These are the spiffiest new buses in Rome!! You can conveniently buy your ticket right there on the bus so you won't see those transportation ticket-enforcers here. Plus, I've never seen it too crowded and it arrives/departs often. The #116 is my daily ticket to ride as the it starts/ends at Via Veneto/Villa Borghese and it goes all through the best stops in the historic center - Barbarini, Spagna, Tritone (for Trevi), Via del Corso, Campo di Fiori, Via Guilia (at the Tiber where you will pass underneath the specatacular ivy covered bridge of Michaelangelo), then crosses over the bridge just below Castel Sant Angelo and ends by the Vatican/Gianicolo Station - its a lovely ride to then hop on the nearby bus going up to the top of Gianocolo.
My fabvorite mini grey electric bus winds all through Villa Borghese and circles near the Borghese Museum - exits Villa Borthese at San Paolo del Brasile (Via Veneto) before arriving at the last stop around the corner on Pincio. A bus ride in Rome doesn't get any better than this. I don't like the Metro - use it only where I have to - but here is a good deal in Rome for 16 Euro you get a week's pass on public transportation.
Most of old Rome can be discovered on foot; however, if you want to visit places that are further apart, the cheapest method of transportation are the buses.
The central bus-station is right outside of Termini, where you can also find the office of the bus-company (ATAC). The web of bus-routes spans all over Rome; after midnight the regular buses stop, but special night-buses will run till the morning hours.
We experienced a ride on a bus during rush-hours, which meant we were squished like sardines, without room to hold on to a handle or something - wasn't really necessary - since we were stacked into the bus so tightly, there wasn't a chance that anybody would topple over.
Tickets are available at all metro-stations, newspaper-stands, some convenience stores, and at the ATAC office. You can buy tickets for the nightbuses directly from the driver. There are several options of tickets:
- Biglietto Integrato a Tempo (BIT). Valid for 75 minutes upon entering the bus. €1.--
- Biglietto Integrato Giornaliero (BIG). Valid for 24 hours. € 4.--
- Carta Integrate Settimanale (CIS). Valid for 1 week. € 16.--
- Abbonamento Mensible. Valid for 1 month. € 30.--
We found the 24-hour ticket to be most useful, since we were in Rome for only 3 days and didn't use the bus each day. This card is aprx. €4.-- per person, per day and is also valid for the metro.
You know that your Metro bus ticket BIT has to be validated when starting the journey. This is a must. But what if the validating machine "obliteratrice" doesn't work?
First try another one, but it can happen that all machines of a station are "fuori servizi" don't work. During all February 2008 the six machines at the urban railway station Gemelli (deserving the major Roman hospital) were out of service!
What to do? Don't think it is not your problem. On your ticket is written, only in Italian, in very small characters, that you have to validate your ticket by writing on it datum, time, station "In caso di malfunzionamento dell'obliteratrice il viaggiatore dovra annulare il titolo di viaggio apponendovi la data, l'ora ed il numero di vettura o la stazione sul retro".
Do that, at Gemelli station (urban train line FM3) I had just hand filled in my BIT ticket that there was a control on the train.
Another thing; when validating your ticket in a machine turn the illustrated side down. The machine prints on the upper side.
If at all possible, take the little mini bus that you will see in Piazza San Francisco in Trastevere - this bus is at least half the size of the other buses you will see in Rome. When you ride this route, you will understand why - it will take you through the narrow streets of Trastevere and along the Tevere - just a charming ride - especially for those of us who are walk-weary in Rome! It is best seen in early evening when people are out in the little cafes. Below is the Fermata (bus stop) and a good description of the route - partly along the Tevere.
ATAC, Rome's public transportation company is quite efficient.
There are only 2 subway lines and they run from 5 AM to 11:30 PM.. Line A, the red line, goes (more or less) East-West and stops near the Vatican (Ottaviano-Vaticano), Piazza Del Popolo (Flaminio),the Spanish steps (Spagna), Piazza Barberini, Termini Station, and Piazza della Repubblica.
The Line B, the blue line, goes north-south and stops at the Tiburtina Station, Termini Station, the Colliseum (Colosseo), the Circus Maximus (Circo Massimo), the Pyramide (Piramide), San Paolo Basilica (San Paolo) and three stops at the EUR.
