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All you need to know before you take a taxi in Rome

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Taking a taxi in Rome, let alone any foreign country is never as easy as it seems.

 

Rome Taxi

Throw in the language barrier and a conniving taxi driver into the mix, and you could very well start off on the wrong foot in the eternal city. Need not to fret, we’re going to arm you some tips that will hopefully help you fare better in fending yourselves!

  • From the Airport

When exiting the terminals, you may hear “Taxi, taxi” or be immediately approached by someone who is trying to solicit you a taxi. While, some may even have a badge of sorts with “Taxi” written on it, rest assured that these people are not ‘official taxi drivers.’ Instead, they are unauthorized drivers posing as taxi drivers and will likely charge you a lot more money than the regular fare. The real taxi drivers are located at the stand where there is a sign that reads “TAXI” located directly outside of the arrivals terminal. Taxis in Rome are white and have an emblem on the side door that reads “Comune di Roma.”

Once you’ve reached the taxi stand it’s important that you know how much you will be expected to pay. The city of Rome passed a flat fixed fare from Rome’s Fiumicino and Ciampino airports for those persons traveling into the city center or within the Aurelian Walls. If traveling from Ciampino Airport, the flat fare is €30. From Fiumicino Airport however, the rate is €40. Beware, in addition, there is a fixed fare of €60 for those cabs that are from the city of Fiumicino to Rome’s city center. So when standing in line at the taxi stand, make sure your taxi reads “Comune di Roma” and not “Comune di Fiumicino,” otherwise your taxi fare will be slightly higher. The cost of luggage in all cases, is included in the price.

If you’re unsure whether you qualify for the fixed fare or if your hotel lies within the Aurelian walls consult this map posted on the City of Rome’ website.

  • From Rome’s Termini Train Station

As with the airport, you will likely encounter unauthorized taxi drivers trying to solicit you a taxi. They usually stand near the taxi stand in front of the main entrance of Termini Station. If you’re planning to take a taxi from Termini, there is a supplement of €2 that will be added to the total fare at the end of your ride. Listed below, you’ll find a list of fares:

Monday –Saturday from 7am- 10pm the meter starts at €2,80

Sundays and Holidays the meter starts at €4,00

Night fares from 10pm-7am, the meter starts at €5,80

* Each piece of luggage with the following dimensions cost (cm 35x25x50) €1,04 each.

  • Finding a Taxi

Unlike many large cities, hailing down a taxi cab in Rome is not a common practice, but not entirely impossible. If taxis are free, the light from the Taxi sign located on top of the cab will be turned on. If the light is off, then that means they are likely occupied or are on their way to pick up a passenger. The best way to grab a cab is either to go to a taxi stand or to call for a cab.

There are several taxi stands throughout Rome. Some of the most popular ones are located at Termini Station, Piazza della Repubblica, Piazza Venezia, Largo Argentina, Piazza delle Cinque Lune (near Piazza Navona), Piazza Barberini and Via Boncompagni (near Via Veneto).

Otherwise, to call for a taxi within Rome, you can try any of the following numbers: 06 3570,06 4994, 06 6645, 06 5551 or 06 8822.

  • What you should know

Last but not least, make sure when riding in a cab within the city center and other parts of Rome, that the meter reads “Tariffa 1.” Sometimes, dishonest cab drivers put the meter on “Tariffa 2” when they know a they have unsuspecting tourists as passengers. The “Tariffa 2” moves at a much faster rate and should only be applied when exiting Rome’s highway or G.R.A. (Grande Raccordo Annulare). If this rate is applied, the taxi driver is obligated by law to notify its passengers each time they are about to change to meter to “Tariffa 2.” Depending on the type of taxi meter, the number can be found either in the far left hand corner or bottom right hand corner.

If you feel you have been cheated by a taxi, the driver’s license number is written on a metal plate on the left door on the passenger side. Make sure you get a receipt or ricevuta and write down the name and number printed on the plate. In addition, you should also take note of which cab company you used (i.e. 3570 or 6645) as well as the number written on the outside of the door (i.e. Napoli 34 or Milano 22). With this information, you can file a complaint with the cab company and should be able to receive reimbursement.

