That's right...it's not a typo. I'm looking to kill an hour in Rome (but don't worry, I've been there before and seen the big sites). I'll be arriving by bus at Tiburtina and have about an hour or a little longer to make my way to Termini to catch the train to the airport (still allowing plenty of time to arrive at the airport 3 hours in advance of flight). I'll be traveling with a backpack, so I'm not worried about lugging bags around. It will be close to lunch time, so a quick bite and one last gelato were my first thought. Any other ideas?
An hour is tight, heck, I need a couple hours to eat in Rome. Part of the problem is that between Tiburtina and Termini there is little of the typically visited Rome. There may very well be any number of small local places, just do not know of any to recommend. Tiburtina is on the metro, so you could detour, via termini, to Spagna stop and get something there, or change your mindset completely and forget Termini. By this, I mean you could hop the metro at Tiburtina, get off at Colosseo, walk towards Largo di Argentina, catch Tram 8 to Trastevere Station, and catch the FM1 train to the airport for less than half the cost of the express. This allows for many opportunities to stop for pizza, gelato, to wander, but probably not a full sit down meal. Once across the river, you could detour into the Trastevere, maybe the square in front of Santa Maria in Trastevere where there are a number of places.
I was in Tiburtina station last September waiting for the night train to Florence. There is a gelato place which might also serve food across the parking area from the station. It had good bathrooms, decent gelato and places to sit both inside and out. Can't remember the name, but not a bad place to stop for a while.
Hmm, I was thinking of getting off the metro at Spagna and taking a stroll by the Trevi fountain on my way to Termini, but now I'm intrigued by your Trastevere idea. A few questions: what does 'tram 8' look like...is it a bus or what? Does it run every few minutes, or would I need to find a schedule? If I get off in Trastevere to look around, is it easy to get from there to the train station? I guess you would just get back on tram 8 and continue on? How much time would I need to allocate for getting to the Trastevere station and then to the airport?
Tram 8 is basically a street car. Runs on tracks down the center of Via Trastevere. It starts in Largo Argentina and continues past Trastevere station. There is a track each direction, uses the same ticket as the bus and metro. You usually do not have to wait more than 5 minutes or so for a tram, at peak times you can usually see the next one coming while boarding one. You should be able to find the schedule and travel time for the FM1 train, it runs every half hour or so, since the airport is outside the metro zone, you have to buy a ticket from the machine that is about 5.50 Euro. I would back figure from the airport, if I were to make a guess, the metro ride to Colosseo (or someplace else) walk to Largo Argentina, and then the tram to the station is a solid half hour to 45 min.
Grab a slice of pizza and a glass of vino, that will do it.