High speed rail service starts 14 December
A high-speed train service between Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport and Venice will be launched on 14 December, as part of plans to integrate the airport into Italy's rail network and boost tourism.
Aeroporti di Roma (AdR) believes that the new rail link will increase traffic through the airport as passengers to and from destinations outside Rome will no longer have to waste time changing trains at the city's Termini station.
From 14 December two sets of high-speed Frecciargento trains between FCO and Venice – a journey that takes just over four hours – will stop at Florence (2h 14mins), Bologna (2h 59mins) and Padua (3h 57mins), as well as at Rome stations Termini and Tiburtina. There are also talks aimed at extending the service to Milan, according to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
The trains leave Fiumicino at 11.08 and 15.08, and depart from Venice at 05.40 and 09.25.
The project is a combined effort between the Lazio region, AdR, Trenitalia and Rome. AdR said it consulted more than 100 airlines operating out of FCO and that carriers from Asia, the Americas and the Middle East – which account for 15 per cent of its total traffic – have shown particular interest in the initiative.
The Frecciargento model is being used instead of the super-fast Frecciarossa trains, which can travel only on the highest-speed network. The existing rail track around Rome would require upgrading to allow the Frecciarossa to connect to FCO – currently the subject of a feasibility study by rail authorities.
The present rail connections at the airport offer passengers two options.
The non-stop Leonardo Express leaves every half hour and costs €14. The journey takes 30 minutes but at Termini there is a considerable walk to and from platform 24, which can be inconvenient for those with heavy luggage.
The other option is the slower FL1 Orte/Fara Sabina line which does not stop at Termini but at Rome's stations of Tiburtina, Tuscolana, Ostiense or Trastevere, where there are few onward rail connections to the rest of the country. Travel time between the airport and Tiburtina is about 50 minutes and about 25 minutes from Trastevere.
In the case of Trastevere the lifts are often out of order so that tourists lugging their bags up and down the steps to platform 5 are a familiar sight.