ATAC also has some trams (the Tram 8 that you can catch at Largo Argentina will take you Trastevere) and many, many busses! You can easily recognize the bus stops with their yellow posts. The number of the busses are on it. If you see a number and an owl, it is a night bus, a great service for all night lovers. They can bear the same number as a day bus but their itinerary may be slightly different.
Better check on ATAC's website (they can compute your itinerary for you) or with the driver.
A single ticket (BIT) is 1,00 Euro; a Day ticket ( BIG) is 4,00 Euros; a weekly ticket is (CIS) 16,00 Euros. You can buy your ticket at the machine in the subway station, in selected supermarket and (important if you take the tram or bus) at Tabacchi and bookstands.
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 got an easy and convenient bus
circulation circuit. The bus stops are ranked
on a board with the number of the bus.
The stop you are waiting at is circled is red..
all the names under that are stops.
That is very easy.
Keep an eye on the symbol on top.
An owl means it is a night bus.
They also come frequently... if you learn
to read those tabels and find out were there
are gathering points you can get home
every time during nighttime.
One thing is - the busses can get very 'filled'.
Sometimes it feels like a tin of sardines in
their own soggy.
Take also the small busses 116 , 117 , 118.
They bring you true little streets and are quit
convenient as well.
Since we stayed for a longer time we chose to
take a week card for 16 euro.
We never had a check. You can also get a ticket
for one day - 4 Euro.
In Belgium we are used to time tables ,
and the bus comes late anyway.
Here such things do not excist.
Just wait is the message...
we never had to wait long.
Roma Pass is the latest innovation (as of April 21, 2006) by the local gov't of Rome. This pass is good as a ticket to all buses, subways and trams valid for 3 days plus 2 free entrances in museums/sites of your choice plus discounts on your visits to other museums/sites and even in ongoing exhibits and events.
You can get it from any tourist information kiosks (Punto Informazione Turistico-PIT) around Rome or at the museums.
If you are staying in Rome for only 3-days, this pass is definitely very convenient for you. Cost is 18euros.
As explained in another tip of mine, buses and trams cover the city very extensively, and though slow at times, represent the best way of moving around when on a budget (a 75-minute ticket with unlimited changes, valid also for one metro or local train trip, costs only 1 euro).
So how to find out bus timetables and routes? the easiest way is to browse the ATAC site (linked below), though a little problem is that it's in Italian only. Once the first page displays, you can see three sections on the top orange-coloured banner. One says "calcola il percorso", with boxes labelled "partenza" and "arrivo". This will enable you to figure out the best way to get from A to B. Tip: when writing a street or square name, omit the via or piazza, simply writing the name. The site will produce a map of Rome where your route is drawn with (sometimes confusing) colours. Other tip: the route will be produced according to the (Italian) time when you enter the query, so if you browse in the middle of the night expect some strange results.
Another box says "Trovalinea" (ignore the trova indirizzo, which will simply spot an address into the map). This enables you to find out facts about all bus lines. So if you want to look for the timetables for bus line n.64 simply type 64 in the box and click on "cerca". The following page will usually have two clickable entries at the very top, under "risultato della ricerca". These correspond to the two end points of the selected line. Clicking on either of them will give you the timetables from that endpoint. So if you want to look for the timetables for line 64 leaving from Termini you must click on "partenza da Termini" and voila, here's the timetable!
Some lines have different timetables on holidays, in which case you are likely to see two additional entries (labelled "festiva") and on schooldays (scolastica).
Additionally, the page produces a map of the line, and you can localize each stop by clicking on its name under the map (scroll down if you have a lousy display like mine).
The bus network is extensive and will cover most tourist needs. As a resident, you'll find buses poorly documented, often crowded, schedules unreadable/not adheared to. Indications at bus stops are not decent, with strange gothic signs to signal anomalies.
I refuse to board an overcrowded bus & find the next one not far behind.
