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The Rome city center is compact, no more than four kilometers across from Termini station to Saint Peter's Basilica. Walking is therefore a reasonable way to travel to many destinations. And when heading across town, or when "tourist fatigue" has taken over, there are a host of public and private transportation options.
Rome public transport is operated by ATAC (800 43 17 84) and includes the Metropolitana subway system, tramways, and buses.
Rome's metro system (Metropolitana) is of limited value to visitors, since there are only two lines, and they bypass most of the centro storico. If you need to cross the city, however, it's a good way to avoid traffic jams.
The extensive Rome bus network is a handy option for tourists. At the main bus station, located in front of Stazione Termini on Piazza dei Cinquecento, an information booth is open from 07h30 to 20h00. Other important hubs are at Largo di Torre Argentina, Piazza Venezia, and Piazza San Silvestro. You can change buses as many times as you want as long as your ticket is valid.
Here's more information about public transport in Rome.
If you have an appointment to keep (with an airplane, perhaps?), or you prefer to travel in privacy, then a taxi is a good choice. Ask the concierge of your hotel to reserve one in advance, or, if your schedule permits, hail one on the street. There are many taxis in Rome (the official ones are white), but like big cities everywhere, when it rains they all disappear!
Find out more about Rome taxis here.
The convenient public transportation options, combined with the heavy traffic of a large capital, narrow streets, and traffic jams, make the use of a rental car ill-advised. You might outpace the bus, perhaps even the metro, but once there you'll have difficulty finding parking!
But if you choose to drive, perhaps to venture outside of Rome, then be sure to look over our information on renting and driving a car.