Buses in Rome
Getting around Rome by bus (autobus) and tram
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Sadly, there is no free official map (at least not a decent one); invest in a mappa degli autobus at a newsstand, or simply scan the list of stops at your fermata (stop) to figure out which line(s) take you where you need to go.
Note: some newer lines are express (and labeled as such on the signs) and won’t make all the stops.
Buses no. 64 and 40 - The Tourist Expresses
The most useful bus line is probably the 40, which makes a beeline from Stazione Termini to the Vatican, passing Piazza Venezia (for central Rome) and Largo Argentina (for the historic Tiber Bend area) then across the river to Piazza Pia, right next to Castel Sant'Angelo.
Ticket - biglietto
City bus - autobus
Bus stop - fermata
Subway - Metro
Subway station - stazione Metro
I'm getting off! - scendo!
Excuse me (to get though crowds) - permesso
Excuse me (to get attention) - scusa
Excuse me (to apologize) - mi dispiace
No, the bus doesn't then continue on all to way to a little square tucked behind the wall just outside Piazza San Pietro at St. Peter's. In its infinite idiocy, Rome's public transport board decided a few years ago to stop offering beeline direct bus service to the Vatican area. Piazza Pia is the new "waiting room" stop for visiting St. Peter's, the place where you pick up the "San Pietro express" shuttle bus 62, which just does a loop down the seven long (and exceedingly dull, souvenir-shop-lined) blocks from Piazza Pia to St. Peter's and back.
Old Rome hands might recognize this route as the same one plied by the famous no. 64 bus, nicknamed "The Wallet Eater," or "The Pickpocket Express" since it is always crammed with tourists, a fact that attracts Light-fingered Luigis like flies to the honeypot. It is. The 40 is merely an express version of the 64, which still chugs along the same route but stops more frequently.
Both, of course, remain thick with thieves, so be extra careful.
For info on tickets, click here.
For more on Rome's transportation system (buses/trams and the Metro) visit www.atac.roma.it.
For more on Rome's general layout—its major streets, squares, and neighborhoods—click here.
Also terribly useful for tourists are a trio of teensy electric buses that trundle through the streets of the centro storico (historic center).
Electric bus no. 116 runs roughly east-west across the centro storico, from the top of the Via Veneto past the Spanish Steps and the Pantheon to Piazza Navona and back. (The 116T plies much the same route, only it veers off to swing past the opera house and other theaters in the streets just southwest of Termini.)
Electric bus no. 117 (Mon–Sat only) runs north-south from Piazza del Popolo, down the Corso, through Piazza Venezia, past all the ancient Roman sights (Forum, Imperial Fori, Colosseum), then up along the Esquiline and Quirinal Hills (passing San Clemente and San Giovanni in Laterano) to return north by a different route past the Spanish Steps.Use the correct box on the bus
Confusingly, there are two types of tickets in circulation, both equally valid (they're slowly changing the system). That means ever bus/tram has two little metal boxes into which you to stick your ticket.
The older, narrow tickets you stamp in the boxier, orange ticket stamper; the wider tickets (the ones printed with a bar code) you need to stick into the more streamlined yellow boxes.
Electric bus. no. 119 is essentially a truncated version of the 117, swinging west to Largo Argentina before returning north past the Spanish Steps to Piazza del Popolo, rather than continuing south past Ancient Rome as does the 117.
Roman trams work just like buses, but few lines are of use to tourists—though tired feet might want to hop the no. 8 tram to get from its Largo Argentina terminus into Trastevere.
Most buses in Rome run daily 5:30am to midnight, with a separate series of night buses whose route numbers are prefaced by an "N."
- City transport tickets (bus/tram and Metro)
- Getting around by: Metro (subway), 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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