ROME PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Due to the archaeological treasures beneath Rome's surface, and perhaps because Rome is not an important industrial town, the subway metro system has only two lines, A (red) and B (blu), which intersect at Termini.
In general, the B line brings you to the Tiburtina station (with direction Rebibbia) or - in the other opposite direction starting from Termini - to the EUR, Colosseum (Coliseum), the Basilica of St. Paul out of the Walls (San Paolo fuori le Mura), the FAO and the Circus Maximus.
The A line brings you to the Trevi Fountain (Barberini stop), Spanish Steps (Spagna stop), and the Vatican ("Ottaviano" stop), all with direction or final destination "Battistini".
Trains run approximately every 6 minutes on line A and every 10 minutes on line B.
There are trains from 5.30 AM until 11.30 PM every day.
Most buses run from 5.30 AM and begin their last run at midnight, but some start later and begin their last run at 10.30 PM. You can check the timetable as well as the itinerary of the buses on the yellow plate at every stop, which is indicated as "FERMATA".
They can be purchased from disposable machines at major bus stops, metro stops, train stations. They can be usually be purchased at newsstands and "Tabacchi" (tabacconists). They can also be bought at the counters of train stations.
There are 4 types of tickets:
1) B.I.T. (the acronym stands for "Time integrated ticket")- Standard 75 min. ticket - 1 Euro (1.45 US$), valid on all buses for 75 minutes (you can take all the buses you want during this time), but only for one metro ride (you can take one metro ride and then use it for 75 min. on buses).
|A nun catching a bus to the Vatican
2) B.I.G. - Daily ticket - (the acronym stands for "Daily integrated ticket"): 4 Euro appr. 5.8 US$), valid for metro, bus, tram and train travel with no limitations within the larger Rome transport area (it is an irregular area, which includes for ex. Ostia and a part of the seacoast 20 kilometres from Rome, but not the Fiumicino Airport or the Roman Castles - Frascati, Tivoli etc).
Remember to validate the tickets before you board buses, trams, trains or metro. You will find little validation boxes in buses and trams. For trains the little box is at the beginning of the track, or in underground corridors to the tracks if the station is small. In the metro you will have to validate the ticket at the revolving check-point to enter, so it will be easier.
There are random controls with official inspectors of the transport company (they are dressed in uniform - but not always- and they wear a badge with written "ispettivo or ispezione"). The penalty is rather expensive (52 Euros appr. 55 US$ -, so make sure to buy the ticket).
3) Biglietto settimanale - Weekly Ticket - 13 Euros (app. 20 US$), which allows the same transport of the B.I.G. in the entire Roman network, with the same limitations, but is valid for 7 days. The pro is that it begins from the day you use it, and not from a previously set day of the week. To validate it, you have to fill in the appropriate space of the ticket your family name, your first name, and your date of birth, thus indicating to the personnel that you are the legitimate holder of the ticket.
4) Abbonamento mensile - Monthly ticket - 26 Euro, with the same benefits of the weekly ticket but valid for one month. Unfortunately in this case it cannot begin the day you begin using it (like in weekly ticket), but it is valid for solar months: April, May etc.. You must fill in the same data required for the weekly ticket.
The last two tickets can be purchased usually in train stations (at the counter) or in large tabacconists, or in special shops of the ATAC (Rome public transport company) in the most important squares where many buses originate (for ex. in Piazza Dei Cinquecento in front of the station).
Be wary of non-official taxi drivers, especially if you need to go to the airport. Particularly in this case we have experienced that they ask you even more than twice the official price. The official taxies are yellow or white, and have meters.
Although in Rome there are taxi stations, it is better to call one by phone. It is much more comfortable than to wait in the taxi parking areas. The only areas where it is easy to catch a taxi are the train stations. There is no surcharge for phone booking (apart of course from the modest phone call cost).
If you cannot ask your hotel to do it, call 063570, 064994, 066645, 065551 or 064157. The operators speak some English, so speak slowly and clear. They will ask you the address and at what time they must arrive. They will ask your telephone number. They will call you a few minutes before the agreed time, double checking your request and also informing you of the taxi number or code, and also within how many minutes the taxi will arrive (usually between 3 and 10 minutes).
You can also book a taxi ahead following the same procedure. The service is accurate and on time, and it is the best way to proceed for example when you need to catch an early morning train or plane. There is no surcharge to book a taxi, making it a big pro.
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