ROME FAQ'S

How do I get from the airport to my hotel?

If you have not booked a private transfer with us then you have a few options to get you into the city center. Most flights arrive at Rome`s Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, popularly referred to as Fiumicino, 19 miles from the city center. There`s a train station in the airport. To get into the city, follow the signs marked TRENI for the Leonardo Express that leaves every 30 minutes to Roma Termini, Rome`s central train station (35 minute trip). Tickets are approximately €14 one-way (within 7 days of depature online) or can be purchased at the departure platform for about €15. Before getting on the train you must validate your ticket by inserting it in the validation machine found in the station or on the platform.

Roma Termini, Rome`s central train station, is the train, bus, and subway transportation hub for all of Rome. When you arrive at Termini, we suggest you get off the train quickly and grab a baggage cart. It`s a long walk from the track to the exit (or to the other train connections) and baggage carts can be scarce. After your arrival at Termini station you can proceed to your hotel on foot, by bus, taxi or metro. If you`re taking the Metropolitana (subway), follow the illuminated red and white M signs. To catch a bus, go straight through the outer hall to the large bus lot in Piazza dei Cinquecento. You`ll also find taxis there.

Terravision bus is probably the cheapest connection between Fiumicino airport and Rome city center, but the journey takes 55 minutes. The online reservation does not guarantee a seat (Terravision recommends to arrive at the bus stop at least 15 mins before the bus departure). You can either book online (about €5.80 one-way or about €9 return) or buy the tickets there (about €7 one-way, about €10 round-trip). The bus departs near Terminal 3 of the airport and arrives at Termini station (the same applies for the route in reverse). Be careful, due to the heavy traffic in Rome, Terravision is not always on time.

Alternately, a taxi from Leonardo da Vinci airport to the city costs approximately €48 and up for the 1 hour trip, depending on traffic. The expense might be worth it if you have a lot of luggage or just don`t want to bother taking a train.

How do I get around the city using public transportation?

You can use the bus service or the metro. Buses run 24 hours a day and cover the entire city. The metro runs approximately every 7-10 minutes, from 5:30am until 11:30pm Sunday to Thursday, and until 1:30am on Friday and Saturday. Bus tickets and subway metro tickets are interchangeable within the time validity of the ticket. Validation begins by punching them into the ticket counter found on either the bus or subway. Keep the ticket with you at all times during your trip because if there should be a check by the controller, you could get fined. The metro is typically always the faster choice when it comes to public transportation in Rome.

Tickets cost about €1.50 can be purchased in advance at newsstands, tobacconists (easily recognized by the blue sign with a capital T outlined in white found throughout the city) and from vending machines at both the train and metro stations.

The Buses and Trams ride to most parts of Rome, although it can be slow going in all the traffic, and the buses are often very crowded. Be aware when riding any overcrowded bus, it is known for pickpocketers. This is particularly true when riding through the historic district where pickpocketing is common due to the high number of tourist on these buses.

How do I call/hail a taxi?

Taxis cannot be hailed on the street. You must either go to the closest taxi stand where available taxis are usually waiting or call one of the main taxi companies in town. Look for orange signs with 'TAXI' written in black. You can also have your hotel concierge call a taxi for you. Be aware when calling a taxi that the meter will start running from the time of the call.

If you need a taxi for a wheelchair please call the following number 06 6988 4857.

The meter begins at about €3 (Mon-Fri 6am-10pm) for the first 1 3/4 miles and then rises to around €1.10 per kilometer. The first suitcase is free. Every additional piece of luggage costs about €1. On Saturday and Sunday between 6am and 10pm, the meter starts at about €4.50; from 10pm to 6am every day, the meter starts at about €6.50. Trips from Termini incur a €2 surcharge. Avoid paying your fare with large bills; invariably, taxi drivers claim that they don`t have change, hoping for a bigger tip. In reality, a small tip is fine, but not necessary: Italians don`t typically tip taxi drivers, but they will round up to the nearest euro. If the driver is really helpful a tip of €1-€2 is sufficient. Most taxis accept credit cards, but it`s best to check before getting in.

