By Ben Resini
I like to think Rome is best seen walking the cobblestone streets and narrow corridors, or zipping around on a rented Vespa. The truth is, the Eternal City can be experienced in many ways.
Besides hoofing it, one can easily traverse the city by public bus. While an easy and inexpensive way to get around Rome, it often comes with a fair number of opinions.
Every guidebook printed in the last 30 years will warn you about pickpockets while riding on a public bus in Rome. Unfortunately, it’s still good advice today. It’s easy to get caught up in the wonder of Rome. The sights, smells and sounds take over quickly, making unassuming tourists easy targets for theft.
All roads lead to Rome, but not without some head-scratching along the way. Every year, usually during summer, a few of Rome’s busses spontaneously burst into flames. I wish I was kidding. Known to Romans as “Flambus,” the number of these occurrences thankfully is decreasing.
Fear not though, public transportation via bus in Rome, even with its occasional mishaps, is still reliable and safe from my experience thus far.
If walking or riding the bus isn’t your thing, there’s always the iconic Vespa. With a number of scooter rental shops across the city, intrepid souls willing to experience the beautiful confusion that is Roman traffic can find a fun and thrilling alternative to public transportation. Guided tours are often a good foray into getting around Rome via two-wheeled machine before diving in on your own.
Feeling eco-friendly? You’re in luck. The introduction of electric scooters or “micro-scooters” has been a hot topic in the Eternal City the last two years. E-scooters can be found almost everywhere, tagged as an “eco-sustainable” option for Romans and tourists to easily get around without much hassle. This hip new mode of transportation hasn’t come without frustrations. Complaints of scooters being carelessly tossed aside or improperly operated have become more frequent, resulting in the mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, to make a public statement about the issue.