Best Guide On How To Travel Around Rome

Do you want to travel around Rome but feel a bit nervous or unsure about how things work?  If so, then this post will explain how to travel around Rome, the different options, prices, information, advice and helpful tips.

Italian Transport
Italian Transport

Arrival In Rome

There are 4 main ways to arrive in Rome.

1.Plane to either
a) Lenardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport (FCO) or
b) Ciampino Airport (CIA)

2. Boat / Cruiseship to the port of Civittavecchia

3. Train into Termini Station

4. Car (probably hired)

Once you have arrived, you then need to know how to travel around Rome – what are your transportation options in Rome or how to you use this Rome transport to get where you need to be?  These form the following sections.

5. Travel Around Road by Public Transport

6. Travel Around Road by Car

7. Travel Around Road by Foot

1. Plane Flights into Rome

Rome Airports
Rome Airports

a) Into Fiumicino Airport (FCO)

If you are arriving from the UK, the budget airlines that fly into Fiumicino Airport include Vueling, Jet2 & Easyjet.

If you are arriving from the US or some other long-haul flight, then this is the airport that you will land at.

On arrival at the airport you will exit the secure area after claiming your baggage at the arrivals gate.  There you will be greeted by all manner of people with signs or eager expressions on their faces.  If you are not being met by a driver or anyone else, turn right and continue walking to your right following signs for the train station whilst still in the airport building.

At this point, you will probably be accosted by men trying to get you to take a taxi.  Not all of these are genuine so I would ignore them.

(i) Taxis From Fiumicino Airport

However, should you wish to take a taxi then turn left to exit the airport building and onto the tarmac in front of the airport.  There will be taxi queues there which you can join which will move quite quickly.

Ensure that the taxi you are getting in to is from Rome and that the price of the fare to the centre of Rome will be €48 in total (not per person).  Only get into an official white taxi to travel around Rome and make a note of the taxi/driver number & company contact in case you later leave anything in it.

Official Rome Taxi
Official Rome Taxi

Give the driver the address of your accommodation and off you go!  Don’t be too alarmed at the driving – he’s a professional and all will be well.

(ii) Train from Fiumicino

If you wish to take the train into Rome then when you come out of the arrivals baggage claim, turn right and continue walking following the signs for the station.  You will remain in the airport building.

Eventually you will reach some escalators on your left that will take you down.  Follow these escalators down and then you will naturally join other escalators that will take you up!

At the very top of these series of escalators you will turn right and be in the airport train station.  There should be ticket machines in front of you, a ticket window to your right and a newsagent straight ahead which also sells tickets.

When choosing which ticket (biglietto) to buy, you should be aware that there are 2 train services into Rome.

One is cheaper and stops at a multitude of stations on the way (Trastevere, Ostiense, Termini & Tiburtina) which also makes it a slower journey (around 45 mins – 1 hr).

The other is an express service called the Leonardo Express which goes directly to Termini Station. This is more expensive but takes just 30 mins.

Leonardo Express
Leonardo Express

Once you have arrived by train into Rome, you can learn what to do next in section 3 below – Train Journey Into Rome.

(ii) Coach From Fiumicino Into Rome

As before, when you leave the secure baggage area at airport arrivals, turn right and continue walking.  The amount of people will reduce considerably and you may feel you’re walking to a deserted part of the airport.  Don’t worry however – keep going including passing the train station escalators.

Eventually you will come to the end of the concourse at which point you should turn left to exit the airport building and be on the tarmac in front of the building.

Once out of the building, turn right and continue forward until you see coaches and buses parked up.  You will also see some ticket booths, passengers generally milling around, and maybe some support staff offering help.

Buy your ticket for a single into Rome.  Depending on the company you choose this should cost around €5 and will take you to Termini Station (although there may be another stop near Ostiense Station on the way).

Terravision Coach
Terravision Coach

Simply buy your ticket and present it to the staff at your bus.  You may have to wait for your bus to arrive.  Then simply load your bags in the hold and get on the bus, keeping hold of your ticket.  When the bus is full, you will then depart on your journey to Termini Station.

Depending on which company you take, you will arrive at either of the two long sides of the station.  If you require to use the metro undergound lines then enter the station.  If you need a bus or a taxi, start walking to where there appear to be more people and you will find the bus station and taxi rank.

For more information on what to do next, read section 3 – Train Journey To Rome – Termini Station- below.

(iv) Car Hire at Fiumicino

After exit from the secure baggage area you will be in the Arrivals area. Signs to the rental car area are located in the Arrivals Area.

The companies are located in Torre Uffici 2, which is easily reachable via the pedestrian tunnels which connect the terminal buildings to the Multilevel-Comfort Parking structure. Simply follow the signs.

