Rome
Taxis in Rome Jeremy Vandel

The taxis of Rome

Rome is a city that is usually best enjoyed walking. However, taxis can sometimes be useful for long-distance journeys, especially if you're traveling with companions or a lot of luggage.

Compared to other European capitals, cabs in Rome are relatively affordable, but regular use of them can be expensive and impractical. During your visit, it’s best to explore the city by foot and use public transportation, saving the use of cabs for specific situations.

For instance, taxis can be a good alternative to reach Rome from Ciampino and Fiumicino airports when you’re traveling in a group of three or four people. Likewise, after a long day of sightseeing, it’s a perfect solution to get back to your accommodation quickly and comfortably.

If you decide to take a cab, it’s important to make sure it’s an official (licensed) one. They’re easy to recognize: they are white, have a sign with the license number on the doors and a sign with the word TAXI on the roof.

Any vehicle that does not have these features and offers cab services is illegal (unfortunately a common occurrence in Rome). Illegal cabs often don’t use a taximeter and charge excessively high fares. Later in this article, we explain how to avoid them.

Fares

With the exception of certain rides with a fixed fare, the cost of each ride in a Roman cab must always be automatically calculated by the taximeter. This calculation takes into account several variables and circumstances, making it difficult to make accurate estimates for a trip.

However, as a reference, a ride in the city center shouldn’t cost more than €10.00 under regular traffic conditions. For journeys between the airports, to the port of Civitavecchia and to the city center, fixed fares apply, which are explained below.

Flag drop charge

When you get into a cab, the following base fares or flag drop charges apply.

Day and time
Weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Holidays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Every day between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next day
Day and timeFare
Weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.€3.00
Holidays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.€4.50
Every day between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next day€6.50

Ascending fare

Once the cab meter is running, the calculation of an increasing fare starts. When the vehicle has a speed of more than 20 km/h, the following rates are used to calculate the cost for a trip.

Rate
T1
T2
T3
RateCost per kilometerDetails
T1€1.10Applicable until the taximeter indicates a total of €11.00.
T2€1.30Applicable when the taximeter shows between €11.00 and €13.00.
T3€1.60Once the taximeter exceeds €13.00, the T3 rate is applied until the end of the trip.

At times when the speed is slower than 20 km/h, for example at traffic lights or in traffic jams, a different fare applies. This is €27.00 per hour (or €0.45 per minute).

Additional costs

In some cases, extra costs are added to the taxi fare.

Type of supplement
One piece of luggage is always free. For each additional piece, you pay a supplement.
Up to four passengers can travel without paying extra. From the fifth passenger onwards, additional charges must be paid.
When requesting a radio cab
Type of supplementCost
One piece of luggage is always free. For each additional piece, you pay a supplement.€1.00
Up to four passengers can travel without paying extra. From the fifth passenger onwards, additional charges must be paid.€1.00
When requesting a radio cab€3.50

Discounts

In the following cases, the official cab fares for Rome provide a 10% discount on the final taxi meter calculation:

  • Rides to public hospitals in Rome.
  • Rides of women traveling alone between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Rides of young people on Friday and Saturday nights leaving certain nightclubs.

If any of these discounts apply to you, you can tell the cab driver. This because, sometimes, they forget to apply the discount or they’re not aware of it. If you tell them that it’s in the official regulation, there’s probably no problem.

Fixed fares

Fares have been set by the Municipality of Rome for journeys between airports and to certain destinations in and around Rome.

From the Airport Fiumicino

Destination
Center of Rome (inside the GRA)
Magliana Castle
Ciampino Airport
Tiburtina Station
Ostiense Station
Civitavecchia Harbour
DestinationFare*
Center of Rome (inside the GRA)€48.00
Magliana Castle€30.00
Ciampino Airport€50.00
Tiburtina Station€55.00
Ostiense Station€45.00
Civitavecchia Harbour€120.00

*For trips between Fiumicino Airport and any destination within Rome’s GRA (Grande Raccordo Anulare), the fare may never exceed €70.00 (excluding additional costs).

From the Airport Ciampino

Destination
Center of Rome (inside the GRA)
Tiburtina Station
Ostiense Station
DestinationFares
Center of Rome (inside the GRA)€30.00
Tiburtina Station€35.00
Ostiense Station€30.00

Methods of payment

Any ride can be paid for with cash and, theoretically, with credit cards. All cabs in Rome must be equipped with a dataphone by law. Nevertheless, it occasionally happens that these don’t work, so it’s recommended to always carry some cash with you.

Therefore, to avoid misunderstandings, it’s always a good idea to check with the cab driver beforehand if it’s possible to pay by card.

How to get a taxi in Rome

Unlike many other cities, in Rome, it’s not so easy to hail a cab on the street. You can give it a try, but the odds are low that you’ll succeed. To get a cab, it’s best to go to a taxi stand or order one by phone or app.

At a taxi stand

The cheapest option is always to go to a cab stand. This way you’ll save the extra cost of €3.50 for ordering a cab.

There are taxi stands located all over the city, many of them close to places of interest. They are easily identified by a sign with an orange background and the word TAXI in black.

If you arrive at a stop where there’s no cab available, it’s recommended to wait a little while. Unless it’s a holiday or a rainy day, a cab should soon return to the taxi stand after finishing a ride.

