Friday, July 1, 2011

Rome: Really, Only Two Subway Lines?

Rome metro
Rome's seemingly sufficient 2-line subway system. The green represents surface train service from Fiumicino Airport.

Between Fiumicino Airport (FCO) and city center:
Leonardo Express (rail) WEBSITE
Trenitalia (rail) WEBSITE
SIT Bus Shuttle (motorcoach) WEBSITE

Of these three, the SIT motorcoach is the most luxurious ride for the money. However, I recommend you experience each one of these options at least once.

The main attractions of Rome can be grouped into just a few walking sections. Center: Spanish Steps > Via Condotti > Trevi Fountain > Pantheon > Piazza Navona > Campo dei Fiori. East: Termini Station > Piazza della Repubblica > Diocletian Baths. South: Colosseum > Circus Maximus > Palatine Hill > Forum > Vittoriano. West: Castel Sant'Angelo > Vatican City. Further south: Pyramid of Cestius > Castelletto.

Maps are free at any airport kiosk or hotel desk. Any map is fine, but the handiest are the ones from the sightseeing bus tours. For an official online version of the transport map, click here.

Main transit systems:
Rome Metro (rail)
ATAC (bus)

Perhaps the single most useful ATAC bus line for tourists is [40]. It connects Vatican City (St Peter's Basilica, Sistene Chapel, etc.) to the west with Termini Station to the east and passes through several of Rome's top destinations.

ATAC Line 40:
Termini Station <> Trevi Fountain (use Via IV Novembre) <> Vittoriano, Forum, Colosseum (use Piazza Venezia) <> Pantheon (use Via Torre Argentina) <> Piazza Navona, Campo dei Fiori (use Piazza San Pantaleo)

And yes, it's possible to use Rome as a base for making day trips to other cities in Italy, specifically Venice, Florence and Pisa.

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