Do you find flying into Rome Fiumicino Airport a bit
overwhelming? If you are looking for a low drama alternative to using Fiumicino
or Milan Malpensa airports but still want to be taking a direct flight from the
USA, American Airlines has a new flight route opening in June of 2019.
Disclaimer: I do not have any sponsorship or business relationship with American Airlines. I just fly them often. This post does contain affiliate links.
Starting this summer American Airlines will now be offering direct flights from Philadelphia to Bologna.
Bologna is a wonderful city in Emilia-Romagna, the food capital of Italy. It lies roughly midway between Rome and Milan (give or take) and gives you easy access to pretty much everywhere you want to go.
Bologna is a hub for high speed trains traveling north-south. You are around an hour and a half from Venice, 35 minutes from Florence, 2 hours from Rome and 3 ½ hours from Naples.
Bologna’s Marconi Airport is roughly 6km from the central train station, so 10 minutes by taxi or 20-30 minutes by shuttle bus. Shuttles run every 10-15 minutes.
The airport is small and very easy to navigate, making it an ideal choice to fly into. One advantage of using a small airport is that it is much quicker to clear customs and baggage claim as there aren’t multiple huge planes all arriving within minutes of one another.
For now American is only offering the service from June through September but if it proves popular may end up making it permanent. I found discounted flights with American Airlines on Cheap O Air, (linked above. This is an affiliate link.)
If you are looking to do really fabulous, one of a kind,
fashion shopping while in Rome I have the place for you.
The Most Stylish Market In Rome
Every weekend one of the hippest neighborhoods (or Rione) in
Rome, the Monti, hosts the most chic, avant garde fashion markets you will find
On Saturdays and Sundays the bottom floor of the 1970’s style Hotel Palatino becomes a showcase for Rome’s up and coming designers and artisans. Almost everything here is handmade and quite unique, making it a favorite of fashion stylists and sophisticated shoppers.
You will find handmade Italian shoes from young local
designers who are in that space between being unknown and having major presence
in big stores.
Cool designer sunglasses, also not yet in stores, which makes
them even cooler. Last time I was there a movie costume designer/wardrobe
stylist was picking out sunglasses for a film she was working on – this place
is next level cool.
You will also find really fantastic leather handbags, different
from the mass market merchandise you see everywhere in the street markets and
The clothing at the Monti Market is very one of a kind
euro-chic with a slightly vintage vibe. These are pieces no one will have back
home, with the cut, quality and fabric choices that make them items that will
not only last forever but that you will love forever.
Along with the new designers you can also find some very cool vintage jewelry at Mercato Monti.
Italians take their fashion seriously. You will notice that
everyone from rich to poor, looks put together. They have an innate sense of
style, and never look sloppy or careless. They value having a few well chosen,
good quality pieces over a closet full of cheap fast fashion. Which is why you
will spot a very cosmopolitan crowds perusing the racks here.
This is a great place to spend some money, both because you
can get some really special pieces here but also because you are helping out
young, emerging Italian fashion designers. You get to chat with the designers –
generally they are manning their stalls. The whole experience is very cool.
Be sure to check out their website www.mercatomonti.com and also
their Facebook page, to see what’s on the agenda each month. (I go to the
market if I’m in town on the weekends regardless of which designers are
showing, but I check the Facebook page anyway!)
Also check the website if you are in Rome during June and July as they also have a presence on Isola Tiburtina after 7 pm.
Plan your trip to the Mercato Monti / Monti Market around meal time – the Monti district is one of the big foodie areas in Rome with endless fabulous little eateries everywhere. Also allow time to just wander the neighborhood, it is full of darling little streets you will want to take a thousand photos in!
My new book Glam Italia! 101 Fabulous Things To Do In Rome has a chapter on the best markets in Rome. Whether you want to know where to find the best flea markets, really cool food markets, art markets or where to score a fantastic Fendi handbag, it’s all in the book! Order your copy on Amazon.com from April 21st 2019
Do you find the idea of shopping in Italy a little unnerving? Does the language barrier have you confused or worried about how to ask for your size or what something costs? No worries my friend – I have made a PDF for you with all the main things you want to ask or say in Italian and how to pronounce them.
Are you traveling to Rome anytime soon? One of the questions I get asked all the time about traveling to Rome (and other parts of Italy) is how to get from Rome Fiumicino airport into the city.
It can be nerve racking trying to figure it out by yourself if
you haven’t been there before. But don’t worry – not only is it super easy, you
have several options at a variety of price points. Assuming you will be
overnighting in Rome, let’s check out some options:
1. Your Landlord or Hotel
The first thing to do is check if your vacation rental or
hotel has a car or shuttle service. Most don’t have shuttles but in general
they have drivers they work with and refer to their clientele.
The cost for a private driver to be waiting at the airport to greet you and bring you into the city is 50 euros. This is a standard rate, don’t pay more than 50.
