Rome Taxis

May 11th, 2001, 10:05 PM
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Rome Taxis

Beware of taxis at Rome's main airport!

I've travelled a lot over the years and thought I'd seen it all ... but I got royally ripped off at Rome's airport.

I arrived 8 hours late, very tired and not very 'alert' from San Francisco, via Milan. Before even getting to the 'taxi' stand, a guy came up to me, grabbed my suitcase, and asked if I wanted a taxi. Yes, I said; my car is upstairs, he said. So I asked him how much, and he said L 200,000. No thanks, I said (obviously an un-licensed free-lancer, with a car parked in the regular garage - had same experience in New Jersey). So then I walked to the taxi stand, and a taxi driver leapt out and started loading my suitcase in his trunk. "how much to Piazza di Spagna"? Lots of talking, and then ... L 175,000. After a few questions, he produced 'laminated rate cards' that showed this was the rate, and, being too tired to argue or think too much, I got in and was driven to the hotel. As we got close to the hotel, he told me he could not drive me to the door of the hotel, as the area was pedestrianized. I knew at this point he was lying, because I was staying at the same hotel as a friend, who told me one of the highlights of his arrival was the way the taxi drove through the crowds at Piazza di Spagna! Anyway, I just could not face an argument, and paid him the money, then struggled to find my hotel (after paying a premium to get there!).

The hotel told me the rate was about L 60,000 with perhaps a L 10,000 surcharge for Sunday, and L 10,000 surcharge for late arrival (it was about 10 pm Sunday).

Obviously, he did not want to drop me outside the hotel because the concierge would have helped me validate the charge (Of course, taxis were arriving right at the door as I lugged my luggage down the street!).

Every day after this in Rome was a delight, so I did not let this bother me... but beware and don't pay more than you need to !

May 12th, 2001, 12:56 AM
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Hmmm... This baffles me. I arrived in Rome not 2 weeks ago and paid $7 (less, actually; it was L. 14,000) from Termini to my hotel approximately 2 blocks from the Pantheon, which is farther than P. Spagna. And that included the L. 4,000 surcharges for 1 piece of luggage and whatever the other charge was (train station fee?). And this was in the middle of the day on a national holiday.
May 12th, 2001, 01:03 AM
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Okay. I just noticed that he was coming from the airport, not Termini. But the baffle still applies. I took a shuttle bus from my hotel to the airport for L. 65,000. It was a straight shot. No other stops. Got me there in 30 minutes. And the guy started to give me my money back when I tipped him. He absolutely was not expecting a tip on top of the charge. I was told by a Florentine on the train ride into Rome that cab drivers do not expect tips, so don't offer them any. I guess it's an American thing.
May 12th, 2001, 05:49 AM
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I'm afraid Chris didn't go to the regular cab rank. I've never had a problem with a taxi fare in over two dozen trips to Rome.

Do be wary of drivers approaching you as you come out of customs. I've used on once at a fair rate. Otherwise their asking price is typically twice the official rate.

May 12th, 2001, 05:56 AM
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Just returned from Rome and found that you really do have to beware. Luckily I had spent some time on this forum ahead of time and knew what the airport to historic center rate should be. (About $40) The first man who approached us first was charging L175.000 (~85). The next man was honest. The next two cab rides we had were also very resonable but on returning to Rome from Naples I let my guard down and got into a cab with the meter covered. HUGE MISTAKE! Our one mile ride to our hotel cost us $25! Hindsight tells me I should have given him $10 and told him I'd be glad to call the police if he had a problem with it. There are police all over by the way. I knew better that to get into a cab without a meter showing too. I found the vast majority of Romans very helpful and honest but like anywhere, you do have to be alert.
May 12th, 2001, 09:08 AM
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Thanks, Chris and Sandy, for posting these helpful stories. We'll be landing in Rome in a few days and appreciate the warnings.
May 12th, 2001, 09:32 AM
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in my experience, we took a taxi to the airport (not from). the taxi had a meter. there are some add'l charges for luggage,etc. which was posted in the cab (in several languages). do these airport taxis use their meters? i guess we all have to be well-informed or else...

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