A practical guide to survive in our urban jungle!
Ok… We have only 2 and a half Subway lines. That’s right. Only two (and a half, yes)
Let’s look at the bright side of the thing: This means no messy connections, no risk of getting lost, no difficult changes, no different trains at the railway…BUT it may be not so easy!
As there are only a few stations, this means you must use one to go to several places, in other words you must still walk a lot.
We have Line A (red) and Line B (blu), crossing at Termini station.
By Line A you can get to the Vatican Museums and Saint Peter’s (the closest station’s name is Ottaviano). When you get out of the station, you must choose the right exit: one goes to Saint Peter’s Basilica and S. Peter’s Square, while another one goes to the Vatican Museums.
If you have a Vatican Museums Tour it is very likely that your meeting point will be in front of the Museums entrance or very close to it. So be careful and do not make the mistake and take the direction to Saint Peter’s Basilica entrance or you will have to run back to the museum’s entrance to be in time for the tour, and this will not take less than 10 minutes.
With Line A you can reach San Giovanni in Laterano and visit the beautiful Basilica after which the station was named , to peak around the interesting “Via Sannio” Flee Market or go shopping in Via Appia Nuova.
Getting off at Metro Flaminio, you can easily reach Piazza del Popolo and go see Caravaggio paintings in the Santa Maria del Popolo Church, have a walk in via del Corso and go shopping and search for artworks to buy in the painters street: Via Margutta. You can also get at the Top of Pincio, wherefrom you can have an astonishing view of the town.
If you get out at Barberini station you will be in front of one of the Bernini masterpieces: “The fountain of the Triton”, standing in all its beauty in the center of the roundabout. Furthermore, you are 1-minute walk from the astonishing Gallery of National and Ancient Art of Palazzo Barberini. If you enjoyed the Borghese and you want more Caravaggio, Raffaello and Pietro da Cortona, this is the place for you! Don’t miss it!
If you wanted to go to the Borghese but the tickets were sold out, this is a perfect alternative solution with nothing to envy to it.
Getting down at Barberini is also the fastest way to go to the Trevi Fountain, even if Station Spagna (Spanish Steps) works well too.
Colli Albani is very good to take a break from the City noise and explore the Caffarella Park but our favorite is Parco degli Acquedotti (Acqueducts park) within easy reach from Subaugusta Station. This park is a real opportunity to stay outdoor surrounded by many Ancient Roman Acqueducts crossing each other, possibly having a pick-nic, renting a bike or jogging surrounded by the rests of our glorious past.
As for the Line B, well, the line was basically built to connect the Colosseum with the rest of the City (see this photo of the excavations carried out to build the station…Scary!).
When you have an Ancient City Tour, the meeting point is usually outside the Station or at the Top of it, so very, very easy. The Colosseum Station is the good one if you are going to Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Celian House, Saint Clement Church, Saint Peter’s in Chains Church (where you can find the famous Michelangelo Buonarroti’s Moses).
Same thing if you don’t want to walk up to the Circus Maximus, there is a Metro Station on line B just in front of it but you must use the same station if you want to visit the spectacular Caracalla Baths!
Cavour Station takes you to enjoy some good food and mood in Monti district, and Repubblica Station is perfect for several attractions:
- Diocletian Baths
- The Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli
- The Opera Theatre
- Via Nazionale for shopping
- Imperial Forum and Trajan Market (Cavour Station is also good for it)
If you want to go to Tivoli and explore the amazing Villa D’Este or Villa Adriana (The Emperor Hadrian built a Villa ouside the City or Rome filling it with marvels collected from its several journeys in the roman provinces. Well…You can still visit it!) you need to reach Ponte Mammolo station and from there you only take one blue bus to Tivoli.
And now here we go with the “exclusions”!
Among the attractions not covered by metro we have (random order)
– Pantheon, Piazza Navona and Campo de’ Fiori (walk from Spanish Steps station)
– Catacombs on the Appian Way (take a cab!)
– Piazza Venezia (walk from Cavour or Colosseum Station)
– Jewish Ghetto (walk from Cavour or Colosseum Station)
– Trastevere (take tram 8 from Piazza Venezia)
– Borghese Gallery
OPTION 1: walk inside Metro Spagna through a subterranean connection up to Porta Pinciana and then walk or inside or outside the park to reach the entrance of the museum ;
OPTION 2: from Barberini Piazza, just outside metro Barberini, catch bus number 63 or 83 or walk.
We already told you…! It’s hard to believe it but some main attractions have no metro connections but many other districts outdoor have one…So, if you are on a budget and you want to rent a room or a Hotel off the city center, why don’t you choose a district with an easy subway connection?
For Line A, we suggest a place close to:
- Re di Roma
- Furio Camillo
- Ponte Lungo
These are very crowded areas, close to the center but full of real Romans living there; this means that supermarkets are cheaper than in the center and a room renting is not as expensive as in the very center.
For Line B, not considering all the stations close to Colosseum, renting could be even cheaper.
We suggest to choose a place close to:
- Policlinico (University area, renting a room there is cheaper and it is full of restaurants, bar, pubs opened all night long)
- Garbatella (very nice and very roman district)
As for the tickets: what you need to remember is that with a 1.50 euro ticket, you can take the metro only once (including a line change). When you read “100 minutes” on the tickets it is referred to the total duration including bus use. For example: you can take as many buses as you like but within 100 minutes. You can also take the metro once + a bus within 100 minutes, but you can not badge twice in the metro. Easy, but if you still have doubt about this and taxi station and other stuff related to real roman life, take our Sense of the City Tour! It will give you a general idea on how things work in our city!
BEWARE OF PICKPOCKETS!
This is no big news and it works for every city in the world: Pay attention when you are on bus or Subway line! Try to keep less cash possible with you and keep it in an inner pocket (but always some cash…Italians are not so credit card friendly…) and don’t put your backpack on your shoulder or your bag behind you. Keep them in front and…Pay attention to your pockets. They can be magicians!
The stations with highest risk of meeting a pickpocket are Termini, Barberini, Repubblica, Spagna, Flaminio. You usually see them in groups, usually 3, most of the time little girls, they can push you or surround you inside the metro or in the bus (the “most dangerous bus lines are 40 and 64 running from termini station to the Vatican). If you see them, but they are far from you, don’t be afraid to alert the other passengers saying: “Pickpockets! Pay attention” and then tell the guardians outside or inside the metro when you get out. This is what we always do.
Don’t be scared of using public transport, we do it all the time, just keep your eyes open, have the right equipment and …enjoy our wonderful city!!!!