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How to get around in Rome

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How to get around in Rome

Leonardo da Vinci (Fiumicino) airport is 26km (16mi) southwest of the city. One of the best and easiest ways to go to town is by the Stazione Termini direct train, which usually leaves the Airport Station hourly. There's also a night bus service 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 loads of money by cab.

The other airport in Rome is Ciampino, about 20km (12mi) southeast of the capital city of Italy. From there you can jump in a COTRAL bus which 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. Buses start their duty from around 6am to midnight, with some services running throughout the night. A bus ticket is also valid for the city's subway and train services. You need to buy your ticket from a tobacconist, newsstand or vending machine before you get on the train or bus - there are quite big fines for travelling without a ticket, even if you act like a stupid foreigner. The city's Metro service (which is convenient for many of Rome's sights) has two lines, both of which go through Termini.

Having a car in Rome can be great fun, or a huge liability. If you do use a car in the city, take good notes of the some tips listed below.

Remember: You are required by law to wear a seat belt at all times and to carry a warning triangle in your car. Keep your driving licence, Green Card, vehicle registration and personal ID documents on you at all times. Do not leave anything of value (including a car radio) in your car, and never leave bags or jackets visible on the seats. Take all your luggage into your hotel when you park.

Short-term visitors should have no trouble driving on their home licences (you'll need to be at least 21 years old), though if they happen to be written in different languages, or less common languages, an international licence might be useful. If you are an EU citizen, you have to change your driving licence to an Italian after your first year in Rome.

Flashing your lights in Italy means that you will not slow down (contrary to British practice). If traffic lights flash amber, you should STOP and give way to the right. Watch out for little motorcycles and pedestrians. By local convention, pedestrians usually assume they have the right of way in the older, quieter streets without clearly-designated pavements. So drive slowly and carefully while in Rome...

The Metropolitana, or Metro for short, is the fastest means of transportation in Rome. It has two underground lines: Line A (Linea A) runs between Via Ottaviano, near St. Peter's, and Anagnina, stopping at Piazzale Flaminio (near Piazza del Popolo), Piazza di Spagna, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, and Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano. Line B (Linea B) connects the Rebibbia district with Via Laurentina, stopping at Via Cavour, Stazione Termini, the Colosseum, Circus Maximus, the Pyramid, St. Paul's Outside the Walls, and EUR. A big red letter M indicates the entrance to the subway. Tickets are 1,500L and are available from automatic tickets distributors at all stations. These machines accept 50L, 100L, and 200L coins and 1,000L notes. Some stations have managers, but they don't make change. To get cheaper prices, ask for booklets of tickets (carnet), they are available at tobacco shops (tabacchi) and in some terminals. You can also get a tourist pass good for a day, a week, or a year if you go there for your studies...

Click here to get a detailed plan of the Roman Underground !!!

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