Getting from Rome Fiumicino Airport to Rome (and Vice Versa)

by Jessica on April 23, 2009

by | April 23rd, 2009  

romeairport1Although I have a preference overall for flying directly into Venice whenever possible, the fact is that most overseas visitors to Italy use Rome as their entry point. Why? For one thing, it’s a bigger airport and so has more international flights. But the main reason is an off-shoot of having more flight options – the prices are often lower.

Just getting to Fiumicino Airport is only half the battle, however. From there, you’ve got to get out of the maze and into the city itself. I’ve gotten a few questions about how to get from the Fiumicino Airport in Rome into Rome’s city center, and while I’ve answered them in bits and pieces here and there, I thought it made sense to gather the information here in one post.

Getting from Rome Fiumicino Airport to Rome

The Leonardo da Vinci Airport in Rome, most commonly known as Fiumicino (few|mee|CHEE|noh), lies more than 30km away from the city center. It’s a huge airport – the largest in Italy – and as such has lots of transportation options. Unless you’re planning to fly into Rome and head immediately for the countryside, however, your itinerary is likely to take you into the city of Rome – and that, if you ask me, limits your transportation options down to only a couple that are reasonable.

What I mean by that is this – almost no one who travels to Italy should drive in Rome. Period.

Rome has lots of lovely paved roads, and there are cars everywhere, so it’s not like I’m telling you not to drive in a place that isn’t car-friendly. Instead, I’m telling you to avoid driving into Rome for your own sanity (not to mention safety). Again, unless you’re flying into Rome and plan on driving into the countryside, bypassing the city completely, don’t bother renting a car at Fiumicino.

So, how do you get from Fiumicino Airport into Rome without renting a car? Let me count the ways…

Taking the Train from Rome Fiumicino Airport to Rome


There’s a train that runs between Termini Station and Rome’s airport called, fittingly the “Leonardo Express.” The trip on the Leonardo Express takes about 30 minutes, and it departs every half-hour at 5 minutes past the hour and 35 minutes past the hour starting at 06:00 and going until 23:00. The trains run 7 days a week.

Tickets for the Leonardo Express are, as I write this, €14, and kids under the age of 12 travel free with a paying adult.

At Fiumicino, you can buy Leonardo Express tickets at the airport’s train station ticket office, at most of the newsstands in the airport, at most airport tobacco shops, and at strategically-located self-service machines. The train station ticket office and self-serve machines are in the main hall of the airport’s train station.

The Trenitalia website also claims you can buy your tickets online before you travel, and print out a PDF ticket to bring with you. Choosing this option would mean you’d need to have an idea of the time of the train you’d be taking, because your PDF ticket will already be validated. It’s good for 90 minutes starting at the departure time of your chosen train. And all of that would be really interesting, were it not for the fact that I cannot for the life of me find the actual part of the Trenitalia website where you can buy said PDF ticket. I’ve been looking (and shaking my fist at the computer), and it just doesn’t seem to be there. If someone out there can send me a link for this, I’d be much obliged.

Having said that, you can read more about the Leonardo Express on the Trenitalia website here.

Taking a Local Train from Rome Fiumicino Airport to Rome

romeairport6While the Rome Metro may leave something to be desired in terms of the places you can actually reach easily in the city center (those pesky underground Roman ruins, always hampering construction of new Metro lines!), there is a local train line that connects the Rome airport with the city. It’s called the FR1 line, also known as Sabina-Fiumicino, and it stops at Rome’s Tiburtina, Tuscolana, Ostiense, and Trastevere stations, as well as several other stations of the Rome Metro (there’s a graphic showing all the stops of the Sabina-Fiumicino line here which is helpful, though the rest of the text is in Italian only). At the Tiburtina, Tuscolana, and Ostiense stations you can get off the FR1 and transfer to either Metro line A or Metro line B to get elsewhere in the city center.

A ticket on the FR1 line from Fiumicino to Rome costs €8 as I write this. These local trains run every 15 minutes or so on a normal schedule, and every half-hour on holidays.

Taking the Bus from Rome Fiumicino Airport to Rome

romeairport3There used to be more bus companies running between Fiumicino Airport to central Rome, but now it appears there’s only one. The trip itself may be a bit longer it’s also a bit cheaper than the Leonardo Express.

Cotral buses connect Fiumicino Airport with Rome’s Termini and Tiburtina stations eight times each day. The earliest bus from Fiumicino is at 01:15, and the earliest bus from Tiburtina is 00:30. Termini is the station just before or after Tiburtina (depending on which way you’re going).

