Why Using Uber in Rome, Italy is Weird (but it still works)

There have been a lot of reports about taxi drivers at Rome’s airports telling visitors that Uber is illegal in Italy.

Every now and then, you might also see a white sign posted on the side of a building that claims that using Uber in Italy could cost you €5,000 in fines.

So why is it so hard to use Uber in Italy?

Despite all the mixed information, you can indeed legally use Uber in Rome and in Milan, but that is pretty much the extent to which Uber runs in Italy.

The rumors about Uber being illegal in Italy have been spread by taxi drivers who feel that Uber is undercutting their business.  There were several taxi strikes in Rome to protest the ride sharing app because its drivers do not have to go through the same process of obtaining an expensive taxi license.

As a result of protests, Uber was indeed temporarily banned in April 2017.  However, the company quickly appealed the ruling and it was swiftly overturned. As a result, Uber remains legal to use in Rome and Milan.

While you should not believe the rumors that uber is illegal in Italy, you should be warned that the service is quite expensive here.  Italy only allows Uber Black (and Uber vans) because drivers must have the town car NCC license in order to operate.

Because there is no UberX or UberPOOL, Uber in Italy tends to be more expensive than taxis on average. There is also often high demand and regular surge pricing in Rome.

Uber alternatives in Italy

you can ride a scooter like this red vespa instead of using uber in Italy

While Uber is not illegal in Italy, it might not be the best choice for car service in Rome. Does Italy have Lyft? That would be a no – but there are a few other uber alternatives in Rome and more broadly in Italy:

MyTaxi
I have a whole post on how to avoid getting ripped off by a taxi in Rome because not all drivers are reliable.  I regularly use MyTaxi, which is an app that works almost exactly like Uber but will call the nearest taxi to come to pick you up. You can insert your destination address and watch the GPS to ensure that there are no weird routes being taken. If you want to try it, you can use the code “natalie.ald” for €5 off your first trip when you pay in the app. (But check with the driver because there may be other promotions running at the time and you can only use one promo code per trip).

Welcome Pickups
Like the security of knowing who your driver is and that they know exactly where to go? If you are flying into one of Rome’s airports, you can book ahead with Welcome Pickups. For the same price as a taxi, the driver will be waiting for you with your name on a sign. We have used Welcome Pickups in multiple cities because it comes with great extras for the same price as you would normally pay for a lift into to your hotel anyways. You can read Jimmy’s review here.

If you want an Uber-like experience with a private car and a driving waiting for you at the airport, then I suggest Kiwi Taxi. (You can read about my experience here).

Scooterino
Billing itself as the “uber for scooters,” Scooterino is an app that will send a scooter driver with an extra helmet to pick you up at your location. Hop on the back of the motorino and they will quickly zip you almost anywhere in Rome.

I’ll update this post if anything changes in the future but Uber is not illegal in Italy! Even so, you still have plenty of other options if you don’t want to use the app during your time in Rome.

asciano italy streets of Tuscany

This post includes affiliate links to services that I personally use and recommend.

29 thoughts on “Why Using Uber in Rome, Italy is Weird (but it still works)

  1. Emanuele says:

    very interesting article dear Natalie!!! each information is very accurate, congratulations. I work in Rome as a driver of a company that works as an associate of uber and I consider myself an expert on this. if you allow me I would like to propose this company that offers best prices! http://www.trip2rome.it i work with them

    • Natalie says:

      Hi Karen – it shouldn’t be on strike! It should work as normal, but there might be higher demand which makes it harder to find a car.

  2. Patty says:

    What is the best winery to go outside of Rome? Our tour company recommends Casal Pilozzo. With a private driver, lunch and tour, cost is $250 each, seems pricey, no?

  3. Ted haldeman says:

    Hi Karen,
    Searched for the mytaxi app and found one I the google play store that is primarily for GB and Germany. Is this the same app you mentioned in your article?

  4. BUNNY says:

    I used mytaxi in Ireland with much success. I’m traveling to Italy and will be spending time in multiple regions… Montecatini, Florence, Rome. Does Mytaxi work in more than just rome and milan?

    • Natalie says:

      Uber is tied only to Milan and Rome but the other services like MyTaxi should work more broadly. Small towns probably won’t have it but Florence shouldn’t be a problem!

  5. Ms says:

    Mytaxi works. But the cost estimates to get you where you are going are always suspiciously low. Be aware drivers will turn on the meter before getting to you. It’s not uncommon to get in and see the meter already over 5euro. Uber in Rome seems to over estimate cost and charge lower than estimated. All in all the similar trips on mytaxi and Uber are close to the same price.

  6. Jasmine says:

    I’m so glad I stumbled upon your page! Our hotel wanted to charge us 65 euro for the airport transfer but the Welcome Pickup site is way more affordable! Thank you!!

    • Natalie says:

      I seriously LOVE Welcome Pickups. I just booked one for my mom who is arriving tonight. Your hotel might have sent a town car, whereas Welcome Pickups are sometimes a taxi-style car, and sometimes a black car. But I really appreciate the price point and the extra that you get with them. I always use them for myself and family so I hope you have a great experience too!

  7. Paul says:

    Hi Natalie,

    Does uber still work in Rome? I am planning a trip in May. Do you know if they are allowed to do pick ups at the airports?

  8. Robert Merz says:

    I do not doubt your information but there is confusing information being given out at the official airport information desks. I am in the airport now and the information desk in the Rome airport told me that there is no designated pickup point at the airport because Uber is illegal in Rome and they are no longer allowed to operate here.

  9. Sue P says:

    Hi Natalie,
    This will be our first trip to Italy. I am trying to figure the best time to schedule a pick up from Rome airport to The train station. We will be arriving at 10 am and will need to grab a train to Naples. Do you have any idea what times I should schedule for a airport pickup and then schedule a train to Naples?

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