How To Get From Rome Airport To The City Stress Free

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.

Al Italia Planes at Rome Fiumicino airport
Al Italia planes at Rome Fiumicino airport

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.

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2. Private Car Service

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.

3. Taxis

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.

taxis at Rome Fiumicino Airport
Taxis at Rome Fiumicino Airport

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.

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4. Uber

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 + taxi combination.

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.

Leonardo Express train at Rome Fiumicino airport

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.

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6. Trains

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.

Local Trains

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.

7. Buses

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.

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Recommended

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!

Are you planning a trip to Rome? Download my free PDF of The Best Rooftop Bars in Rome HERE


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Murder In The Curia – The Death of Julius Caesar

If I were to ask you who is the most famous Roman of all time, I can pretty much guarantee you would answer Julius Caesar. And I think you would be right. He was the catalyst that moved the Republic to the Empire. His life story and achievements are incredible. He was a great politician, a great military man, and by all accounts a great man. He was a man of the people, he loved them and they loved him right back.

statue of julius caesar

Caesar’s Story (The Short Version…)

Julius Caesar was born in 100 B.C, into a family that was noble but broke. He grew up around middle class and poor people, and as such could identify more with the common man than the upper class.

His early years read like a wild adventure, hiding from the bad guys who were out to kill him, living a life on the run. At one point he was captured by pirates and ransomed, and then once freed he turned around, attacked those same pirates, got the ransom money back and then crucified them all!

Caesar was an accomplished military man and he fought for the poor and the landless against the members of his own class, which endeared him to the citizens of Rome. After years of fighting and civil wars he eventually became the leader of Rome

Unlike his predecessors he wasn’t about bloody purges and savagery, instead was a really good leader. He brought about peace, pardoned enemies instead of crushing them, and always, always maintained a fantastic relationship with the people of Rome. They loved him.

But the Senate didn’t. He was blowing their game on enriching themselves at the expense of the poor, and he held far too much power. So they decided to assassinate him.

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The Ides of March

It nearly didn’t happen.

On the 15th of March 44 B.C he was to attend a meeting of the senate. His friends had warned him not to go, a psychic warned him he would die on the Ides of March, his wife Calpurnia had a nightmare that he would be killed, and on top of all of these he woke up having one of his dizzy spells. So he sent a message that he wouldn’t be coming.

He was due to head out on a military mission the next day and the senate worried he would come back an even bigger hero than he already was, so in desperation they decided to send someone he trusted to get him, Decimus Brutus. Caesar loved Decimus like a son, so away they went together, arm in arm.

Julius caesar quotes

Murder In The Curia

The Senate house had been damaged by fire so the meeting was held in the Curia (a senate meeting room) in the Teatro Pompeo.

the assassination of Julius Caesar by Vincenzo Camuccini

The meeting began and suddenly dozens of senators pulled daggers from their togas and set upon Julius Caesar in a stabbing frenzy. When it was done everyone fled, leaving him to bleed to death alone on the cold marble floor.

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Riots In The Streets Of Rome

The senators thought they had liberated the republic. They saw themselves as heroes. The people saw otherwise. Enraged that their beloved leader had been taken from them they took to the streets and rioted. The conspirators who killed Caesar locked themselves inside their homes or fled.

It got worse too. Julius Caesar’s funeral took place in the Forum and the masses came to pay homage. Remember the people of Rome loved him. Their fury at his murder was at boiling point when Marc Antony took advantage of an incredible opportunity.

marlon brando as marc antony
Friends, Romans, Countrymen… Marlon Brando as Mark Antony

He got up in front of the people and spoke of all the great things beloved Caesar had done for them. A politician to the core he got them whipped into hysteria . Then he held up Caesar’s blood stained toga and pointed out all the stab wounds.

Caesar’s Will

To top it all off, right when the powder keg that was the crowd was about to explode, Marc Antony read them Julius Caesar’s will.

Caesar the great had bequeathed his estates, his gardens, his art collections (which were pretty sizable) and a huge sum of money, to the people of Rome. His people. The people he loved more than anything. For their benefit and for their enrichment. What could possibly show the people of Rome more clearly that he wasn’t the oppressor the senate accused him of being?? This proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that his assassination had been a theft. They had been robbed of this great man. The crowd (literally) went wild.

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Fire In The Forum

The crowds raged through the Forum smashing everything they could and throwing anything that could be burned onto the funeral pyre. Fire tore through the Forum and the mob went wild.

Temple of Caesar
The remains of Julius Caesar’s Temple in the Roman Forum

So the Senators plan back fired. Instead of strengthening the Republic, this destroyed it. Caesar had named Octavian as his successor, and he went on to amass more power than anyone ever had before, created the Empire and renamed himself Augustus.

The Anniversary of Caesar’s Death

Every year on the anniversary of Julius Caesar’s death, March 15th, also known as the Ides of March, there are celebrations in Rome. There is a marathon in his name, cultural events happen across the city, there is a re-enactment of his death at the Teatro Pompeo, and flowers are laid at the Temple of Caesar at the remains of his funeral pyre.

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Italy’s Festivals In March

One of the things I love to do when I’m in Italy is check out any festivals happening nearby. There are multiple festivals that take place in Italy every March. If you are on the Private Members List you will have a list of my favorites in your inbox. If you are not on the Private Members List and would like to get all the extra information to help you plan your trip to Italy you can join it HERE.

