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Rome - Getting there & away, getting around


Rome - Getting there & away

The main airport is Leonardo da Vinci, also known as Fiumicino. The other airport is Ciampino, where most domestic, and some international, flights arrive. You can get a flight from just about anywhere in the world to Rome. Departure tax is always prepaid with your air ticket into or out of Italy.

There are regular train connections to all the major cities in Italy and Europe from Termini station, just northeast of the Palatine Hill and the Forum. Trains are comfortable and fast.

Buses run from various city bus stop to the Lazio region and from Stazione Tiburtina to other destinations throughout Italy. Eurolines is the main carrier for other European destinations, leaving from opposite Tiburtina.

The main road connecting Rome to the north and south of Italy is the Autostrada del Sole, which connects with the ring road circling the city.


Getting around Rome

Leonardo da Vinci (Fiumicino) airport is 26km (16mi) southwest of the city. One of the most convenient ways to get into town is by the Stazione Termini direct train, which usually runs hourly from the airport. You can also get a train from the airport to Trastevere, Ostiense and Tiburtina. A night bus runs to Stazione Tiburtina. If you're driving, an autostrada runs from the airport to the city via EUR - it's a 45-minute drive and will cost you a small fortune by taxi.

Rome's other airport is Ciampino, about 20km (12mi) southeast of the city. From there you can catch a COTRAL bus that connects with a subway to Stazione Termini, or you can drive down the Via Appia Nuova.

The city bus company is ATAC, and most of the main buses terminate at the bus station outside Stazione Termini where you can get a map of the bus routes. Buses run from around 6am to 12am, with some services running throughout the night. The city's Metro service (which is convenient for many of Rome's sights) has two lines, both of which go through Termini.

A bus ticket is also valid for the city's Metro and train services. You need to buy your ticket from a tobacconist, news stand or vending machine before you get on the train or bus - there are hefty fines for travelling without a ticket, even if you are a dumb foreigner.

Driving in Rome is the next best thing to suicide - especially on a motorbike. Most of the historic centre of Rome is closed to normal traffic, although you will be allowed to drive to your hotel. You'll need to get a parking permit from the traffic police if you wish to park anywhere in the centre, or you'll risk being towed.

To rent a car you'll need to be at least 21 years old. If you organise your car in advance it will cost you less. There are several rental agencies for cars, motorbikes, mopeds and bicycles. If you'd rather leave the driving to someone else, you can pick up a cab from one of the city's many taxi ranks or phone one any time of day. If you call a cab, the meter is turned on as soon as you call, rather than when you are picked up.

There's also a private network of J buses. Most of the main buses terminate at the bus station outside Stazione Termini (where you can get a map of the bus routes).

You can pick up a cab from one of the city's many taxi ranks or phone one any time of day. Be warned though, taxis are notoriously expensive, and if you call a cab, the meter is turned on as soon as you call, rather than when you are picked up.

Driving in Rome is the next best thing to suicide - especially on a motorbike or moped. Most of the historic centre of Rome is closed to normal traffic, although you will be allowed to drive to your hotel, and parking is a nightmare. It's probably a better idea to leave the driving to someone else.

The city's Metro service (which is convenient for many of Rome's sights) has two lines, both of which go through Termini. The above-ground rail network isn't much use to most visitors.

Sometimes, in Rome, it pays to just get off the roads. The historic centre is relatively small and quite manageable on foot. Wear your comfortable shoes.


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