Get Out and About

In and Around Rome

ATAC (the Rome bus & tram company)
have wide variety of vehicles ranging from
30+ year old Fiat beasties to brand new MAN
& Mercedes.
Pit-stop! A team of two or three men can clean, 
fuel and check oil and water in around three minutes.

As I said before, Rome has a highly developed and efficient public transport system. In order to use the system you need a bus, tram and subway map and a daily or weekly travel ticket (which is good for the subway, trams, urban trains and buses which don't have "J" in the number). Just get on and ride (you have to validate your ticket in a little machine on the bus or tram or when you enter the subway) get off when you are at your destination, there are no limits to the number of trips you can make, easy eh? Easy to use but sometimes unpleasant, the subway is full of graffiti (luckily in Italian), the air-conditioned trams smell of something horrible and the non air-conditioned trams are awfully hot, bus drivers are nearly as crazy as the Koreans (see the Seoul page), if you travel outside the rush period at least you might get a seat.

B.O. Warning on all buses.

The subway has not escaped the
activities of the graffiti "artists",
some call it art, I call it a mess.

Most subway trains and many trams come with a resident busker, usually playing a piano-accordian or sometimes a violin although I've seen a couple of saxophones and one set of pan-pipes. They sometimes have a dog or small child to assist in opening your wallet to give a small donation. You will also find buskers and just plain beggars at major stations.

Laid to rest beneath the trees,
maybe these wonderful old trams....
... will be lovingly restored to see 
a new life as "Ristotrams". Trundle
gently round Rome sipping cocktails
and enjoying a time gone by.

To get out of Rome by public transport you have several options

You can take a trip on the Roma-Lido line out to the beach at Ostia Lido, this trip is covered by the standard Rome travel tickets although it is actually outside the normal travel area. Stop off at Ostia Antica the ancient port of Rome, there are some superbly preserved buildings as the entire site has avoided being built on by virtue of it being something of a swamp and a (former) haven for malaria carrying mosquitoes.

Or you can ride the Roma-Viterbo line north to Viterbo, this line runs through some superb countryside, an additional treat for the train spotters amongst us are the ancient trains, built in 1932 these antiques are well maintained, shame about the graffiti.

Ancient trains run between Rome and Viterbo.

These trains are older than ALL of the people 
operating them, mechanically well maintained, 
just rather badly drawn over.

Alan always wanted to be a train driver.
Believe it or not this is the cab of an ELECTRIC train, 
not a switch or dial in sight!

"Please refrain from using the lavatory when 
the train is standing in the station". 
Yes, that is the track down the hole!!!!!

The Viterbo line runs through some beautiful countryside north of Rome.

ATAC have bought some new trains for the Viterbo line......
..... but how long before they end up looking like this???

More delights await the train enthusiasts on the Roma-Pantano line, I thought trains like these only existed in 1950s tin-plate toys....

As an alternative to rail there is an extensive network of buses operated by COTRAL, these go almost everywhere worth seeing in the Lazio region and for a modest fare.

Villa d'est at Tivoli is only a short ride away on a COTRAL bus...

... beautiful water sculptures, powered entirely by gravity...

.. these fountains have been squirting for around 500 years.


Also close to Tivoli is
Villa Adriana.
Built for Hadrian (of wall fame)...

...the place is massive.

Spend hours wandering and wondering what it could have been like to actually LIVE in a home like this!!!