The Express Bus to Saint Peters in Rome
Rome is a fairly large city and any city’s public transport system has its quirks and challenges to visitors. Here you will find a PDF of the large central section of the Roman public transport and probably all you will need will be right here.
First you will need a day pass. You can get those just about anywhere but be sure to compost or validate the ticket in a bus if using it for the first time – the underground or metro will have it validated for you as you enter through the turnstile.
We were staying near the Colosseum so we took the underground to Termini the one stop to pick up the 40 Express bus for our trip to Saint Peters. There are plenty of other ways to do this and in some cases it makes sense to take a taxi. So understand this might not be your best option. But if you are looking for a quick day visit to see some sights and do it cheaply this is your way to get around.
The 40 bus has a shelter outside Termini station with all the other buses. As this is an express bus it doesn’t stop at all the stops along the route. But it is very easy to get from Stazione Termini to see things such as the Pantheon, Campo di Fiori, Piazza Navonna, the Vatican and the Trevi Fountain. If your day allows for it, you can add on the Spanish Steps easily once back at Termini with a few underground stops and add in the Forum and Colosseum with a single underground stop.
First stops will be at the Argentine where you can get off and walk to the Pantheon – you will need a map or GPS as it is quite possible to get lost – something that is generally most enjoyable if you have aren’t on a schedule. Honestly, there is something interesting at every stop along the way from Termini to Saint Peters so be adventurous.
Further along the way you will find the Piazza Navona and Camp di Fiori – on opposite sides of the street so decide which one you want to go to first and then head that direction. The Campo di Fiori is filled with vendors selling great items such as cheeses and the most incredible herbs. It is also a great place to stop for lunch as there are some very good restaurants here.
Hop on board again and you’ll find yourself at St. Peters in little time. Here you can do whatever you have time or interest in doing in Vatican City. There is no shortage of things to do but if time is pressed you can at least say you’ve seen it after walking up the street from the bus terminus.
There are lots of vendors on the street heading up to Saint Peters selling everything from water to tea towels with the Pope’s image on them. We were there on a hot day most recently and it was nice to find cold drinks for sale.
A word of warning. The bus route is popular with pick pockets. Women should also have a purse that thieves cannot cut. Same with rucksacks. Always be cautious in travelling but in particular this route is popular with tourists so it makes it popular too with thieves.
So you’re ready to return to Termini and once there you can easily see the Spanish Steps by taking the underground to Spagna and then adding on the Colosseum and Forum by taking it to Colosseo. If you’re heading back to a cruise ship you can very easily catch the train back to Civitaveccia from Termini or return back to your hotel room.
If you are arriving by cruise ship it is easy to get to the station on the free shuttle that is provided. Then walk slightly up the hill to the station – it isn’t more than 5 minutes walk from where the shuttle drops you off at port. Buy a return ticket to Termini – its pretty cheap. Then buy your day ticket there to use the buses and underground for about Euros 6. The Civitavecchia to Rome train is about Euros 10 return and you can actually get off at St. Peters and do the bus in reverse of the way I described. Instant easy cheap Cruise Excursion on your own!
Explore and mingle with the locals when possible.