Arriving in Rome by plane

Flying into Rome Fiumicino (Leonardo da Vinci) or Ciampino airports and how to get to downtown Rome from the airport

Rome has two airports, but odds are pretty good that you'll be landing at the main one, Roma Fiumicino (more officially known as—but rarely called—"Leonardo da Vinci"). On flight itineraries, this airport is abbreviated "FCO."

(The other airport, covered below, is Roma Ciampino, which handles Italian domestic and some international and charter flights; it's code is "CIA.")

Rome's Fiumicino airport (Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport)

Most international flights land at Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, usually called Fiumicino Airport, 29km (18 miles) west of the city.

Most flights—national and international—land or take off from the interconnected Terminals 1, 2, or 3.

However, all flights out of Rome to the U.S. leave from the separate Terminal 5 ("T5"), which is located, roughly, in Timbuktu.

Terminal 5—a former cargo terminal that is used exclusively for flights to the U.S. and Israel—is a 15 minute ride away from everything else on a shuttle that passes by only every 20–30 minutes or so. (And yes, it's pretty much impossible to walk to it, since most of the journey is on a sidewalk-less elevated ramp.)

This is not Italy's fault. It has to do with the asinine extra security protocols of the TSA (and of Israel).

How to get from Rome's Fiumicino airport into downtown Rome

  • By private car (45–60 min.; €14–€16.50): A private transfer from Fiumicino/Leonardo da Vinci airport direct to your city center hotel costs just $15–$17:
  • By express train (32 min.; €14): To get to downtown Rome from Fiumicino airport, follow the treni signs for nonstop "Leonardo Express" trains to the main rail station, Stazione Termini.

    The trains take 32 minutes and leave every half hour (5:35am–10:35pm) on the xx:05 and xx:35. (At peak hours, trains run every 15 minutes.)

    Tickets are €14 ($18) from automated machines in the station. (If those are broken or there's a line, head into the newsstand and buy a biglietto treno from the cashier.)

    » See below for more on how to catch the train to the airport at Roma Termini train station.

  • TIP: If you're lucky enough to be in Terminal A for an extended period of time, find your way past the McDonald's at the upstairs food court for the airport branch of ★★★ San Crispino, one of Rome's best ice cream chains (tel. +39-06-6501-9911;; Open daily 7am–10pm).
  • By local train (27–47 min.; €8): From the same airport station, there's also a local train every 15 minutes (every 30 minutes on Sunday) that stops at the Roma-Trastevere station (27 min.), Roma-Ostiense (32 min.), Roma-Tuscolana (41 min.) and finally ends at Roma-Tiburtina station (47 min.). If you are on this and wish to get to Termini instead, get off at Ostiense and walk to the Piramide Metro stop to catch the B line to Termini.

  • By shuttle bus (55 min.; €4–€6): There are several competing shuttle bus services between Roma Fiumicino airport and the Roma Termini rail station area. They tend to run every 30–50 minutes; the ride takes just under an hour (traffic willing). You will notice a price range for some. That it because tickets are cheapest if bought ahead of time (either online or at a tabbachi, newstand, or other local vendor). We'll start with the cheapest (if you book ahead online):
    • Terravision bus (; €4–€6) - Downtown Rome stop: Via Marsala 29A (the Terracafè), by the northwest corner of Termini train station. Tickets bought on board are €6, but if you book online ahead of time they are €4.
    • Rome Airport Bus (; €4) - Downtown Rome stop: Via Giolitti 10, along the south flank of Termini train station (around the right side as you're facing the station), near the corner with Via Gioberti. Buy tickets online ahead of time, or at their machine in the airport (Terminal T3), or from the staff at the Termini stop.
    • Cotral bus (; €5–€7) - Downtown Rome stop: Piazza dei Cinquecento, in front of the Museo Nazionale Romano-Palazzo Massimo alle Terme (in the southwest corner of the square in front of Termini train station). Tickets €5 at tabbachi, newstands, or the Autogrill inside the airport; €7 on board.
    • Tam bus (; €5) - Downtown Rome stop: Via Giolitti 10, next to the Coin department store that occupies the south flank of Termini train station (around the right side as you're facing the station), just SE of the corner with Via Gioberti.
    • SIT bus (; €6) - Downtown Rome stop: Via Marsala 5, just on the other side of the building flanking the northern edge of Piazza dei Cinquencento, the large square in front of Termini.

  • By taxi (45–60 min.; €48): A taxi from om Leonardo da Vinci - Fiumicino airport to downtown Rome costs a flat fee of €48 ($51), including luggage, for up to four people.

The train from Rome's Termini train station to the Rome airport is at the hidden Track 25 (a.k.a: Where the !@#$ is the airport train?)

A map of Rome's Termini train station showing how to get to the airport trainThe train from Termini station to the airport is called the Leonardo Express.

It leaves every half-hour on the xx:23 and xx:53 (every 15 minutes at peak hours), and the ride takes 32 minutes. Tickets cost €14, and are available at a booth alongside Track 24.

So far, so good.

The problem is that the tracks for the airport shuttle train are—in another display of sheer idiocy—located on Track 25.

The problem with this is that Track 25 is separate from the rest of the tracks, and you can get to it only by walking a quarter mile up track 24. Insane!

There's a map to the right showing you where it is (note that I spun this map so that north is to the left because this is the orientation of someone entering the tracks from the main ticketing hall), but here is a description of how to find the airport train in the Rome train station.

Track 25's location causes millions of tourists undue stress and confusion because, when you arrive at Termini and walk all the way (to the right) to the station's southern wall, you'll see that the last track appears to be Track 24.

This is where most people panic. Don't. left left and start walking up alongside Track 24 for, oh, about 300 yards until suddenly the wall on the right opens up and you see four more tracks before you: including Track 25.

Yes, hiding this important train down here and forcing folks laden with luggage and late for their flight to sprint an extra 1/3 mile is not only astoundingly stupid planning, it's downright cruel, but there you have it.

(You don't actually have to walk the whole way; there is a series of moving sidewalks. However, these are unfortunately located one level below the tracks, so you have to lug your luggage down one of the staricases you'll see as you start up the loooong walk, then use the series of moving sidewalks, then climb another staricase back up to the track level at the end. This is also an idiotic design flaw, but it might help.)

Rome's Ciampino airport

Many charter and continental flights land at the smaller Ciampino Airport, 15km (9 miles) south of the city.

How to get from Rome's Ciampino airport into downtown Rome

Getting between Rome's Fiumicino and Ciampino airports

In the off-chance you find yourself having to transfer directly between Rome's Ciampino and the Fiumicino-Leonardo da Vinci airports, you could take any of the methods of transporation described above into Rome and then back out to the other airport, but it is far easier and less stressful just to take a taxi directly,

The fixed fee for a taxi betwen the Rome airports is €50.

Tips & links

Other useful links & resources
How long does Rome take?

Planning your day: Rome wasn't built in a day, and you'd be hard-pressed to see it in that brief a time as well. Still, you can cram a lot into just a day or three.

To help you get the most out of your limited time in the Eternal City, here are some perfect itineraries, whether you have one, two, three, or four days to spend in Rome. » Rome itineraries

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