Arriving in Rome by Train

How to get to Rome by train and Rome's Stazione Termini train station

Use the automated machines to avoid the long ticket lines at Termini rail station.
Use the automated machines to avoid the long ticket lines at Termini rail station.

Trains are the easiest and most popular way to travel in Italy, and chances are the first place you'll see in Rome is Termini train station.

First, though you have to get to Rome.

How long is the train ride to Rome from...

  • Trains from Fiumicino airport to Rome: Every half hour from 5:35am–10:35pm (32 min). » more
  • Trains from Florence to Rome: At least three trains an hour (1.5–3.5 hr).
  • Trains from Venice to Rome: 13 direct trains daily (3.5–7 hr).
  • Trains from Milan to Rome: Hourly (3–6.5 hr).
  • Trains from Naples to Rome: Two to three trains hourly; at least once an hour on Sundays (1–2.5 hr).

Termini train station in Rome

Rome's main train station is Stazione Termini on the expansive, bus-filled Piazza dei Cinquecento. (That means "Square of the Five Hundred," so you will sometimes see it abbreviated " dei 500.")

Termini train station lies on the northeastern edge of the city center, at the north end of Via Cavour. It is the main public city bus terminus in town, and sits at the intersection of Rome's only two Metro (subway) lines.

This squat, 1950s structure ranks as Europe's second busiest train station by volume of passengers. (Since you asked: Paris's Gare du Nord is the busiest.)

Fun with history
  • Many think "Termini" is so named because it is the "temrinus" of many rail lines. In fact, it is named after the nearby Terme di Diocleziano, the ancient Baths of Diocletion.
  • Look for the McDonald's in the maze-like mall under Termini. Notice that the tables are ranged around a brick wall that slashes oddly right through the space on a diagonal. This is actually part of ancient Rome's city walls built in the AD 3rd century, making this plausibly the "oldest" McDonald's in the world—not that this is an excuse to eat here. Try Italian food instead; I hear it's quite good.
  • Piazza dei Cinquecento, or "Square of the 500," is named (with a slight exaggeration) for the 430 Italian soldiers who died during the 1887 Battle of Dogali in modern-day Etriria as part of Italy's short-lived, ill-fated, far-too-late attempt at imeperial expansion.

The station has become a bustling marketplace, with plenty of eateries and shops, most of them in an underground mall.

At the end of the tracks is a busy area where people nervously watch the flip boards for track assignments.

Note that some offices and businesses will be shuffled around for the next few years as construction work proceeds on a new elevated retail and apssenger space toward the right end of the tracks (19–24).

Information offices in the Rome train station

The train information and assistance office is located in the by track 1 (to the right as you get to the end of the tracks when arriving).

In their infinite idiocy, the powers of the train station have moved the Rome tourist information office (several times, actually) from former, more prominent locations in the main hall area to a hidden little wing called Ala Termini, located 1/3 of the way down the side of track 24 (arriving at the end of any other track, immediately turn left, then left again at the wall).

This is only convenient to people arriving by plane, since it it partway down the ludicrously long walk they have to take to and from the airport train:

How to find the (hidden) airport express train at Roma Termini

Note that, if you are headed to Rome's Fiumicino airport from the Rome train station, the track for the airport express train—Track 25—is kind of hard to find.

Basically: Coming from the ticketing hall and facing the tracks, turn right and go all the way to down to Track 24 , which looks for all the world like it is the last track in the station. it it not. Turn left to walk up the long paltform along the far side of Track 24, and eventually—after about a quarter mile—you will find Track 25. Details and a map are here. » more

Luggage storage at Termini, the Rome train station

The deposito bagagli (left luggage) office (tel. +39-06-474-4777) is near the tourist information office alongside track 24.

It's open daily 6am–midnight and charges €4 for the first 5 hours, €0.60 for each hour from 6 to 12 hours, then €0.20 for each hour after 12.

The ticketing hall at Termini

Beyond the tracks, slip through a wide gap between the phalanx of newsstands and little bars to enter the Galleria Centrale, the main hall with some train information offices and exits at either end leading onto the station's side streets (an area packed with cheap hotels).

Watch out for the hotel touts who will swarm you here (in my experience, any hotel that needs to field these slick salesmen isn't really good enough to get business on a more legitimate and old-fashioned way: being worthy of being passed along by word of mouth or recommended by sites like this or in guidebooks).

Keep walking straight and you'll enter the atrio, or ticketing hall, pictured above with its swooping roof and interminably long ticket lines. (Tip: Unless you need some specific service like getting a Railpass vouched, avoid the lines by using one of the banks of automated ticketing machines.)

How to get into Rome's city center from Termini train station

Unless you happen to be heading to the area immediately around the Spanish Steps, the bus is a far better bet than the Metro, as Rome's subway system doesn't really serve the core of the historic center but rather skirts its edges.

Rome's other train stations

Nearly every train to Rome goes to or passes through Termini, but a few long-haul trains stop only at the Roma Tiburtina train station in the eastern part of the city.

There are other secondary stations ranged about town—lined up in a gentle arc that pretty much defines the southern edge of the greater historic center—that most tourists never even see.

However, they can be convenient if your hotel happens to be in the neighborhood (perhaps the Roma-Trastevere train station, or Roma-Ostienese train station for the Aventine/Testaccio area), as well as sometimes for hopping regional rail lines for day trips out of town.

Tips & links

  • Rome main rail station
  • Roma Termini:, Piazza dei Cinquecento (ENE of the city center)
  • Bus to center: 40, 64 (Tiber Bend, Vatican); 170 (Ancient Rome, Aventine); 71, 492 (Tridente, Upper Tiber Bend)
  • Metro to center: A (to Spagna or Flaminio); B (to Colosseo or Circo Massimo)
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

Rome tours

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  • Rome main rail station
  • Roma Termini:, Piazza dei Cinquecento (ENE of the city center)
  • Bus to center: 40, 64 (Tiber Bend, Vatican); 170 (Ancient Rome, Aventine); 71, 492 (Tridente, Upper Tiber Bend)
  • Metro to center: A (to Spagna or Flaminio); B (to Colosseo or Circo Massimo)

Useful links
Train tix

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