Renting a scooter in Rome

Getting around Rome by motorino (motor scooter) or Vespa


Although I wouldn't rent a scooter just to whizz around the historic center, a Vespa is an excellent way to visit several outlying sites in a single day—or, my own favorite, making a self-guided tour of the hills of Rome (not just the classic Seven Hills within Rome itself, but also the taller ones ringing the city—like the Gianicolo—that offer spectacualr panoramas).

Note: Traffic is very heavy on the streets of Rome, and the rules and norms of driving are much different from our own.

Keep that in mind, and read the bit about smart scootering below before taking that Vespa out for a spin.

Scooter rental agencies in Rome

There are several private rental outfits for scooter rental in Rome:

  • Treno e Scooter, at Track 1 inside Stazione Termini (tel. +39-06-4890-5823;—Pick up the motorino outside the station on the right. The scooters are cheaper than most, but only avaiable for a full day or longer. Book ahead online to save up to 20%.
  • Bici e Baci, Via del Viminale 5 (tel. +39-06-482-8443,—Scooters are a bit pricier, but they will rent for just a few hours and offer more pick-up and drop-off locations: Via Viminale 5, Via Cavour 302, and Via del Bottino 8
  • Roma Rent Bike (tel. +39-06-8892-2365, – Near Campo de' Fiori at Via di San Paolo alla Regola 33; daily rentals only.
  • Rome for You (tel. +39-06-4543-3789, –  Two central locations: Vicolo San Nicola De Cesarini 4 (near Largo Argentina) and Vicolo della Renella 95a (Trastevere); also rents bikes and Fiat 500s.

Scooter rental prices

The prices for renting a motorino in Rome are pretty standard across most companies. Note that most have a three-hour minimum rental period.

  • 50cc model: from €7–€11 per hour, €19–€45 per day
  • 125cc model: €13–€15 per hour, €45–€70 per day
  • 150cc model: €59–€80 per day

Vespa tours of Rome

On smart scootering

Useful Italian
scooter - motorino or scooter
rental - noleggio
two hours - due ore
one day - un giorno
helmet - casco
Everyone will tell you never to rent a scooter in Italy. They say motorini are too dangerous, too unstable, too unpredictable, and the surrounding traffic is too insane.

They say you'll inevitably get into an accident and return home with, if you're lucky, an ugly road rash from skidding through gravel in your shorts at 30mph (and, if you're unlucky, a cracked skull).

Poppycock. I rent scooters in Italy all the time and the worst injury I've ever suffered was a bent-back thumbnail once when I misjudged flicking the start button. The real issue is that people don't treat scooters with respect. They're just too cute: like baby motorcycles, or bikes pretending to be grown-ups with an engine and everything. Aww. Plus, they're just so much darn fun!

As a result, many people drive around, without a helmet, at high speeds. They rubberneck the sights, chat with their companion behind them, or sit there texting with one hand and steering with the other. That's just dumb. Remember: a scooter is essentially an undersized, underpowered, under-stabilized motorcycle.

It's not so much that scooters are dangerous as it is tourists are stupid (not people: tourists. People who are perfectly sane, rational, and responsible at home often transform into giddy idiots after just a few hours on an exciting, exotic, sun-drenched vacation).

Scooters also fool you into thinking you can join the cars racing all around as if an equal. You're not equal. You are perched precariously atop a tiny scrap of metal and plastic with wheels. The drivers of the cars are cocooned in a protective metal shell padded by airbags and such. If you get hit by a car, you'll be road kill; they'll probably just think they hit a bad pothole.

Yes, scooters are dangerous—though not much more so than walking—and yes the traffic in Italy is atrocious, doubling the danger, so take precautions:

  • Wear a helmet (casco).
  • Stay off major roads.
  • Drive cautiously.
  • Obey all traffic signs.
  • Keep your eyes on the road and on the surrounding traffic, not the sights.
  • Don't weave in and out of heavy traffic or jump-start a red light before it turns green.

In other words: do no, under any circumstances, drive like the locals, who are used to the traffic rules and have been riding a motorino since the age of 14.

Tips & links

Other useful links & resources
How long does Rome take?

Planning your day: Rome wasn't built in a day, and you'd be hard-pressed to see it in that brief a time as well. Still, you can cram a lot into just a day or three.

To help you get the most out of your limited time in the Eternal City, here are some perfect itineraries, whether you have one, two, three, or four days to spend in Rome. » Rome itineraries

Rome tours

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