My New Book

I have a new book coming soon! Glam Italia! 101 Fabulous Things To Do In Rome takes you through (more than) 101 different things to see and do in Rome that are not on the regular tourist radar. I don’t talk about the Colosseum, the Vatican, The Trevi Fountain or the Spanish Steps, because A) you already know about them and B) they are always full of tourists.

Most people don’t realize that Rome is full to bursting with hundreds of really amazing things to see, most of which are only a couple of minutes walk from the big attractions. Each of these come with stories that range from intriguing to hilarious, and give you an entirely different perspective on what you’re looking at.

This book not only tells you about some of these places, but also tells you what’s nearby, so you can see where to slot some of them into your existing Rome itinerary.

From Ancient Rome to Underground Rome, amazing churches to the best markets, from where to watch the sunset over the Eternal City to where to find the Caravaggios, from street foods you have to try to where to find the ghosts of Rome, the book is packed with fantastic information designed to turn your visit into the trip of a lifetime, and make you fall in love with Rome the way I have.

Join the list for news about the book release and discounted pricing HERE

Rome Day Trips: Why You Need To Visit Villa d’Este

There are many fabulous day trips you can take from Rome. I had been wanting to check out Hadrian’s Villa (Villa Adriana) and Villa d’Este for ages, and this past summer I finally made my way there.

Villa d’Este is a story of extreme wealth, corruption, and the Catholic Church, three fabulously suited bedfellows. The more you research the various Popes and Cardinals the more you wonder where all this chastity and celibacy and saying Hail Mary’s for bad deeds comes from. They certainly weren’t living it!

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The Villa

Villa d’Este is a 16th century villa built by Cardinal Ippolito d’Este, one of the wealthiest cardinals of them all. During this time when the church ruled everything and there was no free press to report the goings on, Popes and Cardinals were marrying and having mistresses and orgies and generally getting up to no good. D’Este had a wife and 4 sons, which I find endlessly entertaining.

view of the gardens of Villa d'Este in Tivoli
The view from one of the balconies at Villa d’Este in Tivoli

He took an enormous amount of land from the locals to build his spectacular villa, and robbed no end of marble and travertine from Hadrian’s place down the hill. At one point he had 12 lawsuits against him, but he didn’t care, he was building his palace anyway.

Frescoed ceilings inside Villa d'Este in Tivoli, outside Rome

The villa would be quite sensational on its own, with its frescoes and mosaics and glorious views. On a clear day from the terrace you can see all the way to St Peter’s Dome.

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The Gardens At Villa d’Este

The most famous part of Villa d’Este are the gardens and their fountains. D’Este diverted the Aniene river to provide water to one of the most spectacular series of fountains and water exhibits you will ever see.

It all happens on several levels, working their way steeply down the hill to the bottom of the garden.

steep pathways work their way down into the gardens at Villa d'Este in Tivoli
Steep pathways work their way down into the gardens at Villa d’Este

All the fountains and water exhibits are powered by water. It is completely brilliant, especially when you factor in the sheer size of the gardens – they are enormous. You will notice too as you move through the garden that all the fountains that line the way have water flowing at the same speed. You don’t see any gushing while others drip, it is all synchronized and balanced.

musical clock in the gardens at Villa d'Este in Tivoli
This is a water powered musical clock that plays Renaissance music at various times during the day.

One highlight is a huge fountain that plays Renaissance music several times per day.

Make sure you find out what time the musical fountain is scheduled to play and time your visit to be in front of it when it does. It is quite incredible!

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As you are walking down to the musical fountain the walls are lined with gargoyle-like sculptures with water flowing out of their mouths.

walkways lined with gargoyle fountains in the gardens at Villa d'Este in Tivoli
Walkways lined with gargoyle fountains in the gardens at Villa d’este
Villa d'Este Tivoli gargoyle fountain close up
Close up of a gargoyle lining the walkway in the gardens at Villa d’Este in Tivoli

Part way down you see two fountains the man of the cloth had made for the pleasure of his sons.

Fountains spraying water from breasts in the gardens of Villa d'Este in Tivoli
The fountain of the boobies in the gardens of Villa d’Este, Tivoli. There are two identical fountains facing one another.

A pair of female creatures with giant boobs from which water arcs out. I wonder if he gave himself a round of Hail Mary’s to make up for it?

Fountain in the gardens at Villa d'Este in Tivoli

You can spend a really lovely afternoon wandering the gardens at Villa d’Este.

Fountain in the gardens at Villa d'Este in Tivoli

They really are a work of art, and are visually astounding from every angle, wherever you are on the property.

Stairway to the gardens at Villa d'Este in Tivoli
Stairway to the gardens at Villa d’Este in Tivoli

The gardens are quite steep. You can take an elevator back up from close to the halfway mark, but you still need to be able to walk well to get to that point. As such I don’t recommend it for anyone with bad knees or hips, or for anyone who has trouble walking.

Villa d’Este is in Tivoli, only 15 miles from Rome.

Day tours combine Villa Adriana (Hadrian’s Villa) in the morning and then Villa d’Este in the afternoon.


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When I was at Villa d’Este Rome was having a very hot spell, so it was nice to take a day outside the city and enjoy the shade as well as the break from the heat.

If you are traveling to Rome any time soon you will love my new book, Glam Italia! 101 Fabulous Things To Do In Rome. It will be available exclusively on Amazon.com by late March or early April 2019. Everyone on my Private Members List will get early notification of the book’s release, as well as the chance to get special early-bird pricing. You can join the list here.

Have you read my book Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy (Secrets To Glamorous Travel On A Not So Glamorous Budget yet? It has become an international best seller and is available worldwide, exclusively on Amazon.com Get your copy HERE


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