Train Stations, Rome
I got off at the Termini Station in Rome from the Santa Maria Nouvella Station in Florence. With all backpack and a heavy luggage in hand, I went out the train station to check where we can find the shuttle bus that must be available outside that can take us to our hotel. As soon as I stepped out of the door, there is a couple of drivers who approached me and my family to ride on their taxi. Thinking that the price given to me by one of the guys is reasonable, I said yes to him expecting that we are going to the queau of taxis just in front of the station. I was mistaken. He asked me to follow him as his taxi is there a little farther. I followed him anyways, but I felt that there is danger if I keep on walking to his direction. I stopped and grab my luggage which he is carrying and went back to taxis in a queau. Most of the drivers do not speak English. I spoke to the one who can, but he said I have to take the one which is first on the line. Eventually, we were on the road headed to our hotel. Our driver keep on checking and looking at his map while the car is in motion. After half an hour, we reached the main street where our hotel is situated. Thank God, I can see our hotel which is around ten minutes walk from the street. Our driver took the taxi to a halt and said in broken English, that he cannot take us to the hotel because there is too much traffic and that it is difficult to return to the main street....and because of this, and because of that....! What else do you think I can do? He won't move!
Lesson: Do not talk to any driver unless you know he has a taxi standing by and is first on a queau. Look for the official yellow or white metered taxi and do not take taxi for an arranged price. Better still, call a taxi from within Rome on any of the following telephone numbers (06 3570 - 06 4994 - 06 6645 - 06 5551 - or 06 8822).
Good luck and have a safe trip!
Our train arrived at Temini on a rainy Sunday morning. Outside a man approached us and offered us a taxi to our hotel for 35 Euros. We had read on our hotel's website that the trip should cost 20-25 Euros, max. We declined the persistent con artist and grabbed a cab from the taxi stand. Total cost: 8 Euros. Don't be cheated!
I've listened to so many people tell of the "taxi driver who took them for a ride" that I decided I needed to post this tip.
Taxi drivers in Rome are really a very civilized lot, nearly as professional and helpful as London cabbies. That is, as long as they are licensed taxi drivers! Unfortunately there are a bunch of independent guys out there who seem to think it's a game, and indeed, their personal obligation, to take tourists for a ride.
You're in a train station, airport or bus depot. You are trying to get your Rome legs, having just hit town and being curious and confused. Maybe you're even jet lagged. A seemingly friendly guy approaches and asks "Do you need a taxi?" What could seem better? "Sure", you say, as you hand over your bags to the guy. You have just put yourself into the hands of a taxi scam. You can be sure that your ride will cost no less than 50 euro, even if the destination, unbeknownst to you, is only 2 blocks away. The best course of action, when these guys approach you, (and they will) is a firm "no thank you" and keep moving on. Don't get into a discussion about it.
ONLY take taxi rides from taxi drivers lined up in the formal taxi queue spots. They are all over the city and most certainly at spots where people will typically be needing a ride. You will always need to take the taxi at the front of the line. You should make sure that there is a taxi meter and it is turned on.
Follow this advice, enter the taxi with confidence, and be friendly to the driver and you will probably not have any problems at all. If you treat the driver like you expect him to cheat you, you might be rewarded with just that. Think about it. How would you like someone for whom you do your job to ask, right out of the gate, something to indicate that you are out to cheat them?
in rome it is not simply enough to buy a train ticket or travel card, you must also validate the tichet in one of the boxes in the station. it is important that you do this as playing the 'stupid tourist' does not work. As the trust system is in place you could find yourself with a hefty fine. DONT RISK IT.
Out of all the places in Rome, I felt the "least safe" at Termini. Everyone knows that tourists who fly into Fiumicino invariably come through Termini if they don't go by taxi. In a thiefs eyes, that means that Termini is the prime place to swindle or pickpocket unsuspecting tourist. Note that I said unsuspecting. Despite the feel that I got from the place, or more to the point, BECAUSE I felt that way in Termini, I paid so much more attention than normal to other around me. Its as simple as that. Always be on the lookout, never leave your bags, and keep valuables out of sight. Follow these rules and the chances of something happening are slim to none.
It also helps to put a scowl on your face and act crazy... :-)
The Termini Area is a very dangerous area, especially for those like me who are not used to beggars in the streets. If you are looking for accommodation in Rome, make sure its not in this area cause it might get rather rough at night. I was there in broad day light and I was still horrified. The place is very dirty, full of beggars, it stinks like rotten fish and it is full of thiefs. A young boy, maybe 10 years of age tried to steal my cousin's bag, so be careful of young children who would be running around alone especially in busses or station areas.
Termini? -> BEWARE
The train station is not safe for tourists. There are a lot of beggars asking for money and homeless people. Try to stay away from them.
If you need to study how you're going to get around town, do it at the information center located in the train station, where you can pick up a clear, colorful tourist map of Rome.
When we went to Rome we bought tickets to the train to go to Florence. When we were walking through, men stopped us in suits and asked to see our tickets. They told us our tickets were not valid and asked for our passports.
They then told us we had to pay several hundred Euros as a fine and would not give our passports back until we paid it.
I noticed other American people being stopped and bullied. One couple with a small baby were arguing with them, I was crying, because we had done nothing wrong.
My husband left to go get the money but his visa debit card was not working so he came back and they told us we had to mail it in.
We never did.
In retrospect, I believe this was a scam, perhaps we were purpously sold the wrong tickets and the people on the other end stop us.
I wrote the embassy and they assured me there would not be a problem in the future and next time call the police.
I am nervous, since I will be traveling again to Rome next month and they took down our passport infromation. Scary.
