At the moment there are only three subway lines in Rome, called A, B and C. The central part of the third line is nowhere near finished, however, and this line is not very useful for tourists.
Rome Metro Line A is also known as the red line, Rome metro line B as the blue line. The future line C will be the green line.
As of 13 June 2012 there is also an extension to metro line B called B1. It has not been completely opened yet and gets only as far as the Conca d’Oro stop. This means that passengers along line B that go beyond the Bologna stop have to make sure they get onto the right train (either final destination Bologna or final destination Conca d’Oro).
Line C runs, for the moment, between Monte-Pantani and Lodi. In the foreseeable future it should reach the San Giovanni stop.
The reason for the fact that there are only three lines in a big city like Rome is that everywhere underneath the city there are ruins from the Ancient Roman times. Parts of the new line C are therefore being constructed more than 100 meters below ground level.
The metro lines
The only station in Rome where it is possible to change lines is at Roma Termini, the main railway station and central bus square. Line A and B start running at 5.30am and the last trains of the day leave at 11.30pm. If you plan to stay out late you will therefore be dependent on taxis or the – not very regular – night bus system. On Friday and Saturday nights the last trains leave the departure station at 1.30am. After that night bus line N2 follows the line B route and N1 follows the line A route.
The first and last stops of line A are the stations of Anagnina and Battistini, the first and last stops of line B are Rebibbia and Laurentina. Note that a new extension of line B, called B1, travels between Laurentina and Conca d’Oro.
Visiting Rome tourist attractions using the underground system
Many of Rome‘s tourist attractions are not really near underground stations. Some that are:
- Vatican City, Saint Peter’s Basilica and Vatican Museums (stop: Ottaviano, line A).
- Colosseum and Roman Forum (stop: Colosseo, line B).
- Piazza del Popolo (stop: Flaminio, line A).
- Spanish Steps (stop: Spagna, line A).
- Saint John in Lateran (stop: San Giovanni).
- Via Nazionale (stop: Repubblica, line A).
- Pyramid and Ostiense railway station (stop: Piramide, line B).
Some Words of Warning
Smoking is prohibited in the underground system.
Especially during rush hour the trains tend to be packed, so it is important that you watch your belongings carefully. The number of people on the trains, and especially on line B, would make a sardine claustrophobic, which turns it into a paradise for pick-pockets. Keep your bags or backpacks where you can see them and do not have your wallet or cell phone in your back pocket. It is best to have your valuables hidden underneath your clothes. Be especially careful when boarding the trains!
People in wheelchairs will unfortunately find that most of the more central subway stations do not have elevators/lifts. Moreover, the lifts that do exist tend to be out of order rather often. After years of restoration works the main station Termini finally has a lift.