“ Rome / Italy „
Whilst in Rome recently I decided the best way to find our feet would be to get an open top bus ride around the city.
Before we went I did some research in to the trip and whilst looking on the Roma Pass website I found a link to: www.trambusopen.com, this link was explaining all about the 110 trambus route in Rome.
Tickets can be brought for 24 hours or 48 hours. We were about to buy 2 adult tickets for the 24 hour period when we were told they would cost 20 Euro each, I remembered having read on the Roma Pass site, if you had purchased a Roma Pass you would receive a discount. So we quickly stopped in our tracks and asked about the Roma Pass, to which we were told that yes, if we had a Roma Pass we would pay 15 Euro each. With the rate of the Euro at the moment though I must say I thought this was expensive for what it was, but when on holiday I try not to moan about cost too much. I must warn though, Rome is expensive in general.
As we were going to buy a Roma Pass anyway, we thought we'd best do that before buying the bus ticket. So after purchasing our Roma Pass from across the road we returned to the bus stop and bought our reduced rate tickets.
We were staying a 5 minute walk from Termini Station and opted for getting on there. The bus stop is actually in front the Termini Station building and it is a large square shaped bus depot, the bus stop is actually on the outer edge, if you are looking at the station, say you were standing at the middle point of the depot, the bus stop is at 4 o'clock. There is usually a bus there.
The idea of the 24 hour / 48 hour bus ticket, is so you can hop on and off whenever, wherever you want over that period. When you buy the ticket they write on it what time you brought it and you then have 24 hours from then.
You can also buy a reduced NO STOP ticket that costs 12 Euro but you cannot get off the bus. I don't see the point of this, we paid 3 euro more and got maximum use out of the facility. Rome is not massive and is suitable for walkers, although the Vatican is quite a way (from the Colosseum) on foot.
Kids between the ages of 0-5 go free.
There are 11 stops in all these are:
Bocca della Verita
Fontana di Trevi
I would strongly recommend going on the website and visit the route downloads, as it not only gives you a list of the stops but also tells you what sites, museums etc are near each stop. This is great for planning a trip and organising your route to encounter everything you want to see.
On the bus itself, you are given a set of head phones which you keep and plug in to the slots by the seats. The only problem with this is, there are not slots for the head phones on each set of seats. This is awkward as you may have to plug in to one in front or behind, if the bus isn't full, and if it is, tough.
As you get on the bus they also ask what language you speak, and tell you the channel for the talking tour in that language. English is channel 6. There are volume buttons to change it up or down which is also helpful.
There are timetables at each stop on the post but in all honesty we never bothered looking and just waited as a bus usually came along within 10 minutes. The bus stops are all signed posted 110, in the company colours of red and white. If you go on the bus you soon get used to where all the stops are though, so they aren't difficult to find.
The other important aspect is the small print, I would suggest making sure there are no strikes or protests before you go and buy a ticket for this bus, the companies small print is below:
"Trambus Open will not be responsible for interruptions or cancellations of the service caused by strikes/demonstrations. The ticket you bought cannot be refunded but, on your request, Trambus Open will consider the opportunity of an alternative date/time for your tour."
Overall I found this a good way to get around Rome, and it helped using the 24 hour ticket on the first day, it helped us find our feet, we are fine with maps but when you've been round and seen it, I think you learn it quicker (well we do anyway).
I would recommend this means of transport to anyone visiting Rome who has not been before and even to those who have and don't want to do all the walking.
See the principal historical and monumental sites in Rome via bus.