There are several ways on getting around Rome to see the sights. For exploring central area of Rome you can take a metro but for outher areas you will need buses or tram. ATAC is the company that runs most of the public transport in Rome.
The Rome metro consists of only two lines - Metropolitana Linea A and Metropolitana Linea B. Line C is the third line of metro system in Rome which runs from Monte Compatri - Pantano in the eastern districts of Rome to Lodi. It's not yet connected to current two lines.
Metro don't cover the whole city so to reach some areas of Rome you may need to supplement it with other forms of public transportation such as bus or tram.
Rome's metro lines only intersect at one point - Termini Station. Each metro stop is marked by a square, red sing with a white M on it. When travelling by metro, especially during rush hours, keep an eye on your belongings during your journey as there are many pickpockets.
Line A (red line) takes you to the stops such as San Giovanni to the southeast (where you can visit another Rome's basilicas - San Giovanni in Laterano), Barberini to the northwest (close to Trevi Fountain and the Via Veneto - one of the most elegant areas of Rome), Spagna (Spanish Steps), Flaminio (Piazza del Popolo), Ottaviano (from where you can reach Saint Peter's Square) and Cipro (close to Vatican Museums).
From Termini the blue line B will take you to Tiburtina (to the northeast - where the newest Rome train station is), Circo Massimo to the southwest (the stop after the Colosseum where you can visit Palatine Hill, the Aventine Hill and the Caracalla Baths), Piramide to the southwest or get another local train to Ostia to visit ruins, Basilica San Paolo to the southwest (one of the four major basilicas)
For more information visit the official web site of the Rome Metro. It is is Italian only but there are some maps you may find useful.
Rome tram network has six lines (2, 3, 5, 8, 14, 19) and none of these lines stop near main attractions of Rome. The only tram lines convenient for tourists is line 8 which connects Torre Argentina in the historic centre with Trastevere district. Line 19 runs between the Piazza Risorgimento (on the northern edge of the Vatican) and districts on the eastern side of the Tiber river.
Rome's bus network is extremely handy for getting around the city. Bus stops are marked by signposts topped with large placards bearing the numbers of the buses that stop there, the names of the stops each bus makes. Tickets are the same as for metro meaning they cost €1 for single ride.
All city transport uses the same ticket (biglietto) which are sold at metro stations, most newspaper stands and tobacco shops (tabacchi).
Remember to validate your ticket when you board the bus / tram by inserting the ticket into machine until it gets a date/time stamp. Otherwise, you risk to be caught and facing a €50 fine.
Ticket options are following:
Note: public transportation is free for children under 10 years old.
You will need to take a taxi in Rome at some point. Rome taxis are lined up at specific taxi stands. There are taxi stands at places like Termini Station, the Vatican, Piazza della Repubblica, the Colosseum and other touristic places in Rome. If you are taking a taxi from your hotel ask the receptionist to call it for you.
You may decide to take a taxi upon arriving to Rome. You will find taxis at Fiumicino and Ciampino airports as well as Termini Station. The rates from the airports are fixed - €48 from Fiumicino and €30 from Ciampino. You may find convenient to book in advance your transfer from Fiumicino or Ciampino airports to your Rome accommodation.
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