Photo of taxi, Rome, Italy originally posted by [auro]

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer nicole arriaga

After working in Miami as writer and TV producer, Nicole Arriaga decided to trade in the sun and sand for the 'dolce vita' in 2003 and move to Rome. She writes for various publications including The American, and works for a study abroad organization in Rome.

21 responses to “All you need to know before you take a taxi in Rome”

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  1. Jessica says:
    September 3rd, 2008 at 19:12

    This post is spot on! Working with travelers I hear some of these horror stories all the time and have myself been given ridiculous pitches by illegal cabbies until they hear that I actually live in the city and speak Italian. Friends in town were actually scammed recently by the “Tariffa 2,” which tripled the price of their trip.

  2. Nicole says:
    September 3rd, 2008 at 19:36

    Unfortunately, it’s a reality. That’s why it’s so important for travelers to be armed with the most information as possible. I once had a taxi driver turn on the ‘Tariffa 2′ ( which makes the meter run a lot faster) button while I was at Piazza Barberini (in the Centro Storico). Unfortunately for him, I wasn’t a tourist and so, I knew right away that he was trying to cheat me. Needless to say, after a few words, he changed the meter back immediately.

  3. Triona Aughney says:
    January 30th, 2009 at 13:54

    We arrived in Ciampino Airport last week and fell straight into the conman taxi trap. Such a pity I didnt read your page before we went. He was parked in the taxi rank, had the taxi sign overhead, approached us and we got in. He had no meter and charged us €96.00 for the trip from the airport to our hotel near Vatican. Not alone did he charge us the €96 but by a slight of hand he confused my husband who had the money in his hand and actually extracted an extra €50 from him by switching a €10 euro note for a €50 He stopped en route to buy petrol and had the €10 euro note ready for the swap. He was a nasty looking piece of work, very scruffy and not really the type you would want to argue with. It was dark when we arrived at the Airport and just wanted to get to our hotel. But it left such a sour taste in our mouth. On our return trip, we booked a car from the hotel and he charged us €50 which was great. We actually saw the offending taxi man at the arrivals department, just waiting for another victim. What can anybody do about this total rip off?

  4. Richard Estes says:
    April 19th, 2009 at 22:22

    Took the Comune di Roma taxi from Rome terminal…going to the Diplomatic Hotel close by the Vatican. the meter started off correctly at 2.80 euros but suddenly went blank. it started up again when we stopped at the hotel and was told the charge was 40 euros, & not knowing better, I paid it. It’s a shame the city cabs take advantage of unsuspecting elderly. Sorry I didn’t read this blog before hand. It appears the “reliable” taxi company is the one you really need to watch. It was the only time in our 2 week stay that we were purposely stolen from, this includes some time spent in Naples, which has this reputation.

  5. Pasquale Borriello says:
    June 15th, 2009 at 11:05

    Cool post!
    I totally agree with everything.

    PS: keep on updating the rates, they’re increasing month by month =)

  6. James says:
    January 5th, 2010 at 00:25

    Got caught by the note scam by a taxi driver, license 2904; I passed him a crisp € 20 note for an €11.50 fare, and as I looked away to get my bag ready, he waved a tattered €5 note and claimed I gave him too little. Both are bluish in color, and if his thievery was ever in doubt, he accepted another €5 (which should have still left us owing him another €1.50) but he was happy. We were running late to see the Colosseo before the sun went down and the loss of €13.50 didn’t match the loss of being able to see the Colosseo before day turned to night.

    If you are in this situation, summon a police officer; dirt-bag taxi drivers like this sorry excuse for a Roman are enough to ruin your trust in so-called licensed taxi drivers and if I had the time, I would have summoned the police and had them search the weasel for the crisp note which would probably have been sequential to the other crisp euro notes I received from the bank back home before I traveled.

    For the rest of my time in Rome, I treated each and every taxi driver as a thief and moron, very loudly announcing each note as I handed it over to them. My wife thinks I was over-reacting, but I just don’t see it that way: one rotten apple DOES ruin it for everyone. If you get a nice taxi driver in Rome, bonus for you. If you get ripped off blind by a morally bankrupt thug, it’s probably par for the course.

