Parking in Rome
Rome is not a city you want to drive in. Rome is the third busiest city in Europe and Romans, it is often said, drive like maniacs, extremely aggressively and according to Italian traffic laws and norms, to which you simply are not accustomed. Above all, Rome's centre is a gigantic maze, many sights can be reached and appreciated only by walking through little alleys and along a complicated urban layout.
In the centre of Rome, a limited traffic zone (ZTL) is at place, which means it’s inaccessible to private cars. Only taxis, vehicles with disability placards, and residents who live or work in the area have access to enter ZTL areas in the center of Rome’s historic center.
At each entrance to a ZTL zone there is an illuminated sign and a placard. The illuminated sign will indicate if the ZTL is active or not.
- Varco attivo = you CANNOT enter
- Varco non attivo = you CAN enter
ZTL areas are never active on Sundays and holidays, although there may be exceptions around Christmas time. Always pay attention to the illuminated digital displays at the entrances to ZTL areas and check the RomaMobilità.it website for the most up-to-date information.
It’s never permissible to park in a ZTL zone of the historic center, you can only drive through and stop to upload the vehicle. Only permanent (certified) residents are allowed to park in the streets, and they find it extremely difficult to find a parking place.
There are only two public garages in the centre where you could park your car, but they are situated not in really highly central areas. One is beneath the BORGHESE GARDENS GARAGE (address: Via del Galoppatoio), the other is just in front of Termini, Rome's main train station.
On the streets, there are marked different areas with different uses. The blue areas mark the spaces used for paid parking, subject to an ordinary hourly rate, but which also provide reduced rates for short-term parking or the proximity rate for long-term parking. With the exception of some areas, parking in the blue areas is free on Sundays and on public holidays for everyone.
In the white areas the parking is free, regulated with hourly disc and for a maximum of 3 hours, near the main hospitals and in the tariffed zones of the city, where only the residents holding the permit are exempted from time limit.
Finally, the yellow areas mark the spaces reserved for free parking for disabled or invalid people, while the pink areas mark those areas where pregnant women and new mothers can park for free, near outpatient and hospital facilities.
The bottom line: when in Rome... go around on foot and public transportation, as all clever and savvy visitors of Rome do (unless you come to Rome on purpose seeking a nervous breakdown).