An Essay On Lazio

Buon giorno fellow Rome & Italy travelers. As we often discuss guidebooks so thoroughly, and sharing in our mutual love for Roma/Italia (thanks to johnsharpe, wittyone, irredescent, monamia, nicolasinnrome & soloroma for inspiration), I thought I'd mention some essays/travelogues/historical non-fiction I've read that I've really enjoyed (and some I'm still in the midst of). Please add your favorites too, as well as any on your "to read" list that sound intriguing. Grazie.

- A Thousand Bells at Noon, G. Franco Romagnoli...a Roman expat living in the States leads us through his hometown, revealing nuances of past/present (loved this book), very evocative.

- City of the Soul, A Walk in Rome, William Murray...a writer for the New Yorker & NY Times Magazine who lived in Rome for many years.

- When inRome, A Journal of Life in Vatican City, Robert J. Hutchinson...humorous book by a Roman Catholic journalist delving into the world of the Vatican (irreverent & very entertaining).

- The Genius in the Design: Bernini, Borromini and the Rivalry That Transformed Rome, Jake Morrissey...I think the creative competition between these two artist/architects produced legendary results; very entertaining/easy read backed up with plenty of the grip of it now!

- Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling, Ross to read before and after viewing the Sistine Chapel...brings Michelangelo's remarkable achievement to life.

- Brunelleschi's Dome, Ross King...different city (Florence), different era, similar dynamics between artist/architect & Pope. King writes in a way that allows you to "feel" the scaffolding.

- Italy Out of Hand, A Capricious Tour, Barbara Hodgson...beautifully designed (let's hear it for the designers!) with all sorts of tasty historical tidbits & images...almost a guidebook, but so much more. I'm two pages away from starting the 'Roma' section... : )

- A Literary Companion to Rome, John Varriano...ten walks through the city, along with words of great writers who visited it and the author's historical perspective.

- Italy in Mind, edited by Alice Leccese Powers...excerpts from writers past/present...good to whet your appetite to seek out their full sources.

- Within Tuscany, Matthew Spender...a British writer moves his family to Tuscany in the late '60s...excellent villa rental reading, wonderfully revealing of local color interwoven w/history. I enjoyed reading it several years ago, time to reread it.

next on the "to read" list:

- M, Peter Robb...about the turbulent life of Caravaggio

- Venetian Stories, Jane Turner Rylands...fiction, but looks revealing of Venetian life

- In Ruins, Christopher Woodward...not limited to Rome or Italy, but encompassing my fascination with ruins & archeology everywhere.

- and???

Rome has an extensive internal transport system and is one of the most important road, rail and air hubs in Italy.

Urban transport[edit]

Rome has an urban transport network which consists of buses, trams, rapid transit lines, light rail lines and suburban railways.

Roma servizi per la Mobilità is the municipally-owned public transport agency which is in charge of programming bus routes and providing real-time information and services to the user.[1]

Atac (formerly an acronym for Azienda del Trasporto Autoferrotranviario del Comune di Roma, "Company for rail and road transport of the city of Rome") is the municipally-owned public transport company which operates most of the public transport lines in the city.[2]

Roma TPL is a private company which operates a minority of bus lines.

Rome Metro[edit]

Main article: Rome Metro

Rome Metro is the rapid transit system serving the city with three underground lines. The first track opened in 1955. The total length of the network is 60 km (37 mi) with 73 stations. There are three lines A, B - plus a branch called B1 - and C. Lines A and B intersect at Roma Termini station; line C is completely automated but is not yet connected to the rest of the network.

A fourth line, line D, is under development. It will have 22 stations over a distance of 20 km (12 mi).

Trams and commuter rail[edit]

Main articles: Trams in Rome and Lazio regional railways

Rome's overground rail transport comprises the tramway network, suburban and urban lines in and around the city of Rome, plus an "express line" to Fiumicino Airport. Whereas most FS-Regionale lines (Regional State Railways) provide a largely suburban service with more than twenty stations scattered throughout the city, a metro-like service is provided by the Roma-Lido (starting at Ostiense station) and Roma-Nord (starting at Flaminio station) rail lines, but with lower frequencies than Metro lines, as the Rome–Giardinettilight rail line. There is also the Lazio regional railways, a commuter rail system with seven lines which link the suburbs of the Rome Metropolitan Area. One of these lines serves the second airport of the city, Ciampino.


