Rome taxis. Find the wrong one and you just might have a sad story to tell and a wallet emptier than before. Follow our tips for taxis (5-10% by the way--if you're not ripped off, of course) and enjoy the ride.
While taxis might be the most expensive way to get around Rome, Rome's compact historic center makes a taxi ride a convenient way to get from site to site.
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Rome taxi drivers prefer to use taxi stands. You might be able to flag a taxi down, but it is a rarer occurance than in most cities. Romans know they'll find a taxi stand in all the major piazze.
Official cabs are white, have a taxi sign mounted on the roof, have an insignia on the driver's door reading "Comune di Roma," have an official number and a meter. You want an official cab. Do not use the touts at Termini Station (more below).
There will be a fixed starting charge which will be more for late nights, Sundays and holidays. There will also be a charge for each bag that the cabbie handles.
Any trip in the historic center (inside the Roman Walls) should show up as "Tariffa 1" on the meter. Territory outside the walls is defined as Tariffa 2, and is charged at a higher rate. Make sure the cabbie doesn't set the meter for tariffa 2 if you are traveling only in central Rome.
(Our Rome Map has icons for all the current taxi stands in Rome)
The Taxi stand at Termini station is in front of the main entrance to the station in Piazza dei Cinquecento as you exit. Directly behind the taxi stand is the bus station. As you move toward the station exit, and even as you near the taxi stand you will be approached by doubious characters asking in English if you need a taxi. You do not need one of theirs.
Lots of tourists report being ripped off by cabs they find near Termini. Below is a widget that can help you find the expected fare from an official taxi in Rome, provided you know your address and the address of your destination in Rome.
Taxis to and from Rome's two airports have fixed fares by regulation. Rome taxi fares to or from Ciampino Airport should be around €30, including luggage. From Fiumicino Airport about €40. Check in the widget above to get current prices.
You can call a taxi in Rome, but be aware that the charge usually begins when the taxi is dispatched, not when it arrives.
There is one taxi company that seems intent on making life easier for tourists. Radiotaxi 3570 has been getting a lot of press lately over its vows of good, honest taxi service. Dial 06.35.70 while in Rome to get connected to Radiotaxi's operators.