  7. Quickwarren says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 07:10

    Hi,
    We have regulations at the airport. Also, our rates are regulated by the city. We can however flat rate a trip.

    Quickwarren

  8. Leonhouses Holiday Apartments Rome says:
    July 5th, 2010 at 10:58

    Price are now regulated in Rome:
    From Ciampino to the centre: 35€ + 1€ per lagguage
    From Fiumicino to the centre 40€ + 1€ per lagguage

    Everyone asking more for standard taxi (no van,…) is against the law and not regular.

  9. Sorrento Italy taxi says:
    July 18th, 2010 at 08:42

    Transfers and excursions to Naples sorrento, Pompeii, Amalfi coast

  10. Donna says:
    June 12th, 2011 at 05:37

    How much do you typically a taxi driver in Rome?

  11. Ricardo Talbot says:
    October 26th, 2011 at 11:34

    Beware of Roman cab drivers! We took car # 6784 (a van) at Roma Termini on Oct. 25 around 3:30 PM, and the driver, who called himself “Robert”, refused to turn the meter on, arguing that there would be no surprises. BS…

    The ride actually ended up as a total surprise: he charged us 36 Euros for a ride to Piazza Navona (barely 3 Kms / 2 Miles).

    Caveat emptor!

  12. Kirsty Boutflower says:
    July 18th, 2012 at 16:31

    Same happened to me! Arrived at Termini, hot & tired. My Mum who is 67 was approached by taxi driver all smiles, in we got and after a couple of mins, I noticed meter not on. He had been all chatty till then. I mentionned it and he changed. He was driving way too fast to get out and in any case we had luggage in rear.
    When we got to hotel, he charged us 24 euros which was about 10 euros too much. His taxi number was 3412. Thats all I got.
    I was so angry as I hadn’t wanted to go with him in the first place but my Mum was tired.
    The only consolation was due to total incompetence of Bar Tabacs selling bus tickets we ended up going on at least 4 bus journeys for free so saving 12 euros so ultimately we weren’t out of pocket – but it still grates. Nobody likes to think they are stupid enough to fall for a scam but these guys are so clever.

  13. Lily says:
    January 28th, 2013 at 03:42

    Thank god for this blog !! Very informative.. I’m going to Paris & Rome in April. This page surely made me more prepared to face the city… Thank u so very much !!! Xoxo

  14. Fred Tover says:
    February 10th, 2013 at 21:59

    Last time I was in Rome a taxi driver tried to cheat us and we ended up beating the s#$t out of him and not paying a dime, don’t take any BS from those Bozos!

  15. Eurostar says:
    May 29th, 2013 at 09:47

    well Rome is quite far away from me but still gaining knowledge is always make me happy.
    :)
    Thanks for sharing……….

  16. Lara says:
    November 28th, 2013 at 09:54

    This is also true of many other high-quality pieces of jewellery.

  17. Brian Mulac says:
    December 30th, 2013 at 10:39

    I really like it when individuals come together and share ideas. Great website, continue the great function!

  18. lajaunesse says:
    August 3rd, 2014 at 05:45

    My family took a white taxi, P64, from the Vatican to the train station, It should have been 12 Euros, because we took a cab from the station to the Vatican. We didn’t notice he didn’t have a meter, however, after driving up and down streets and a shopping center, he said it would be 15 Euros, My daughter gave him 20 Euros, and he returned 2 Euros. When we questioned it he said it was 18, and what were we going to do about it. We didn’t read comments before traveling, but it gives the country a bad name, Were from the United States, and feel we don’t want to visit again.

  19. lajaunesse says:
    August 3rd, 2014 at 05:48

    why isn’t something done about these cab drivers, like losing their license?

  20. Ozitraveller says:
    August 14th, 2014 at 23:35

    Thanks for the advice off to Rome in a couple of days so will be much more informed.

  21. Sharon says:
    October 13th, 2014 at 17:07

    Thank you for sharing this post on taxi tips…


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