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Rome: Fiumicino/Leonardo di Vinci/FCO 'Leonardo Express' Train To Termini Directions, Other Options & Info

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You will be arriving at Rome/Roma 'Leonardo di Vinci' Airport also known as 'Fiumicino Airport', the 'Airport Code' is FCO. www.adr.it/content.asp?L=3&IdMen=199
 
The Airport has 3 Terminals called A, B and C. I'm going to pass on 'Terminal A' because that is rarely used by us tourists, it's for Charter flights and some Domestic flights.   

  The majority of international flights arrive at 'Terminal C' (extra Schengen), 'Terminal B' is mostly for domestic flights and some international flights (Schengen).
For all intent and purposes Terminal C and B are the same terminal, it is just one long rectangular building.  

 These directions will be for taking the Airport Train to the Termini Train Station.
 This train is called the 'Leonardo Express', it's a direct train and its only stop is Termini.
  It takes 31min and costs 9.5e in 2006, this train is unaffected by any type of Rail or local transportation strikes.

 My directions will be from Terminal C but easy to follow from Terminal B or even Terminal A.
 From Terminal B after getting your luggage, clearing Customs and walking into the main terminal you could just turn right and walk to Terminal C.
  Or take the escalator or elevator outside on the sidewalk up 2 levels to the skybridge with moving walkways over to the Airport Train Station. The website below will show you what I mean.

 Ok so your plane lands at Terminal C either at the main terminal or its' Satellite Terminal. The Satellite Terminal is connected to the main terminal by an automated monorail that leaves every 2min (it's no big deal, it's the only way in or out:) ).

 Your 1st obstacle is Passport Control. I've usually gotten thru in 10-25min but once it was an hour. Of course if you hold an EU Passport it's a walkthru.

  Next stop is the luggage carousel and to make it more interesting there is often a few flights on the same one. So more people jamming together along the belt.
  After 15min I'm an Atheist praying, 30min I'm chanting and by 45min I'm looking for bugs on the floor to sacrifice to the Pagan Gods :).
  If it doesn't show-up walk to the far end of this hall (keep the carousels on your left) to make a lost luggage claim.

 Now head for the Exit, just before the exit into the main Arrivals Hall you pass thru Customs which is just a walk-thru.   You then pass thru the security door enter into Terminal C's Arrivals Hall.

NOW STOP:
 The Arrivals Hall isn't very wide (~25m), to the right it ends in 50m and to the left it takes you to Terminal B. My point is everything you need is a 'stone's throw' away.
 
  To the RIGHT 50m are 2 ATM, a wc/bathroom usually closed and 'Luggage Storage'.
 
 To your LEFT in 20m is a Book/candy shop which I believe also sells Airport Train tickets. Then in another 20m is an ATM and farther down as you enter Terminal B there is a w.c. that will be open :). There is also a cafe across from this book/candy shop.

 In FRONT of you along the wall are 3 booths that provide shuttle transportation and limo services.  You will most likely only be interested in the 'Hotel Reservation' booth which provides a shuttle service into Rome. www.hotelreservation.it www.shuttleservice.it/en/ Many also use this company www.airportshuttle.it but there is also an 11e surcharge from the Airport!

 Also in FRONT of you is a small mob of people. Limo drivers holding their signs, friends and family awaiting someone's arrival and the illegal aka "Gypsy" taxi drivers. Their latest touch are ID badges either hung around their necks or clipped-on their lapel to *look* official. They will rip you off on the cost and their insurance will not cover you in the event of an accident.

 Now 45deg to your LEFT and ~20m away is an escalator that will take you under the street and up to the Train Station.  If you need an elevator go out the front door by the escalator and turn right, this elevator (press #2) will take you up to the skybridge with moving walkways over to the train station.  

 Also right outside this door is the official taxi queue (white taxis with a 'Comune di Roma' sign on the door, 'Taxi' sign on roof and a meter). They seem to average ~45-50e to Rome also remember there is a 1e charge for each bag put in the trunk which doesn't show-up on the meter.      

 Ok to give you a better idea of the Airport's layout go to www.balenablu.it/store/default_images/mappa_aeroporto_fiumicino.gif  
 The train station is directly across the street (100m) from Terminal C, it's that long purple building (Stazione Ferroviaia) in the website's diagram. It's connected to all the terminals by covered skybridges with moving walkways which are those yellow tubes on the map.  Actually it's very easy to find because it is signposted thru-out the airport (STAZIONE ƒ RAILWAY STATION) plus one look outside from 'C' or 'B' and you can see the odd-shaped train station with a big 'ƒ' on it and those skybridges.

 Also keep this in mind; Arrivals is on the 'ground floor' or European floor '0'. Departures is on floor '1' and the skybridges are on floor '2'.
   
