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Hailing Cabs

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Waterbury...
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Hailing Cabs

This may seem like an odd question for someone who has been to Rome 8 times, but I was wondering if people have had luck hailing cabs in various parts of the city, or if you need to use a taxi stand.

My first four times to Rome I was a child and the last four I was with family who drove me everywhere, so this will be my first trip where I will have to arrange all our transportation. We plan on walking most of the time, but will take taxis rather than public transportation to places that are too far to walk. Thanks!

Edited: 30 May 2010, 12:53
Montreal
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1. Re: Hailing Cabs

Some taxi drivers will stop if you hail them, but they're not supposed to (and chances are if they disregard one rule, they'll disregard others - like the ones about metered fares etc.)

Why don't you want to use public transportation? The bus system in Rome is excellent.

Waterbury...
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2. Re: Hailing Cabs

Well, the main reason being that we would like to minimize our risk for pickpockets, etc that like to work the buses and metro. And I do remember as a child/teenager when with my parents in Rome, that we always took cabs to places too far to walk, and I don't ever remember having any problems.

We don't plan on using many cabs when in Rome as we like to walk to most places. It'll be just the odd one here and there.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Hailing Cabs

Taxis in Rome do not cruise looking for custom. If you are lucky, you will find one at a taxi rank but don't bet on it except at somewhere really busy like Termini.

If you are really worried about pickpockets, you will have to avoid all the major tourist attractions in Rome, such as St Peter's, Colosseum, Pantheon, Spanish Steps. There are pickpockets wherever tourists gather. The way to deal with them is to put your valuables into a money belt under your clothes, and then there is no problem.

Waterbury...
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4. Re: Hailing Cabs

I'm not quite paranoid enough to avoid all the tourist attractions in Rome for the sole purpose of avoiding pickpockets, but I do believe in minimizing the risk whenever possible. And this time I'll have my wife with me, so I'm much more concerned about her than myself. By not being in a very crowded bus or metro I think we can accomplish this, but I'm just trying to gauge how practical it is.

Edited: 30 May 2010, 13:26
Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Hailing Cabs

Pickpockets are not muggers. Neither you nor your wife will be physically attacked, or be threatened with a gun or knife.

But if you put your wallet in your back trouser pocket, or your wife puts her purse at the top of an open handbag, the wallet or purse will be removed without either of you noticing a thing.

Waterbury...
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6. Re: Hailing Cabs

LOL......I know we're not in any real danger of physical harm. Not worried about that at all. At the same time I just don't want to deal with pickpockets if I can avoid it. It's my wife's first European trip, and I don't want to deal with any of that if possible.

Let's just say that taking taxis is a personal preference of ours, and that's what were going to try to do.

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7. Re: Hailing Cabs

As has been stated, they are at taxi ranks - your hotel should be able to let you know where they are and I think there is a map somewhere that shows them around the city. You might even be able to google it. I too would not take one that stopped if I hailed because as said above, if they are willing to break one rule, they may be inclined to break others - i.e., the meter and using the proper meter code.

Another tip - although I'm sure you already know this one - is for your wife not to leave her purse on a table, empty chair or on the ground/floor near her feet while dining. Especially when eating outside - you may think you have it safe as it is right next to you, but it can go missing. I usually wrap the strap around my ankle or if it is a very small bag, I just keep it on my lap.

I will say I am a woman and have been to Rome 17 times now - often alone for a week or more and have never had any problems with pickpockets - no attempts, nothing. I keep my money, etc close to my body or now in my Pacsafe small backpack that has all sorts of wonderful safety features that make it impossible for a pickpocket to get into. I carried around my money, passport, wallet and SLR camera in it last month for a week without a worry. You can't even slash the thing - and, it's cute!

But, it is true, anyplace that is crowded - and boy they are crowded - the pickpockets flourish. I'm guessing more so than on the public transportation because at the sites people are really otherwise preoccupied looking at what they came to see and that is when their guard is down.

Taxis I find in Rome are pretty reasonable. If the hotel calls one for you the price on the meter will begin from the time the taxi leaves the rank to arrive at your hotel to pick you up.

Waterbury...
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8. Re: Hailing Cabs

Thanks MomCat. As it turns out we will be staying in an apartment, and I'm certain that the owners will be able to provide info on taxi stands.

I just had a thought that it might be a good idea to get a cell phone that will work in Rome so I can call a cab when we need one. I'd like to take my wife out to Aqueduct Park which is further out and may not have a taxi stand nearby, but if I have a phone with me it won't matter. Seems like a perfect solution. Sometimes it take a little while for the light bulb to go on. ;-)

Montreal
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9. Re: Hailing Cabs

Most Roman cabbies are honest, but it's the unscrupulous ones who prey on tourists: tourists trying to hail cabs, tourists at cab stands like the ones near St. Peter's Square or the Colosseum or at Roma Termini.

I'm not going to deny that pickpocketing happens, but I've never been pickpocketed in around 40 trips to Rome. And I'm a woman who most often travels alone, and I carry an ordinary handbag with a zipper, with an inconspicuous wallet (with daily run-around money) at the bottom and valuables (passport, extra cash) in a zippered compartment.

I *have* been overcharged by cabs I've used from Termini.

Waterbury...
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10. Re: Hailing Cabs

Yes I agree Zerlina that most of them are honest. That's one reason why I'm not too worried about using cabs exclusively.

And that's great that you have been to Rome so many times without incident. A lot of it has to do with being aware of your surroundings I'm sure. Unlike most people here, my wife is not a seasoned or saavy tourist, so I'll be coaching her along the way. I've already told her the do's and don'ts over there, but being a novice at all this I'm sure there'll be times where she'll let her guard down when she shouldn't. It'll be my job to make sure that happens at a bare minimum.