The complete schedule showing on the Cotral website right now is:

Departures from Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci
01.15 – 2.15 – 3.30 – 5.00 – 10.55 – 12.00 – 15.30 – 19.00

Departures from Rome Tiburtina station
00.30 – 1.15 – 2.30 – 03.45 – 09.45 – 10.30 – 12.35 – 17.30

A ticket on the Cotral bus is listed at €4.50, and you can buy tickets directly on the bus.

You’ll find more details about the various bus options from Fiumicino Airport (as well as links to the bus companies themselves) on this page of the Fiumicino website.

Taking a Taxi from Rome Fiumicino Airport to Rome

romeairport4While there are still taxi drivers in Rome who are going to try to rip off unsuspecting tourists with overpriced cab fares, travelers who have done their homework won’t be caught by the scam. See, the city of Rome instituted a fixed fare system for the trip between Fiumicino and the city center, so you know what you’ll be charged before you even get in the taxi.

The fixed taxi fare between Fiumicino and Rome is, as I write this, €40 one-way for “all destinations within the Aurelian Walls” in the central part of the city. That €40 fare is “inclusive of luggage” and is for a maximum of 4 people. And if you’re not sure exactly where the Aurelian Walls are in relation to where you’re going, there’s a nifty PDF map of the covered area here. (And if you’re flying into Rome’s smaller airport, Ciampino, there’s a fixed taxi fare there, too that’s a bit less than the Fiumicino fare.)

In order to get this fixed price fare, you need to make sure you’re hiring an official taxi. In other words, you’ve got to get in the specified spots where the taxis line up outside the airport. There are taxi areas near exits A, B, and C. But there are also some cars around these exits which aren’t official taxis, so city officials stress that sanctioned Rome taxis are the ones that are “white and have a “TAXI” sign on their roof, as well as an identifying number on their doors, on the rear, and inside the vehicle.” With anything other than an approved taxi, you might be taking your chances.

>> Be sure to read this excellent post about how to avoid getting ripped off by taxis in Rome

Hiring Rental Cars With Drivers from Rome Fiumicino Airport to Rome

romeairport5This last option may sound a bit odd, but it’s actually essentially the same as a taxi. There are three companies at Fiumicino which offer this service, and you’ll know which ones they are because the sign on the cars says “NCC” – this stands for “noleggio con conducente,” or “rental with driver.” The cars are typically blue or grey, and unlike the taxis the rates aren’t fixed – they differ depending on exactly where you’re going, so you’ll want to work out the price before you agree to hop into a car.

These NCC cars are available in the same areas as the official taxis but can also be requested from kiosks you’ll find inside the airport (whereas the city advises you to ignore people who approach you inside the airport offering tranportation service). The names and phone numbers of the three NCC companies operating at Fiumicino are on the airport’s website here.

Now that you’re in Rome…

spanishstepsBefore you start your Rome trip, check out my Rome travel guide with information about visiting the Eternal City – and links to most of the stuff I’ve written about traveling in Rome.

Is this your first time in Rome? Then you’ll want to peruse my first-time visitor’s Rome survival tips.

Pressed for time? Here are my top 10 things to do in Rome.

Rome’s a big city, so you’ll be well-served by using the Rome public transportation system.

Looking for a place to stay in Rome on a budget? I’ve written about Rome’s party hostels, hostels around the Colosseum, and hostels that aren’t right near Termini Station. I’ve also visited and reviewed several hostels in Rome, too.

original photos, top to bottom, by: cgkinla, Josh Clark, Sky Eckstrom, Ambrosiana Pictures (G), Patrick Rasenberg, j_t_d

{ 31 comments }

Marcus, Rome Italy April 23, 2009 at 7:50 am
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A very complete and well written article. You pretty much covered all of the bases.
Cheers, Marcus.

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Jason April 23, 2009 at 8:28 am
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Along the lines of the rental cars with drivers, I would also mention people could ask the hotel to arrange a pickup at the airport.

I always recommend this to my friends/family who are first-time international travelers. It eases the stress of trying to figure everything out when you first arrive and suffering from jet-lag. The driver always meets you outside the Customs doors and helps with your luggage. And if the driver is good, he’ll take his time getting to the hotel and point out some of the highlights.

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Wanderlust Women April 23, 2009 at 10:10 am
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For Americans booking on Expedia, I have found their car service into Rome to be cheap and very reliable. It’s nice, especially for first-time visitors who don’t speak the language, to see someone waiting for them with their name on a card.
Buon viaggio

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Angela K. Nickerson April 23, 2009 at 8:00 pm
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I agree with Jason and Wanderlust Woman. Many hotels offer a pick up service, and if you are jetlagged and bleary-eyed and perhaps new to Rome, that may be the best solution.

However, I will also say that the Leonardo Express is not hard to manage at all! It’s my personal choice.