AIRPORT TRAIN STATION:
Ok ya got yourself over to the train station :). It's a 3 Track station and very small, everything is an underhanded 'stone's throw' away. I will go into other options and info about this train station but the fastest and easiest way to get tickets to Termini is to just go over to the Newstand/Tabacchi (ya can't miss it, it's called GIORNALI) and buy them...no line, no hassle and no messing around with machines. They also sell Rome metro/bus tickets.

 There are also CC machines by the escalator entrance and by track #1 that sell Termini tickets (Visa, MC, AE, DC, PayEasy).

Along one wall are the regular train ticket booths, they will sell you a ticket to Termini but mainly they are for other train journeys like Rome to Florence. So if you have time and are leaving Rome as soon as you arrive at Termini you can get your tickets there.

But the better option is to use 1 of the 4 green 'self service' ticket machines in front of these ticket booths. *Easy to use*, has an English option and takes CC or cash.
  And there is also a 'Travel Agency' booth that also sells regular train tickets either for no or very little commission.

 So if you are traveling onward from Termini by train figure this timeline if you are going to buy tickets. Give yourself 31min *after* your Airport-Termini train leaves plus a *minimum* of 15min at Termini to find your onward train and the correct car (esp if reservations are required). So IMO 45mins is the bare minimum time, 1hr would be a cake-walk :)
 
 You can find the regular train schedules at www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html (the airport is listed as 'Fiumicino Aeroporto' and Termini Train Station as 'ROMA TE').

 Also in the Airport Train Station; ATM, cafe, (2) rental car, police, {hotel reservations, money exchange, ferry & train tickets} at the 'travel agency' booth.

 The 'Leonardo Express Train' (Airport to Rome's Termini Train Station) leaves every 30 min, at :05 and :35 past the hour starting from 06:35 to 23:35.
  It will have TERMINI on its' departure board, remember there are only 3 tracks and only 1 train goes to Termini.
 
 MAKE SURE YOU VALIDATE YOUR TICKET BEFORE BOARDING THE TRAIN!   An unvalidated ticket is like having no ticket at all and the fine is ~50e.   A 'Validation' is just a 'date and time' stamp and you get it by sticking your ticket in any of the 'Yellow Boxes' on the platforms.   
  But the trick is :), if you have a large airline-sized ticket gotten from the train ticket windows or the regular train self service machines you just stick it in the middle of the long slot.   But if you have the smaller (half the size of a CC bought from the Newstand or CC machines) you must put it the part of the slot with an artsy arrow =~=~> pointing to where it goes, usually on the left side.   Go to the *far end* of the train, this will put you in the front cars and ahead of the herd :) when you arrive at Termini plus you will avoid most of the arriving and departing passengers who will be crowding each other at Termini's platform.

 Sit on the leftside of the train because after you cross the Tiber River you will catch fleeting glimpses of some ancient sites (city walls, aqueducts, city gates and even a pyramid:). And as you are slowing down and entering the outer train station area you will see a large round shell of a bldg in ruins (24m x 33m high) on the left. It is wrongly ID'ed as the 'Temple of Minerva Medica' but it was most likely a ~300AD dining pavilion of a very wealthy Roman's residence.

 BOTTOMLINE: Just follow the signs in the Airport to the train station, buy your ticket at the Newstand, validate it and hop-on :).

Also consider do you really want to take the train into Rome?
For 2 people it's 19e, if your hotel is walking distance from Termini or you are comfortable taking the bus or metro to your hotel it's a good deal.   But if you have to take a taxi from Termini figure ~10e or higher with 2 pieces of luggage and you give the driver a 1e tip. So let's figure on a total of 30e minimum.
 
 The shuttle is 32e for 2 people and you might have to wait a bit at the airport plus drive around dropping off the others.

 A taxi is say 45-50e.

 Or a driver waiting at Arrivals with a sign with your name on it and driving a new Mercedes for 35e for up to 3 people www.romeshuttlelimousine.com
or www.limoservicerome.com for 45e. I have used both companies and they are both good and there are others but the 1st one is the cheapest.

  ARRIVAL AT TERMINI TRAIN STATION
  The main station area has 24 tracks but the Airport Train arrives at track 26-29.
  These tracks are a few hundred meters away from the main station. To give you an idea of where and how long a hike look at a Rome street map.
  Find Via Giovanni Giolitti which runs along the southside of Termini. Follow it down to the cross-street Via Mamiani, that is where the train arrives at across the street.

  I'm a slow walker so take that into consideration but from the Airport Train to the taxi stand in front of Termini took me 8.5min.

You have 2 choices to get to the main station. Either walk along the platform alongside the tracks all the way which is fine with wheeled luggage.
  Or walk 80m down the platform alongside the tracks until you see a moving-walkway on the left going down (signposted 'All Services-Metro [M]'), there are 5 sections of moving-walkways which takes you to below the main station and then take the escalator up (there is also an elevator nearby I believe).

 If you are heading to the Metro just keep walking downstairs, you'll see the signs. You can buy your tickets at either the ticket machines or Newstands before you get to the Metro.

