Flying time to Rome is 7½–8½ hours from New York, 10–11 hours from Chicago, 12–13 hours from Los Angeles, and 2½ hours from London.
Although the trend with international flights is to drop reconfirmation requirements, many airlines still ask you to reconfirm each leg of your international itinerary. Failure to do so may result in your reservations being canceled. When flying out of Italian airports, always check with the airport or tourist agency about upcoming transport strikes (sciopero), which are frequent in Italy and can affect air travel.
Airlines and Airports
Airline and Airport Links.com. Airline and Airport Links.com has links to many of the world's airlines and airports. www.airlineandairportlinks.com.
Airline Security Issues
Transportation Security Administration. Transportation Security Administration has answers for almost every question that might come up. 866/289–9673. TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov. www.tsa.gov.
Transportation Security Administration (www.tsa.gov.)
The principal airport for flights to Rome is Leonardo da Vinci Airport, more commonly known as Fiumicino (FCO). It's 30 km (19 miles) southwest of the city, on the coast. There is a direct train link with Rome’s Termini station on the Leonardo Express train, and a local train to Trastevere and Ostiense stations. Rome's other airport is Ciampino (CIA), on Via Appia Nuova, 15 km (9 miles) south of downtown. Ciampino is hub to most low-cost airlines that fly both nationally and internationally. There are no trains linking the Ciampino airport to downtown Rome but there are a number of shuttle buses running daily.
Ciampino (06/65951. www.adr.it.)
Leonardo da Vinci Airport/Fiumicino (06/65951. www.adr.it.)
Transfers Between Fiumicino and Downtown
When approaching by car, follow the signs for Rome and the GRA (the ring road that circles Rome). The direction you take on the GRA depends on where your lodging is located. If you’re staying in the historic center areas, follow indications for Roma Centro. Get a map and directions from the car-rental service, and if you aren’t using one on your phone, considering renting a GPS as well.
A new law implemented by the Comune di Roma requires all Rome taxi drivers to charge a fixed fare of €48, including luggage handling, if your destination is within the Aurelian walls (this covers the centro storico, most of Trastevere, most of the Vatican area, and parts of San Giovanni). To make sure your hotel falls within the Aurelian walls, ask when you book your room. If your hotel is outside of the walls, the cab ride will run you about €60 plus supplementi (extra charges) for luggage. (Of course, this also depends on traffic.) The ride from the airport to the city center takes about 30–45 minutes. Private limousines can be booked at booths in the Arrivals hall; they charge more than taxis but can carry more passengers. The Comune di Roma now has a representative in place outside the International Arrivals hall (Terminal 2), where the taxi stand is located, to help assist tourists get into a taxi cab safely (hopefully without getting ripped off). Use only licensed white or older yellow taxis. When in doubt, always ask for a receipt and write the cab company and taxi's license number down (it's written on a metal plate on the inside of the passenger door). Avoid drivers who may approach you in the Arrivals hall; they charge exorbitant, unmetered rates and are most often unauthorized taxi drivers.
Airport Shuttle has shuttles that cost €25 (for one person) and €6 for each additional passenger. The fee includes two bags per person. Airport Connection Services charges €39 for two people and luggage.
Two trains link downtown Rome with Fiumicino—a non-stop express and a local. Inquire at the APT tourist information counter in the International Arrivals hall (Terminal 2) or train information counter near the tracks to determine which takes you closest to your destination in Rome. The 30-minute nonstop Airport–Termini express (called the Leonardo Express) goes directly to Track 25 at Termini station, Rome's main train station, which is well served by taxis and is a hub of Metro and bus lines. The ride to Termini takes about 30 minutes; departures are every half hour beginning at 6:38 am from the airport, with a final departure at 11:38 pm. Trains depart Termini from Tracks 23 and 24 to the airport starting at 5:50 am and the last train leaves at 10:50 pm. Tickets cost €14.
FM1, the local train, leaves from the same tracks and runs to Rome and beyond, serving commuters as well as air travelers. The main stops in Rome are at Trastevere (27 minutes), Ostiense (30 minutes), and Tiburtina (45 minutes); at each you can find taxis and public transport connections to other areas of Rome. FM1 trains run from Fiumicino between 5:57 am and 11:27 pm, with departures every 30 minutes; the schedule is similar going to the airport. Tickets cost €8. For either train, buy your ticket at a vending machine or at ticket counters at the airport and at some stations (Termini, Trastevere, Tiburtina). At the airport, stamp the ticket at the gate. Remember when using the train at other stations to stamp the ticket in the little yellow or red machine near the track before you board. If you fail to stamp your ticket before you board, you could receive a hefty fine, as much as €100.
At night, take COTRAL buses from the airport to Tiburtina station in Rome (45 minutes); they depart from in front of the International Arrivals hall at 1:15, 2:15, 3:30, 5, 10:55 am, noon, and 3:30 pm. Buses leave Tiburtina station for the airport at 12:30, 1:15, 2:30, 3:45, 9:30, 10:30 am, 12:35 pm, and 5:30 pm. Tickets either way cost €5 (a few euros more if purchased onboard).
Transfers Between Ciampino and Downtown
By car, go north on the Via Appia Nuova into downtown Rome.
The new taxi fare law implemented by the Comune di Roma that affects Fiumicino applies to this airport, too. All taxi drivers are supposed to charge a fixed fare of €30, including luggage handling, if your destination is within the Aurelian walls (this covers the centro storico, Trastevere, the Vatican area, and parts of San Giovanni). If your hotel is outside the walls, the cab ride will run you about €60, plus supplementi (extra charges) for luggage. The ride takes about 25 minutes. Take only official cabs with the "taxi" sign on top; unofficial cabs often overcharge disoriented travelers.
Airport Connection Services has shuttles that cost €39 for the first two passengers. Airport Shuttle charges €25 for the first person, and €5 for each additional passenger.
A COTRAL bus connects Ciampino airport with Termini station. Buses depart from in front of the airport terminal around 25 times a day between 6 am and 11:40 pm. The fare is €3.90 and tickets can be bought on the bus. Travel time is approximately 40 minutes.
Transfers Between Airports
It's not easy to move from one airport to another in Rome—the airports aren't connected by a railway system or by the Metro. The only way to make the transfer is by car, taxi, or a combination of bus, Metro, and train. The latter option is not advisable because it would take you at least two to three hours to get from one airport to the other.
A taxi ride from Fiumicino Leonardo Da Vinci Airport to Ciampino Airport will take approximately 45 minutes and could cost roughly €60–€70, plus supplementi (extra charges) for luggage.
Airport Connection Services (06/3383221; 3921540713 emergency phone in case you cannot find the driver.; 213/985–3045 from the U.S.; 44/2071933062 from the U.K. www.airportconnection.it.)
Airport Shuttle (06/42013469 or 06/4740451. email@example.com. www.airportshuttle.it.)