Jun 11, 2024 5 min read

Ultimate Travel Guide to Rome, Italy - How To Get There

Rome has two airports, both equally important for Romanians. Ciampino is a smaller airport but is closer to Rome, about 15 km southeast, from which Wizz Air operates; Fiumicino is the main airport, located 30 km southwest, where Tarom, Alitalia, Blue Air, and others operate.

How to get to Rome, Italy

Typically, those coming to Rome want to reach the central station, Stazione Termini. There are several options to get from Ciampino Airport to here: buses, minibuses, taxis, and private transfer services. Among these, the cheapest is the bus.

For example, on our last visit to Rome, we took a bus with a ticket price from Ciampino Airport to Termini being €6(round trip, €12). Tickets can also be reserved online, but we bought ours directly from the driver.

The bus was not crowded at all, in fact, it was less than half full, but in some cases, you might encounter busier moments. Interestingly, these buses, which also run between Rome and Fiumicino Airport, offer onboard WiFi connection.

Tickets can be purchased online (useless, because you still need to go to their counter to validate the ticket), from the airport counter, or, most conveniently, directly from the driver.

The journey isn't long, but due to heavy traffic, it can take up to an hour. The frequency of the buses depends on the company, but departures are usually every 30 minutes.

Besides the company we traveled with, there are at least three others, as can be seen on the mentioned site, of which the most well-known is Terravision, which you can also find for transfers between London and its four airports, including Luton, as well as in other European cities.

Terravision’s buses have their station on the northeastern side of Termini station, where the map says: Terracafè (you may need to zoom in to see the Terracafè label, next to a circle with a steaming cup depicted). These stations are also the departure points for the return journey to the airport (Ciampino, or Fiumicino).

For transfers between Fiumicino Airport and Rome Termini and back, clear and complete information can be found here.

Buses from Fiumicino to Rome Termini, regardless of the company, can be taken from Terminal T3, which is the arrivals terminal. This is also where they arrive from Termini, so if you are coming from Rome and want to get to check-in, you need to walk a few hundred meters from Terminal T3 to Terminal T2.

On the website mentioned above, it is noted that besides the bus option (which I used with the same company), you can also travel from Termini to Fiumicino by train.

If you choose the local train, it is not a direct one. You must switch from the local FM1 train to the local FM5 train at the Trastevere station or at the Ostiense station. The latter has the advantage of connecting with Termini and the metro.

There is also a train that offers a direct connection between Fiumicino Airport and Termini, which is the Leonardo Express. However, it is more expensive (€14 compared to only €8 for the local train), but it is faster (30 minutes from the airport to Termini) and runs every 30 minutes.

If you are not in a hurry, however, traveling by bus is more economical as it is cheaper.

Termini Station, as I mentioned, is the central station in Rome and, obviously, is very large. Nevertheless, it is very well-maintained, clean, and there are signs everywhere, in both Italian and English, pointing to various points of interest.

If you want to get information from the information desk, you need to take a number from the automatic distributor nearby. A screen displays when it is your turn and you can go to the counter to ask for the information you need.

For buying tickets, if you already know exactly what to do, you can use one of the many automatic machines. If you prefer to interact with a person when buying your ticket, you can purchase it from one of the ticket counters, which you can find by following the sign Biglietteria (Ticket Office).

Here too you must take a number and wait for your turn, which will be announced on a screen displaying the number of your ticket and the counter number where you should go.

Any train ticket purchased, if it is without a reserved seat, is valid for several days as indicated on it. Therefore, before it is used, it must be validated at a green machine, like the ones shown in this image, by inserting it into the validation machine slot with the end facing up and the side that reads: CONVALIDA - VALIDATION.

green machine validation ticket termini station rome

As an aside, you can use the previous image as a starting point for a virtual walk around Termini Station.

If you board the train with an unvalidated ticket, it's as if you don’t have a ticket at all, and, obviously, you will receive a fine.

For those who wish to travel to Civitavecchia (usually to board cruise ships), the journey from the airport passes through Termini Station only if the airport is Ciampino, because there is no direct connection between it and Civitavecchia.

From Ciampino, you must come to Termini and from there, take a local train to Civitavecchia (about 80 km). The price of a ticket from Roma Termini to Civitavecchia from 6 €.

The train covers the approximately 80 km in just under an hour. There are many trains, those that have Civitavecchia as their final destination run every 30 minutes between 06:00 – 22:00, but there are also others that go further.

A taxi driver I asked about the trip to Civitavecchia told me that there are no direct trains to Civitavecchia on Sundays and that I would need to change trains at San Pietro station, where I would take another train to Civitavecchia. I had heard about this before, but in the meantime, things have changed, because, although it was Sunday, we took a direct train.

Obviously, the journey can be made in the same way in the reverse direction.

Those coming from (or going to) Fiumicino to Civitavecchia can do so without passing through Termini (it is possible to go through there, but it is unnecessary; it's a detour and a waste of time). From Fiumicino, take a local FM1 train to either Trastevere or Ostiense station, where you switch to another local train, FM5. You just need to cross from one platform to another. The ticket for the direct route between Fiumicino Airport and Civitavecchia costs from 11 €.

In my travels with Italian trains, I found that the local, regional, and intercity types are in very good condition, even if the carriages are not always new. I have not seen any broken windows, torn seats, or other damaged items. Additionally, the platforms are much better positioned, so you don't have to make a special effort to get your suitcase onto the train, and it is very quiet. From Rome to Civitavecchia, the train even reached speeds of 145 km/h, without it being noticeable in any way.

Arriving at Civitavecchia station, to get to the embarkation pier, you have two options:

  • walking (which is good for your health); the route, about 2 km, takes half an hour, and can be seen on this map, or
  • by bus; in this case, from the station, take a local bus. This bus takes you to the place where you will board the shuttle bus, which is free and takes you to the embarkation point. On embarkation days, it runs every 30 minutes, transporting cruise participants back and forth (not all embark and disembark here; some do so in Genoa).

On the return trip, the process is the same but in reverse. Don’t forget to validate your ticket, which you should not throw away until after you leave the station and enter the airport, as it is checked at the exit. If you no longer have it, you will need to buy another one.

These are the details I can provide about the transfer from the airport to Rome or Civitavecchia. I hope you find them useful, and don’t forget: being well-informed is important because a lack of information can be costly!

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