The best way to find a taxi stand in Rome is through Google Maps, using “stazione cab” as a search term.

By making a call

Normally, to avoid problems due to language barriers, it’s more convenient to order cabs with your smartphone through the Free Now app ( mentioned later in this article). However, it’s also possible to order one by making a phone call.

For this, it’s best to use the ChiamaTaxi telephone service. When you call, you should clearly specify the address where you want to be picked up. This way, the automatic voice recognition system will detect your location and the call will be forwarded to the nearest cab stand.

If no one answers after two attempts, your call will be transferred to the cell phone of the nearest cab driver. If he accepts the ride, he’ll give you his license number and estimated time of arrival.

If you don’t wish to use the ChiamaTaxi service, you can also order a cab by calling one of the traditional taxi companies via one of the following numbers.

Service
ChiamaTaxi
Radiotaxi
Pronto Taxi
La Capitale
ServicePhone number*
ChiamaTaxi06-0609
Radiotaxi06-3570
Pronto Taxi06-6645
La Capitale06-4994

*All calls to order cabs are local. If you have a European phone operator, you can call these numbers at no extra charge. Another option is if you’re staying at a hotel, asking the reception to make the call for you or you can use one of the apps mentioned below.

Remember that a supplement of €3.50 applies to all cabs you order by phone and that the taxi driver turns on the meter the moment he has arrived at the pick-up point.

Moreover, under normal circumstances, the cabs usually arrive within 3 to 5 minutes. Therefore, it’s important that you only make the call when you’re ready to go.

Using the Free Now app

There are several apps to book taxi rides via your smartphone. Unfortunately, many of these applications don’t work well and therefore we don’t recommend using them.

However, there’s one exception. Free Now, a service formerly known as My Taxi. We tested this one out, with excellent results.

The app is user-friendly and an ideal alternative to avoid long queues for a taxi stand. It’s also a convenient solution for night rides to ensure that you’re traveling with a licensed cab that respects the official rates.

To use the Free Now app, you can easily register in just a few minutes. When you want to order a taxi, the app automatically detects your location and will request to enter your destination.

With this data, the app calculates the estimated cost of the trip and offers various vehicle options. In addition to the typical Renault Sedan, it’s often possible to reserve vehicles with up to eight seats or other specific requirements.

Payments can be made directly in the app via PayPal or credit card. However, it’s also possible to pay with cash at the end of the ride.

Download the Free Now app for iPhone

Download the Free Now app for Android

Other apps

As mentioned before, there are also other apps to order taxis in Rome, but in our experience, they don’t work as well.

They’re briefly discussed below if you do wish to try one out.

ChiamaTaxi

Although the ChiamaTaxi phone service is highly recommended, the performance of the app is not as good. Based on our tests, the app is only available in Italian, isn’t user-friendly, and has compatibility issues with some smartphones.

Moreover, this option is not ideal for those who want to avoid phone calls, because when ordering a cab, the ride must be confirmed through a phone call with the cab driver.

If you still want to try out the app, you can download it via the following links:

Download the ChiamaTaxi app for iOS

Download the ChiamaTaxi app for Android

itTaxi

Another app we tried to test is itTaxi. Unfortunately, we can’t say much about it because it didn’t allow us to register.

If you want to try this app, you can download it via the links below:

Download the itTaxi app for iOS

Download the itTaxi for Android

Uber

You can also use Uber in Rome. This app doesn’t connect users with a traditional cab. Instead, it offers its own vehicles to take passengers to their destinations.

Unlike what Uber offers in other parts of the world, only luxury services are available in Rome that are significantly more expensive than regular cabs. Unless comfort and a ride in a luxurious car are a must for you, the high cost of this service isn’t worth it.

If you’re interested in this option, you can download the app via the links below:

Download the Uber app for iOS

Download the Uber for Android

Tips for catching a cab

Most local cab drivers are honest and do an excellent job. But unfortunately, as in many touristic areas, there are also drivers who want to take advantage of visitors who aren’t aware of the rules and the official rates.

Therefore, always ask the driver in advance how much the ride will cost. This way you avoid misunderstandings and unpleasant surprises.

At Ciampino and Fiumicino airports, for example, you must beware of people who assertively offer cab services. Official taxis aren’t allowed to promote their services in this way. If someone does offer you a ride like this, you can be sure that they’ll try to overcharge you.

Although they’re a minority, there are also licensed cab drivers who try to take advantage of tourists in Rome. Think, for example, of situations where the driver takes a detour to your destination, charges unjustified fees, “forgets” to turn on the taximeter, or creates confusion about the final payment.

Luckily, these situations can easily be avoided. Use common sense and stay alert for abnormalities. Remember that it’s essential to always use official cabs that are white-colored, have a sign with the license number on it, the official “Roma Capitale” symbol, and a sign with the word TAXI on the roof.

It’s also helpful to use apps like Google Maps or Waze during your ride to check if the route chosen by the cab driver is the most convenient one.

If you suspect something is wrong, make a note of the cab driver’s license number and name. These details are listed on a plate located on the left rear door of the vehicle. Make sure the driver is aware of this as well, that should be enough to deter attempts of fraud. If not, notify that you’ll call the police to solve the problem (112).