That said, you will be able to use the ATAC English website below to calculate a specific route with assurance. I use their site regularly.*
All tickets ("biglietto") must be pre-purchased and are available for sale at ATAC counters, tabacchi (tobacco stores) newsagents, and at automatic ticket dispensers. You must be able to tell the cashier WHICH ticket you want to purchase. Tickets must then be validated (stamped) on board the bus at the beginning of the journey to avoid a hefty fine - inspectors are now on board checking as of November 1, 2009. The cheapest ticket, the Biglietto Integrato a Tempo - BIT costs EUR0 1.00 and is valid for up to 75 minutes of travel on ATAC buses, or for one trip on the metro or suburban train lines.
Day (BIG) and week (CIS) passes - valid on all transport in the municipality - costs EURO 4 and EURO 16.00 respectively. Monthly passes are also available. The BIRG pass covers a day's worth of transport within the Lazio region, and costs between EURO 2.50 and EURO 10.50 (depending on the number of zones covered).*
If you are in Rome for 3 days or more and visiting museums, see my tip re the ROME PASS - it will save you time & money.%*
If you are here in Rome for awhile and consider day trips, the Roma&Più Pass is for you! Exactly like the Roma Pass… but whereas the Roma Pass is for the city of Rome, the Roma&Più Pass is for the city of Rome AND the province of Lazio. Currently the Roma&Più Pass is €25. So what do you get for your two extra Euro?
On the transport section of the pass you get the same benefits as the Roma Pass AND you can ride the extra-urban COTRAL coaches (regional bus line), and the regional railways of Trenitalia (2nd class). So in the province of Lazio, you can use your Roma&Più Pass to head to Tivoli on the COTRAL bus or regional train. You can ride trains – other than the Met.Ro trains in and around Rome – as long as you stay in the first three zones of the Trenitalia map! If you are looking to get out of the city to Lake Braciano, than this pass works for you.
Be aware, but according to the lastest updates on the Roma Pass website (April 27, 2009), ROME PASSES ARE NOT ACCEPTED on the Leonardo Express from FCO to Termini or on the FR1 train from the Airport into town. Trenitalia will not compromise their big money-makers!
Using the Roma&Più Pass you will also have access to Museums and sites in the Province, not just in Rome… so you get a few more opportunities to get discounts or free entry. This is primarily more of a benefit for day trips.
The Metro and regional train lines are much more than a communal means of transport: they can also become a vehicle for "intelligent tourism". In Rome and Lazio, there are many lesser-known yet extremely interesting tourist attractions, which are easily accessible using the Metro or regional train services.
Such sights are of great historical and cultural value and represent an undiscovered world of tourist destinations that are a mere ten minutes walk from Rome's various Metro stations.
The Best way to enjoy Rome is to pre plan every destination. 2 days prior to your trip plan every place you want to visit and then see the following website. In this website you have a route planner which shows you which bus you have to take from respective destinations. Just make a note of it and start your way.
And the most helpful tool for me was Google map. Big thanks for Google. Just enter the from and to address and it will help you find the route. If it is a walkable distance then go on and explore everything by walk, or see the nearest metro (in google earth) and it will help you too.
To avoid all the headaches of the tickets to all these metros and busses, just take a 4euro ticket. It is a day pass, specially for tourists, which will provide a complete free transport in all the metros, busses and trams(some lines are excluded, for more info see the same website).
Buy a Rome Pass, you'll have free tickets to all busses and subway, plus 2 free entrance at some museums.(including Galeria Borghese, Coloseum etc).
First time you come to Rome, buy a pass, validate it and take a bus to make a tour of the ancient city.
You'll have a general perspective of your objectives.
I bought a 7 day transporation pass for the bus and the train, it is a life-saver because you do not have to validate it each time you get on the bus or the tain. Be aware, the subway is dirty in Rome, it is better to take the bus. First thing in Rome is ... do yourself a favor ... buy a bus map, it costs about 6 Euroupe dollars, but it is worthy, so you will not be lost all the time in Rome.
Take the Leonardo Express train from the airport to Rome, it costs 11 Euroupe dollar per person. And remember validate the ticket at the yellow box, or you will be fined. They actually check the tickets on the train.
To read a bus sign in Rome, the name on the top is the where the bus originated, the one circled means the bus stop you are standing at the moment, and the bottom name is where the bus is headed to. Do'nt confuse them, or you will end up like us, we had all these unnecessary trips to everwhere and we ended up seeing everything in Rome, which is not a bad thing, if you have the time.
Local people do not speak English, be prepared for it.
Have fun in Rome,