Transportation in Rome for Travelling
Rome is the capital of Italy and of the Lazio (Latium) region and the only city in the world that nestles a country in its backyard, with the existence of the independent sovereign state of Vatican City in the heart of Rome. For two weeks in August, many of Rome’s inhabitants shut up shop and go on their own vacations; many stores and other amenities will be closed during this time. The temperature in the city centre at this time of year is not particularly pleasant. Just be prepared to see Chiuso per ferie (Its mean Closed for holidays) signs on many establishments.
Centrale Montemartini was the first power station in Rome when it opened in 1912. Today it serves as headquarters for the Museo del Centrale Montemartini, a vast collection of antiquities that includes, among many other things, a terracotta Athena; the famous togato Barberini (a Republic-age senator in toga); ruins of the Temple of Apollo; and a Venus seated on a horse.
Rome has two main international airports:
• Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (Rome Fiumicino, code FCO) – well organized and connected to the center of the city by public transportation
• Ciampino International Airport – (Rome Ciampino, code CIA) located to the south of the capital, confusingly on via Leonardo Da Vinci.
There are several options to go from Leonard da Vinci airport to downtown Rome:
• Leonardo Express trains leave every 30 min to the central train station Roma Termini (30 min trip). Trains from Termini depart from the track 24 on the right. Ticket costs €11, available at the counter as well as the Termini news stand. Tickets sold at the departure platform are more expensive. You can’t buy a ticket for a specific train (it’s just a general ticket for any time), so remember to always get your ticket stamped in a yellow validation machine just before using it. Ticket expires 90 minutes after validation.
• Taxis Taxis in Rome are white. From October 1st 2006 there are fix fares from downtown to airports. City center to Fiumicino and vice-versa cost 40 euros. City center to Ciampino and vice-versa cost 30 Euros. For others destinations fares are not fixed. You don’t have to negotiate the price. Regular taxis have a taximeter. Fee for luggage is around 1 euro each. Watch out for unlicensed taxi drivers or limousine drivers (dark cars) that approach you at Termini station or any of the airports.
Taxis are the most expensive way to get around Rome, but when weighed against convenience and speed, are often worth it. Roman taxis within the city walls run on meters, and you should always make sure the driver starts the meter. When you get in the cab there will be a fixed starting charge, which will be more for late nights, Sundays and holidays. Supplements will be requested for bags that the driver has to handle, typically €1 per bag. Drivers may not use the shortest route, so try to stay on map and discuss if you feel you’re being tricked.
Be warned that when you phone for a taxi, the cab’s meter starts running when it is summoned, not when it arrives to pick you up, so by the time a cab arrives at your location there may already be a substantial amount on the meter. You can get a taxi pretty easily, so calling ahead is really not required. A trip completely across the city (within the walls) will cost about €11, a little more if there’s heavy traffic at night or on a Sunday. From Ciampino airport the flat rate is €30 to anywhere in the city period, and this is set by a central authority. For example if you want to go to Rome hotels. Drivers at the airport may try to talk you into more, saying that your destination is ‘inside the wall’ or ‘hard to get to’. Talk to them before you drive away that you want the meter to run. If they try to overcharge you, start looking for a policeman.
• Shuttle services must be booked 1 day in advance.
• Bus (Co.tra.l, S.p.A, blue regular-size buses) The bus stop is located outdoors at ground level ~100 meters left from arrivals (teminals B&C). You can buy tickets at all tobacco shops – they have blue signs (Tabacheria), e.g. at Terminal B or at the drugstore Terminal A. Lines are:
– Aeroporto-Termini-Tiburtina (€3.60)
– Aeroporto-Roma Cornelia (metro A) (€2.80) (schedule)
– Aeroporto-Roma Magliana (metro B) (€1.60) (schedule)
– Aeroporto-Ostia Lido (€1.00) (schedule)
– Aeroporto-Fregene (€1.00) (schedule)
– Aeroporto-Fiumicino (città) (€0.77) (schedule)
Rome‘s main railway station is Termini Station. Like any other train station, it’s not very safe at night. It’s also locked up between 00:30 and 04:30, when the only people hanging around outside are taxi drivers and the homeless. Most long-distance trains passing through Rome between these times will stop at Tiburtina station instead. Other main stations include Ostiense, Trastevere, Tuscolana, Tiburtina.
Rome is generally a safe place, even for women travelling alone. As in any big city, it is better if you don’t look like a tourist: don’t exhibit your camera or camcorder to all and sundry, and keep your money in a safe place. Termini (the main railway station), Esquilino and bus line 64 (Termini to San Pietro) are not so safe, so take extra care in these areas. Read up on the legends concerning tourist scams. Most of them occur regularly in Rome and you will want to see them coming. Watch out especially for bands of gypsy kids who will crowd you and reach for your pockets under the cover of newspapers or cardboard sheets. One of the best ways to avoid pick pocketing is to wear a money belt (different from a fanny pack, worn under clothes). Remember, if you are pickpocketed or another scam, don’t be afraid to shout Aiuto, Ladro! (Help, Thief!). Romans will not be nice to the thief. I think that’s about complicated side effect – part of big city like – let’s say New York.