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.

RELATED POST: 10 THINGS YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST DO IN ROME

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.

RELATED POST: 7 TIPS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE TRAVELING TO ROME

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.

RELATED POST: HOW TO USE THE TRAINS IN ITALY

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.

RELATED POST: 15 FABULOUS BOOKS SET IN ITALY

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


728x90 Get Quote

This is one of my absolute favorite things to see in Rome.

You can stand outside the door and look at thousands of tourists in the vicinity of the Forum and Colosseum, then walk back inside and only have a small group of you waiting to go on the tour of the Palazzo. This one is on the list of places in Rome that most tourists don’t ever hear about, and don’t even realize is right there in front of them. It’s pretty fantastic. And now you are in the know too…

Why You Need To See Palazzo Valentini In Rome

Palazzo Valentini is a beautiful Renaissance palazzo, with an interesting history. At one point it was owned by an incredibly handsome fellow by the name of Giacomo Boncompagni, Duke of Sora, Aquino, Arce and Arpino. He was a feudal lord and also happened to be the illegitimate son of Pope Gregory XIII. Those Popes were a raunchy bunch – celibate to the world but with mistresses and wives and children. I find it fascinating!

What’s Below Palazzo Valentini?

In 2005 while renovations were being done on the palazzo, the remains of two magnificent Imperial Roman homes and thermal baths were discovered underneath. Archeologists spent years working on it and now the 20,000 square foot space is open for viewing. Let me tell you, it is amazing!

2000 year old mosaics on the floors of the Domus Romane underneath Palazzo Valentini in Rome

2000 year old mosaic floors still in perfect condition, in the Roman houses underneath Palazzo Valentini in Rome

Buried for centuries under the palazzo, the Domus Romane (Roman Houses) are incredibly well preserved. You will see the original ancient staircases, mosaics, frescoes, inlaid marble floors, all dating back to around the 3rd century.

Frescoes lining the wall at Palazzo Valentini in Rome

Ancient frescoes lining the walls at Palazzo valentini in Rome

You walk across a glass floor, with ancient Rome lit up below you, so rather than observing from the sidelines you feel as though you are in it.

Glass floors at the Roman Houses under the Palazzo Valentini in Rome allow you to see the homes from directly above rather than from the sidelines, giving you a more inclusive experience

RELATED POST: WHY YOU NEED TO VISIT THE BATHS OF DIOCLETIAN IN ROME

The thermal baths give you an idea of how wealthy this family must have been, and the location alone speaks to their importance – right outside the roman forum.

There is a glassed off room full of ancient Roman trash – plates and cups and kitchen gear that had been thrown away.

A multi media installation at the Domus Romane at Palazzo Valentini Rome lets you see how the houses would have looked back in the 2nd century

It keeps getting better too, because this museum has a multi-media element to it. While a taped narration explains what you are seeing (in clear English, over a speaker system so you don’t need to wear headphones), the lights go down and the multi media part lights up, letting you see how it would have been back then, completing rooms and walls and ceilings.

The multi media installation at the Roman Houses at Palazzo Valentini in Rome shows you how the houses would have looked back in the 2nd century A.D.

The multi media experience lets you see how the homes would have looked in the 2nd century

A multi media show in the Domus Romane at Palazzo Valentini shows you how everything would have looked back in the 2nd century A.D. It's fantastic!

Part of the multi media experience at the Roman houses underneath Palazzo Valentini in Rome

One part that I really loved was looking down onto the remains of a Roman road. A laser lights up the stones and shows you how clever they were with their construction and how the shapes of the stones were repeated and not random, making strong roads that lasted for millenia.

An ancient Roman road underneath Palazzo Valentini in Rome. During the tour a laser lights up the ptterns in the stones

The remains of a Roman road run between the two houses. A laser lights up the shapes of the stones and you learn just how clever the Romans were when building their roads. They are a variety of sizes and shapes making up a repetitive pattern. It’s incredible!

RELATED POST: 14 FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT PIAZZA NAVONA IN ROME

The final part of the tour takes you into a video room where the stories on Trajan’s Column are explained (it’s brilliant). When the video is done they walk you to a private viewing area that looks out at the column, immediately in front of the palazzo.

This is one of Rome’s treasures that I will keep returning to. It is just fascinating and fabulous.

Ancient mosaics on the floors of the Roman house underneath Palazzo Valentini in Rome. These mosaics are 2000 years old!

2000 year old mosaic floors, still intact, in the Roman houses underneath Palazzo Valentini in Rome

You can only go through the Domus Romane with a guide and they have set times for each tour. The tour lasts around 90 minutes and is in English. The Domus Romane are closed on Tuesdays.

RELATED POST: 10 THINGS YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST DO IN ROME

Make sure you book ahead. You can get dates, times and online tickets at the Palazzo Valentini website. You have to arrive 30 minutes before your tour to turn your voucher into a ticket.

Have you read my book yet? Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy: Secrets To Glamorous Travel (On A Not So Glamorous Budget)  has made it to the best seller list in all of its categories on Amazon.com!

Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy (Secrets to glamorous travel on a not so glamorous budget) Learn how to plan the trip of a lifetime, get the best deals, and learn tips and tricks from a travel pro!

Learn how to plan the trip of a lifetime without breaking the bank. Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy will help you do everything from use the trains in Italy, know which foods and wines to order in each region of the country, what to buy where and how to get your sales tax back, know what to look out for when you rent a car in Italy, which beaches are the best beaches, how to avoid pickpockets, how to work your money in Europe, what to do if you get sick, and much, much more!

Get your copy here on Amazon.com

 

On the On the secret Rome list this is an absolute must see! Two roman houses from the 2nd century, underneath Palazzo Valentini

 

Naples villas and palaces

I’m infatuated with Naples.

Naples is gritty and dirty, and parts of it are loud and a bit scary, which I think dissuades some travelers (including this one) from going there. I had thought Naples was a city I needed to stay away from, until I actually went there and discovered how magnificent it actually is! When I finally decided to go see Naples I messaged a Facebook friend who I had never met, and he wound up taking the day off work and showing me around. It was absolutely fantastic! We walked this incredible city for hours, stopped for coffee breaks (Naples has the best coffee in all of Italy) ate Baba and pizza, saw a million  amazing things, had no end of fun, and when I got on the train to go back to Salerno that evening I realized that there are a million more things I need to go back and see. I even have a guide lined up to take my Glam Tour ladies through Naples should I get a group who want to go spend a day there.

Related Post: How To Order Coffee In Italy

Pompeii is a suburb of Naples, as is Herculaneum. The Palace of Caserta is nearby too. I had the crazy good luck of arriving at the palace on a Monday afternoon in December, when the crowds had left, leaving me the entire palace to myself. I wrote about it here. While there I learned about Marie Carolina, the absolutely fascinating sister of Marie Antoinette. She lived at Caserta, a palace built to outdo Versailles, and she ran the kingdom of Sicily and Naples. I plan on really studying her and getting well versed in all her accomplishments and then heading back to visit her palace again, this time being more informed.

Related Post: Discover The Palace Of Caserta

Naples and its surrounding area have so many sensational palaces and villas to visit and explore. If you are planning a trip to Italy you should consider checking some of them out. To whet your appetite I want to share this fabulous article I found in Italy Magazine about 5 palaces and villas that are part of Naples’ aristocratic past.

Enjoy!

Naples Aristocratic Past: Five Palaces and Villas That Are Sure To Wow

From the 13th century to Italian unification in 1861 Naples was the seat of far-reaching kingdoms, whose territories included the regions of Southern Italy. Neapolitan rulers, depending on the century were Angevin, Catalan, Austrian, Spanish, or French (under Napoleon), their dominions referred to as either the Kingdom of Naples, the Kingdom of Sicily, or the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, according to the realms won and lost in the constant battles for power. A change in rulers often initiated a building spree; not surprisingly, Naples and Campania are home to many aristocratic dwellings, with the Spanish Bourbon kings and court spearheading the construction of some of the most magnificent palaces and villas that have survived to this day.

Related Post: 8 Things You Must Do In Naples

Here are five not to miss on your next trip to Naples.

[Villa Rufolo, Ravello]

VILLA PIGNATELLI (Museo Diego Aragona  Pignatelli Cortes). Since the Middle Ages the Pignatelli family has been one of Southern Italy’s most influential and powerful clans, who at the peak of their power could claim title to14 principalities, 16 dukedoms, 22 marquisates and 18 earldoms. Through strategic marriages the Pignatelli married into the major noble familes of Italy including the Caracciolo, Colonna and Orsini. This beautifully restored neo-classic museum house came into the Pignatelli family in 1867 (after being owned by the Rothschilds and Ferdinand Acton, son of the Neapolitan Prime Minister, Sir John Acton) and for years was a center of Neapolitan social life. You’ll find find many decorative arts collections here reflecting the aristocratic obsessions of the day, including an outsanding array of porcelain from local purveyors like Capodimonte. Del Vecchio, and Giustiniani, and from such major European names as Meissen, Limoges, and Sevres.

Some of the reception rooms (like the White House) are organized  by color scheme—red, blue, and green. In these and other rooms you’ll find fine 19th century silver pieces, gilded furniture and ornate clocks.The villa also showcases the San Paolo Banco di Napoli art collection with landscapes, still lifes, and sculpture from major 16th to 20th century Neapolitan artists (including the prodigious Baroque-era painter Francesco Solimena and Gaspare Traversi, a painter associated with the Rococo period, whose work was influenced by Caravaggio). The garden was landscaped English style, no doubt, due to the taste of its original owner. In 1952 Princess Rosina Pignatelli donated the villa and its collections to the state. Riviera di Chiaia, Napoli; cir.campania.beniculturali.it/museopignatelli. Open: 8.30 AM to 5 PM. Closed Tuesdays.