I will have a car in Rome, where can I park?

We don't recommend driving a car in Rome due to the heavy traffic and convenience of public transportation. Also, most vehicles are not allowed to enter the historic center during the day. If you must have a car while you are in the city then there is a large garage by Termini Station or ParkSi garage by the Villa Borghese. Additionally your hotel may offer a car park (for a fee).

If you are renting a car we suggest you pick it up as you depart the city to avoid excessive rental/parking expenses.

Is Rome a walking city?

Once you`re in the center, the best way to get around is on foot. You`ll want to be careful when crossing the streets though. There are crossings but, sometimes, they aren`t located at signaled intersections. Traffic can be intimidating, but if you are at a crossing just start walking and cars will let you cross the street. While crossing watch out for the numerous mopeds: as in many European cities, even if cars are stationary due to a jam or for another reason, mopeds and bikes will be trying to squeeze through the gaps and may be ignoring the reason why everyone else has stopped. This means that even if the traffic seems stationary you need to pause and look around into the gaps.

Beware that unlike in other countries where a lit `green man` indicates that it is safe to cross the road, in Italy the green man is lit at the same time as the green light for traffic turning right, so you can often find yourself sharing the space with cars.

Much of the attraction of Rome is in just wandering around the old city. You can quickly escape from the major tourist routes and feel as if you are in a small medieval village, not a capital city. There are some amazing rooftop gardens and all sorts of sculptures, paintings and religious icons attached to exterior walls. Take a stroll in the area between piazza Navona and the Tiber river in Old Rome where artisans continue to practice their trade from small shops. Also in Old Rome, take a stroll down via Giulia, which is lined with many old palaces. Downloadable walking guides through the maze of streets in this area will assist you.

How do I get around by bike?

Other than walking, the best way to get through the medieval alleys and small piazzas of Rome is by bicycle. Despite being hilly, the heart of ancient Rome is interwoven with bicycle lanes to get you through the brutal traffic. The most convenient place to rent bikes is Bici & Baci, Via del Viminale 5, which sits 2 blocks west of Stazione Termini, the main rail station. Prices start at about €4 per hour or €11 per day.

Roman drivers are (generally speaking) used to seeing bicycles as well as motorcycles and one may move throughout the city relatively easily. Should you find yourself in a car`s way, they will generally let you know with a quick beep of the horn and wait for you to move.

A particularly spectacular, and relaxing, cycle trip is to pedal out along the via Appia Antica, the original Appian Way that linked much of Italy to Rome. Some of the original cobblestones are still in place. With exceptionally light traffic in most sections, you can casually ride your bike over miles of incredible scenery and pass ancient relics and active archaeological sites throughout the journey.

Bikesharing: Rome`s public transport company, ATAC, operates a bike sharing scheme. The bicycles, which are green, are available at numerous locations downtown and further afield. Tickets cost about €10, which includes a €5 inscription fee. Electronic cards can be obtained at the Metro ticket offices located in the `Termini`, `Lepanto` and `Spagna` stops. The rental costs €1 for an hour (2019). Application is a bit burdensome and you`ll have to give credit card details, but this is a good system if you want to move around Rome quickly and with minimal exhaustion.

Is Rome a dangerous city? Are there certain areas I should avoid?

Italy has a very low violent crime rate. Petty crime, on the other hand, is a problem. As you may have guessed, pickpockets are quite common. In order to keep yourself and your wallet safe you should always maintain your personal space. Do not let a stranger come into close personal contact with you if possible. Also watch out for any beggars with newspapers or pieces of cardboard. They use these devices to cover their operations. Lastly, do not pull out large amounts of money while shopping or using public transportation. The subway and buses can literally be the thieves' den. Pickpockets generally prey on slower or distracted people. Families with children, confused tourists or older people are popular targets. Be alert, look confident and keep your valuables well hidden.

Are there special rules or restrictions for visiting the Vatican?

We receive many questions about what visitors can and cannot do and/or bring into the Vatican. Please visit our dedicated page on the Vatican for more information.

What are the benefits to the Roma Pass?

