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Leonardo Express or FR1 train?

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Sep 15th, 2009, 07:33 AM
  #1
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Leonardo Express or FR1 train?

Howdy, all:

It looks like the most direct route from Fiumicino to the Hotel Aventino is via the FR1 train to Ostiense. But I just noticed that the hotel's Venere posting advises taking the train to Termini and the metro to Circo Massimo. Is there some reason that it'd be better to go via Termini? Thanks!
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Sep 15th, 2009, 08:16 AM
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perhaps the hotel is worried about thefts that i have seen reported as a problem on the 2nd-class only regular trains - the airport express goes non-stop to Termini and is first class only. But i've taken the regular train many times to Ostiense or Trastevere and have seen no problems - nevertheless be leery of anyone coming up to you IME
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Sep 15th, 2009, 05:14 PM
  #3
GAC
 
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The problem is that the FR 1 train makes several stops in extremely poor neighborhoods of peripheral Rome between the airport and the central districts, and often times, "suspect" people board the train for the purpose of pickpocketing weary, jet-lagged tourists who don't realize that they are being "watched".

Consequently, you must be extremely vigilant if you travel on this train, always avoid empty railcars, and "stick together" if not travelling alone.

Also remember that the FR1 train costs one-half of the Leonardo da Vinci express to Roma Termini, and departs every 15 mins instead of every 30 mins for the express train.

The Circo Massimo metro stop is also a bit closer to the hotel than is the Ostiense railway station. The latter is about one kilometer distant. Were you planning on taking a tasi from Ostiense, or walking?
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Sep 15th, 2009, 05:49 PM
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Ah, GAC, I was hoping you'd check in. I could use some expert advice.

According to Google maps, it's a 13-minute hike from Ostiense to the hotel, which doesn't sound bad--but I can't really tell whether there'll be sidewalks, and my companion and I will be hauling luggage, of course. I hadn't thought of taking a taxi, but perhaps that would be wise.

It just seemed silly to go beyond our destination on the Leonardo Express and then backtrack by metro. I don't like the sound of a risky ride on the FR1--it's maybe not the best way to arrive in glorious Rome. But I've lived and worked in New York City for many years, so I'm no stranger to lively subway rides.
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Sep 15th, 2009, 05:50 PM
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At the Ostiense station you could transfer to the subway (Piramide stop line B). Circo Massimo is one stop from Piramide.
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Sep 15th, 2009, 07:07 PM
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Or, just take a shuttle door to door for about 35E.
www.airportshuttle.it
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Sep 15th, 2009, 07:29 PM
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We've taken the Ostiense train several times with no ill consequences whatsoever - it runs more frequently, is less expensive and there is nothing noticeably terrible about the towns it runs through or the people who ride it. I think there is the possibility of being taken advantage of in any public transportation or crowd in Rome but its never happened to us. No need to stay in a bubble unless you are bone tired and simply dont want to be bothered with coping at that time. I cant see where on the Aventine your hotel is - is it the Domus Aventina? the switch to the Metropolitana is no big deal from Stazione Ostiense, but also no big advantage for such a short journey. by the time you have figured out the ticket purchasing, boarded a train, etc. you could have gotten to your destination on foot. Walking through the passage to the Piramide Metropolitana will take you in the direction you want in any event. Once there you can decide to take metro, bus, taxi or hoof it.
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Sep 15th, 2009, 08:36 PM
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We have taken the FR1 several times. We have never had any problems. In our experience, it was commonly used by Italians going, not just to and from FCO, but among the numerous stops along the way. We did not use it at night. During the day it reminded me of the commuter train we use here in the US. Just full of people going about their business. Undoubtedly you could find a pick-pocket or two, just as on most forms of mass-transit. I saw absolutely nothing about it which would cause me to recommend against using it.
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Sep 16th, 2009, 03:30 AM
  #9
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Thanks, everyone. I feel better now about every possible option!

We're arriving on Sunday morning, so I don't expect rush-hour crowds, and we're staying at the Hotel Aventino, which is reputed to be in a more quiet, residential area. So, I anticipate a relatively gentle transition after the long flight--although the last time I visited, I was so thrilled to be there that I didn't want to sleep at all, ever.

Last time I walked my feet raw, despite comfortable shoes and a lifetime of brisk constitutionals. Although I'm looking forward to some long walks, this time I'm going to try to do as Romans do and take public transportation more often.

Tutti grazie!
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Sep 16th, 2009, 04:40 AM
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I just returned from Rome. Take a taxi to your hotel from the airport. Why drag luggage around and have to go looking for train tickets after you are tired from a long flight just to save a few bucks?????

A taxi should be around 40 euros.

Thin
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Sep 16th, 2009, 08:11 AM
  #11
GAC
 
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If you've decided on taking the FR1 train to Ostiense, I agree with jjkbrook that you might as well walk to your hotel, as long as you have good wheels on your luggage. It's about 1100 yards (or 13 minutes on foot), and there are indeed sidewalks, although you'll have to cross some busy squares. Being a Sunday morning, there will be lighter traffic. Also note that the FR1 runs every 30 minutes on Sundays.

The one time I took the FR1 was on a Sunday morning. There were not many passengers (there are no commuters on a Sunday), but there were a number of "suspect" people who boarded at one of the suburban stations located near a "camp" where "extracomunitari" live in squallid conditions, several stations before reaching Ostiense. From their demeanor and eye glances, I immediately sensed that some of these riders might be looking for "easy prey", so I was extra vigilant, and absolutely nothing happened. I think that it does make a difference taking this train on a Sunday, when you don't have commuters going to or from work.

I think that your plan is absolutely fine, makes perfect sense, and you will save at least 30 Euros (assuming a party of two) by taking the FR1 instead of a taxi.

BTW, I think that the Aventino Hill is a lovely area to stay in, even though it's well removed from the "hoi polloi". Many foreign and United Nations diplomats live in this area. The "F.A.O." is just down the hill.
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Sep 16th, 2009, 09:31 AM
  #12
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Thanks for the vote of confidence, GAC. I'm already planning my next trip to Italy (and the one after that), so it would probably be best if I took trains instead of cabs whenever possible.

Speaking of economy, I'm glad to hear praise for the Aventino area. My hotel rates are almost exactly the same as those of two years ago in the Termini neighborhood, where I had a clean and reasonably quiet room--but it was about the size of a coffin. These lodgings promise to be more spacious, if a bit remote, as well as more tranquil.
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Sep 16th, 2009, 09:40 AM
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I don't like the sound of a risky ride on the FR1--it's maybe not the best way to arrive in glorious Rome.>

I think knowledge of the problem as GAC has so well pointed out in large part negates the danger - if naive you are easier prey, obviously. And no doubt the reason why the hotel says to take the antiseptic non-stop first-class only Leonardo Express to Termini is just because of the risk of being robbed on the ordinary train - but again pay heed to GAC's advice and you should have few problems.
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