Italy's largest airport, Rome Fiumicino (FCO), sits a little less than 20 miles from central Rome and offers a couple of easy ways to get into the city by train.
The Leonardo Express is a Trenitalia train connecting Fiumicino airport with the main train station in Rome, Termini. It takes roughly 32 minutes and leaves the airport every half-hour, or every 15 minutes during peak hours. It's non-stop service from the airport to Termini. The first train leaves the airport at 6:38 a.m., and the last of the day at 11:38 p.m.. Tickets cost €14 each way.
There's another train option, less well known among visitors, that's simply a regional train called the FL1. It's a commuter line, and connects Fiumicino Airport with several points in central Rome, but it does not go to Termini station. You can get off at Trastevere, Ostiense, Tuscolana, or Tiburtina stations in Rome, and the best one will depend on where you're staying in the city. The cost of a ticket on the FL1 is only €8. Trains leave every 15 minutes or so, and the trip takes about 30 minutes.
At any station, you're likely to need a taxi to get to your hotel, so it makes sense to choose the station that is closest to your destination in Rome.
One of the many great things about Rome for travelers, is the ease of getting from the main Rome airport, Fiumicino, to downtown Rome by train. The Leonardo Express is a train that goes from the airport directly to Roma Termini station, the main train station in Rome. From the Termini station, you can easily access your hotel by Metro or taxi, or catch a train to your next destination, like Florence, Venice, Milan and more.
Leonardo trains leave the airport every half-hour for the 30-minute ride to Termini. It’s easy, inexpensive (around $18 each way), traffic free, and provides the perfect amount of time to sit back and relax after the hustle and bustle of the airport’s customs and immigration lines and baggage claim. It also provides a first glimpse of this magnificent modern capital set amid ancient ruins.
After claiming your luggage, follow the signs for the train like the one you see on the left. It’s about a five-minute walk from the baggage carousels to the train. There are restrooms and snack stands along the way if you need to stop. Before you enter the train track area, you will see large green ticket kiosks where, if you have purchased a ticket in advance (highly recommended), you can enter your PNR number and claim your ticket. Once you have your tickets in hand, head to the track area where the trains stop. There are only a couple of tracks, which makes it less-confusing. Monitors, plus frequent loudspeaker announcements, notify you of which track and what time the next train will be leaving for Roma Termini.
Before boarding the train, it is important to remember to get your tickets stamped for validation from the smaller ticket machines you will find at the entrance to the train. There is usually a staff member standing by to do it for you, or there are more machines near the tracks where you can do it yourself. These machines are much smaller than the ticket kiosks and easy to miss, so be on the lookout for them.
The Leonardo Express boasts plenty of comfortable seats and room for your luggage either on racks above the seats or in luggage areas at the front and back of the train cars. You can also just opt to keep your bags by your seat as long as the train isn’t too crowded. Disembark the train at Roma Termini and follow the signs for the Metro or the taxi stand.
Photo credit: Juan Enrique Gilardi