Car Hire
Car Hire

The companies that operate at Fiumicino are:

Continue reading Section 4 Below – Car Driving in Rome

b) Into Ciampino Airport (CIA)

If you are arriving from the UK, the budget airline that flies into Ciampino Airport is Ryanair.

Ryanair
Ryanair

Ciampino is Rome’s old military airport and is much smaller and less developed that Fiumicino Airport.

On arrival at the airport you will exit the secure area after claiming your baggage at the arrivals gate.  In front of you will be a ticket desk selling coach tickets into Termini.  To your left is the exit out of the airport to where the taxis lurk immediately out of the exit, and further on to the left where the buses meet.

(i) TAXIS FROM CIAMPINO AIRPORT

In my experience, the taxis at Ciampino are cut-throat.  They are very competitive, seem unhappy at having to be there, and often (probably for those reasons) attempt to rip you off.

Remember to take a note of the taxi number, the company contact details and only get into an official white taxi.  The fare from Ciampino Airport into the centre of Rome is fixed at €30.  Do not pay any more than that.  The tariffs are printed on the taxi door and in the official taxis.

(ii) COACH FROM CIAMPINO AIRPORT

Once you exit the terminal building if you go into the top left area of the car park you will see the bays designed for coaches to arrive.

If you didn’t buy a ticket from the booths at the arrivals gate or on the plane, then you can usually also buy a ticket from staff at this waiting area.

However, be warned, organisation is at a minimum and there will be lots and lots of people waiting for buses.  Expect to be waiting for some time as the frequency of departures is poor.  For that reason everyone just tries to go at once to get on the coach – queuing is not an Italian thing.

Don’t expect to enjoy this experience. It is much better to get a taxi or to have private transport arranged.

(iii) Bus then metro FROM CIAMPINO AIRPORT

In the same type of area as the coach bays mentioned above, there are also bus stops for the local bus service.

You can take one of these buses to go to Anangina Metro Station on the A-line but again the service is not regular and can be busy.

This is what local Italians may do, but they have the advantage of speaking fluent Italian.

Once at the metro station, you can take the underground into the centre of Rome.

2. Boat or Cruise Ships into Rome – Civitavecchia

Hundreds of thousands of tourists to Rome arrive by cruise ship each year. The ships dock at the port of Civitavecchia and you have different options to then arrive at, and travel around Rome.

Civitavecchia Port
Civitavecchia Port

a) Overground Train

Fortunately, the port is connected by train to the centre of Rome.  There are actually 3 types of trains that you can travel into Rome on diffentiated by the journey duration and the ticket cost.  Read more below.

(i) Getting to the Train Station

Before you get on a train, you first need to get from your boat to the train station.  There are 2 ways to do this.

First, you could walk.  By foot, it would take you around 20 minutes (1.5km) to the station if you exit from the port north gates.  If you exit from the port south gates then it would take you around 10 minutes (700m) by foot.

To get to the port gates from your peer however, there is a free shuttle service running regularly through the port to take you to the port gates.

Secondly, if you dont want to walk from the port gates, there is a paid shuttle service that can connect you from the port gates to the train station.  This service costs €2 per person.

(ii) The Train Journey Into Rome

Once at the train station, you have 3 options for which type of train to get which depend on the journey duration.  Furthermore, the shorter the journey duration, the more expensive the ticket

(i) High Speed Express Train – Frecciabianca or Frecciarossa:  This train goes directly from Civitavecchia station into Termini Station in the centre of Rome.  It does not stop at any other station.  Consequently the journey duration is less than an hour and the ticket costs €20.

(ii) Intercity Train (IC): This train goes to Rome’s main train stations namely Roma S. Pietro (where the Vatican is), Roma Trastevere, Roma Ostiense (metro undergound station), Roma Tuscolana and Roma Termini.  Consequently the journey duration is a little longer than the express at just over the hour mark and the ticket costs €10-15.

(iii) Regional Trains:  This train stops at every station on the line from Civitavecchia to Rome namely: Santa Marinella, Santa Severa, Marina di Cerveteri, Cerveteri-Ladispoli, Torre in Pietra-Palidoro, Maccarese-Fregene, Roma Aurelia, Roma S. Pietro, Roma Trastevere, Roma Ostiense, Roma Tuscolana, Roma Termini.  Consequently the journey duration is 1.5 – 2 hrs long and tickets cost just €5.

There is a ticket called the BIRG ticket that costs €12 and this enables you to take the Regional Train together with all bus and metro journeys in Rome for the day (thus it includes your return journey if you are only in port for the day).

The downside of course is the regional train journey time – time you could be spending seeing Rome!

b) Underground / Metro Train

Although Civitavecchia does not have it’s own underground metro station, it is possible to take other forms of transport to then connect to Rome’s underground network.

