Will be arriving in Rome on a Sun. by train on the last leg of our trip to Italy(with 1 suitcase each).Our hotel is on the other side of the Vatican in a residential area. The Metro to Valle Aurelia stop and change train for one stop or the Bus #64 To the San Pietro Station and change to same train line as above? I've heard pickpockets are terrible and a taxi that far could be very expensive. Thanks!
As far as pickpockets go, just be aware of your surroundings and keep things close to you. Unless you're swinging around with your wallet and purses open, I think you'll be fine. Keep your stuff in front of you (or between the two of you), pay attention to your stuff and check phrase books for words like "Help" or "thief" just in case you need to scream for help, but really, you just need to pay attention, just like anywhere else.
The Rome Metro is pretty seedy. I would avoid if possible.
Last summer we (family of four)rode both the metro and bus #64 in Rome, and both were fine. I wouldn't call the metro seedy, just a little shabby and graffiti covered. Admittedly we rode that bus somewhat early on a weekday morning, but the very crowded bus seemed to be full of people going to work. That being said, I think the distance you need to go may not be as long as you think, and a taxi might not be so much. We took taxis a couple of times (once to Vatican area) and neither trip was very expensive (certainly not nearly as much as the trip from the airport into Rome).
I'm doing roughly the same thing for an upcoming trip (ending at Stazione San Pietro) and have done the Fiumicino-city center run a number of times. The train to the city center is very easy. Are you trying to get to San Pietro or Valle Aurelia? You can get from the airport to San Pietro entirely by train (one transfer at a small station) and, I believe, if you stay on the same train the next stop after San Pietro should be Valle Aurelia. It costs, like, 7 euro and is very safe. Ask at the ticket window for more specifics, but I don't think you should have to take a bus at all. Regardless, you will probably take buses/metro during your stay. The 64 is the "tourist" bus and is notorious for pickpockets but as others have said it won't be a problem if you are sensible. Also look at the route of the 46--it is similar and less notorious. Best of luck!
I agree with the advice to take a cab. It's a worthwhile splurge when you don't know exactly where you're going, you are carrying bags and you may be a little tired from traveling. Public transportation that involves mode changes (metro to bus, bus to different bus) is just too much of a hassle. I use the metro and bus lines in Rome a lot, just not when I have bags and am trying to find a hotel.
I took a cab from Termini to my hotel two blocks from St. Peter's. The fare was about 12 euros.
Thank You to all for your help! We're going to splurge on a taxi. Been waiting 24 years for this trip can't wait until May!
Susan, I couldn't help but send a line to congratulate you on finally going to Italy after waiting 24 years! My husband and I are going the end of September....after waiting 25 years-yahoo!!! Have an awesome time.....