See also: Trolleybuses in Rome

Rome has a comprehensive bus network, including two trolleybus routes (with additional trolleybus lines under construction). The Metrebus integrated fare system allows holders of tickets and integrated passes to travel on all companies vehicles, within the validity time of the ticket purchased.[3]


Rome is one of the major hubs of Italian railway network, along with Milan and Bologna. The main railway station serving the city, Roma Termini, is the busiest station in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. The second largest station in the city is Roma Tiburtina, which is being redeveloped for high-speed rail service.[4] Other notable stations include Roma Ostiense, Roma Trastevere, Roma Tuscolana, Roma San Pietro, Roma Nomentana and Roma Casilina.


See also: List of streets in Rome

Rome is served by an extensive motorway network. The most important motorway serving the city is the A90, also known as Grande Raccordo Anulare or GRA (Great Ringroad) which run in a circle around the city. The GRA is connected to the Roman branch of the A1Milan - Naples and other two motorways which arrive further inside the city: the A24Teramo - Roma and the A91 Roma - Fiumicino Aeroporto.

Traffic congestion in Rome is notorious.[5] This issue is caused mainly by the undersized public transport network and the extremely high cars per capita ratio in the city. It is one of the highest ratios in the country. The Province of Rome is the second province in Italy by automobiles per capita (0,687) and 5th by vehicles per capita (0,87).[6]

A small bicycle sharing system started in 2008.[7]

Motor Traffic Limited Zone (ZTL)[edit]

Chronic congestion caused by cars led to the partial banning of motor traffic from the central part of the city during workdays, from 6 am to 6 pm.[8] This area is called Zona a Traffico Limitato (ZTL), motor traffic limited zone.[9]

Heavy traffic due to night-life crowds during weekends led in recent years to the creation of other ZTLs in the Trastevere and S. Lorenzo districts during the night, and to experimentation with a new night ZTL also in the city centre (plans are underway to create a night ZTL in the Testaccio district as well). In spite of all these measures, traffic in Rome remains an unsolved problem.[citation needed][when?]


Rome is served by three civil airports. The intercontinental Leonardo Da Vinci Airport is Italy's largest airport both for national and international traffic and is one of the busiest in Europe. It is more commonly known as Fiumicino, as it is located within the territory of the nearby comune of Fiumicino, in the south-west of Rome. The older Rome Ciampino Airport is a joint civilian and military airport. These main two airports are owned and managed by Aeroporti di Roma.

The third airport serving the city, the Rome Urbe Airport, is a small, low-traffic airport located about 6 km (3.7 mi) north of the city centre, which handles most helicopter and private flights.

A fourth airport in the eastern part of the city, the Aeroporto di Centocelle (dedicated to Francesco Baracca), is no longer open to civil flights; it hosts the Comando di Squadra Aerea (which coordinates the activities of the Aeronautica Militare) and the Comando Operativo di Vertice Interforze[10] (which coordinates all Italian military activities), although large parts of the airport are being redeveloped as a public park.

Rome Public Transportation Statistics[edit]

The average amount of time people spend commuting with public transit in Rome, for example to and from work, on a weekday is 79 min. 22% of public transit riders, ride for more than 2 hours every day. The average amount of time people wait at a stop or station for public transit is 20 min, while 39% of riders wait for over 20 minutes on average every day. The average distance people usually ride in a single trip with public transit is 6.8 km, while 12% travel for over 12 km in a single direction. [11]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Media related to Transport in Rome at Wikimedia Commons

Buses, motorcycles, and automobiles are common in Rome.
Tram approaching Teatro Argentina terminus
Aerial view of Roma Termini railway station
A scheme of motorway network around the city of Rome, showing the Grande Raccordo Anulare
Rome's Traffic Limited Zone (ZTL) entry control point with automatic surveillance


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