Road trips around Italy are becoming more and more common these days with easier and more sophisticated navigation tools.
*When driving in Rome it’s very important that drivers respect the Limited Traffic Zones (known as ZTL). These are areas in the city center that are open only to permitted vehicles, typically residents and transport vehicles. Most zones are regulated only during the day or during the night, so it’s important to be aware of where you are able to drive and where you need to go. Read our post on Limited Traffic Zones to learn more and navigate to an interactive zone map.
Where to Park in Rome
There are several different paid and free options for parking in Rome. It’s important to understand the color coding system in Rome (and throughout Italy) as it differs from that in the United States and abroad.
Free Parking in Rome
Free parking is available in white spaces, indicated by blue painted markings on the street. If the street is not particularly well-maintained, the lines may be quite faint, but jurisdiction still rules even if in cases of poor maintenance.
Paid parking in Rome
If you’re traveling from a big American city like New York, San Francisco, or Los Angeles, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised at how inexpensive parking is (generally) in Rome. However convenient parking garages/locations are few and far between, and there may be special ZTL (limited traffic zones) limitations to consider.
For street parking, paid spaces are indicated by blue lines painted on the street. Parking is paid by meters located on the curb, and while they theoretically accept card payments this functionality is often out of service. It’s best to keep a few Euros with you whenever you’ll need to pay for parking.
***Pay for street parking by app: MyCicero is a relatively new app that allows drivers to pay for parking through the app. There are a few steps for setting up the app and connecting a credit card or paypal account, but once connected it is quite convenient. Download App. ***
Parking Garages in Rome
There are several parking garages located in the center of Rome which is the safest overnight parking option. Parking garages often feature surveillance or physical security and typically covered to protect your vehicle from the elements. When selecting a parking garage option, there are a few factors to consider:
- Rates depend on the type of vehicle. Large and luxury vehicles incur higher overnight parking rates because they may require special parking spots.
- Not all parking garages are open 24 hours and offer in/out privileges. It’s best to check with the individual garage to confirm.
Here are a few online resources for selecting the best parking garage to suit your needs, online booking, and understanding ZTL limitations:
Looking for the nearest parking garage to your Rome Accommodation vacation rental? Contact us!
Tips for Parking your Car in Rome
Depending on where you’re coming from, there are a few special considerations when parking in Rome.
Remove all valuables
Rome is a very safe city in terms of personal crime but unfortunately it’s not too uncommon for cars to be broken into, even just to steal a closed gym bag or a navigator. Make sure to take everything with you whenever possible, and never leave bags or luggage in the trunk – even if they are covered. If your car is broken into, the next step is to make a report with the police authority, but chances are they won’t be able to do much.
Be careful of low carriages
Some garages have ramps that lead to underground parking lots. If you’re driving a sports car with a low carriage (or have a very well-packed, heavy car) you may experience issues entering the parking garage. In these cases, it may be most prudent to choose a parking garage on street level.
Take note of the garage’s phone number before leaving your car
When you leave your car for overnight parking, you’ll be given a receipt and likely a business card with contact information. But it’s always best to double check this information or even better, obtain a private number of a parking attendant, in case you need to contact the parking garage. It’s not uncommon that business cards or letterhead will have outdated or disconnected phone numbers on them, so in the event you need to extend or modify your parking reservation, it’s best to make sure you have valid contact information.
If you’ll be driving around Rome (or Italy) we’ve listed a few of our favorite navigation apps to prepare for your trip.
TomTom (no wifi necessary!)
If you’re saving on your international data plan, then TomTom is a terrific app that indicates multiple routes to your desired destination, traffic, gas stations and service areas, and speed checking cameras. Maps are downloaded onto your device and the maps use simple GPS tracking (instead of wifi) to guide you through the often complicated labyrinth of Italy’s roads.
The Waze app prides itself on being constantly updated by real drivers driving the roads that it suggests you take, so detours and road closures (a common site in Italy) are theoretically more up-to-date.
Good ol’ Google Maps are another good option for getting around Rome and Italy in general.
Looking for a comfortable vacation rental in the center of Rome?
Rome Accommodation has over 16 years of experience welcoming international travelers to the Eternal City with a portfolio of over 40 characteristic properties exclusively located in the center of Rome. For large and small families and groups, there is a solution for everyone. Navigate to Rome-Accommodation.net and browse all of the properties, or use filters to see homes by size, location, price, and amenities.
Have you driven in Rome? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!