If your accommodation can’t provide someone, check online for
car service companies. I always, always double check them on Trip Advisor. They
should have tons of great reviews across a decent stretch of time. Make sure
you actually read the reviews, and check for details such as is there
repetitive language (if English is not the primary language scammers will make the
same grammatical mistakes over and over).
Two of the well know private car companies are Welcome Pickups and Kiwi Taxi. I haven’t used either as I have my own drivers from my tours, but both have a great reputation. Just make sure you read reviews before booking.
In Italy vendors take Trip Advisor very seriously. They
proudly post stickers on their businesses and many will ask you to write a
review for them. Honestly it makes everything so much easier!
Car service/private drivers are often (but not always) minivans. If there are several of you make sure you check at the time of booking. The standard rate door to door is 50 euro.
Don’t ever go with someone who solicits you at the airport. The legit companies, both private drivers and taxis, don’t have people approach people at the airport. Ever. Anyone who approaches you offering car service or taxi service is up to no good.
Taxis at Fiumicino airport are regulated. Rome’s taxis are
white with a taxi sign on the roof and the city taxi insignia Commune di Roma, and numbers on the
doors and the back, as well as inside the car.
You pick up your taxi from the taxi rank outside the terminal.
They are single file, and all look the same so you won’t make a mistake.
There is a flat fare from the airport to the city, 48 euros.
This includes luggage.
If you are not going inside the city walls then your fare will
be metered and there will be a fee per bag, but 99% of the time you will be
staying inside the walls. You need to make sure you are being charged the flat
rate before you get in the taxi.
I here lots of stories about people getting scammed by taxi
drivers, but as much as I use cabs in Rome I have never ever had a problem.
One thing to bear in mind with taxis is that most of them are small. If there are several of you, you will either need to take multiple taxis or use a car service.
Unlike Paris where there are Ubers everywhere, in Rome they are fewer and further in between. I sometimes hear they are being outlawed but as far as I know they still exist. They don’t offer regular uber service though, and the fare from the airport into town is around 65 euros, making it the most expensive option.
5. The Leonardo Express
If I don’t use a private driver/car service I use a train +
From Fiumicino there is an express train inside the terminal
that brings you into Rome to the main train station, Termini Station. The
Leonardo Express departs every 15 minutes throughout the day and then every 30
minutes during the early morning and late evening. It takes 32 minutes and
costs 14 euro.
Once you arrive at Termini the main taxi stand is at Piazza
Cinquecento, straight through the main doors of the station.
Another option is to turn right as you leave the platform area
and walk through that entrance (which is what I do) and you will see a taxi
stand on your left.
Again you will be approached by people offering car service and
taxis. The legit taxi drivers can’t do that. They pull into the taxi ranks in
the marked areas, in official Rome taxis.
One word of warning, last summer my flight was delayed and I arrived into Termini late at night. There were no taxis at the train station. I was on my way to Florence and missed the last train, so had to get a hotel for the night (thank God for the Hotels.com app) I was able to walk down the street to the hotel, but it could have been problematic had I been going further.
When I fly into Rome but am heading to another city I take the Leonardo Express to termini and then pick up my next train. It is super simple and efficient.
New Train Service
In December 2018 a new train service started, taking you in
one step from Fiumicino airport to Florence and Venice. I haven’t used it yet
and haven’t spoken to anyone who has, so can’t review it. (yet!)
You can find it on the Trenitalia website. At the time of writing this post there were few direct trains per day, most of the options use the Leonardo Express and Termini station, but keep an eye on it – I am sure they will add more trains as the service gains popularity.
There are local trains that will bring you into the city very inexpensively (around 8 euro) but they stop at multiple stations and you will probably need to catch a taxi from the station. Also the small stations don’t always have elevators, so you may end up dragging suitcases up and down stairs.
There are bus companies that bring you into the city but again I haven’t used them. Once you are in the city you will still need to get a taxi to your hotel/apartment, so I’m not sure there is any good reason to use them. They take longer than other transport to bring you into the city, but at only 5 euros per person are the cheapest way in. The bus stops at two places, Piazza Cavour and Termini. Terravision is a well know bus/coach company that does the airport to city run. The coaches are nice and modern and store your luggage underneath.
You need to remember that chances are you will arrive to
Fiumicino airport exhausted from your international flight, so you want to make
your arrival as easy as possible. It can be well worth your while to book a
private car service to take you door to door, especially if there are more than
one of you. The cost of the Leonardo Express for 2 people is already 28 euros,
add a taxi at the other end and you will have spent more than 50 euros anyway.
Even though I have traveled in and out of Rome more times than I can even remember and know the city pretty well, if I were arriving at night I would have a driver meeting me at the airport.
My new book Glam Italia! 101 Fabulous Things To Do In Rome comes out soon! Join my Private Members Newsletter to get updates and discount options. You definitely want to read this book before traveling to Rome!