If you`ll be staying in Rome for at least 3 days, consider purchasing the Roma Pass. It costs about €36 (or €28 for a 48 hour pass, prices from 2019) and entitles holders to free admission to the first two museums and/or archaeological sites visited, full access to public transportation, reduced tickets and discounts for any other following museums (that are included in the program) and sites visited as well as exhibitions, music events, theatrical and dance performances.

Rome ComboPass is also available as a combo pass deal that includes the Roma Pass and hop on/off Bus.

OMNIA Vatican and Rome instead includes the services provided by Roma Pass, free entry to Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, fast track entry to St Peter`s Basilica and hop-on-hop-off bus tour for 3 days.

Another option is the Rome City Pass which includes free and fast track entry to Vatican Museums, Colosseum, Forum Romanum and also free use of public transport.

Can I pay/tip in US dollars?

The currency of Italy is the Euro. US dollars are not accepted. Please be sure to have the correct currency on hand or be prepared to exchange your dollars for euros upon arrival. Currency exchange desks can be found at the airport and many locations throughout the city. For more detailed information, consult our guide to tipping in Italy by clicking here.

I don't speak Italian. Will many people speak English?

English may be spoken at your hotel and in the tourist areas, but not everywhere. We suggest you get a good English-Italian guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers 1-10.

When are the Roman mealtimes and when are restaurants usually open?

Romans usually eat lunch between 12 - 2pm and dinner between 8 - 10pm. Most restaurants are open at those times, closed between meals, and rarely open throughout the day. Sundays and Mondays are the most common days for restaurant closings.

Can I drink the water from the fountains?

Yes. The water flowing from Rome`s many fountains comes directly from mountain springs and is definitely drinkable. During the summer months you can carry an empty water bottle and use the fountains to stay hydrated.

Where can I buy necessities like bottled water and toiletries?

Pharmacies carry toiletries, but they tend to be expensive. Try the small supermarkets for shampoo, soap, razors, batteries, water and snacks. Stores called 'profumerie' will also stock toiletries, hair dryers, etc.

What are the best areas for shopping?

Interesting boutiques and shops can be found all over the city, but certain neighborhoods cater better to different types of shoppers. The area immediately surrounding via Condotti and via del Babuino, just off the Spanish Steps, is for luxurious major labels like Gucci, Prada and Fendi while via dei Coronari is for antiques and furnishings. Via del Corso is for popular, chain labels like Benetton and Zara and the Monti area is for up and coming designers and fashion - forward atelies.

What should I do if I need medical assistance or need to go to the hospital?

If you need emergency medical assistance you should call 118, which is the main ambulance hotline.

Call the U.S. Embassy at (tel) 06-46741 for a list of doctors who speak English. All big hospitals have a 24-hour first-aid service (go to the emergency room, pronto soccorso). You`ll find English-speaking doctors at the privately run Salvator Mundi International Hospital, Viale delle Mura Gianicolensi 67, (tel) 06-588961. For medical assistance, the International Medical Center is on 24-hour duty at Via Firenze 47, (tel) 06-4882371.

Where can I find a wheelchair in Rome?

We advise clients to bring their own wheelchairs, as renting one is a challenge .

The following companies in Rome rent wheelchairs:

AB Sanitaria (address 4204 Via Arenula, 14) requires a deposit of €120. The cost for one day is €20.

Sanco (telephone number is 06.55.94.526) charges clients for a minimum of 10 days at €2.50/day, totaling €25. They request an official document, like a passport, but they do not require a deposit. They will deliver the chair for an additional fee of €15.

Unitalsi (telephone number is 06.55.90.858 after 9am) asks for a reimbursable deposit of €50-100 for renting the wheel chair. There is no other charge. They are not able to deliver, so clients must pick up and deliver the wheel chair to their address at Via G. Mengarini, 107, Roma. This is located near the Stazione di Trastevere and Piazzale della Radio. They may require a copy of an official document for their records.

Majorana Medical Service (telephone number is 06.55.73.879) charges €50 for a month rental, plus an additional €100 as a reimbursable deposit. They will deliver at no additional cost. No document required.