Air Travel

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Air Travel

Most nonstop flights between North America and Italy serve Rome and Milan, though the airports in Venice and Pisa also accommodate nonstop flights from the U.S. Many travelers find it more convenient to connect via a European hub to Florence, Bologna, or another smaller Italian airport.

Flying time to Milan or Rome is approximately 8–8½ hours from New York, 10–11 hours from Chicago, and 11½ hours from Los Angeles.

Labor strikes are not as frequent in Italy as they were some years ago, but when they do occur they can affect not only air travel, but also local public transit that serves airports. Your airline will have usually have details about strikes affecting its flight schedules.

Airline Security Issues

Transportation Security Administration. The agency has answers for almost every security question that might come up. www.tsa.gov.

Contact

A helpful website for information (location, phone numbers, local transportation, etc.) about all of the airports in Italy is www.italianairportguide.com.

Airports

The major gateways to Italy include Rome's Aeroporto Leonardo da Vinci (FCO), better known as Fiumicino, and Milan's Aeroporto Malpensa (MXP). Most flights to Venice, Florence, and Pisa make connections at Fiumicino and Malpensa or another European airport hub. You can take the FS airport train or bus to Rome's Termini station or to Milan's central train station (Centrale); then catch a train to any other location in Italy. It'll take about 30 minutes to get from Fiumicino to Roma Termini, less than an hour to Milano Centrale.

Many carriers fly into the smaller airports. Milan also has Linate airport (LIN) and Rome has Ciampino (CIA). Venice is served by Aeroporto di Venezia Marco Polo (VCE), Naples by Aeroporto Internazionale di Napoli Capodichino (NAP), and Palermo by Aeroporto di Palermo (PMO). Florence is serviced by Aeroporto di Firenze (FLR) and by Aeroporto di Pisa (PSA), which is about 2 km (1 mile) outside the center of Pisa and about one hour from Florence. The train to Florence stops within 100 feet of the entrance to the Pisa airport terminal. Aeroporto de Bologna (BLQ) is a 20-minute direct Aerobus-ride away from Bologna Centrale, which is less than 30 minutes from Florence by high-speed train.

Many Italian airports have undergone renovations in recent years and have been ramping up security measures, which include random baggage inspection and bomb-detection dogs. All airports have restaurants, snack bars, shopping, and Wi-Fi access. Each also has at least one nearby hotel. In the case of Milan Linate, Florence, Pisa, Naples and Bologna, the city centers are less than a 15-minute taxi or bus ride away—so if you encounter a long delay, spend it in town.

When you take a connecting flight from a European airline hub (Frankfurt or Paris, for example) to a local Italian airport (Florence or Venice), be aware that your luggage might not make it onto the second plane with you. The airlines' lost-luggage service is efficient, however, and your delayed luggage is usually delivered to your hotel or holiday rental within 12 to 24 hours.

Airport Information

Aeroporto di Bologna (6 km northwest of Bologna. 051/6479615 5am–midnight. www.bologna-airport.it.)

Aeroporto di Firenze (6 km northwest of Florence. 055/3061300. www.aeroporto.firenze.it.)

Aeroporto di Milan Linate (8 km (5 miles) southeast of Milan. 02/232323. www.milanolinate.eu.)

Aeroporto di Palermo (32 km northwest of Palermo. 091/7020111; 800/541880 in Italy, toll free. www.gesap.it.)

Aeroporto di Pisa (2 km south of Pisa, 80 km west of Florence. 050/849300. www.pisa-airport.com.)

Aeroporto di Roma Ciampino (15 km (9 miles) southwest of Rome. 06/65951. www.adr.it.)

Aeroporto di Venezia (6 km north of Venice. 041/2609260. www.veniceairport.com.)

Aeroporto Fiumicino (35 km southwest of Rome. 06/65951. www.adr.it.)

Aeroporto Internazionale di Napoli (7 km northeast of Naples. 081/7896111 Mon-Fri 8am-4pm; 848/888777 Flight Info. www.naples-airport.com.)

Aeroporto Malpensa (45 km north of Milan. 02/232323. www.airportmalpensa.com.)

Aeroporto Capodichino (Viale Umberto Maddalena, 5 km (3 miles) north of Naples, 80144. 081/7896111. www.gesac.it.)

Flights

From the United States, Alitalia and Delta Air Lines serve Rome, Milan, Pisa, and Venice. The major international hubs in Italy (Milan and Rome) are also served by United Airlines and American Airlines; US Airways serves Rome as well. From June through October, the Italy-based Meridiana fly has nonstop flights from New York to Naples and Palermo.

Alitalia has direct flights from London to Milan and Rome, while British Airways and smaller budget carriers provide services between Great Britain and other locations in Italy. EasyJet connects London's Gatwick and Stansted airports with 12 Italian destinations, Ryanair, departing from Stansted, flies to 17 airports. Meridiana fly has flights between Gatwick and Olbia on Sardinia in summer. For flights within Italy, check Alitalia and smaller airlines, such as Air One, blu-express, and Meridiana fly. Since tickets are frequently sold at discounted prices, it's wise to investigate the cost of flying—even one-way—as an alternative to train travel.

Airline Contacts

Alitalia (800/223–5730 in U.S.; 892/010 in Italy; 06/65640 Rome office. www.alitalia.it.)

American Airlines (800/433–7300; 199/257 300 in Italy. www.aa.com.)

British Airways (800/247–9297 in U.S.; 02/69633602 in Italy. www.britishairways.com.)

Delta Air Lines (800/241–4141 for international reservations; 02/3859 1451 in Italy. www.delta.com.)

EasyJet (+44843/104 5454 from outside U.K.; 199/201 840 in Italy; 0843/104 5000 from inside U.K. www.easyjet.com.)

Ryanair (0871/246 0000 in U.K. - toll number; 895/895 8989 in Italy - toll number. www.ryanair.com.)

United Airlines (800/864–8331 in U.S.; 02/6963 3256 in Italy. www.united.com.)

US Airways (800/428–4322 for U.S. reservations; 848/813177 in Italy. www.usairways.com.)

Aer Lingus (02/43458326 from Italy; 516/622 4022 from U.S. www.aerlingus.com.)

Air Berlin (199/400737 within Italy. www.airberlin.com.)

Transavia (899/009901. www.transavia.com.)

Vueling (899/399 888 within Italy. www.vueling.com.)

Wizz Air (899/018874 within Italy. www.wizzair.com.)

Domestic Carriers

Air One (091/2551047 outside Italy; 892/444 in Italy. www.flyairone.it.)

blu-express (06/989 56666. www.blu-express.com.)

Meridiana (866/387–6359 in U.S.; 0789/52600 in Italy; 0871/222 9319 U.K. call center. www.euroflyusa.com.)

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