets rather than a series of individual journey tickets.
Tickets are validated as you pass through the turnstiles on the way to the platform. You don't need the ticket to operate the turnstiles at the end of your journey; you simply pass through them.
Platforms are well signposted; each platform will display the direction of travel (the final station on that line) and provide a map showing all the interim stations along the route. There are route maps displayed throughout the insides of the trains and announcements are made at each stop. It really is very easy to get to wherever you plan to go on the Metro – don't be phased by it!
Trains run every few minutes from early morning until late evening. Neon displays on the platforms inform passengers of the time until the next train. We never waited more than 5 minutes for a train.
In many cases, the trains were very busy (standing room only – and not always very much of it!), especially around the central stations close to Termini.
Note: At Spagna station, there are entrances to the Metro station both at the foot and the top of the Spanish Steps. You can alight at the bottom, climb the Steps and then take a lift from the top station back down to platform level.
Get a bus/metro ticket as soon as you get to Rome. It will be a life and foot saver. Having the ability to return to a site makes you so much more relaxed about exploring it. You can take your time and then come back after a rest or perhaps the next day. You don't have to do it all at once. We got a week long pass and it also got us to Ostia so it was well worth the cost. My feet thanked me over and over. Be sure and get a bus and metro map you'll need it.
Roman busses don't exactly seem to run to a schedule - No bus stop has any times attached to it, only a service route. I guess this is useful for the city, as no-one can ever complain about busses being late! As for the schedule in reality though, it seems that busses come and go every 10 minutes or so (in the center at least).
The public transportation system is fairly efficient and connects you to most zones in town. The best way to move around is by bus & metro (this latter having only 2 lines: A & B, although they are currently building Line C which should be ready by 2012); besides, there are metropolitan trains that take you farther than the metro (if you need to move far from downtown) and are included in the metro/bus fare system (i.e. you don't have to pay extra to ride them, you can do it with a normal ticket as long as you don't leave Rome's suburban limits; if you do, an extra fee applies).
There are tickets that are valid for 75 minutes (used to be 90 mins. several years ago), a whole day, a week or a month. Buy the one that suits you better according to the time you'll be staying there: the longer the validity, the cheaper they are (a weekly ticket was 24,000 lire [about 12 US dollars], a monthly ticket used to be 50,000 lire [25 USD]; you can get these tickets with a discount if you're a student or a senior citizen). The 1-day tickets are not really worthwhile buying unless you'll be in Rome for a very short period and plan to use the metro/buses several times a day, which in Rome isn't really necessary. There were some days when I would not ride a bus or the metro even once, sometimes 2-3 times, but of course that also depends on how far you're from the touristic sites and how much time you have available. In a case like mine it's better to buy single (1-trip) tickets. You can buy them at most newsstands or metro stations, and make sure you buy AND VALID them before riding either the buses or the metro/trains (there are machines at the entrance of the metro stations or the buses). Night buses are also very efficient and take you to the main spots around the city between midnight and 5 AM. However, Rome is very worth seeing by walking around its little streets, squares, monuments....
NOTE 1: The prices mentioned above are in Euros now, but the US Dollar reference I posted can give you an idea of what the prices were like a few years ago..... The current price (2011) for a single trip ticket - which is the only one I used this time so I can't tell what the other tickets cost - is: 1 EUR per ticket, valid for 75 mins OR one metro ride (i.e. you can transfer bus-to-bus or metro-to-bus freely within the 75 mins. but you cannot use the metro more than once with the same ticket: you can transfer between lines but you can't go out and then back in).
NOTE 2: I don't know if there's a website where you can see all of the bus routes in Rome, but I've always found my way around Rome by just looking for a bus stop (pic. no. 3) and trying to find the place/stop where I need to go and the number of the bus that will take me there. Sometimes not even bus drivers are very keen in bus routes different than the ones they work on, so it's a bit tricky to ask them.... better just try to find your way or ask someone on the street!
Also, there are now automatic ticket machines in many spots (eg. Termini, Teatro Marcello close to Foro Romano/Musei Capitolini, Piazza Risorgimento near the Vatican) where you can buy your tickets without having to go to a metro station or a newsstand or shop. I found this really cool and convenient!! Picture of the machine on photo no. 2 of this tip!
There is a Metro/subway system in Rome and an excellent bus system. However, we found it was a lot of fun to use the hop-on-hop-off (HOHO) buses that the city actually runs. The 110 bus is a red city bus with commentary that gives a tour of Rome. You can take it as a tour or you can get off at each stop and explore. We do a combination of both and use it for our public transportation.
The other option is the Archeobus that explores the archeological sites in Rome. it is also a HOHO bus and you can use it as you use the 110. You are much less likely to meet a pickpocket and you will go directly to the major tourist sites.
They are available from Termini Station. There is a 110 - Archeobus combination ticket for 2 days that might be ideal.