It was something that we used to say with a sigh, on a Sunday stroll through the centre: If only it was bicycle friendly, and if only cars were banned from the historic parts of Rome. As far-fetched as it may have sounded even a couple of years ago, the local government pledged this March to transform the Italian capital into a cyclist’s utopia by 2020.
We knew that the car ban was not going to happen – Italians love their four-wheeled vehicles – but at least Rome will receive about 620 miles of bike paths, and a doubling in the number of bike-sharing kiosks, both of which will help cyclists feel safer and less like an uncommon species.
Rome’s public transport company ATAC has taken over the bikesharing venture since 1st January 2010. At present, there are 27 bike-sharing kiosks all over the city, with 150 new, green bicycles. To use the service, you need to register in one of the ten authorised ATAC ticket shops, and buy a card for 10 EUR (of which 5 EUR is credit). The cost of renting a bicycle is of 0,50 EUR for each half hour.
Romans seem to have picked up on the idea to get around by bicycle:
Many organisations and communities have emerged, which promote getting around Rome on a bicycle:
An “online meeting point” for cyclists in Rome is Roma Pedala, which seeks to promote cycling in Rome as a healthy, and efficient way of urban mobility. They have an interesting and active blog, which offers information on activities and events, and they invite everyone to participate in their tours.
Promoting bicycle-use in the entire country is the Associazione Italiana Città Ciclabili, whose focus lies on promoting bicycle use as a modern, urban way of transportation, which does not damage the environment.
Bicycles cannot only be rented from ATAC’s bike-sharing kiosk, of course. There are various outlets around town that offer bicycles (and motorcycles) for rent, one of which is Bici & Baci – an agency specialising in rental of two-wheeled transport. We haven’t tried them, of course, but we think their website is quite good-looking.
More information on cycling in Rome can be found on Roma Explorer.Rate this article by clicking here.
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