Renting a bike in Rome
Getting around Rome by bicycle
• Rome City Bike Tour
• Panoramic Bike Tour of Rome
• Ancient Appian Way, Catacombs and Roman Countryside Bike Tour
Bicycle rentals in Rome:
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Rome Tours & Activities
Traffic is very heavy on the streets of Rome, and the rules and norms of driving are much different from our own. From our point of view, Romans drive like maniacs.
(This is not strictly true. Actually, Romans tend to be far more attentive behind the wheel than most Americans, which, when combined with a Italian's innate surfeit of confidence, leads to the aggressive Italian driving style. Once you get used to it, it's not bad, and it even makes sense. That said, I've lived in both Rome and New York City, and I'll take driving in New York traffic over Roman chaos any day.)
All that by way of saying that riding a bike in Rome should be attempted only if you’re used to biking in city traffic.
This guided bike tour of Rome will give you a look at the city’s top attractions and most beautiful sights with a local, knowledgeable guide. Most of the bike routes have very limited access to traffic, and some have no traffic at all, meaning you are able to enjoy your ride around the city in total relaxation and safety. On your 4-hour tour, discover Rome's secret passages through ancient walls and ruins, stopping every now and then for amazing photo opportunities or to enjoy a cappuccino or gelato (not included in the price). Temperatures can be high in Rome during the summer months, so from June 1 - August 31 your tour will last for three hours instead...
The Panoramic Bike Tour of Rome offers you the best panoramic views of the city from Aventine Hill, the Janiculum Hill, the Capitoline Hill and more. You will see the most important domes and monuments of Rome and enjoy them from a fabulous perspective. As you pedal higher, your legs may become weary, but the effort is worth it when you reach the top of a hill and your breath stops at the sight of the beautiful views. The tour route will also take you by Rome’s top sights like the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. This small-group Rome bike tour is limited to twelve people, ensuring you receive personalized attention from your English-speaking guide....
Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity to experience Rome as not many do! On a Roman countryside bike tour of the ancient Appian Way and the catacombs, you’ll cycle on a 2,300-year-old cobblestone Roman road past an ancient sepulchre and an imperial palace. You’ll follow ancient Roman aqueducts. And you’ll ride through Caffarella Park, a preserved strip of land in the Roman countryside that so impressed 19th-century travelers like Byron, Goethe and Stendhal. You’ll follow your local guide along the Appian Way and through the countryside, passing many old tombs, walls, baths and ruins. You’ll also enjoy a guided visit of the Catacombs of San Callisto and enjoy a cheese and wine aperitif on a picturesque farm in Caffarella Park...
In brief: The city one is cheaper (and has 19 locations), but with only one type of bike. Private ones offer more variety and cost less for rentals of longer than a day.
Locations of Rome's new Bikesharing program.Useful Italian
bike - bicicletta or bici
bike rental - noleggio bici
two hours - due ore
one day - un giorno
Following in the footsteps (or rather, bike tracks) of Paris and its Velib program, the city of Rome now offers visitors the Bikesharing program (tel. +39-06-57-003, www.bikesharing.roma.it): access to 150 bright green bicycles at 22 kiosks stationed strategically around the historic center of Rome for the low price of €0.50 (75¢) per half hour. Compare that to €4–€5 per hour from private rental firms.
Since it's a self-serve service, bicycles are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can grab a bike from any rack, but then return it either to the same rack or to one at any of the other stations—making this a terribly convenient solution for one-way rides.
If you find your chosen return-stand already full of bikes, you can call tel. +39-06-57-003 for directions to the nearest kiosk with openings.
Metro stations where you can sign up for bikesharing:
1) Stazione Termini
3) Piazza di Spagna
8) Ponte Mammolo
9) Eur Fermi
10) LaurentinaTo join the program, you must first sign up and get a "bikesharing card" at the ticket offices of major and end-of-line Metro stops (see the box on the right), including Termini and Piazza di Spagna (open Mon–Sat 7am–8pm, Sun 8am–8pm).
The card costs €10—of which €5 is a setup fee, the other €5 your first "charge" on the card, which you can use to start taking bikes.
This means that, for roughly the cost of a two hours' bike rental at a private agency, you are now good for 10 hours of bike riding. (If you use that up and want more, you can top off the card with any amount.)
All you have to do now is wave this smartcard by the post to which your chosen bike is locked, and it will release. Wave it at any other empty post anywhere in town to return the bike and stop the meter running on your rental balance.
What's more, there's even an iPhone app that will show you the nearest bikesharing stand and how to get there, how many bikes are currently available at each stand, and the balance left on your card. Nifty (well, no the roaming fees to be incurred, but if you can get a WiFi signal it could be handy).
You cannot keep a single bike for more than 24 hours—but you wouldn't want to, since that would cost you €12 and it would be cheaper (for such longer periods) to rent a bike from a private agency (see below). If you only want a bike for less than 5 hours, though, bikesharing is definitely the way to go.
Always on a Sunday
On Sundays, though, when traffic is relatively light, renting a bike or a Vespa can actually be pleasant. In particular, I enjoy biking the Appian Way on Sundays, when its closed to traffic (though you'll want a mountain bike for this, given the massive ancient flagstones).If you are looking for more variety or a longer rental period, there are three private rental outfit get a great deal on a rental bike or scooter. The prices for renting a bicycle in Rome are pretty standard across most companies: about €4–€5 per hour or €10–€11 per day.
- Treno e Scooter, at Track 1 inside Stazione Termini (tel. +39-06-4890-5823; www.trenoescooter.191.it)—Pick up the motorino outside the station on the right. It's road bikes are on the expensive side, but the scooters are cheaper than most. [Note: If you arrive in Rome by train on the same day you rent, bring your canceled rail ticket to Treno e Scooter for a 10% discount on bike or scooter rental for your first day.]
- Bici e Baci, Via del Viminale 5 (tel. +39-06-482-8443, www.bicibaci.com)—Bikes are cheaper, scooters are a bit pricier.
- Happy Rent, Via Piave 49 (tel. +39-06-4202-0675; www.happyrent.com)—Rents bikes, Vespas, and vintage Italian mini-cars, like an Alfa Romeo Spider and everyone's favorite cute-as-a-bug (and about the same shape and size) Fiat 500.
- Rome bike tours
- City transport tickets (bus/tram and Metro)
- Getting around by: Metro (subway), bus, taxi, bike, scooter, car, foot
- Rome city layout
- Rome planning FAQ
- Rome homepage
This material was last updated February 2011. All information was accurate at the time.
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