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Rome Trams

How to ride public streetcars in Rome, Italy.

Rome once had the largest streetcar network in Italy, but--like many other cities--it ripped up track and replaced most of its tram lines with exhaust-spewing buses after World War II.  Still, a few of the old lines are still in service, and (as in many European cities) new lines have been added in recent years. We prefer trams to buses for two reasons:

  • Trams are quieter, less polluting, and usually more comfortable than buses.

  • Unlike bus routes, tram lines are fixed and obvious, making it easier for out-of-towners to get from point to point without missing a stop.

No 8 tram in Rome

ABOVE: Linea 8 is the newest line in Rome's tram network. It runs between the historic center and Trastevere (including the Trastevere railroad station). INSET BELOW: The interior of a No. 8 tram, and a vintage No. 19 tram near Termini Station.

Where the trams go

Number 8 tram interior - RomeRome has six tram lines (see map, which will open in a new browser window). For the most part, the streetcars serve Rome neighborhoods that aren't visited much by tourists, but two lines are worth mentioning:

  • Line 8 connects Torre Argentina, in the historic center, with the popular nightlife district of Trastevere. The trams stop at Trastevere's railroad station, where commuter trains run to Fiumicino Airport and the cruise port of Civitavecchia.

  • Line 19 runs between the Piazza Risorgimento (on the northern edge of the Vatican) and neighborhoods on the eastern side of the Tiber. No. 19 trams skirt the Villa Borghese gardens on their long journey to the Porta Maggiore, where passengers can connect to Line 4 or 5 to reach Termini Station.

How to ride the trams

Vintage Line 19 tram in RomeRome's trams use the same "Metrebus" tickets as the Metro, buses, and trams do. See our Metrebus Tickets and Fares article for details. (The Roma Pass, a transportation and museum card for tourists, is also valid on trams.)

To board a tram, simply wait for disembarking passengers to get off and enter through any set of doors. (If necessary, press a button to make the doors open.)

When you're inside the car, validate your unused paper ticket in the machine near the doors. (Hold the front of the ticket toward you, insert the end with the arrow in the slot, and wait for the machine to stamp your ticket.) A single-ride ticket is valid for 100 minutes from the time it's stamped, and you can transfer to other trams or buses during your journey.

If you're using a Roma Pass or other RFID (radio frequency identication) ticket, hold it against the electronic card reader's round yellow sensor until the green light flashes.

Warning: If you're caught riding a tram, bus, or Metro train without a validated ticket, you can be fined €50 plus the price of a ticket.

Next page: Rome trams - Web links and video


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