[Photo credit: Wikimedia commons]

PALAZZO ZEVALLOS STIGLIANO. Built for the Duke of Ostuni, Giovanni Zevallos, in the 1600s by Cosimo Fanzago, the Bernini of Naples, this palace-museum is noted for its outstanding art collection, which includes Caravaggio’s The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula, believed to be his last work, and an extensive collection of Neapolitan paintings from the Cinquecento to the 20th century. The Neapolitan pieces include canvases from the Posillipo School or Art, named after the waterfront section of Naples where artists, among them Anton Pitloo (1790-1837), whose plein air depictions are regarded as forerunners of Impressionism, and Giacinto Gigante (1806-1876) practiced the art of vedute, or landscape painting. There are also works from the Resina School, referencing the seaside town near Naples whose painters were influenced by the Florentine Macchiaioli, sometimes referred to as Italian impressionists. The Palazzo is part of Galerie d’Italia Intesa San Paolo group. Via Toledo 185; gallerieditalia.com/it/napoli/  Open: Tuesday to Friday:10 AM-6 PM; Saturday, 10-8 PM. Closed Mondays.

[Photo credit: Due Sicilie – Magna Grecia]

VILLA RUFOLO. Big names have long been associated with this villa, from the powerful Southern Italian nobles who owned the property to celebrities like Jacqueline Kennedy who came to visit. It was built in the 13th century (according to lore with more rooms than days in the year) by the Rufolo clan, an influential family that held sway in Amalfi, then a maritime republic (like Genoa and Pisa) and its architectural style references the area’s ties to the East (Amalfi was an important trading hub), blending Arabic and Gothic elements.

So important were the Rufolo, one even figured as a protagonist in Bocaccio’s iconic Decameron. The constant power struggles in the region saw Rufolo fortunes rise and fall; over the centuries the villa was owned by other aristocratic familes like the Confalone and Muscettola.In 1851 it was bought by Francis Nevile Reid, a Scottish botanist, who restored the structure and gardens. The Great Tower, once a strategic lookout and nearly one thousand years old, provides dramatic views of the Bay of Salerno. Today the villa and gardens are the site of contemporary art exhibits and the world famous Ravello Festival. Piazza Duomo, Ravello; Villarufolo.com. Open: 9 AM to 9 PM. Tower museum: from April 1, 11 AM to 5 PM.

Related Post: 10 Things To Do On The Amalfi Coast

VILLA FLORIDIANA (Museo Nazionale della Ceramic Duca de Martina). One of Europe’s finest porcelain collections is housed in the Villa Floridiana, a former Bourbon royal residence, and summer home to Ferdinand IV of Naples’ second wife Lucia Migliaccio, the Duchess of Floridia (his first spouse was the powerhouse Queen Maria Carolina, Marie Anoinette’s sister). In 1919 the government purchased the property from Migliaccio’s descendants and turned it into a museum, whose debut exhibition featured porcelain collected by the Duke of Martina, a highly regarded decorative arts connoisseur. The collection was further enhanced by a bequest in 1978 when an heir to the duke gave the museum a bounty of furniture and porcelain. The museum today showcases over 6000 porcelain and decorative items—Bohemian crystal, Gothic ivories, Sicilian coral, Venetian glass, and bronze objets—ranging from the Middle Ages to the 1800s. Of particular note is the Renaissance-era majolica; pieces from the great porcelain production centers on the Italian peninsula, among them Capodimonte, Deruta, Gubbio, and Faenza;  and a large collection of porcelain including Ming and Qing dynasty china from Asia and from the great European names like Limoges, Sevres, and Meissen. Via Cimarosa 77; polomusealecampania.beniculturali.it/ Open: Wednesday to Monday 8.30 AM  to 7 PM.

PALACE AND MUSEUM OF CAPODIMONTEIts name and location might suggest a focus on porcelain, but this large neoclassical palazzo, built by the Bourbon king Charles VII as a hunting retreat, houses one of Italy’s richest art collections. Its hillside setting proved to be both blessing—affording striking view of the Bay of Naples—and headache, due to the location’s steep incline, which made the transport of building materials difficult. Construction, which began in 1738, took 100 years to complete.

From its earliest days the palace was thought of as both residence and museum, showcasing an important cache of classical sculpture and paintings from the renowned Farnese art collection, which Charles inherited from his mother, Elizabeth Farnese. The palace, home to the National Gallery (Galleria Nazionale), displays works by the major names in Western art like Titian, Botticelli, Raphael, Massacio, Bellini, Caravaggio and El Greco and even a 20th century icon, Andy Warhol. The royal apartments, lavish for a residence designed as country retreat, contain 18th century furnishings. Villa Napoli 2. Open: 8.30 AM to 7.30 PM, except Wednesdays and Christmas. Royal apartments open at 10 AM. A shuttle runs from Naples city center (Piazza Trieste e Trento/Teatro San Carlo) to the Palace and Museum.

Related Post: While On The Amalfi Coast Discover The Greek Temples Of Paestum


Allianz Travel Insurance

 

Join The Corinna B's World Newsletter!
Special Information For My Private Group Only

Join this private group to get special information about travel in Italy that doesn't get posted on the blog.

Private Group members receive newsletters telling them the secret stuff, from the restaurants I love to my favorite secret towns in Italy and much more!