Rome Metro System
Rome Metro System

(i) Getting to the Underground

The nearest metro station to Civitavecchia is Cornelia Metro Station on Line A.  However it is also possible to reach Line B directly at Piramide station via Ostiense overground train station.

(i) To Reach Line A – Cornelia

The most obvious way to reach Line A is to catch the overground train to Termini station as mentioned above.  However, if for some reason you don’t want to do this, then the alternative is to go to Cornelia by bus.

The bus company to use is Co.Tral which operate blue buses.  The bus to Cornelia metro station leaves from either:

San Paolo Hospital Stop (in front of Porta Tarquinia at the northern exit of the port).  The bus stops at: Allumiere, Fiumicino (the town not the airport), Ladispoli, Cornelia Station – Rome (directly to the metro terminal A, Cornelia stop) , Santa Marinella, Tolfa; or

Porta Tarquina Stop (northern exit of port).  The bus stops at Allumiere, Barbarano Romano, Bassano Romano, Blera, Bracciano, Canale Monterano, Canino, Cerveteri, Fiumicino (the town not the airport), Ladispoli, Manziana, Montalto di Castro, Monte Romano, Oriolo Romano, Rome(directly to the metro terminal A, Cornelia stop), Santa Marinella, Tarquinia, Tolfa, Tuscania, Valentano, Vejano, Viterbo.

Tickets cost €1.

(ii) To Reach Line B – Piramide

The most obvious way to reach Line B is to catch the overground train to Termini station as mentioned above.  All trains arrive at Termini.

However, if you want to get off later at Ostiense station, this will allow you to connect with Piramide station on the B Line.  Ostiense and Piramide are linked by an underground footpath.

To take this option, the train you take from Civitavecchi will therefore have to be the InterCity train or the longer regional train.

(ii) The Underground / Metro Train Journey

Once you have arrived at Cornelia on the A-Line, or Piramide on the B-Line, then you can use the Rome’s underground train network.  Simply buy a ticket and use it to access the ticket barriers and allow you to go to the platform with your train.

If you arrive at Ostiense, there are signs for the metro station of Piramide and you have to walk down a long tunnel to eventually arrive at the underground station.  Again there are ticket machines that allow you to buy a ticket to pass the ticket barriers.

c) Airport Connections to Fiumicino or Ciampino

If for some reason you need to get from Civitavecchia to one of Rome’s Airports – Fiumicino Airport (FCO) or Ciampino Airport (CIA), then you will need to take the train from Civitavecchia train station.

(i) Civitavecchia to Fiumicino Airport Connection

You have two options.  Either:

  • Take the Intercity or Regional Train to Ostiense and then change trains to get the train to Fiumicino Airport (slower but cheaper)
  • Take the Express train to Termini Station, and then take the Leonardo Express Train from Termini to Fiumicino Airport (quicker but more expensive)

On average it takes about an hour to get from Civitavecchia to Fiumicino by the quickest route.

(ii) Civitavecchia to Ciampino Airport Connection

You have three options.  Either:

  • Take a train to Termini Station, then take the Metro Line A to Anagnina, then take the blue CoTral bus to Ciampino Airport or private coach run by Atral.  This is the cheapest option.
  • Take a train to Termini Station, and then take a coach from TerraVision from Termini to Ciampino Airport (easiest option and only slightly more expensive – I recommend this option)
  • Take a private transfer car directly to the airport at a cost of €130 per car.

On average it takes about 2 hours to get from Civitavecchia to Ciampino by the public transport route.

d) Private Transfer

Once you have docked in Civitavecchia port, if you dont want to use public transport, you can take a private vehicle into Rome instead.  These private cars/minivans are deluxe chauffeur driven affairs that pick you up at your peer and are convenient, comfortable and quick.

Prices begin from €130 per vehicle.  If you wish Eternal City Tours can arrange this for you – simply use our Contact Form to let us know the details and we’ll do the rest.

We can also book them on your behalf if you would like to use them to travel around Rome as we enjoy special rates with the city’s leading firms.

Private Transfers
Private Transfers

3. Train Journey into Rome – Termini Station

Once you have arrived at Termini Station – the transport hub of Rome – either from the airports, the port, or Italian / European rail journeys, you will need to know what to do next and how to travel around Rome.

Termini Station
Termini Station

As you arrive into Termini, the first thing to note is that if you have arrange to pickup a hire car, then the hire car offices are located next to the southern most platform (ie the platform with highest number).

For all other passengers however, make your way to the end of the line and enter the train station.

There you will find shops and food places.  You have three options: turn left, go straight on or turn right.

If you turn left you will have access via escalators to the underground station below Termini which grants you access to Line A and Line B of the metro system.  You can also exit the station here and have access to the city’s tram network.