 TAXIS: You can either follow the Herd to the Taxi Stand in front of Termini and wait in the queue/line after the long walk there. Or exit to the left when you reach the large arcade (shops and restaurants on 2 levels) onto Via Giovanni Giolitti. There is a taxi stand there and I have always just walked-up to the 1st taxi with no problems. Also you *can't* miss this arcade, it runs right thru Termini between the train platforms (1-24) and the front section with the ticket counters, you could fly a small 1-man helicopter right thru it from the outside :).   Think of Termini's layout this way < = are tracks 26-29, .... is the long walk into the main station, = are tracks 1-24, A| is the Arcade, [x] is the front section with the ticket counters, and t is the main taxi stand   t [x] A | = .... < = so exit below A to the Via G. Giolitti taxi stand.
 
 But how would you like to avoid the long walk and the Herd and be halfway to your hotel before you could get to the taxi stands in front of or alongside the main station?
 There is a taxi stand outside and downstairs by tracks 26-29 that is seldom used. The odds are that there will be a taxi or taxis there waiting or coming along soon.

  At the head of Platforms 26-29 there is a wide double staircase that takes you downstairs (signposted 'Exit Via Giolitti'), then the outside exit is 25m ahead on the right where the taxi stand is.

But there is also an elevator hidden from view and not signposted so you can avoid the stairs with your luggage.   On the left in front of Platform 29 there is a snackbar, *right alongside this snackbar* on the right is a short corridor where the elevator is located.

  So you could easily go down and come back up if there were no taxis there in minutes.
  Also in this small area downstairs there is an ATM, a Tabacchi where you can buy Airport Train & Metro/Bus tickets, a phone store (SmartPhone), a cafe and a decent sized grocery store.

  NOW IF YOU ARE TAKING A TRAIN UPON ARRIVAL AT TERMINI AND YOU HAVE YOUR TICKETS:
  Follow my directions above about walking alongside the tracks towards the main station.
  But take that moving-walkway I mention downstairs. After the 2nd section of moving-walkway you will see a Departure Board that lists the next 8 trains leaving in the next 30min or so. On your right there is a long corridor signposted 'Platforms 1-23 Via Marsala'. That corridor takes you under the train tracks and up to each platform (24 steps).   It's easy to get off to the side of others here, so you could wait until your train is listed and go right to your platform. There-by avoiding the hectic herds in the main station area.   But if the stairs are a problem with your luggage just go into the main station area and then to your platform when listed.

Remember the Departure Boards only list the train's *Last Stop*. So your 0930 Eurostar Train to Florence might be listed as the '0930 ES Venezia'. So go by the time, the type of train (ES, IC, IR etc) and the general direction :).

TERMINI TO AIRPORT: To save yourself the long walk from the front of the train station where a taxi would normally drop you off.   Give the driver a paper with this address on it 'Via Giovanni Giolitti & Via Mamiani'. Right there is the entrance to Platforms 26-29, the entrance is signposted 'Stazione Per Le Linee del Lazio'.  
 Enter and look to the left; in the far left corner is the elevator and to the right of that by the stairs is the Tabacchi where you can buy your tickets. I don't know this Tabacchi's early or late hours or if it is open on Sundays & holidays so keep that in mind. But mon-sat during normal hours would be no problem.
  In the main station area you can buy Airport Train tickets at anyone of the many Newstands and Tabacchi (tobacco shops) and also from the (green) regular train ticket machines.

There is also a CC ticket machine there, upstairs and also by Track 25 for the Airport Train but your CC must have a microchip.

The Airport Train leaves every 30min from 0552-2252 so basically :22 & :52 minutes after the hour.

  Later as you exit the Airport Train Station on the left is a 'Departure Board', this will just list what Terminal your flight will leave from but not what counter number your check-in is at. That will be listed on the Departure Boards in the Terminal itself.

After Check-in if you don't want to go thru Security right then and have time to kill and want to sit down and wait, go downstairs to the Arrivals Hall either inside or out (there are no seats in the Departure Hall).

 OTHER INFO: Luggage Storage (Deposito Bagagli) is signposted very well and after the 3rd section of moving walkways heading towards to the main station area. Be warned though the line esp in the morning can be long and slow moving, I'd say ~100 people lined-up ~0930 in May'06. A person's website mentioned waiting 2hrs in Oct'05. All left luggage is X-rayed.
  There are NO self-service luggage lockers in Italy since Sept'01.  

 But someone mentioned this on a travel forum and I checked it out. There is a laundromat that provides luggage storage for 2e on the northside of Termini.
  It's on Via Milazzo #20 just after the cross-street Via dei Mille. There is a yellow laundromat sign hanging over it easy to see from down the block and it's called 'Bolle Blu', in the window is a sign saying '2euro Deposit Baggages Open 0800-2200'.

 In front of Track #20 is a 'Hotel Reservation' office. Termini Train Station is *very safe* but watch your bags and your wallet like in most of the World's train stations. Regards, Walter

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