Roaming in Rome

March 8, 2012 / Places
Rome, Italy
Rome is a land of hills, cobbled stones, and uneven pavements which can wreak havoc on your feet. One of the first rules of traveling is, “Bring comfortable, broken-in shoes for walking.”

You can plan your days in Rome by dividing the city out. For example: Ancient Rome (Colosseum, Forum, Palatine Hill); Vatican City; and the heart of Rome (Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Campo de Fiori, and Jewish Ghetto).

There may be times when you want to get across town. Save your feet a couple of miles of walking by taking a bus to the Vatican and you’ll more likely climb the stairs to the top of St. Peters dome! (Of course, you can use the elevator for the first portion of the climb, but there’s still 320 steps to take to get to the top!) The views are worth the stair-climbing workout.

If you’re in Rome for a few days or so, purchase a 3-day transportation ticket “Biglietto per 3 giorni B.T.I” for 11€. It’s a bargain if you use it at least three or four times per day. But even if you don’t use it that often, you won’t have to worry about finding a place to buy a ticket when you do need one. Once you stamp it on its first use, you are free to hop onto any bus or metro when you like.

A popular bus is the small #116 electric bus that traverses through the heart of Rome with stops near Campo de Fiori, Pantheon, via del Corso, Trevi fountain, Piazza Barberini, to the Villa Borghese, and in the opposite direction passing near the Piazza Navona, back through the Campo de Fiori and into Trastevere to Terminal Gianicolo (from there it’s a short walk to the Vatican). The electric bus is a much smaller bus that can squeeze through the piccoli streets and alleyways of Rome.

So, the next time you are in Rome, buy a ticket or a 3-day pass and enjoy the ride! Your feet will say, “Grazie!”

by Monica Pileggi

Contract Specialist, Photographer and Traveler. You can view the photographs that documents her travel impressions on

16 Responses to “Roaming in Rome”

  1. Fidelma Giancone

    Thanks, How timely to receive your tips. My sister and I will travel to Italy, and stay in Cassino. We are planning to take daily trip to Rome via Train and buses. We are Italian born and raised, but live in US now. Did you know when they post the schedule for trains for the month of June?
    Love this site.

  2. GAIL Schomer

    HI, I don’t know anything about the train schedules. Where do you live ?

  3. Dominic & Mary Conlon

    Good advice.Been there, done that, walked the walks. Loved the picture from behind St. Peters ; had a great photograph taken in 1965, as a student, with the statues behind. They are bigger than one thinks.
    A great website.

  4. And while you are enjoying the ride on a crowded bus beware of the pickpockets. They thrive on tourists who are distracted by the beauty of Rome. Do not think for a moment that they are all a bunch of teenage boys with nothing better to do. I’ve witnessed a mother daughter pair working in tandem, with the mother creating a distraction and the daughter doing the job. The daughter was dressed to look like an ordinary American tourist, complete with a little Mickey Mouse backpack. Beware even of the little old lady sitting beside you on the trolley. You cannot be too vigilant. Be especially vigilant in crowds that are pushing. Sure, you’ve heard stories of the gypsie children putting a newspaper in your face while others rifle your pockets. There are many more variants of the theme, and if you are only on guard when the obvious gypsie children are working the streets you will be fair game. The bus from the train station to the Vatican is known as the “Pickpocket Express” for good reason. One of my joys has been the memory of foiling a pickpocket and have him get so angry that he flipped me the bird, which I returned, and spit.

  5. Great and informative. Train schedules you can lookup googling trenitalia or if you have an iPhone or iPad there is a great app called locomotimes! Happy trails

  6. I was in Rome for all of 18 or so hours, after the 10 days I spent in Scheggino (east of Spoleto) and the flight home. Coming into Rome, the train passed the ruins of a small ruin near the track, a brick wall/arched window. Suddenly the full force of Rome as the “Eternal City” hit me. The fitting analogy is that against the timeline of Rome we are but specks of dust. With only a few hours in which to wander, we decided to just walk around a bit instead of trying to see everything. We stumbled upon the church of St Mary of the Angels and Martyrs, which has a modernish facade on the big boulevard, and a very old one on the side street. Inside were magnificent HUGE transepts with gorgeous marble floors, various cherubs, stained glass, and statues of ancient people everywhere. While there are innumerable “traditional” sites to explore, you just never know when around an unimposing street corner will be something that simply takes your breath away. Someday, with far more time in which to soak it up, I will return to Rome. The pickpockets are infamous, but I was fortunate and was able to enjoy every minute of the short visit.

  7. Peter Masullo

    AS a long time visitor to Rome I am well aware of the 116 Bus. I stay near the Piz Farnese and the bus stops out side of my hotel. It use to go all the way to the terminal under St. Peter’s, but now stops outside. The cat is out of the bag. The 116 is now well know and very used. It use to be fun to take it all the way and back again like a tourist bus. These days it’s to well used. I agree about the pick pockets. There all not to tame either. Once in Florence I had a fight with one after I caught him in my pocket. It ended with me pushing him out of the bus at one of the stops. No one including the driver help or asked me if I was OK.

  8. Arline Leven

    Thanks for this info, and esp the warnings on pickpockets….I am about to depart for a week in Rome, esp to see LUX ARCANA at Capitoline Museum….
    Have been there several times, and yes, had a pp experience on a bus (I lunged for his throat, and he dropped it at my feet). Will look for the 116 bus, if not too crowded.

  9. Liz Miramontes

    Wow! Thanks for the info on the pickpockets. I will be in Rome for 10 days in early October. Any other destinations outside of Rome you would recommend for quick day trips? How is the taxi service rather than bus/train to see St. Peter’s?

  10. The infamous “pickpocket bus” from the Termini station to the Vatican is #64. I took that bus when I was in Rome. Here is an excerpt from my journal (

    “I made my way to Corso Vittorio Emanuele II (passing through Piazza Navona), walked to the nearest bus stop, and picked up the #64 bus to the Vatican. Knowing #64 is famous for pickpockets, I had my camera deep in my purse, zipped and buttoned closed, my wallet inside my jacket pocket (also zipped closed) and my jacket zipped up with scarf around my neck. I was fully zipped! I was secure. No hands were going to get anywhere near my valuables. The bus was only 2/3rds full and I didn’t see anyone that looked like gypsies or pickpockets, although I read some pickpockets dress very well to disguise themselves.”

    Secure your valuables and you’ll be fine. A motto of mine is “carry only what you are willing to loose.” I always wear a money belt (pouch) inside my pants and that’s where I keep my cash and credit cards; passport too. In my wallet is probably 20 euros and when I need more I discretely get some out of the money belt.

  11. Here are two words to remember, and scream them as loud as you can: “Aiuta me!” (Eye-you-ta-may) Help me! The bus driver is supposed to stop on that plea.

    Secure your valuables, but don’t be overconfident, especially when in a crowd and people are pressing against you. The pros on a crowded bus will have the person against you simply distract you. His buddy, who you can’t necessarily see, will reach from behind him and work you over. The hands you can see are not the danger.

  12. Lina Falcone

    Yes you have to be aware of your surroundins while, been there several times never had anything taken. Rome is a beautiful city.


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