Be careful - many of taxi drivers are thieves and con-men (hopefully only the unlicensed ones but the cab we were in had a meter so we thought it was legit).
We were quoted 40 euros for what should have been a 15 euro trip.
In the cab the driver kept grabbing my map that I was looking at away from me while he was driving. He did this, I realized later, so we wouldn't know where we were in relation to our hotel and the station. This was so he could get away with charging more or (as was the case with some folks we met) so he could drop us off no where near our hotel and leave us stranded.
He stopped us in busy traffic and said we had to get out there - that there was no access for automobiles to get to our hotel (a lie).
He then got my wife out and shuffled her across the street. While she was across the street he asked me for 40 euros. I gave him 50 and turned to grab one of my bags. (bear in mind traffic was coming and he was yelling for me to hurry) when I turned back he had a $10 in his hand - I thought this was my change (I wanted to ask to see the meter but he yelled and said must hurry traffic is coming). My wife was across the street - I was trying to keep track of the luggage (and my wife) - traffic was coming - I didn't know exactly where the hotel was - needless to say I was a little disoriented - just the way he wanted me. I reached for the 10 and he said "NO - you only gave me 10". I told him I gave him $50 - he sternly shook his head and pointed to the 10. I was an idiot and gave him the benefit of the doubt - gave him another 50 expecting 20 back - he then pointed across to the traffic - when I turned to look he took off with our money and the change.
We were lucky - we met a couple who experience the EXACT same scam - but had been dumped 3 miles from their hotel. At least our hotel was only a block away.
Also - our hotel clerk was a liar. The hotel asked if we needed a cab to the airport or main train station at the end of our 7 day stay. I knew that there was a train station in Trestaverde that had a train to the airport. She pretended not to know of such a station (I went for a short stroll later and found the station). I even showed her my guide book where it said Tresteverde station and she shook her head and acted like it didn't exist. My only assumption is that the hotels get kickbacks from the corrupt taxis and so they make no money if you leave from the local station (which is actually cheaper and faster). When I told this story to a more honest hotel clerk the next day he shook his head and confided in me that "all of Rome is very corrupt". Very sad.
Rome is a beautiful city but one in which you need to be amazingly vigilant. I have heard many stories of cons and thieves. A few days later I was in London where I felt so much safer. Ironically - London has a much higher violent crime rate then Rome (in Rome they'll rob ya blind but they wont hurt ya - In London they say G'day Governor to ya while the stab ya - just being a little sarcastic). Enjoy but be VERY careful!!!
If you are planning to travel to a metro station from Termini and carry heavy suitcase, you should reconsider taking a taxi. Some place have escalators but not all the way down to the platforms. Instead, you will end up crawling underground going up and down some steps to get to the platform. So, if you are tired and do not want to carry your suitcase by your hands to walk lots of steps, try taxi. Also, it seems impossible for disabled people on the wealchairs to travel by the metro. It could be the same for the seniors.
Termini was a nice train station mainly. Me and my mom were there together with more bags than we could handle (a mistake). At first, there was a man following us trying to "help us out" and showing us where our train was and we knew he was bad news so we told him to leave us alone. Then, as we were boarding the train, a man on the train began helping us with our many heavy bags and we assumed that he was working on the train. THE PEOPLE THAT WORK ON THE TRAIN WEAR RED VESTS, and anyone else whoe offers to help you, say no. Once he put our bags up for us, he essentially forced us to pay him. At first he said 10 euro, then 10 each. My mom took out a twenty and gave it to him and then he said "no, 20 each" and I said "no you said 10." and he complained that his English wasn't very good. Because we cant speak much Italian so we couldn't get anyone to help us, my mom gave him another 20 to avoid any danger he could potentially cause for us. Don't trust the people at the station, unless you know they work there!! Especially an issue for tourists because they want to take advantage of you.
My hotel was near the Termini Train Station and on Christmas Eve the Metro stopped running early for the holiday...the Metro is located under the station. We wanted to go out and drink so we decided to catch a Taxi...as you know you can always find a taxi in front of a train station. So, we walked out front and a man stopped us and asked if we wanted a taxi and I said "yes how much." He told me 25euro...and I saw his car...he wasn't a real taxi just a guy trying to take advantage of tourist. I told him to "f*** off" as I noticed the line for the taxi stand to the over to the left. As we began to walk towards the stand we were immediately stopped by another person offering the same thing but for 20 euro again I said "f**** you do you think I'm dumb?" We made it to the taxi stand and waited in line for a bit and to shorten the story a bit the ride only cost 6euro. Hummmm I think 6 is less than 25.
Its really horrible thing to see a ticket machine broken down and u donot have any other alternative to get a ticket to take you bus or tram!!..you have to keep searching for a Tobaco Shop to buy a ticket ...:-(((
Many stairs to negotiate. As an elderly single lady traveling alone with relatively heavy baggage I was helped by a young Brit traveling with his girl friend. I suggest to elderly travelers, arrive or depart in mid day. Be alert. If you are planning to leave from the station and have the opportunity consider a walk through before hand to minimize steps.
If you take the train at night, be sure your alert especially if you are a woman and on your own. I recently got on the train from the otherside of italy and thought i was quite safe until these two men came in my cabin and gave me a fright. ( i had seen them earlier at the station staring at me which was bad enough)
Anyway, not to be threatened i carried on listening to my music and reading my book whilst keeping close guard of my belongings. However, i think they clicked on i was English and started talking to me. I kept it minimal and told them lots of lies, in the end i think they became fedup.
i had the last laugh though, they wanted to turn the light off so they could go to sleep. i never let them. i never slept myself but they never slept either, so ha ha to them,