When you’re booking a trip to Rome, cost is likely to be the main factor influencing what flight to catch. After all, a cheaper flight means more money to spend on pasta, prosecco and gelato.
But with Rome having two international airports at your disposal, Fiumicino and Ciampino, it’s worth looking at your options to see which one is the more convenient for your holiday.
Although Fiumicino is arguably the better known of the two, Ciampino is the closest to the city centre, connected by public transport and taxi services. The smallest of the two airports is only 15km from Rome, compared to Fiumicino, which is around 35km away from the centre.
Rome Fiumicino - Leonardo Da Vinci
Rome Fiumicino is the main airport, with flights by major airlines Alitalia and Vueling, as well as budget airlines easyJet and Ryanair. Although it’s a little further away than Ciampino, there are regular trains and buses to the centre. There are also taxis stationed outside the airport who charge a fixed fee of €48 to take you into the city.
Rome Ciampino - G.B. Pastine
If you’re one of the six million passengers a year to opt for Ciampino, you can still get flights from cheaper airlines and an easy route to the famous historic sites of Rome. The main difference is that Ciampino’s train station is a 5 minute bus ride away from the airport, so you’ll have to factor in these timings when booking your trip. Taxis charge a fixed fee of €35 to take you into Rome.Most travellers to Rome will probably be heading for Termini station, which is accessible from either airport. From there you can reach the Colosseum, Spanish steps or Trevi fountain simply by catching the metro.
For cruise ships, you’ll need to get to Civitavecchia port. Again, this is easily reachable from either Fiumicino or Ciampino. From Fiumicino, get the train or bus to Trastevere station before changing lines to the port. From Ciampino, head for Termini then change trains to Civitavecchia.
Choosing between the two airports can simply be a matter of personal preference. Fiumicino – also known as Leonardo da Vinci Airport – was this year voted Europe's best airport for the second year running by Airports Council International (ACI). But the comparatively diminutive Ciampino might seem more exclusive for those arriving in one of the world’s greatest cities.
Investments for the future
Ciampino’s ground facilities were renovated in 2018. The general aviation terminal received a €3million facelift inside and out, using steel, wood, ceramic and glass, inspired by Italian and Roman themes, as well as energy-saving features, to bring the airport up-to-date. Included in the renovation were dedicated private spaces for crews and passengers. The facility includes a modern operations office, crew business centre, a crew rest lounge and a VIP lounge for passengers which looks directly out onto the ramp. Crews now take advantage of the rest lounge located on the first floor of the terminal and a dedicated space, next to the operations office, for their flight briefings.Fiumicino is undergoing its own makeover too, with a €4bn development plan to make the airport more environmentally friendly. The project will create a combined heat and power generation system. An expansion to the loading bridge is also planned to increase the capacity to 55 million passengers. Masterplan Fiumicino Nord also includes four new terminals and two new runways to increase annual capacity to more than 80 million by 2044.
Although Rome is famous for its food and shopping, you would once have found this hard to believe when arriving in Fiumicino Airport. But vast improvements have been made to embrace its culinary heritage and encourage passengers to continue their shopping spree until the very last moment of their trip. These days, Terminal E has an airside food court with a range of decent eateries, including fresh pasta, Roman-style porchetta, pizza, coffee and gelato. Most eateries can also package up food for you to take on your flight. And the tax-free mall is home to more than 50 retail stores, with famous Italian names such as Bulgari, Armani and Ermenegildo Zegna. You can also avail of the airport’s personal shopper service. Like most international airports, free Wi-Fi is available and there is also a business centre, tourist information office and several airport hotels onsite.How to get to and from Rome's Airports