Ok. That’s it. I’m done with getting ripped off by taxis in Rome. The situation has gotten particularly bad at Ciampino Airport, but there are certain things you should know about calling or hailing a taxi in Rome regardless of where you are in the city.
I have already written about how much a taxi from the airport to Rome should cost:
€30 from Ciampino airport to the city center
€48 from Fiumicino airport to the city center
How do I know that? Because it is LITERALLY WRITTEN ON THE DOOR OF THE TAXI.
But there is a gang of drivers at the Ciampino airport entrance who try to charge at least €40 to take you to Rome. That. Is. Ridiculous. And it makes me so angry because what a way to introduce people to Rome – rip them off right from the start.
So, here are a few things you should know about taking a taxi in Rome, not just from the airport but around the city as well:
Rome Taxi Guide
- Official taxis in Rome are white and have a Roma Capitale logo with the taxi number clearly displayed on the front door. Only take these. Now, let’s focus on how to avoid getting scammed by the official taxis:
- The price from the airports to Rome and vice versa is set. It is not negotiable. If you are staying outside of the city walls, you will be using the meter instead. Check with your accommodation ahead of time to confirm if you fall into the fixed rate zone if you are unsure.
- Every taxi driver has a taxi license number on the back of the cab as well as inside the back door. The little plaque as includes their name. So, if you are having trouble, write it down and ask for a receipt when you arrive at your destination. You can report issues with this form.
- When you are in the city, cabs are not really supposed to stop if flagged down. They sometimes do, but your best bet is to find a taxi rank.
- Getting in the cab at a taxi rank will also save you money. If you call a taxi, the meter starts from wherever the taxi is sent from. It is a stupid system because the cab arrives with extra time already running but this is Rome and so that is how it works.
- During the day, the meter starts at €3.25. At night (after 10 pm), the starting rate on the meter doubles to €6.50.
- If you need a cab to come to pick you up, or if the stronzi (@$$holes) at Ciampino are giving you a hard time about the rate, then call the taxi dispatcher directly. That was we did. The biggest company is Radio Taxi and the number is +39 06 3570
- Do yourself a favor and download FreeNow. The taxi app allows you to order a taxi directly to your location without having to speak to a dispatcher in Italian. It will send whichever taxi is closest from any official company. The app should also track the route, so there is less likelihood of the driver taking the long way home. Finally, you can also add payment information to the app to pay with credit card or Paypal, however, you can also pay with cash when you reach your destination. Up to you. Just keep in mind that the meter starts from wherever the driver accepted your request (see point #5 above about how taxis in Rome work). So if the app shows that the driver is far away, feel free to cancel and retry.
I am a total FreeNow convert now and I like that it works for more than just taxis in Rome – it can also be used in several other European cities and countries.
Don’t have data while traveling? I would still suggest downloading the app. Ciampino airport has free wifi so you could always pop inside and use the app to call the taxi if there are no taxis waiting.
Speaking of apps, Rome does have Uber and I do use it occasionally. The rate to Fiumicino airport is about €65 if I remember correctly. However, I have noticed recently that Uber prices have gone up and that surge pricing is more common.
For another airport transfer option, consider Welcome Pickups. Welcome Pickups charges the same price as a taxi but has a driver waiting for you. This is what I personally use if I am going to are from Rome’s Fiumicino airport. I also send a Welcome Pickup to get my parents whenever they fly in so that they don’t have to deal with public transportation or taxis. Plus it is all pre-paid and pre-booked. You can read Jimmy’s review here.