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Parking Meter

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 | 6 comments

One big piece of advice if you are visiting Rome β€” DO NOT RENT A CAR! Seriously, there is no worse way to experience the city as a vistor than the drive. Driving in Rome is not for the faint of heart and while I miss driving and am always happy to get a ride with a friend somewhere, I’m so happy that I don’t have a car here. Between limited traffic zones (ZTL), limited parking, tons of traffic, and scooters whizzing by, you really need to know your stuff to drive here. If you’re a tourist, there’s most likely no need for the car, as it’s kind of pointless in the historic center and you’ll spend more time circling around looking for a parking spot than enjoying the city.


  1. I arrived in Rome on a Navy flight from Morocco in 1957…we landed at about 3 a.m. I have never been so terrified in my life as I was riding in a “cab” from the airport to our hotel. The driver didn’t even slow at the intersections, just blew his horn.

    Thought sure I would die that night.

  2. Yes, good advice. I travelled to Rome a while ago now and noticed the madness on the road. SCARY!

    We say the same to friends visiting us in Brighton but it’s more from the parking point of view. The town is often officially ‘full’.

  3. I could add.. if ou live in Rome.. don’t buy a car.. if you really need one buy a small one, citroen c1 or toyota Aigo for example, then buy a Scooter, a motorbike or… an helicopter! I have been driving my scooter for more than 15 years and in this way i saved a lot of time i mean 2-3 hours a day! Cabs in Rome are far expensive, but if you compare the expense of taking one a couple of times a week, it costs less than having a car (insurance, fuel, parking cost, unlicensed parkers asking you money, fines) Rome is not for sunday drivers unfortunately!

  4. When I’ve been to Rome I’ve always been both amazed and terrified of the traffic. I haven’t tried driving there but being on foot is excitement enough for me. I feel like a hunted animal in the crosshairs of the drivers, don’t walk…RUN πŸ™‚

  5. Jacob – Wow, between this and pimps and hos you saw on motorini, I’m thinking that Rome now is a cakewalk compared to the 1950s!! Although, I have heard the drivers from the airport can go super fast and scare people πŸ™‚ It’s all part of the fun.

    Hilary – Yes, the parking is horrible as well. I went out with a friend to San Lorenzo one evening and we spent 45 minutes looking for a space!

    3mendo – Ciao! Sempre bello di avere i i tuoi commenti! Yes, that is very true about the cars and why most Romans have very small ones. Really a motorino is the way to go because otherwise you are in traffic with everyone else. However, I’ve also seen a number of motorino accidents and had a friend injured badly on one, so you must be careful!

    Christopher – Haha, the traffic is scary for everyone. It took me a long time to get used to crossing the street, but then I would look at all the old ladies just throwing themselves in front of traffic and confidently striding to the other side and realized that’s how you need to do it!

  6. Jesse, we normally do rent cars over there. We’re not afraid of the traffic or the rules of the road. Our biggest fear is getting lost, despite gps. We had a horrible time in Naples last time. We were actually staying in an area outside of Naples, and one evening it took us almost 3 hrs (for a 20 minute ride) to get back to the hotel! Wrecked our dinner plans. One wrong turn and you end up going miles into the wrong direction on the autostrada until you can figure out how to turn around. Plus the gps took us into some scary places.

    BTW, have fun in Sweden.

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