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Rome Metro

How to ride the Metropolitana di Roma, which has three lines that connect many of Rome's most popular hotel areas and tourist attractions.

Rome Metro Line A Spagna stop

ABOVE: A sign points to the Spagna station of the Rome Metro's Linea A. INSET: On Metro platforms, stay behind the yellow line unless you're boarding or exiting a train.

The Metropolitana di Roma offers a quick, easy way to travel between Stazione Termini (Rome's central railroad station) and several major tourist areas.

Although the Rome Metro is tiny in comparison to the Paris Metro, the London Underground, or the Madrid Metro, its trains run at frequent intervals, and Rome's subway fares are among the cheapest in Western Europe.

For related information, see our Metrebus Tickets and Fares article, which includes step-by-step instructions for using ticket machines in Rome Metro stations.

Rome's Metro lines

Rome Metro train interior

ABOVE: Inside a modern train on Linea A.

Metropolitana di Roma logoRome has three Metro lines, which are laid out as an "X" with a couple of offshoots. (See map.)

  • Linea A runs from Battistini, on the western edge of the city, to Anagnina in the southeast. (The latter is close to Ciampino Airport, with a shuttle bus serving airline passengers.) The line is popular with tourists, because it has stations at Spagna (close to the Spanish Steps), Barberini (near the Via Veneto and the Trevi Fountain), and the Piazza Del Repubblica.

  • Linea B goes from branch stations at Jonio and Rebibbia,  on Rome's northeastern edge, to the modern districts of EUR and Laurentina in the south. For tourists, the most important stations (besides Termini) are likely to be Colosseo (for the Colosseum), Circo Massimo (Circus Maximus), and Tiburtina (the location of Rome's main intercity bus station).

  • Line C, the newest of the three, is an offshoot of Linea A that extends to the southeast. It's mostly of interest to locals.

Of the two original lines (A and B), Linea A is the more comfortable, with modern open-plan trains like the one in the photo above. Linea B's trains aren't air-conditioned and can be stuffy in summer.

Still, both lines are functional and convenient, and unless you're traveling at an odd time on a Sunday or holiday, you won't need to wait more than a few minutes for a train.

Entering the Metro

The Metropolitana is open from 5:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. on every day except Saturday, when trains run until 12:30 a.m.

Before you can ride the Metro, you'll need to buy a ticket (see our Metrebus tickets and fares article for details) or the Roma Pass, which is a transportation and museum card for tourists.

Rome Metro turnstileWhen you're ready to travel, head for the turnstiles and do one of the following:

  • Insert your Metrebus paper ticket in the slot on the front of the turnstile, as shown in the diagram next to the slot. Be sure to retrieve your validated ticket when it's ejected from another slot on top of the turnstile.

  • If you're using the Roma Pass or another RFID (radio frequency identification) ticket, simply hold the pass or ticket against the round yellow sensor on the front of the turnstile.

 The turnstile gates will open when your ticket or pass is recognized, and you'll need to keep the ticket or pass with you while traveling on the Metro.

  • Note: Transfers between Lines A and B are free at Termini Station, as long as you don't exit through the turnstiles.

Riding the trains

Rome Metro platformOnce you're past the turnstiles, head for the train platforms. You may need to take an escalator or a flight of stairs. (Unfortunately, most Metro stations are not wheelchair-accessible.)

On the platform, you'll see an electronic sign that tells how soon the next train will arrive.

You'll also see a warning to stay behind the yellow line at the edge of the platform.

When the train comes, wait for the doors to open and stand aside to let passengers exit the car. If no one is getting off, press the button by the doors to open them.


  • Before heading for the Metro platforms, check a map for the end station in your direction of travel (e.g., "Battistini" if you're taking Linea A from Termini to Spagna, or "Rebibbia" if you're taking Linea B from the Colosseum to the Tiburtina bus station.)

  • For more information and trip-planning tools, visit the Web site of Rome's public-transportation agency, ATAC.

Also see:
Metrebus Tickets and Fares
Rome City Buses
Rome Trams
Rome Taxis
Rome Transportation Index

About the author:

Durant Imboden photo.Durant Imboden is a professional travel writer, book author, and editor who focuses on European cities and transportation.

After 4-1/2 years of covering European travel topics for, Durant and Cheryl Imboden co-founded Europe for Visitors (including Rome for Visitors) in 2001. The site has earned "Best of the Web" honors from Forbes and The Washington Post.

For more information, see About Europe for Visitors, press clippings, and reader testimonials.