FCO To Rome — How To Get To Rome’s Centro From The Airport

Leonardo Express, Trenitalia, And Taxis Are Only Three Options

To listen to the podcast version of this article, click here: Getting To Rome.

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Writing this in late July, it might seem like a strange time to publish an article about finding flights to Rome. “I already know how to get from FCO to Rome, I booked the tickets months ago, why tell me now?” Well, this is the article version of a podcast that was published a year ago. So with this kind of all-over-the-place timing, this is just on-brand. Not to mention, out of the five Romans I’ve recently had conversations with, every single one of them (all five, so not that many) asked, “Why are you in Rome during the worst time of the year?”

To them, autumn is the best time of the year.

But that’s not what this article is about. It’s about getting to Rome.

To make things easy, I’m first going to assume you will arrive by plane.

Rome has two major airports. FCO and CIA.

A picture of the Vatican which is also reached by going from FCO to Rome.
Getting you to Rome, or this fine city, from FCO.

FCO (or Leonardo da Vinci – Fiumicino) Airport is the major airways hub for Rome, and most of Italy. It’s the home of ITA Airways, the successor of Alitalia Airways which went bankrupt in late 2021.

CIA (or Ciampino) Airport is Rome’s second airport. If you came to Rome between 1960 and 2007, then you would have arrived to FCO since CIA was only open to charter and private airplanes. (Unless you arrived at Rome on a private plane. In which case, welcome to our humble budget-traveling website.)

If you are arriving from anywhere outside of Europe, chances are, you will arrive at FCO. When CIA opened back up to normal travelers, it was restructured towards low-cost or budget airlines. This means it’s the hub for airlines like WizzAir, RyanAir, EasyJet, and almost explicitly services European countries.

Now that we’ve cleared up the question of “which airport” let’s talk about getting to Rome’s city center, or centro.


I’ll be honest, I heavily dislike it when a blog or article recommends using a taxi, just like I’m doing now. It’s the obvious choice, right? Like, I’m on the website trying to find out what other options exist. Okay, enough with the italics.

Why have I included “taxi”? So you know I’m not forgetting this as an option.

Taxis will cost about $50. Honestly, if you’re traveling with a family, it’s a great choice. Door to door service, plus you get to see some of the city as your drive through.

For anyone thinking, “I’ll just get an Uber,” let me be the first to inform you that regular Uber doesn’t exist in Italy. Rome and Milan are two of the only cities that allow Uber, and only Uber Lux, Uber Black, and Uber Van.

Also, Lyft doesn’t operate here.

Taxi unions are powerful in Italy, and protests are common. Taxis don’t have the billionaire investors that companies like Uber and Lyft have, so Italy as a whole restricts the operation of ride-share (for profit) companies. Companies like BlaBlaCar do operate here, however, since most of their business is city-to-city.

(UPDATE JULY 2022: Uber and Italy and in talks to allow Uber into the cities in a way that doesn’t compete with taxis. I will update this as I learn more.)

Leonardo Express

Perhaps the second easiest way to get to Rome’s centro is the “fast train.”

The Leonardo Express runs directly from the FCO Airport to Roma Termini, Rome’s central train station. It takes roughly 30 minutes and it’s a direct trip.

Unlike some of the other train options, the ticket you buy for the Leonardo Express is good for any of their time slots. Miss the 4:12? That’s okay, you can take the 4:32 without having to buy another ticket like you might for Trenitalia.

Strangely, the cheapest place to buy a Leonardo Express ticket is on the Trenitalia website. (The National Train Company’s website.) Here’s a link to the English Version of their website. If you’d like to, you can buy a ticket from the Leonardo Express website, but the ticket is a few euros extra.

It used to be that if you bought more than two tickets, you would be offered a slight discount, but I haven’t been able to find this offer in the past few months. If you’ve seen it, please leave me a comment so I can share it!


The second train option.

Because Fiumicino (the town that the Rome airport is technically located in) is its own town, there is a train line running between Fiumicino and Rome. The train either originates at the airport, or it stops at the airport for about ten minutes. Using that Trenitalia link above, you can find cheaper tickets on the regional train. The catch is the trip will take about an hour, not 30 minutes.

Besides that, it’s a lovely little train ride.


Trainline* is an aggregate website, like Skyscanner* is for flights, that focuses on trains and buses. I use it as my default for buying tickets for the simple reason that the English-version website here is better than TrainItalia’s and because I can compare multiple services in one place. Specifically, Italo and Trenitalia (Italo being a private train company in Italy operating high-speed trains between large cities).

Trainline also has tickets from Leonardo Express listed on their website.

The best practice is to compare their prices to Trenitalia’s website. Most of the time, the prices are dead-even, but there have been times where one is cheaper than the other.


There are TONS of bus options from FCO to Rome. Most of them are around $5-$10 a ticket and take about an hour.

Darcy and I have only taken the bus once or twice, but we prefer the space and speed of trains.

But if you’re looking for a super budget way of getting into Rome, buses are a great option.

I won’t list all the bus providers, becasue there are many, but websites like BusBud* will show you options and have links to where you can buy tickets. Rome2Rio, while not selling tickets, is another great tool at exploring all the options for arriving at Rome’s Termini.


This is more of a longshot, but if you want to have an adventure on your arrival to Rome, try and connect with someone landing who has a car and is willing to bring you into Rome in exchange for gas money. There’s a good chance you won’t find someone, but you never know! Especially in summer!

If you’re here from the podcast, you might be wondering where the rest of the article is. To break up one hour of speaking, I decided to make the topics into separate articles so no one has to spend a week reading one incredibly long article.

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