The transfer from the airport in Rome to the city center can be confusing. Unfortunately, errors in method of transport can be costly. Here is some basic advice for travelers.
Rome’s main airport is Fiumicino (FCO), but is also known as Leonardo da Vinci. The official name is Aeroporto Internazionale Leonardo da Vinci di Fiumicino. So, Fiumicino Airport and Leonardo da Vinci Airport are one and the same.
Ciampino is a smaller airport not covered in this post.
THE TRAIN – THE EASIEST
The fastest and most convenient transport from Fiumicino to the Rome city center is the Leonardo Express, operated by Trenitalia. The trains leave twice an hour (usually at :08 and :38), and the journey takes 32 minutes.
Tickets cost €14.00, and children under 12 travel for free. Tickets can be purchased from machines with cash or credit. The surrounding ticket booths, however, charge a fee when they sell the same tickets.
Just follow the signs to the train station. You’ll need to go on an elevated walkway.
TAXI – FOR GROUPS OF 4 AND LUGGAGE
Taxis are where uninformed travelers in Rome get swindled. It is complicated. There are several types of taxis. Important: Make sure you only get a taxi from the official taxi stand and make sure you ask the driver for the fare before you get in.
Municipality of Rome. These are the taxis you want. These taxis are white with a Municipality of Rome logo and information (SPQR or Roma Capitale) on their door. The rates of these taxis is fixed at €48.00 for transport from Fiumicino to anywhere within the Aurelian walls (basically historic Rome). The €48.00 is for a maximum of 4 passengers with luggage. Lots of luggage may lead to an additional cost.
Municipality of Fiumicino. These taxis appear almost exactly the same as the Rome taxis. The difference is the logo and information on the door…and the price. These taxis can charge €70.00.
Freelance drivers. Avoid these drivers. They will approach you in the airport and ask if you need a taxi. Then they will charge you double or more.
BUS – THE CHEAPEST
You can take a bus from Fiumicino to Termini for as little as €4. This is best for people on a tight budget and/or not in a rush. The travel time is between 45 minutes and 1 hour.
At the exit of Terminal 3 there is a choice of private bus companies. I honestly don’t see the difference between them. Just find which bus is leaving next and buy your ticket from the booth or the vendor. If in doubt, ask the driver.
Note: This information is from 08 May, 2016. As the Fiumicino Airport itself states “All the above fares are fixed by the municipality and are subject to change without notice.”
How can you not love Italia?
TRAVEL ADVICE NOTE
This travel advice is primarily directed to students participating in Professor Bailly’s FIU Honors College España, France, and Italia, Study Abroad programs. It is intended to help twenty-somethings explore, seek adventure, and truly immerse themselves in a culture. The goals are to travel affordably, travel safely, and live like a local. Always remember, however, that what works for some, may not necessarily work for you. Ultimately, your decisions are your decisions.
EDITOR AND LAST UPDATE
John William Bailly 28 October 2021
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