In your home country, Uber is probably easy. You take out your phone, type in your destination, and click “Find a ride”. Seconds later, you’ll see where your car is and how long it will take to get to you. In Italy, it’s…a bit more difficult. Here’s what you need to know about Uber in Italy.
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Is Uber in Italy?
Yes, you can Uber in Italy but it’s not the same. It’s available in Rome and Milan. However, only Uber Black is available, meaning higher prices and nicer vehicles. If you don’t mind the slight price increase, then Uber is perfectly safe to use in Italy.
Why the Big Deal?
In Italy, you need a license or permit to do pretty much anything. Want to hand out flyers on the street in front of your pizza place? Well, you’ll need a permit. Want to explain the Colosseum to friends? Well, you’ll need a guide license. Feel free to drink red wine or eat organic pasta without a permit, but the people producing those items will need to get one.
To drive customers around Rome or any other Italian city, you’ll need to be a registered NCC driver with an NCC medallion. It takes about six months to get and involves taking an exam and a few hundred euros to get the driver’s license. Once you have the license, you’ll need to purchase an NCC medallion. This can cost from €20,000 in a place like Calabria to €90,000 in a place like Rome. Next, you’ll have to buy a nice car and then you’re set.
The high cost to enter this market is the very reason Uber cannot be operated by random drivers. In Italy, it’s all about two things. The first is safety and the second is control over the market.
Uber or Taxi?
If you’re deciding between an Uber or a taxi in Rome, taxi drivers will most likely tell you Uber is illegal and you could face a fine. This is not true. Taxi drivers in Italy have a reputation for ripping off tourists, but not all are bad. Many are simply jealous of new entrants into their market. Uber is different in Italy but very legal. It’s basically a way for nicer vehicles with well-dressed drivers to gain access to customers who don’t want to plan ahead.
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Do I Need Uber To Get Around?
In some cities, like Milan, it would be helpful. In other cities, like Florence, you don’t need it at all. The lack of need for Uber in Florence is the reason why you can’t get drivers in the area. No need means no demand, no demand means no money, and no money means no drivers. Here are some useful resources for getting around different Italian cities:
- Getting Around Rome
- Getting Around Florence
- Using Venice’s Floating Mass Transit System
- Getting To and Around the Amalfi Coast
In addition to helping you navigate the best sites in Italy on our guided tours, we’re also here to help you get from place to place. Contact our travel experts and they will give you recommendations on where to go and how best to get there.
Information on Top European Cities
If you are researching, Uber in Italy you’re probably planning a trip. Definitely check out our guides to the best cities in Italy. Each guide features dozens of articles about what to do, where to eat, how to get around, and basically how to make your trip rock!
Other Transportation Apps
Mytaxi is by far the best taxi app in Rome. It’s the same concept as Uber but with a taxi driver. It will probably cost less, but the interface is not as easy to use and it requires downloading a new app and signing up for the service.
Feel free to pull out your smartphone and call a ride in Rome, Florence, Venice, or pretty much any other Italian destination. It may cost a little more, but most taxis will find a way to rip you off anyway, so in the end, we recommend you just take an Uber. Safe travels!