A learning curve while studying abroad definitely consists of using public transportation. Our first few days in Rome consisted of walking 30+ minutes to campus and the downtown area several times a day- very tiring if you couldn’t guess. After a few days, we were taught how to use the trams! The trams bring us right through Trastevere (our neighborhood) close to campus and many restaurants and shops. But, the trams aren’t the only public transportation in Rome. Rome has metros, taxis, and trains. One thing that was really shocking was no uber! Apparently uber is illegal over in Italy- but the taxi system is very similar. You call a taxi through an app called MyTaxi and pay through the app as well.
The metros are easy to use! Very similar to New York! I have yet to take the trains around Rome. To be completely honest, the train stations here overwhelm me.
One important thing to keep in mind, is to remember the laws while using public transportation. Tickets must be bought and VALIDATED. This is very important, because even if you have a ticket and it isn’t validated, they can fine you up to $100. Workers do random ticket checks so be sure to always have a validated ticket on hand.
Transportation in other cities is very similar. All of the big cities will have metros and taxis. Just be sure to figure out how to use them correctly. And don’t be afraid to ask locals! They want to help. In fact, during our first time on the tram, they showed us how to validate the ticket when we were having trouble.
Using public transportation is something that allows you to immerse yourself into the culture of the city that you are studying in! So don’t be afraid to use it!