The Fixed-Rate Taxi Zone

Often you’ll come across postings in a travel board suggesting that because your hotel, B&B, or apartment is in the Taxi Agreement Areaor inside the Aurelian walls – you can pay a fixed-rate to travel from an airport in Rome to where you will be staying. What exactly is this taxi agreement and where are these Aurelian Walls? What if my hotel is NOT inside this area – what will I have to pay then? Does this fix-rate service include luggage? How many people in a taxi is this rate good for? We’ll try and answer thse and other questions here!

The “Taxi Agreement” is legendary – and fiercely debated – in Rome. In fact, it has been an ongoing debate since the last mayoral election in Rome. The current mayor won, in part, due to the support he received from the members of the taxi union. Since the election, the taxi unions have campaigned to increase fares in Rome, both for airport travel and in the city. Once this measure is approved – which seems a foregone conclusion – Roman taxis are projected to be more expensive then catching a cab in New York City (fee per kilometer traveled). They are soon to be among the most expensive taxis in Europe – and the taxi drivers are still not satisfied. Such is the “agreement” that fixes rates and determines your minimum cost… and that’s if they turn on the meter in the city!

To answer the second part of the questions, the Aurelian Walls are a series of city walls built between 271 and 275. They were built during the reign of the Emperors, Probus and Aurelian – hence the name! The walls surrounded the city, enclosing the seven hills of Rome, Campus Martius (where the Pantheon is), and the Trastevere district. From Wikipedia, here’s a map of the 12 miles of walls (in red) that surrounded – and protected – Rome.


So basically, if your hotel/B&B/apartment is inside these ancient walls, you get a fixed rate from the airports – as per the taxi agreement! Since 2006, those rates have been €40 from the Leonardo Da Vinci Airport; more commonly known as Fiumicino (FCO). And €30 from the Giovan Battista Pastine Airport; known to most as Ciampino (CIA). Now, pending the approval of the government, fares will rise to €45+ from Fiumicino and €35 from Ciampino. In addition, a fixed-fare from inside the walls to the port of Civitavecchia will now be €120. These PROPOSED fares ARE NOT in place currently…

The Taxi Agreement does extend beyond these Aurelian Wall boundaries – but only in a few places. Look at the map below. It is the “agreement” area.


As per the current agreement, the fixed-rate fee from either airport was good for one taxi that would hold four customers and their luggage – for a cost of €40. In addition to the PROPOSED price increase of €5-8 for either airport, there is now a luggage fee – well, kind of. The Comune di Roma has determined that any piece of luggage “above standard measurements” will cost you an additional €1. The measurements in previous agreements were 50x25x50cm. This is about the size of a carry-on bag.

So, if you and your spouse fly into FCO each with a large piece of luggage and have a hotel inside the taxi agreement zone, you would be projected to pay €45 for the taxi + €2 for the luggage… or €47 total. That’s a healthy increase.

What if your hotel or B&B is outside this “fixed rate” zone?

If this is the case, then you will be on the meter. The new meter rates, once in effect, could actually make this trip cheaper – okay, maybe! Previously, there was a Tariff 1 and Tariff 2 setting on the meters. When you were outside the GRA, which would be either airport, you were on Tariff 2 – which charged you €1.52 per kilometer. Then once you hit the GRA, the meter was shifted to Tariff 1 which charged you € .92 per kilometer. There were many stories of taxi drivers who “forgot” to change the meter to Tariff 1. (Or those who never took their meter off Tariff 2 when running folks around the city!).

PROPOSED under the new pricing structure, there will be one flat rate, regardless if you are in – or headed to – Zones 1 or 2. Did I say “one” flat rate… actually it’s two flat rates (is there such a thing?). The first 5km of your trip from the airport you will be charged €1.42. After you reach 5km, every kilometer over 5km is charged at € .98 per kilometer. There would also be a “starting point” on the meter, depending on time of day, day of the week, etc.

To give you an example: If you’re headed to the Roma Cavalieri at 13:00 on a weekday from FCO – it is outside the Aurelian walls and the taxi agreement zone – then you’re breakdown might look like this:

  • Meter starting point at FCO€ 3,00
  • First 5 km at € 1.42€ 7,10
  • Last 25 km at € .98€24,50
  • Luggage fee for 2 folks?€ 2,00
      • TOTAL€36.50

I used Google Maps as my guide and it calculated approximately 30km from the FCO airport to the Roma Cavalieri. Under the “old fare” system, this fee comes in about €45,50. Thus, the new fare rates can actually help you when traveling outside the GRA and on the meter – to select spots.