If you turn right, you will again have access via escalators to the underground station below Termini.  If however you continue out of the station and turn right again, you will reach the coach company of Terravision and other companies which can take you by coach to either Ciampino or Fiumicino Airports.

If you go straight on you will see lots of ticketing machines and booths from which you can buy tickets for national rail services, the underground and the buses.  If you continue out of the building you will find a huge taxi rank.  If you continue straight on through the taxi rank you will find a large bus station with information point.

To learn more about travelling around Rome by public transport, see section 4 – Public Transport Travel Around Rome below.

4. Travel Around Rome by Public Transport

Public Transport
Public Transport

The public transport system in Rome is run by ATAC and consists of:

  • Bus routes
  • Overground Rail Routes
  • Underground Metro Routes
  • Tram Routes

Each of these routes use the same tickets although the Overground Rail tickets may be different depending on where you’re travelling.

The tickets work on a time basis and for this reason, you must validate/stamp your ticket at the beginning of your journey to start the clock running!

The drivers do not have tickets and you cannot pay on board.

If you are found to either not have a ticket, or to have not validated your ticket you will be liable to a €50 on the spot fine.  The ticket inspectors do check and actually target tourists so make sure you have a ticket and you’ve validated it.

a) Ticket Types & Prices

There are 3 types of public transport tickets that can be used on all Trams, Buses and Metro Underground Lines:

The Standard 90 Minute Ticket:  Can be used for 1 journey on the underground line or for 90 minutes of transport on non-underground forms of transport.      Cost:  €1.50

The 24 Hr Ticket:  Can be used on all forms of public transport for 24 hrs.  Cost: €7

The 48 Hr Ticket: Can be used on all forms of public transport for 48 hrs.  Cost: €12.50

The 72 Hr Ticket:  Can be used on all forms of public transport for 72 hrs.  Cost: €18

When you begin your public transport travel, you should validate/activate your ticket by placing them in one of the yellow machines present on buses and trams.  This will time-stamp your ticket to set the clock ticking.  By entering through the underground system ticket barriers, this automatically time-stamps and activates your ticket.  Failure to activate your ticket during travel may result in a fine if caught.

b) Where To Buy Tickets

Tickets are for sale at automatic ticket machines in each station which also have an option for the displays to be in English.

In addition to the stations, tickets are also sold at newsagents – called Tabacchi (which is when they were Tobaccanists in the good old bad old days) – distinguishable by a black &white or blue & white “T” sign on the outside of the building or kiosk.

Tabacchi Sign
Tabacchi Signs

Most vendors will understand English even if they can’t speak it, but the only real word you need is “Biglietto” which means ticket.  He will understand the rest and will give you the €1.50 ticket.

c) How to Validate Your Ticket

Each bus and tram will have a number of yellow validation machines.  Essentially, you slide the ticket into the machine, and the machine will print a time stamp on it.

Ticket Validation Machine
Ticket Validation Machine

The only trick is which way you put the ticket into the machine.

On one side of the ticket (the front) you will see an arrow symbol.  This should be face up and enter the machine first.

Rome Public Transport Ticket
Rome Public Transport Ticket

5. Travel Around Rome by Car

If you are renting a car, the main pickup areas are the airports and the main train stations such as Termini and Tuscolana.

Once you have your car however you just need to be aware of the main ring road around Rome called the Grande Raccordo Anulare (GRA).

The second thing you need to be aware of is that it is extremely difficult to find parking spaces in Rome.  Seriously.

The city also operates permitting zones that utilise electronic surveillance such that you are not allowed in certain areas at certain times of the day. If you do venture in, then expect an automatic fine.

Finally, if a pedestrian is on the road on a zebra crossing, then they have the right of way.  If you hit a pedestrian on one of these crossings then you will be in serious trouble.

Italians are not afraid to use their horns – and you shouldnt either.  Pay attention to traffic lights which often have green filter signals where you can go while other lanes are on red.  You will soon know however if you’ve missed it as everyone and their mama will be tooting you!

6. Travel Around Rome by Foot

Rome is actually quite a small city.  For those of us who live here, walking is a preferred mode of travel where you can truly soak up the atmosphere on the cobbled streets and watch the light hit the buildings with a pink hue.

That’s fine for those of us who live here as we have our bearings and know the most beautiful routes, but tourists may struggle a little with this.  That said, if you have your mobile phone, the more adventuress of you will not regret exploring a little by foot.

One problem that does exist however is that if you’re not used to Roman streets and terrain, it is likely that you will have sore feet and ankles after a few days.  Make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes.  It’s surprising what walking on cobbles does to your feet if you’re not used to it.

Travel Around Rome in Style
Cobbled Squares at Sunset

Whilst you’re in Rome, why not experience one of our award winning guided tours to get the most out of your trip…

Is there anything else you want to know, or something you’d like to share with other readers?  Use our comments section below to be heard…

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