Most visitors start their holiday in Rome by arriving at Leonardo da Vinci Roma – Fiumicino Airport, more commonly known as simply ‘Fiumicino’, or by the code FCO. Fiumicino is Rome’s main airport for domestic and international flights and, as a result, is the largest and most heavily trafficked. It has four terminals – inexplicably named 1,2,3, and 5 – which serve all major carriers, as well as budget airlines, such as Vueling, easyJet, and Jet2. As you might expect for such an important airport, the shopping and dining is top notch, with familiar Italian-label shops and high-quality food places throughout the terminals.
Located by the coast and 32km south-west of Rome, Fiumicino is easily reachable by car, hired transfer service, bus, and two regional train lines. Best to keep in mind that neither Rome traffic nor drivers are ever predictable, so the approximate 40-minute trip can turn into well over an hour when driving.
Travelling to Rome’s city centre by train
The local train is the fastest option to get from Fiumicino to the centre of Rome. The train station is located in front of Terminal 3 arrivals and there are two types of train that take you to Rome’s centre: Leonardo Express and Sabina-Fiumicino FR1.
The Leonardo Express is a 31-minute direct shuttle train to Termini, Rome’s main train station. Trains run every half hour starting between 06.38 and 23.38. Though at €14 one-way it may be less economical for groups, the Leonardo Express goes direct to Termini, Rome’s central station where you can take the Metro A and Metro B lines and many buses going all over the city.
Why take Sabina-Fiumicino line FR1
The Sabina-Fiumicino line (FR1) is less expensive at €8 a ticket one-way and often more convenient as it stops at Trastevere, Ostiense, and Tiburtina stations. These stations are in some of Rome’s more popular neighborhoods and are easily connected with the city centre by public transport. Trains leave every 15 minutes and every 30 minutes during holidays, with the first one leaving at 05.58 and the last one leaving at 23.28.
Where can you buy train tickets?
Train tickets can be purchased online, from the designated ticket machines at the entrance to the platforms or from other authorised selling points such as the newspaper kiosk next to the ticket machines. Before you get on the train, tickets must be validated by inserting them into the bright yellow machines that you will see by the platforms. Also bear in mind that if you’re intending to catch another form of public transport when in Rome to take you to another part of the city, you will need to buy a Metrebus ticket which you can buy on arrival in the city.
Taking a bus from Fiumicino
There are five bus services offering transport from Fiumicino to Rome and the bus stations can be found at Terminal 2 and 3 arrivals. Depending on the service, tickets cost €4-8 one-way and the journey between Fiumicino and Rome is approximately 40 – 70 minutes, depending on how many stops it makes and traffic.
- SIT BUS Shuttle connects Rome Fiumicino Airport (Terminal 3) with Piazza Cavour and Termini Station in Rome. You can buy tickets on board the bus or online for €8. Buses leave 08.30 – 00.30.
- TERRAVISION is one of the cheapest ways to get from Fiumicino to the city centre at €4 one-way. It goes from Fiumicino (Terminal 3) to Rome’s Termini Station. Book your tickets online or on arrival at the airport. Buses run from 05.35 – 23.00.
- TAM BUS links Fiumicino (Terminal 3) with Termini Station and Ostiense Station in Rome. You can buy tickets online or directly on the bus which cost €4 to Termini Station and €6 to Ostiense Station. Buses run from 08.00 – 23.20.
- SCHIAFFINI departs from Fiumicino (Terminal 3) and goes to Termini Station in Rome. Tickets cost €4 one-way which you can buy at the airport. Buses leave from 06.30 – 21.50.
- COTRAL service links Fiumicino (Terminal 2) with Cornelia Station (Metro line A) from 05.10 – 20.10 and EUR Magliana (Metro line B) from 05.30 – 21.00. They also go to Tiburtina Station and Termini Station and Cotral provides a night bus going to these destinations. Tickets can be bought from a sales point (tobacconist or newsagents) and also directly on the bus, although they are more expensive if you buy them here (€7).
You can catch a taxi in front of each terminal (arrivals). Look for the official white taxis clearly marked with the Comune di Roma name and symbol on the door and the licence number. Avoid hired car ‘buskers’ – suited men who will offer you transfer service for a flat fee. They are not official drivers, nor particularly reliable.
Although the reputation of the taxi service in Rome isn’t the best, recently there have been efforts to improve the overall service. Taxi transport to the city centre has been standardised by the authorities of Rome at a flat fee of 40 euros which includes four passengers and all bags. (It is important to note that ‘city centre’ refers to the area within the Aurelian/ancient walls – all other destinations are charged by the metre.) So if there are four or fewer of you and you’re headed within the Aurelian walls, don’t accept drivers who try to negotiate the price.
Taking a private transfer service
As mentioned above, ‘private drivers’ will often approach you as soon as you walk through the gate but it’s best to fend them off. Another option is to pre-book a limo service which can be done through your hotel and added to your final bill. Limo transfer service usually costs €50-80 and is by far the least stressful option of all transfers from the airport to the centre. Limo services are clean, reliable, and accommodate all special requests such as baby seats and extra baggage.