Part of the problem is a section of the fare increase statute requiring taxi drivers to give you a receipt at the end of your ride… was voted down – much to the delight of Roman taxi drivers! Thus, you may not know exactly how they arrived at the fare you get charged… that’s part of the taxi debate in Rome.

If you are going to use taxis once you get situated at your “residence", it will cost you more for short runs in town once all the legislation clears the approval stage. To summarize the fare increases:

  • The starting point when you get into a taxi daytime will be €3.00
  • The starting point when you get into a taxi at night will be €6.00
  • The fee per kilometer will be €1.42 up to 5km and € .98 for every kilometer thereafter.

There are many more variables… but we will wait until the dust settles and the final fare arrangement is approved and published. At that point, we’ll update this post.

Where do I get a taxi at the airports?

At Fiumicino (FCO), you want to go one of the taxi stands that are outside the Arrivals terminals. There are stands outside Terminals T3 and T1. Go straight to the taxi stand and join the queue. DO NOT accept any offers from folks offering you a taxi. You want to get into an official, white, Rome taxi – from the taxi stand. These taxis will have the word TAXI on the roof, the “Commune di Roma” sticker and license number on the door. The city license is also inside the car on the left rear door.

At Ciampino (CIA) taxis to Rome are directly out in front of the airport. Again, do not accept a ride from any taxi not at the taxi stand.

In the future, we’ll try to put together an-depth taxi posting, with all the costs (and there are many variables such as time of day and day of the week), how to prevent from being ripped off, and other taxi suggestions.

That said, this the taxi driver I want to ride with in Rome… and this is the taxi I want to ride in… might be worth any fare increase! Wonder if they put a meter on this thing? Who cares!


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5 Responses to The Fixed-Rate Taxi Zone

  1. Michael in Seattle says:

    I LOVE that video!! Thanks for posting it, Ron!

  2. Ron in Rome says:

    adinda, You could just tell the cab to take to an accommodation inside the walls – as you say – and then walk from there. A convenient one might be:

    Bed&Breakfast Il Tesoro‎
    Viale Giulio Cesare, 171
    00192 Rome, Italy

    Just write this address out and hand it to the cab driver. This B&B is right nest to the Ottaviano metro which is inside the zone and a good marker on a Google Map. It’s about an 8 minute walk to your accommodation from this spot – perhaps six blocks. You could also ride the SITBUS Shuttle to Piazza Cavour from FCO and then catch the 492 or 70 bus from Piazza Cavour to Via Leone… this route only costs €8 (SITBus) + €1 (bus) or €9 per person. But will take up to an hour for the trip.

  3. adinda says:

    Hi Ron,
    it is such a great information you have here. I will be back here daily untill my departure date! =) Ron, I have a question. My hotel is a little outside the Aurelian walls : Franklin feel the sound hotel in via Rodi. Is it possible from the airport if we ask the taxi driver to drop us off in any spot in Via Leone IV or maybe Via Ottaviano and then we walk on foot to the hotel? we are travelling on a very tight budget, so we rather walk than to pay expensive taxi fares… is there any better spot for us to drop off that is maybe closer to our hotel but still inside the Aurelian wall? And how long will it take to walk from Ottaviano to via Rodi? Need your advice dearly. Thank you.

  4. Ron in Rome says:

    Graham, sorry to hear this happened to you. Taxis from the city of Fiumicino have historically been charging 60E instead of 40E to head into Rome. You make a good suggestion – get only into an official Rome City taxi (“Roma” on the side) and do confirm the 40E rate if your accommodation is inside the Aurelian walls. If the taxi wants more, simply get out and get into the NEXT taxi in the queue. It’s unfortunate that some taxi drivers abuse the system.

  5. Graham Robinson says:

    Hi Ron,
    Thanks for a great website. It helped us with our trip to Rome last week.
    Just to warn your readers that when they arrive at Fiumicino Airport, they should still check with the driver of the official white taxi’s in the rank, that the fare is the fixed rate of 40 euros. We got in the taxi at the head of the queue and as we puled away queried the cost and was told 60 euros and the driver pointed to a small map of rome hanging over the seat that showed the cost of 60E. We couldn’t say much then and paid the 60E. Our return taxi was also from the rank in the rush hour but there was a clear sign showing the cost of 40E including luggage, and we also confirmed the cost before we got in the cab.
    Graham (UK)

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