Rome has an extensive and reasonably accessible rail-based public transport network. It consists of the metro, trams, local railways and regional railways, supplemented by buses. The ticketing system is integrated throughout the network as well, regardless of distance and transfers made, with the exception of the 100 minute ticket.
Useful ticket options for travel within Rome are:
- BIT – Integrated Time Ticket (valid for 100 minutes): €1.50
- Roma 24 Hour Ticket: €7.00
- Roma 48 Hour Ticket: €12.50
- Roma 72 Hour Ticket: €18.00
- CIS – Integrated Weekly Ticket (7 days): €24.00
The BIT is a single-trip ticket, valid for 100 minutes on first validation and allows a maximum of 1 metro ride with unlimited transfers to and from trams and buses till the expiry time. If it is validated on 1 Jan 2016 1.00pm, it is valid till 1 Jan 2016 2.40pm.
The Roma x Hour Tickets are valid for unlimited travel for the number of hours stated, and not the days. If a 72 Hour Ticket is validated on 1 Jan 2016 1.00pm, it is valid till 4 Jan 2016 1.00pm. This may gain you some trips if you are there for 4 days, for example.
The CIS is a weekly ticket, valid for 7 days on first validation for unlimited travel, not by hours. If it is validated on 1 Jan 2016, regardless of the time, it is valid till 7 Jan 2016 11.59pm.
There are other forms of tickets, but it’s for extended travel outside of Rome, more for locals, or packaged with other tourist attractions that you may not want to visit.
If you’re thinking which ticket you should buy, just get the one that maxes out your stay in Rome. I made the mistake when getting an initial BIT and then a Roma 72 Hour Ticket, with the thought that I would not travel much on the last day, but it worked out to be cheaper if I got a Roma 24 Hour Ticket for my last day instead, even if it meant only using it for half a day. Total cost: €26.50. Which also means it would have been even cheaper if I had gotten a CIS initially for €24.00.
Rome Metro Line A
Line A goes to most places where you would want to go as a tourist. It gets you near the Vatican for the museums and the city itself, Spagna for shopping, the Trevi Fountain, Termini station, and San Giovanni.
Line A is fully served by CAF trains, with air-conditioning to avoid the heat in daytime (though the typical graffiti is not appreciated by many).
The interior of the train is reasonably comfortable as well, since most of the places are not more than a 20-minute hop away from each other.
Rome Metro Line B
Line B intersects with Line A at Termini, which serves the Colosseum and offers access to the main railway stations of Rome at Roma Tiburtina, Roma Termini and Roma Ostiense (Piramide).
The interior of the CAF train is similar to Line A.
Line B also operates with older, non-air-conditioned AnsaldoBreda (now Hitachi Rail Italy) MB100 trains.
It is hotter overground and it’s noisier, especially when underground and doors are closing, but still comfortable enough for short journeys.
Rome Metro Line C
Goes nowhere, nor accessible from, where a tourist would normally go. It’s also currently not linked to both Lines A and B.
There are a few tram lines above ground, which supplements and compliments the metro system, but should not really be used for longer distances as the metro is faster (if it goes to where you want to go).
If you need to get onto a tram or bus as your first journey on a BIT, you need to get a ticket beforehand as it is not sold on board. Get it from any tobacco store or purchase one from a bus or metro station beforehand.
Ferrovie Laziali (Regional Railways)
If you find yourself at a Trenitalia station around Rome, you will still be able to use the services provided when travelling within Rome. Though not as frequent as the metro (1 train every 15-60 minutes), you might want to save a bit of walking especially at areas where it is not as well connected by public transport yet.
If you do not already have a ticket, you can get either an ATEC or a Trenitalia ticket for travel at the station.
Trains use the regular Trenitalia regional rolling stock.
Trains are easy to board, and are typically double-deck.
It does make for a more comfortable ride than the metro, though no lines are parallel with each other.
Connect to Line B of the Rome Metro at Roma Tiburtina, Roma Termini and Roma Ostiense (Piramide).
There are other lines around Rome which go further out, including to the airport, but I had no time to try them all out, neither did I have the need to. When I was searching for public transport information, I found it rather complicated, until I actually got to Rome and found that everything was rather straightforward and made sense, even when the online stuff I read did not at first. Hopefully, this will make travelling in Rome easier for you.