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Rick Riccioli February 6, 2010 at 5:37 pm
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“I cannot for the life of me find the actual part of the Trenitalia website where you can buy said PDF ticket” – I had quite the time trying to figure it out. You can order from the regular reservation page, but, for my case, I just typed Aeroporto as the departure and it gave me a choice of several airport stations including the one at FCO!

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Madeline April 2, 2010 at 3:15 pm
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thanks for this Jessica – I know it’s a year old, but still so useful and the best comprehensive summary / comparison out there!

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Jessica April 3, 2010 at 7:06 am
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I’m glad it’s helpful, Madeline! I did similar posts for Milan & Malpensa, and more recently Venice & Marco Polo Airport, too.

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Brian May 4, 2010 at 5:42 am
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you posted the wrong rate for FCO airport taxi fare to rome. it’s 40 euros, luggage included, not 60.

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Jessica May 4, 2010 at 8:27 am
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Thanks for pointing that out, Brian – I must have been looking at an old resource (this article was posted over a year ago). I’ve fixed the article now! :)

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Paul June 5, 2010 at 3:47 am
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I have found the link where you can buy the tickets for the Leonardo express:

http://www.adr.it/portal/portal/adr/Fiumicino/Servizi/Come_raggiungerci/Arrivo_in_treno_FCO?siteLanguage=en

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Jessica June 5, 2010 at 8:41 am
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Hi, Paul:

I see a link to ferroviedellostato.it there, but that’s not where to buy tickets for the Leonardo Express (it’s not part of the state rail system). Am I missing something?

Thanks,
Jessica

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Pam August 4, 2010 at 5:28 pm
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Jessica,
The link for the PDF purchase of Leonardo Express tickets that I found is:
http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=ee13721bdd69a110VgnVCM1000003f16f90aRCRD
I didn’t go through the process (to verify the link) but it’s pretty clear that you should be able to do it from there (so no more shaking your fists at your computer!).
Thank you so much for this information and the work you put into this site. Based on your information, we’ll just wait to buy our tickets when we get to the airport. That was so helpful, to know that we had a 90-minute window and I just don’t want to chance anything with an international flight, customs, and collecting baggage. Thanks again!

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David Goodall October 19, 2010 at 4:40 am
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Hi Jessica,

I’ve just booked tickets to Termini from FCO. The trenitalia engine doesn’t recognise fco unless you give it the full title of fiumicino aeroporto.

hth

d

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Chris December 6, 2010 at 7:25 am
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Somebody could help me in this matter?

I need to be in the airport at 05:30AM, there is any transportation that I can take from rome center (near to termini station) to the airport? buses, trains, cheap taxies??

Thank You

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Jessica December 6, 2010 at 5:45 pm
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I looked again at all the options listed above, and it doesn’t look like any of them operate before 5 or 5:30am. It seems that your options are to take a taxi from the Termini area (or wherever your hotel is) to the airport – which, even at a fixed rate, isn’t cheap – or stay in an airport hotel at Fiumicino the night before. Just make sure that hotel has a free airport shuttle, and that it runs early enough for you.

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Massimo June 21, 2011 at 9:47 pm
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You are right Jessica. It’s impossible to get to Rome airport before 5 or 5:30am using ATAC buses, that is Rome public transportation, or trains. Taxis offer a fixed rate and I confirm that the cost now is 40 euro for 4 people inclusive of luggage and you don’t have to pay an extra even at night or on Sundays. For those arriving during the night at Rome airport, be careful not to take a Taxi licensed from Fiumicino municipality! In fact in Rome airport there are also these taxis but the price in this case will be 60 euro to reach Rome even if there’s no difference in the number of kilometers! This is because these taxis depend on Fiumicino municipality, not on Rome municipality, and their fixed rate is 60 euro. So be careful!
The last way to get to Rome airport early in the morning is to use a limo service in Rome. The price is higher than taxis, the average price is 55-60 euro for 2 people, but they obviously offer more comfort. The price is not that high if there are a miminum of 4 people in your group. For example, you pay around 70 euro for 5 people. And during the day, because the price of Leonardo Express train is abnormally high (do you know it is the train that has the highest price for kilometer in Italy?), using a limo service may be cheaper for a small group of people.

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Marion August 21, 2011 at 5:29 am
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The link to a map of the city within the Aurelian walls is incorrect.

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Blair August 21, 2011 at 1:10 pm
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Marion, I noticed that too. This link seems to be the correct one: http://www.comune.roma.it/PCR/resources/cms/documents/mappa_mura_aureliane.pdf#?R;159020?#

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Jessica August 22, 2011 at 10:11 am
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Thank you, Marion, for pointing that out! And thanks, Blair, for finding a correct link. I’ve updated the post now.

