If a city is a jungle, then Rome has various paths to be discovered: narrow streets and major arteries, as well as shortcuts give you a breath of fresh air away from traffic of the city.
Unlike other European capitals, however, Rome remains deficient in its transportation network; having only two active subway lines (A and B), an extension (B1), and a new line connecting the center with the periphery (C, inaugurated a couple of weeks ago).
Although Rome’s underground transportation system is not comparable to those of London, Paris or Madrid (just to name a few). The real problem with the Roman underground is the almost impossibility to plan an underground network of connections.
Why? Here is a little joke and a bit of history: in Rome, it has always been said that it was impossible to carry out underground work, because you would surely have found an “pot” or something like that. The joke reveals a particular truth about the city; there is an impressive amount of historical and archaeological artifacts that, remarkably, have yet to emerge from the depths of Rome into the light of day.
Add bureaucratic delays that prevented even the planning of an expansion and the implementation of the metro system, and you can begin to see why Rome’s metro system may fall short of other major cities.
The treasures of Rome, however, are concentrated primarily in the historic center, which is served by both lines A and B.
The bright red A line takes travelers to many of the famous piazzas: Piazza Repubblica by Via Nazionale, from where you can walk or catch the either bus 40 or 64 to Piazza Venezia or to the Vatican (see more below); Piazza del Popolo can be reached by the Flaminio stop; the Piazza di Spagna stop leads you to one of the most famous piazzas, where you will find the Spanish Steps (next to the Keats and Shelley House) and the designer stores of Via dei Condotti; while the Cipro stop takes you to the Vatican Museums.
If your goal is go to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, or find a path to the Baths of Caracalla, or to get to Circus Maximus, then a change of line is in order, from red line A to blue line B. Both lines are accessible from Termini Station. The Metro B stop at the Colosseum, Circus Maximus and Pyramid of Cestius, where you can also visit the Protestant Cemetery to see where the famous English poets John Keats and Percy Shelley as well as Antonio Gramsci are buried.
From Termini Station, the major bus terminal in the historic center, you can take the 64 or the 40, both of which run along the Quirinale on Via Nazionale down to Piazza Venezia, entering through Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Largo Argentina, ending at Borgo Sant’Angelo, at the ancient Via Sistina, enlarged in 1474 by Pope Sixtus IV (hence the name).
Finally, whether you choose to rest your feet by taking the metro, or take a beautiful Roman passeggiata, Rome offers you the opportunity to experience living history!
Original Article by Samir Hassan
(Translated & Edited by Diedré Blake)
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