The historic centre of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With wonderful palaces, millennium-old churches, grand romantic ruins, opulent monuments, ornate statues and graceful fountains, Rome has an immensely rich historical heritage and cosmopolitan atmosphere, making it one of Europe’s and the world’s most visited, famous, influential and beautiful capitals. Today, Rome has a growing nightlife scene and is also seen as a shopping heaven, being regarded as one of the fashion capitals of the world (some of Italy’s oldest jewellery and clothing establishments were founded in the city). With so many sights and things to do, Rome can truly be classified a “global city”.
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The Leonardo Express leaves every 30 minutes to Roma Termini, Rome’s central train station (35 min trip). Tickets cost €14 and are available (within 7 days of departure) online. Tickets sold at the departure platform are €15. So if there are three of you it is cheaper to take a taxi and you get delivered to your door. You can’t buy a ticket for a specific train; it’s just a general ticket for a specific route (Termini), but it’s good for any time. Get your ticket stamped in a yellow validation machine just before boarding the train: it will expire 90 minutes after the validation. At Termini, the Leonardo Express stops at platform # 24.
The suburban train (FL1 line) does not stop at Termini. Get off at Tiburtina or, before that, at the Ostiense train station, where you can connect to line B of the Metro; alternatively, you can get off at the Roma Trastevere train station and from there take the # 8 tram (direction: “p.za Venezia”) to go to Trastevere, Campo de’ Fiori, largo di Torre Argentina and piazza Venezia. Tickets are €8, plus €1.50 for a bus-tram-Metro ticket. The extra cost of the Leonardo Express is for the convenience of a direct ride to Termini. If you are going somewhere else close to a Metro station, Tiburtina and Ostiense stations are as convenient. Get your ticket stamped in a yellow validation machine just before using it.
Note: When boarding one of the Terravision coaches from Termini to either airport, you must trade in your ticket for a laminated card called a “Boarding Pass”. The €6 ticket is good for any bus in the day of purchase, but there’s a limited number of seats available on each bus – and the Terravision office hands out these boarding passes on a first come, first served basis. For example, you may go to the station at noon and buy the 14:30 ticket to Ciampino. The ticket agent will however be giving you a generic ticket; you must then come back (they recommend 30 minutes earlier) at, let’s say, 14:00 and trade that ticket in for a boarding pass valid for the 14:30 bus to Ciampino. In rare cases, these passes may have already run out by the moment you show up at the office – our advice is to get onto the bus before the one you actually want to ride. The agents speak decent English, though, so just ask them if you are confused.
COTRAL/Schiaffini operates buses from both airports to the city. Don’t forget to validate your ticket after getting on the bus.
From Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino, the public bus stop is located outdoors at ground level, at the bottom of the Terminal 1 (Domestic Arrivals). You can buy tickets at the tobacco shop in the Terminal 1 baggage area, with the blue sign (Tabaccheria).
The nighttime timetable is not kept very well; buses may be half an hour late or not arrive at all. Perch on the bus stop, don’t give up – the bus will come.
An inexpensive choice from Fiumicino is to take the bus (COTRAL) to the “EUR Magliana” stop, which belongs to line B, and then take the Metro. It’s the cheapest way to get to the centre (€2.50 bus + €1.50 Metro). The sign on this bus reads “Fiumicino-Porto-Magliana”.
Sit Bus Shuttle. They run a bus line whose ticket costs €6 one-way (€10 round-trip); the ride takes approximatively 40 minutes and there are about 25 rides a day.
Terravision. This is a dedicated airport-city transfer that takes approximatively 40min, with a service every 30min, provided just for the major low cost airlines. The price is €4 one-way or €8 round-trip. You can book on-line, inside the airport or outside near the bus stops (look for the employees with fluorescent vests writing “€4 city transfer”). Passengers should, on their return trip from Termini, board the bus three hours before their flight’s departure time.
COTRAL. This carrier’s ticket costs €5 one-way (the ride will take some 40min), but has far fewer departures than Terravision. These buses are not mentioned on the airport website yet, but you can find them on Schiaffini’s own site. This bus line may come in handy if you arrive at a time when the Metro is closed.
At the airport in Ciampino, there should be an organised taxi queue – however, the drivers will often negotiate amongst themselves if you are going somewhere the cab at the front doesn’t want to go to. There are reports that late-night licensed cabs at Ciampino are asking €100 to take people into town, so try to avoid late flights or take the bus that connects with the flight. If you have to take a cab just pay the legal fare at your destination; if, instead, you have no stomach for the resulting argument then you can phone a cab from one of the numbers listed under the “Get Around” section.
A shared airport shuttle can be hired for around €15 per person to take you from Ciampino airport. However, since the shuttle is shared, it may take longer to reach your destination if other customers are dropped off before you are.
Rental cars are available from all major companies at both airports. Providers can be reached easily in the arrivals halls at both Fiumicino and Ciampino.
Another option, is to book a licensed limousine in advance on-line. The prices are often cheaper than a taxi especially for minivans and in Fiumicino even for sedans. One disadvantage however is that you normally need to book at least 24 hours in advance so you need to plan ahead.