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Norman A. "Nick" Nickerson September 14, 2011 at 9:14 pm
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Jessica, I just tripped into your website,; a lucky day…So, I have perfect flexibility, male, single, retired and finally decided to let someone help me travel. Hostels seem okay and all I need is a bed with a roof…walls and shower and a meal helps. Right now I want to get back to Assisi for maybe a week. My father is buried with Patton in Luxembourg so I want to stop there coming or going but not essential. I would be glad to pay for your advice; just know that I’m a frugal guy and will compare and be very glad to have you win….your picture and your statements tell me your a good person and I got lucky……thanks, Nick

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Diane September 20, 2011 at 8:19 pm
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Thanks Jessica! This will be my 1st overseas trip and I am SUPER EXCITED!! My BFF from high school and I will be flying into Rome, going to Florence, Venice and finally flying out of Milan in mid-December (8 day trip). I would have preferred to go during a warmer timeframe, but my buddy is a teacher and it’s when she has the time off. I have been doing a ton of research and your site has proven to be quite handy and informative. Thanks for sharing and paving the way forward.

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Jessica September 29, 2011 at 4:34 pm
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You’re so welcome, Diane – I hope you have an excellent trip! Note that in Milan, December 7th is a major holiday (it’s the city’s saint’s day), and the 8th is a major national holiday:
http://www.italylogue.com/festivals

Many Milan residents use the excuse to take an extended vacation over the closest weekend to those two days, so the city may be quieter and some sights may be closed. Check calendars of any museums or attractions you want to visit before you go. The city’s saint is Saint Ambrose, or Sant’Ambrogio, and I’ve heard that there are festivals on his day around the Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio in Milan:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_of_Sant'Ambrogio

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Massimo November 6, 2011 at 6:29 am
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I want to point out an important detail about Rental Cars With Drivers from Rome Fiumicino Airport to Rome. In the article it is said that there are three companies at Fiumicino which offer this service. This is correct but “at Fiumicino” if we specify that these companies evidently have some type of contract with Fiumicino airport but for sure they are not the only limo companies that offer NCC services between the airport and Rome and are authorized to do so. Every NCC company is authorized to transport tourists from and to Fiumicino airport, not just those three companies thet operates directly at the airport! There are many many others and their service can be requested from their websites, by e-mails or telephone. There is nothing different from the three companies mentioned in the article. I want to point out this because some tourist may misunderstood and think that all other NCC companies are not authorized to do services from the airport or are in some way illegal ! This is false. You must beware of people approaching you at the airport and offering you transportation because NCC companies work only by reservation, they do not approach clients. This is true.

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noname November 11, 2011 at 11:18 pm
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Very wordy and very misleading. I lost some time trying to find out what’s that metro line that takes you to the center from the airport. No such thing exist!

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Jessica November 14, 2011 at 12:49 pm
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I apologize for the confusion – it’s part of the “metropolitana” public transport system, so I erroneously called it a “Metro” line originally. I’ve updated the post to call it a “local train” instead.

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Fabrizio November 27, 2011 at 6:39 am
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I am the administrator http://www.alltransfersinrome.com, the problem is true of Fiumicino taxi (60 €). is true that there are many companies in addition to the NCC who agree with the airports.
Taxis in Rome are the fixed rate (40 €) for the Aurelian walls, but the Aurelian walls surround a small part of central Rome.
We offer fixed fee (40 €) for large area of Rome. Visit our site is free.
Thanks

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Amanda April 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm
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Thanks for this helpful information! I will be visiting Rome for the first time, so any information like this is extremely helpful!

I wonder, does anyone here know what train we would take to get from Rome to Civitavecchia? I have been trying to figure this out for some time, but I am still questioning if I am correct in my thinking.

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Jessica May 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm
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This article has info on getting back and forth between Rome and the cruise terminal, which is in Civitavecchia:

http://www.italylogue.com/planning-a-trip/rome-cruise-terminal-where-it-is-how-to-get-there.html

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Giorgio June 13, 2012 at 6:05 am
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Hello I just wanted to point out the the link to Fiumicino airport Buses is incorrect.
The correct link is http://www.adr.it/web/aeroporti-di-roma-en-/pax-fco-bus

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Marco September 9, 2012 at 12:42 pm
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I’m a driver in Rome if you want to book your cheap taxi : gm89ncc@gmail.com send us your request.

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Helen February 10, 2013 at 6:45 pm
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Hi Jessica, big thanks to your site for helping this first time traveler to Italy! I am following your itinerary except for cinque terre due to winter season (I’m leaving next week!). Question.. my flight coming home out of Rome is 7:20AM, do you suggest that I arrive at FCO two hours prior (like we do in the States)? And if so, I will need to be there at 5:30am-ish.. do you suggest that I take a taxi from the hotel direct to the airport just in case of any public transit breakdown and I might miss my flight. Thank you in advance for your help!

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