Vespas and other motor scooters (aka motorini) are a great alternative way to explore the Eternal City. Ever since the first Vespa hit the streets in 1946, Italian manufacturer Piaggio has continued to produce this iconic symbol of romantic Rome.
Thery're practical too, of course - most Vespas are automatic with no gears, so they're easier to handle on Roman roads, plus there's the tempting appeal of recreating the romantic scenes between no less than Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday! If you fancy taking to the road on two wheels while on a city break here, here's our guide on how to hire a Vespa in Rome.
Why take a Vespa?
In fact, going by scooter allows you a real feeling of liberty - no more worrying about where to park, or when the next Metro is. There are lots of designated spaces for two-wheeled vehicles in central Rome Nipping down narrow side streets, stopping off for a gelato in a neighbourhood cafe - you'll become an honorary local in no time.
The hills of Rome are no more taxing than the wind in your hair if you go by scooter, as you zoom up the Aventine, the Palatine and down along the banks of the River Tiber. You've also got the added benefit of being able to reach out-of-the-way districts that you may miss otherwise such as Trastevere and Ghetto.
Where to rent a scooter in Rome
There are plenty of scooter hire outlets throughout the city. Here are a few to check out:
Treno e Scooter, at Track 1 inside Stazione Termini
Bici e Baci, Via del Viminale 5
Happy Rent, Via Piave 49
How much does scooter rental cost?
Prices will differ from company to company but on average, you will usually be charged according to size of model and length of time. For example:
50cc model: from €6-€10 per hour, €19-€45 per day
125cc model: €13-€15 per hour, €42-€70 per day
150cc model: €80 per day
Advice and road rules
Of course, it makes sense to read up on the rules of the road if you're going to drive any kind of vehicle in another country. The Roman roads can be fast-paced and overwhelming at first, so it's important to know what to expect.
The basic dos and don'ts apply: wear a helmet, don't get distracted by your mobile or a travelling companion and try to avoid major thoroughfares. The main thing to remember is to respect other drivers and not 'do as the locals do' in this case - you may see native Romans weaving between cars and taking shortcuts, but it's hugely different when you're unfamiliar with the roads.
To hire a vespa in Rome, you need to be over 18 years old and own a driving licence. To kick off your Roman city break, take a look at the latest packages over on the Expedia main site.