Rome by bike. Rome is not a bike-friendly city. But there are some very nice routes for bikes and also in the city center you can easily move by bike. Here you will find all information about bike paths, bike tours and what you need to consider when renting bicycles.
Bike or e-bike?
If you want to conquer Rome by bike, remember that Rome is built on seven hills. The whole city and the surrounding areas of Rome are very hilly and on many routes it’s constantly up and down.
You can find level courses along the Tiber banks, the Tiber bike path, in the city center between Piazza del Popolo and Piazza Venezia, from the Coliseum to via Appia Antica, and north from Piazza del Popolo along the Via Flaminia to the Tiber.
Capitol, Palatine, Aventine, Celio, Esquiline, Quirinal and Viminal are the seven hills, which are usually named. The Vatican is also located on a hill and to the south is the very charming Gianicolo. To the northwest Monte Mario rises.
To experience Rome by bike, you have to bring a certain level of fitness. Otherwise you can use an e-bike.
What you should pay attention to by bike in Roman traffic
The Roman drivers are in generally considerate to cyclists, accidents are pretty rare.
Cyclists are usually treated as pedestrians. You can usually go through pedestrian zones and go on sidewalks. Also the journey in the opposite direction of one-way streets usually is not punished if you drive on the edge and threatens no other road users. Most secure you’re going in a group.
You can not rely on the other traffic participants to comply with the rules. Overhauling a car on the right at a crossroads can be deadly, because the driver may turn off without blinking and certainly does not look at straight-ahead cyclists.
When you cross the road on a crosswalk, you should not exceed walking pace. The crossing of the roadway at pedestrian lights with the bicycle is common in Rome.
Bike paths and routes
If you want to be on your own, consider a ride through the center, along the Tiber, or from the Circus Maximus to the Appia Antica – but you will find cobblestones on this route.
The Tiber bike path
The route along the Tiber banks is particularly beautiful and quiet. It goes almost entirely through the whole city. You only have to overcome the height difference of the city to the banks of the Tiber and can return anywhere on central points upwards.
Cycling in the green – villas and parks
Rides through the Roman villas and parks are also very nice.
The park of the Appia Antica and the park of the aqueducts are particularly interesting. On the traffic calmed part of the Appia Antica beginning at the tomb of Cecilia Metella you can cycle for many miles.
Cycling in the center
For trips by bicycle in the center of Rome, you should choose routes off the main roads. Right and left of the main roads you can drive through picturesque streets. Some beautiful pedestrian bridges are ideal for the crossing of the Tiber river. In the center, pass the Isola Tiberina, Ponte Sisto or the Angel’s Bridge, further in the North Ponte della Musica at the Olympic Stadium and Ponte Milvio.
Where you can rent a bike
There are various places for bicycles in the city, where you can rent a bike by the hour or for several days. Please read our notes and tips!
Precautions on bicycle rental
Bicycles are very difficult to secure against theft. You should never leave unattended your bike. The lenders are usually not insured against theft and you have to replace the eventual damage.
Unfortunately, one can occasionally read about fraudulent lenders, especially when a deposit is required by credit card or passport. I have therefore picked out some bicycle rentals for you, which are well known and you can book online:
Vespa Style in Via Milazzo 3 a, near the main station Termini
Topbike in Via Labicana 49, near the Colosseum
Wheely in Via Labicana 118, near the Colosseum
Elebike in Via Labicana 118, near the Colosseum
Bicycle rides in Rome surroundings
Have a special experience by bicycle in the surrounding countryside of Rome!
In the surroundings of Rome, there are beautiful destinations, which you can reach by bicycle, be it the coast or the mountains.
When riding a bike on country roads, especially in the mountains, I want advise you to the utmost caution. Unfortunately, there are always serious and fatal accidents.
If you are not a very experienced rider – and even they are not immune from accidents – I advise you to book a guided tour for your trip.
You are always going to be safer in the group, and the tour management will, as far as possible, choose routes without or with little traffic.
Our favorite tracks
The park of the Appia Antica and the associated park of the aqueducts are especially nice for cycling trips. In these regional parks there are very beautiful paths without traffic in the midst of ancient remains.
Unfortunately, the first piece from the Baths of Caracalla to the catacombs is on cobblestones. If you turn left at the height of the catacombs of the Appia Antica, you can reach the park of the Caffarella which contains good cycling paths. Also on the site of the catacombs the roads are asphalted. After the tomb of Cecilia Metella the asphalt on the Appia Antica is interrupted again and again by stone slabs of the type ancient Roman road. They serve to deter cars before the passage. On the Appia Antica you can ride many kilometers towards Ciampino.
Another beautiful route, but a little hilly, goes on the Via Cristoforo Colombo to Ostia. The cars drive very fast here, but there is a wide side strip on which you can easily ride a bike.
You can also take the local train to Ostia and then cycle along the sea. Heading south you can ride as far as you like on mostly flat roads or take a break at one of the free beaches.
If you’re feeling sporty, you can also cycle up the Via Tuscolana to the Castelli Romani and then from Castel Gandolfo on the Via Appia back to Rome. There is also a guided tour where you take the train to Castel Gandolfo. Then you already have the most difficult parts behind you.