By Plane—Most flights arrive at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (tel. 06-65951), popularly known as Fiumicino, 30km (19 miles) from the city center. (If you’re arriving from other European cities, you might land at Ciampino Airport, discussed below.) After you leave Passport Control, you'll see a tourist information desk, staffed Monday through Saturday from 8:15am to 7pm. A cambio (money exchange) operates daily from 7:30am to 11pm, but it's just as easy, and possibly less expensive, to withdraw cash from an ATM (bancomat) in the airport.
Train or Taxi?
Whether to take the airport shuttle train or a taxi into Rome from FCO depends on your budget and your tolerance for schlepping. If you’re traveling solo and/or traveling light, the train is the most economical option for getting into the city, and takes about the same time as a taxi. If you’ve got a lot of bags, however, bear in mind that the train is a long walk from the arrivals terminal—and that, once your train arrives at Termini station, you’ll still have to walk, or take Metro, bus, or taxi, to your final destination. Bottom line? If there are three or more in your party or you’re carrying lots of luggage, go for a taxi.
Follow signs marked TRENI to find the airport train station, about a 10-minute walk from the arrivals area. From there, catch the delightfully named Leonardo Express for a 31-min. shuttle ride) to Rome’s main station, Stazione Termini. The shuttle runs every 15 minutes (every 30 min. at off-peak hours) from 6:08am to 11:23pm for 14€ one-way (free for kids 12 and under). On the way to the train, you’ll pass a yellow machine dispensing tickets (cash or credit), or you can buy them at the Trenitalia window near the tracks. You can also buy e-tickets or use the Trenitalia mobile app.
A taxi from da Vinci airport to the city costs a flat-rate 48€ for the 45-minute to 1-hour trip, depending on traffic (hotels tend to charge 50€–60€ for pickup service). Note that the flat rate is applicable from the airport to central Rome and vice-versa, but only if your central Rome location is inside the Aurelian Walls (most hotels are). Otherwise, standard metered rates apply, which can bump the fare to 75€ or higher. There are also surcharges for large luggage, Sunday and holiday rides, and more than 4 passengers.
If you arrive instead at Ciampino Airport (tel. 06-65951), you can take a Terravision bus (tel. 06-894239) to Stazione Termini. Trip time is about 45 minutes and costs 4€. A taxi from Ciampino costs a flat rate of 30€, provided you’re going to a destination within the old Aurelian Walls.
From either airport, ride-sharing service Uber is available—sort of. Because of licensing laws (and strong resistance from Rome’s taxi drivers), only Uber Black or Uber Van service is offered, and it’s much more expensive than a taxi. If you want Uber-like convenience and in-app payments, consider the MyTaxi app, available for iPhones or Androids.
By Train or Bus—Trains and buses (including trains from the airport) arrive in the center of old Rome at Stazione Termini, Piazza dei Cinquecento. This is the train, bus, and transportation hub for all of Rome, and it is surrounded by many hotels, especially budget ones.
The station is filled with services. A money exchange window is located close to the end of platform 14, and an ATM is at the end of platform 24. Informazioni Ferroviarie (in the outer hall) dispenses info on rail travel to other parts of Italy. There is also a tourist information booth, plus baggage services, newsstands, clean public toilets (they cost 1€, and snack bars. Tip: Be wary of young people lingering around ticket machines offering to help you. They will expect a tip. At worst, they will be distracting you so that an accomplice can pick your pocket.
To get from Termini to your final destination in Rome, you have several options. If you’re taking the Metropolitana (subway), follow the illuminated red-and-white M signs. To catch a city bus, go straight through the outer hall and enter the sprawling bus lot of Piazza dei Cinquecento.
You will also find a line of taxis parked out front. Note that taxis now charge a 2€ supplement for any fares originating at Termini, plus 1€ for each bag in the trunk. Use the official taxi queue right in front of the station; don’t go with a driver who approaches you, and don’t get into any cab where the meter is “broken.”
By Car—From the north or south, the main access route is the Autostrada A1. This highway runs from Milan to Naples via Bologna, Florence, and Rome. At 754km (469 miles), it is the longest Italian autostrada and is the “spinal cord” of Italy’s road network. All the autostrade join with the Grande Raccordo Anulare (GRA), a ring road encircling Rome, channeling traffic into the congested city. Tip: Long before you reach the GRA, you should study your route carefully to see what part of Rome you plan to enter. Route signs along the ring road tend to be confusing.
Warning: If you must drive a car into Rome, return your rental car immediately on arrival, or at least get yourself to your hotel, park your car, and leave it there until you leave the city. Seriously think twice before driving in Rome—the traffic, as well as the parking options, are nightmarish. Plus most of central Rome is a ZTL (Zona Traffico Limitato), off-limits to nonresidents and rigorously enforced by cameras. You will almost certainly be fined; the ticket might arrive at your home address months after your trip.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.