The BIRG pass - your gateway to Lazio (and Rome)

Imagine it, you've landed in Lazio, and you've got a few days to explore. You don't want the hassle of hiring a car, and you want the benefit of fully immersing yourself in Roman culture, through taking public transport. Perhaps you're staying outside of Rome and fancy getting the train in.

Which ticket do I buy?

The BIRG, or Biglietto Integrato Regionale Giornaliero, is an 'Integrated Regional Daily Ticket' travelcard that gives an unlimited number of journeys until midnight on the day it is activated. This is the one you need if you're heading into Rome (and back again) from out of town and want unlimited travel while you're there. For example, we often get a BIRG from Stimigliano to Stazione Tiburtina in Rome for 7€. It's cheap, convenient, and allows us to avoid the stress of driving in the chaotic traffic and looking for a parking space somewhere in Rome.




Where can I use it?

On public transport within Rome:
- on buses, trams, trolleybuses and Cotral coaches
- on metro lines within Rome

Within Lazio:

- on Met.Ro regional trains, e.g those from Rome to Civitavecchia, Rome to Viterbo or Rome to Fiumicino (with a supplement), plus many more, obviously
- on Trenitalia regional trains (travelling second class only), e.g. Rome to Orte






Cost per zone:
to cover 1 zone 2,50€
for 2 zones 4,50€
for 3 zones 6,00€
for 4 zones 7,00€
for 5 zones 9,00€
for 6 zones 10,50€
for 7 zones 10,50€
 

(at time of writing - 21st August 2011)


You'll notice that there are only 6 zones on the map, yet there are price tariffs for 7 zones. Why? Well, the central red zone of Rome counts as two zones. Plus, as noted in the comments below, Fiumincino is in zona B, so you need a ticket for three zones if you want to go on a non-express train from Rome to Fiumicino (as oppose to the leonardo express, which goes from stazione Termini direct to Fiumicino airport and costs around 10€).


Where can I buy it?

Many things in Italy can seem a little more convoluted than normal to outsiders. Where would you buy a ticket for the bus? In a local bar, obviously. All tickets must be pre-purchased before getting on board and are available for sale at ATAC counters, tabacchi (anywhere with the T-sign outside - the bars nearby a train/bus stop are usually also tabacchis) newsagents, and at automatic ticket dispensers (often found on the platform at busier stations). Tickets should be validated at the beginning of the journey, either on the tram/bus itself, or in the train station before departure. Failure to do this can result in a hefty fine. Trust me, they do come and check.

Validate or face a very stern revenue protection officer

If you're just traveling in Rome, and you aren't sure how many journeys you might do in that day, you should get a cheaper Biglietto Integrato a Tempo, or 'BIT' which costs 1€ and is valid for up to 75 minutes of travel on ATAC buses, or for one trip on the metro or suburban train lines. Likewise, if you plan to be out all day and know you are going to make a number of journeys, you're better off buying a Biglietto Integrato Giornaliero (BIG), which costs 4€. Weekly tickets, such as the Carta Integrata Settimanale (CIS) and monthly passes are also available, not just for in Rome but also for travel around Lazio. Further information on these and many more can be found on the ATAC website, in both English and Italian. See BrowsingRome for a great post on public transport in Rome. Happy traveling!




15 comments:

  1. N.B. I've been informed by ticket sellers that these are NOT valid for travel as far as Fiumicino. The monthly transit pass is, but this daily one is not. In years past I had used them for this but was never checked or challenged. There is an extra supplemental charge to the airport that covers to FCO from the limit of the Rome "ring". Orte is also in an outer ring again and the BIRG from there costs 9 euro instead of 7.

    Alison

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  2. Thanks for your comments Alison. You're right about Fiumicino, I'd remembered and then forgotten about that. Tickets to Fiumicino aren't included in the zone system. I'll make an edit to the post. Thanks for reminding me (again!) The 7 euro price for the BIRG is from Stimigliano in zone 4, Orte is in zone 5 - I'll try to make that clearer as well! Thanks again!

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  3. So it would cost us or our guests E9 for a one day travel card from Orte to Roma(much quicker journey than from Viterbo. Thanks for the useful info.

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  4. Hey LindyLouMac, thanks for your comment. Be careful with the trains from Orte. These BIRGs are only valid on the treno regionale, and some of these can be quite slow. However, you're right, 9€ for one day travel from all the way out there to Rome is great!

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  5. Great tip - thanks! We operate a weekly rental near Orvieto, and many of our guests spend a few days in Rome before or after their week in our villa. I presume a BIRG would get them from Rome out to Ostia Antica. Thanks for figuring this out for the rest of us!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment! Yes, a BIRG would get them out to Ostia - it's really great value for money!

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  6. Thanks for sharing this. Travelers are always looking for ways to save money on the cost of travel. There's no fun in having to pick and choose the destinations that you visit in a country just because of the expense of transportation.

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  7. Wow! 9 euros for one day travel from there to Rome is a great bargain.Thanks for sharing this tip.

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  8. These BIRGs are only valid on the treno regionale, and some of these can be quite slow.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, now there are various privatised routes the BIRG is less useful.

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  9. So am I right in assuming that I can't use a BIRG bought in Civitivecchia to go to Rome and then to Fiumicino?

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  10. In years past I had used them for this but was never checked or challenged. There is an extra supplemental charge to the airport that covers to FCO from the limit of the Rome "ring"

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  11. thanks for your detailed post. I think it would be very useful for young travel lover, i think it is a bargain. Youngers wont mind much about the destination, they're eager to discover new life style. The more they go, the more they get. Very useful

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