All roads lead to the eternal city, capital of the Roman Empire and the site of the Vatican City. Despite all its history, Rome is a city which lives for today with plenty of great caffès, bars and restaurants, lots of Vespas and its fair share of ancient ruins. There is an endless array of things to see including the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps, the catacombs, the ancient Roman Forum, the Colosseum and the Pantheon.
Rome has quite an extensive public transport network. Although there are only two metro lines, they are complemented by buses, trams and an comprehensive urban and suburban train network.
Bus & tram
Buses and trams are a good way to get around Rome, especially to places not served by the metro lines. They run every 10–45 minutes depending on the route and can get very crowded. You will need to buy a ticket in advance and validate it on board the bus or tram.
Useful bus routes include 64 between Stazione Termini and the Vatican City and route 116 from Villa Borghese to Piazza Navona the Pantheon and Campo dei Fiori.
Rome has three metro lines that run from 5.30am to 11.30pm.
The metro covers many of the main sights and is a good way of getting between the different train stations. Line A runs from Battistini in the west to Anagnina to the south-west of the centre and is a handy way of getting to the Vatican (metro Ottaviano) as well as the Spanish Steps (metro Spagna). Line B runs from Rebibbia in the northwest to Laurentina near EUR in the south; this line connects the three main train stations: Stazione Tiburtina, Stazione Termini and Stazione Ostiense (metro Pyramide). Line B is also a good way to get to the Colosseum. Line C is the newest line (opened in 2014) and runs from Lodi (southeast of Termini) east to Monte Campatri/Pantano. Both lines A and B intersect at Stazione Termini, but line C currently has no interchange stations with the rest of the metro network.
The metro is complemented by an extensive suburban train network that covers the metropolitan area and is useful for getting to the airports and for making daytrips to nearby towns. Although trains are operated by both COTRAL and Ferrovie dello Stato, they both use the same ticket system and both companies work together to provide a fairly seamless service.
The services are reasonably frequent between Ostiense (metro Pyramide), Tuscolana and Tiburtina or Termini stations.
There is a single fare structure and ticketing system in place, meaning that a you can travel on buses, trams, trains and the metro with the one ticket. The ticketing system is divided into Metrebus Roma which refers to the range of tickets for travel within the city and Metrebus Lazio which covers travel into the outer suburbs and surrounding countryside and is divided into seven concentric zones.
BIT – single ticket
This is the basic ticket for one journey and allows up to 75 minutes travel on all ATAC buses and trams or the urban routes of COTRAL buses as well as the metro and COTRAL trains and FS trains within the city limits. The ticket must be validated at the station or when you get on the bus or tram and must be kept for the duration of the journey. €1.50.
BIG – daily ticket
This is a better deal if you’re planning a lot of sightseeing. The day pass can be used for unlimited rides until midnight on the day on which the ticket is validated. It is valid on ATAC buses and trams, COTRAL buses in the city limits, plus the metro and COTRAL and FS trains within the city. The ticket must be validated when you first use it and it must be kept for the duration of any journey. This ticket doesn’t cover travel to Fiumicino Airport. €7.
CIS – weekly pass
The CIS weekly pass is a weekly version of the above ticket. €24.
These can be a good deal if you’re planning on working or studying in Rome. They basically work the same way as the daily or weekly pass and are valid for one calendar month. These passes come in two types – the personal or non-personal pass. The personal pass is the cheapest option at €35 but has your personal details on it and can only be used by the holder, whereas the non-personal monthly pass costs more €53 but can be used by anyone for the duration of the pass. Monthly passes can be bought at metro and train stations until the 5th of the month. If you want a travel pass later in the month it is usually better value to buy weekly passes. It’s likely that some hostels would be able to rent out monthly passes by the day.
Lazio regional tickets
These tickets are basically the same as above except they cover travel over a wider region. There are daily (BIRG; Biglietto Integrato Regionale Giornaliero), weekly (CIRS; Carta Integrata Regionale Settimanale) and monthly passes available, but most travellers would find themselves only needing a daily ticket if they want to take day-trips from Rome although the weekly tickets are sometimes handy if you’re staying in a camping site on the outskirts of town.
|Zone||BIRG (daily pass)||CIRS (weekly pass)||Monthly pass|
Regional travel passes for the Lazio (metro Rome) region