Rome bus & Metro tickets

The biglietti (tickets) you'll need to use Rome's public transportation system (on the Metro/subway, bus, or tram)

All city transport uses the same biglietto (ticket), which costs €1.50 and gives you 100 minutes during which you can transfer as often as you'd like (including one ride on the Metro).

Where to buy bus and Metro tickets in Rome

Useful Italian
Ticket - biglietto
City bus - autobus
Bus stop - fermata
Subway - Metro
Subway station - stazione Metro

I'm getting off! - scendo!
Excuse me (to get though crowds) - permesso
Excuse me (to get attention) - scusa
Excuse me (to apologize) - mi dispiace

You can buy tickets and passes from tabacchi (tobacconists), most newsstands, Metro stations, or machines at major bus stops.

Just ask for "un biglietto d'autobus, per favore" for one ticket (for other Italian numbers to insert into that phrase, see my handy-dandy phrase sheet.)

The ticket should say "BIT" (stands for "integrated timed ticket") and "100 Min."

How to use bus and Metro tickets in Rome

Tickets on buses and trams work on the honor system (backed up by a hefty fine should the frequent random bus checks reveal you didn't play by the rules).

Use the correct box on the bus
Confusingly, there are two types of tickets in circulation, both equally valid (they're slowly changing the system). That means every bus/tram has two little metal boxes into which you to stick your ticket.

The older, narrow tickets you stamp in the boxier, orange ticket stamper; the wider tickets (the ones printed with a bar code) you need to stick into the more streamlined yellow boxes.

Stamp one end of the ticket on the first bus or tram (in the box provided) or Metro (at the turnstile) and the other end when you board your final mode of transportation.

Failure to do this will result in a hefty fine if they catch you (checkers do hop on the buses frequently, and are increasingly less tolerant of the "clueless tourist" excuse—especially now that the rules are clearly posted, in English, on every bus).

Hold on to your ticket until you're off the bus or out of the Metro station to avoid paying that huge fine.

(Interesting side-note: Romans can now buy virtual tickets on the fly via their cell phones with an SMS message; you have to sign up for the service with your Italian service provider, so it's of no use to tourists, but still: pretty cool.)

Rome bus and Metro passes

For more info on Rome's public transportation system (buses, trams, and the Metro) visit

For more on Rome's general layout—its major streets, squares, and neighborhoods—click here.

There are also unlimited-ride passes:

  • 24 hr: €7
  • 48 hr.: €12.50
  • 72 hr.: €18
  • 7 days: €24

However, I find myself walking much more than taking the bus, so I don't think they're all that useful, and likely not a savings, since you'd have to take at least four or five rides per day to make them more cost-effective than individual tickets (well, three rides per day—but every day—with the weekly pass).

In addition, there's the Roma Pass, which covers all forms of public transport for 3 days, plus gets you into two sights of your choosing (except the Vatican) followed by discounts on the 38 other sights you didn't pick. » more

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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