Tourist buses moved away from Vatican

Tourist coaches are no longer permitted to park around the Vatican area and are being moved to the multi-storey car park on the Gianicolo instead, according to an agreement signed by the city of Rome and the car park management company on 13 September.

The 10-coach parking spaces along Via della Conciliazione and the two spaces in Piazza Risorgimento will cease to be available, while the terminals of the 116 and 116T shuttle buses into the centre of Rome have been moved to inside the Gianicolo car park.

The new rules allow tour buses with daily, monthly, half-yearly and annual permits (an average of about 250 buses per day) to use the Gianicolo car park for quick set-downs or pick-ups at no additional cost.

Built in preparation for the jubilee year in 2000, the car park lost 80 per cent of its bus business in the last year after the city relaxed its regulations regarding the short-term parking of tourist coaches around Rome. 

The regulations also provide that Rome's mobility agency will monitor the newly-upgraded bus park in Largo Cardinal Micara Clemente. Situated off Via Gregorio VII, which leads down to the Vatican from the west side of the city, the bus park was also built to deal with Rome’s jubilee influx of pilgrims.

Launching the bus plan, Rome's mayor Gianni Alemanno said that in the future the city would introduce satellite monitoring to deal effectively with the capital's multiple tourist buses. Rome's councillor for mobility Antonello Aurigemma said that traffic police will be stationed on Via della Conciliazione to enforce the new rules which he expects will be fully operational within a month, adding "our goal is to remove bus parking spaces from the heart of our city".

The new agreement will be added to the city's 1 July bus plan – part of which allowed tourist coaches to drive in bus lanes – which led to a recent protest in Piazza Venezia.