If you’re visiting Rome, there is a good chance that you’ll want to use Uber or Lyft to navigate the city. While Uber Black is available in Rome, Lyft is not. Other options are available for getting around the city, including taxis and the train.
In this blog post, we’ll give you all the information you need about traveling in Rome, including how to get from Leonardo da Vinci International Airport to the city center. We’ll also offer some advice for those traveling with families or as a single person.
Are Ubers Available in Italy?
The short answer is yes, Ubers are available in Italy. However, there are a few things you should know before you request your first ride.
First of all, Uber Black is the only service that is currently available, and it’s only in Rome and Milan. It’s not available elsewhere in the country, and if you’re looking for a cheaper option, such as UberX or UberPool, you’ll be out of luck.
I discovered the hard way that surge pricing is often in effect in Rome. While it typically occurs during rush hour and weekends, the prices for Uber in Rome were higher than I’ve experienced in NYC and Los Angeles.
If you’re planning to use Uber frequently during your stay, it’s worth considering an alternate form of transportation, such as taxi drivers. Your wallet will thank you.
I have a small admission of guilt; despite visiting Italy a handful of times, I can’t speak a lick of Italian. This made it hard to interact with my Uber drivers, who didn’t speak English. If you’re worried about this, it’s worth learning how to communicate your destination in Italian before calling an Uber.
The good news is that nearly all Italian taxi drivers know how to speak basic English, at least enough to get you from A to B.
Why is Uber Not In Italy?
Almost everything in Italy requires a license or permit, from passing out flyers for your pizzeria to being a tour guide at the Vatican. You even need permits to make wine and pasta!
Before Italians can drive customers around Rome, they must do a few things. First, you must obtain a driver’s license and register as an NCC driver. This costs a few hundred euros and around six months of training and exams.
Once you have a license, you need to purchase an NCC medallion, which is anything but cheap. While you might be able to get one in a smaller city for €20,000, the price for acquiring a medallion in Rome is around €90,000. Then there’s just the small fee of buying a nice car!
The cost of entering this market is too high for a company like Uber that aims to keep costs low. While they might claim it’s about safety, the actual reason they’re not in Italy is that they can’t control the market like they do in the US.
Is Lyft Available in Italy?
Unfortunately, Lyft is not available in Italy.
If you’re used to using Lyft at home, you’ll be disappointed to know that the service is not available in Italy. However, the city is fairly walkable; taxis are readily available, or if you’re adventurous, you can rent a scooter!
Which Taxi App is Used in Italy?
Some popular options include appTaxi, MyTaxi, and Easy Taxi. These apps work similarly to Lyft or Uber, allowing you to request a ride and pay through the app.
I used MyTaxi as it was the closest functionally to Uber, but the interface was a little lackluster when I last used it.
Is Taxi Cheaper than Uber in Italy?
From my experience, taxis in Italy are cheaper than Uber.
While Uber was more expensive, I didn’t find that the quality of service was any better than booking a taxi.
Because they interact with tourists more, most taxi drivers speak English, which made it easier to communicate my destination and ask for food recommendations.
If you’re looking to travel around the city on a budget, taking the train is your best bet. It runs through most major city sections and is just a few euros for a single rider.
Trenitalia: How to Use the Train in Rome
Rome has an extensive public transportation system that includes buses, trams, and trains. The trains are run by Trenitalia and make traveling throughout the city a breeze.
If you’re planning on taking the train from Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, you’ll want to take the Leonardo Express. It’s a non-stop train that leaves every 30 minutes and takes you directly from the airport to Rome’s main train station, Termini. Welcome to Rome!
The ride is about 30 minutes and costs €14 for a one-way ticket. You can purchase your tickets at the airport or in advance through the Trenitalia website.
If you’re planning on using the train extensively during your stay, I recommend purchasing a Roma Pass. For €32 (48 hours), you get access to all public transportation in Rome, including the train, as well as free admission to two museums and discounts at other attractions.
My last bit of advice is to download the Trainline app, as it’s easier to use than Trenitalia’s website. Trainline is also helpful if you’re planning on traveling from Rome to other major cities like Venice, Florence, and Naples.
While Uber is available in Rome, it is expensive and only Uber Black cars are operating at the moment. If you’re looking for a cheap way to get around, take the train or a taxi. Taxis are more affordable than Ubers and trains are relatively inexpensive if you purchase a ticket in advance. Do you have any tips or recommendations for navigating Rome? Let us know in the comments below!
Philip M Gallagher
Thank you. Very helpful information and well written. Philip Gallagher
You’re welcome, Philip. Thanks for taking the time to write a comment. If you’re planning a trip, I hope you have a great time in Italy!