If you are not a walker and you don’t like public transport you will have to take a decision very soon….Taxi, Uber or Private Drivers?
The First thing we want to say as we start writing about this is: WALK.
Rome is not a city for cars, the distances are not so long and public transportation can help if you know how to use it (see Public transport in Rome).
But If you don’t like walking and you don’t like public transportation this piece is for you!
1 – TAXI
Important: the official Taxi company in Rome is 3570. This is also their phone number but don’t forget to add +39 (Italy International Code, you need to dial it if you don’t have an Italian sim card) and 06 (Rome Local code) to 3570. So in the end to call them you must dial: +39 06 3570
Here you have their website in English.
Why calling them and not just stopping them in the streets? BECAUSE IN ROME YOU CAN NOT!! Have you ever seen those silly tourists in New York having fun and laughing trying to stop a taxi in the streets? Well you bet, they are Italians! For us it is a movie thing, a legendary action, a secret desire: if we try to stop a cab in the middle of the road in Rome it is quite possible that someone will insult us . Well, we are a little exaggerating but – trust us – keep this number with you. It will help.
There are also cab stations. You can find them everywhere, especially close to the main tourist attractions.
We have made a map for you highlighting only the taxi stands useful for our tours, Yes, We know it’s in italian but the names of the streets are the same!
For example: if you want to catch a cab to go to the Vatican Museums there is one stand in Piazza Risorgimento (map); If you want to go to Saint Peter’s Basilica there is one in Via della Conciliazione (map).
If you are looking for a cab around the Colosseum, the closest taxi stand is on Via Claudia
…Anyway, trust us, they are taxi stands everywhere and you can take for granted you’ll find them in front the main train stations and airports!
Worse case scenario: you can’t find one, then call one!
TIP: when calling them you can ask for a GOLD cab or if you are at the station see if they have the word “GOLD” together with they number on the side of the car. No, it is not more expensive, it is just a way to make sure you are going to have a CLEAN, NEW and WELL CARED car.
For us, it makes a huge difference and tells a lot about the driver’s behavior. Furthermore, to be gold, you must keep a high standard for a long time so the company gives you a sort of 5 star rate, so…why not using them instead of the others? Maybe someday, every cab driver will try to reach these high standards in order to improve its business!
Ok. Honestly we don’t really like the Taxi system in Rome and we try to avoid them as much as we can. Why? Because for a long time it hadn’t been possible to pay with credit card, because speaking English was an extra and because of some other issues. As a matter of fact, lately, this has changed a lot!
First of all: they MUST give you the option to pay with Credit Card and now it’s official! They can’t stay around without a credit card device and now this is very true most of the times.
In case you don’t have cash with you, and you want to avoid any inconvenient, ask them before you take one!
Second: lately they have been hiring new and young drivers and they speak a good English too.
Third: they developed an APP to pay with paypal!!! Yes, it’s true. After UBER became a competitor, they had to improve their service, so now you can easily pay trough your mobile phone. You can download the App here.
Together with 3570, there is another taxi company called SAMARCANDA.
The web site is very well done and you will find all the info you need there. They have an App as well.
Samarcanda is not the first cab company in Rome so they don’t have the same number of cabs as 3570 but we like them and they very nice and kind!
When calling a cab, always specify if you are 5 or more, not all the cars have the extra seat!
2 – UBER
You will probably know this service better than we do.
Uber exists in Rome only since a little more than one year: https://www.uber.com/it/cities/rome
The difference with the other cities is that we don’t have UBER pop here, only UBER black.
Don’t ask us why. We understand it is because of our intricate legal system but anyway we tried them and we found it very well working and useful. If you already have the application on your phone you only need to look for the first car available.
We can’t tell if Uber will still be active when you read this post since the legal situation is very confused, but at the moment, they still exist and if you like them, use them!
What’s new for us is the opportunity to evaluate the driver, to see his profile before choosing him or not. We think it’s great to improve the quality of your trip!
3 – PRIVATE DRIVERS
If you are looking for a list of Drivers Companies in Rome, we are sorry to disappoint you but you won’t find one here. It would be like listing all the tour guides in Rome. The tip we want to give is only about whether to choose one or not.
First: always compare the price!
How much will it cost you to hire a driver from your hotel to the Coliseum and back? Is this price really convenient if compared with a cab? You can calculate approximately the price for a cab on this website.
We know, it’s only in Italian again, but you just need to fill the two form with the starting point and the ending point. This website does not consider traffic jams, so add some more euros in case you are travelling between 8.30 and 10.30 AM and 5-8 pm.
Second: consider the benefits. When you hire a private driver, this is to save time and not to worry about finding cabs or trains. In our opinion a private driver is a good choice in case you want to reach areas off the center and visit catacombs and then other spots of the city or, even better, to go to TIVOLI to visit VILLA PAMPHILIJ, VILLA ADRIANA, or CIVITAVECCHIA.
In case you are on a Cruise ship one day shore excursion, it might be easier to hire a driver that shall be with you all day so that you will not have to worry for your schedule or running the risk of loosing a train. For instance, most of the cruise ship guests choose Vatican + Colosseum Tour. If you have your private driver, you can decide to keep the car with you all day and go from one place to another with it, maybe even asking your guide to add some stop over in between the two highlights. So our recomendation is: when asking for the price, ask them for a round trip Rome-Civitavecchia and for a full day. Then you can decide what is best for you.
In case you prefer public transportation instead see our post about: how to get from Civitavecchia to Rome and back and how to reach TIVOLI.