As we seem to be spending increasingly longer in Rome itself - 10 days last year and 12 coming up next month, usually at Ferragosto, we like to get our fix of Vitamin D by first principals and head to the beaches. Stella Polare had been our regular haunt for many years but is very very OTT with people and young families in Ferragosto. Last time around we travelled just one more stop to Castel Fusano, the stop before the terminus at Cristoforo Colombo. Still a short walk to the beach, small grocery outside for water drinks and they prepare sandwiches for you at a little deli counter. Also easier on the way back as you get a seat on a near empty train, from Stella Polare onwards becomes a scramble !
Take Linea B to Piramide and swap the Metro for the overground train at the Porta San Paolo, built onto the Metro station. Journey time about 28 minutes . NOTE that the 3 day - 7 day passes for the bus-metro - tram ATAC standard is valid all the way to the last stop so a cheap trip to the seaside
Rome's Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino (FCO) Airport is located about 35 km away from the city center. Of course, there are plenty of ground transportation options available, including several bus lines and taxis. But for me, the most simple way to travel from and to the airport, especially since our hotel was located near the Termini train station (Rome's main train station, located right on the edge of city center), seemed to be to travel with the Leonardo Express train. The non-stop train trip between the airport and the station takes about 30 minutes, to which you need to add the time it takes to walk from the airport terminal to the railway stop. One-way tickets, which can easily be bought from automated machines both at the airport and at the train station (no reservation required), cost 14 Euros. Don't forget to validate your ticket before getting on board! The trains are very comfortable with sufficient room for luggage, and Leonardo Express trains leave every half-hour.
A side note on Termini station (http://www.romatermini.com/en/): there are plenty of shops (books, chocolate, clothes. etc.) and restaurants at the station, so you might want to factor in some shopping time as well :o)
Getting in and out the correct platform in the direction you know you want can sometimes be confusing. Twice we inserted our ticket and when we crossed to the other side we discovered that we were mistaken. Whether we retraced our path on a reverse train or went upstairs and across the street to get in the correct direction...we were sure happy to have an all day card and not have wasted a single trip price to back track, run to purchase another one ticket but instead we had a convenient card with us already.
We left Rome less than 24 hours after arriving, on a train from Termini station, bound for Ancona. We caught the slower regional service as we were to alight at Fossato di Vico, the nearest station to Gubbio, our next destination. The fare was €11.20 (single) which seemed incredibly reasonable for a 2.5 hour journey when compared to the UK prices we are used to paying. We bought our tickets from one of many machines on the main concourse, which are easy to use (with instructions in English as well as Italian). Our train departed from a platform described as 1 Est, and on following the signs we discovered that this was one of two that seem to have been added more recently and that are a considerable walk from the rest, so we were pleased we’d allowed plenty of time to catch the train. I reckon it took over five minutes to walk there from the ticket hall, so do bear that in mind when planning. Also note that there are no refreshment facilities at this end of the station, something we weren’t aware of (Chris ended up going back to a Spar supermarket we had passed while I looked after the bags, but we were fortunate to have the time to do this, having arrived early at the station).
The train left on time and although busy was not completely full. These regional trains are fairly basic but we had a comfortable and pleasant journey. We later returned to Rome by the same route, changing at Termini for the Leonardo da Vinci express train to Fiumicino Airport. We arrived at the platform from which we had left, and had the same long walk through the station to get from there to Platform 24 from where the airport trains leave, so again, don’t cut this too fine.
The train services are provided by Trenitalia in Italy. The rail network connects all major cities in Italy together.
Also, the train is the easiest and cheapest means of transport to travel. From one region to another It'll drive regional bus companies but remain only within the region and their schedules are not coordinated
In Italy, the trains are divided into different classes, each with their own prices. The cheapest trains are local trains designated Diretto and Interregionali.
The Interregionali is a particularly good choice for people who want to travel. From one area to another
These local trains are very popular. During rush hour, in August and during the holidays it is therefore sometimes difficult to find a seat.
The Italian railway company often provides substantial discounts on their train tickets. It's always worth checking under the heading Promozioni email quote / Promotions their website.
The Italian version of the website gives more special offers again the English version!
Generally speaking, the later you book, the cheaper the ticket. But a seat is not always guaranteed. The best deals for a train are the "Journey Saver" ticket and the "Amica" ticket
The buses in Rome are managed and deployed by ATAC ( Azienda Tramvie e Autobus del Comune di Roma) before entering the bus you must have already a valid ticket, you can't buy a ticket inside the bus
In Termini station there are self service ticketing machines where you can get a bus ticket or any tobacco (tabacchi) shops selling bus tickets. You can choose a tourist pass which is cost 3.10 euro for one day and 12.50 for a week. With this pass you can travel unlimited on the ATAC network
The bus stops at stations which are marked as Fermata . In this bus is a yellow sign when the bus lines are indicated which this stop . The buses in Rome start running at 06.00 and stop at 00.00
During night time there are night buses . These can be identified by the letter "N" placed before the bus number
Night buses in Rome run from 00:30 until 05:30. Most night buses leave from Termini (Piazza dei Cinquecento) and Piazza Venezia. The buses leave from the station every 30 minutes and you can recognize the buses at the owl is clearly placed on the bus.
This is where my fellow VT'ers will really be in a snicker as a few of them have experience with my ulcers over sorting out Italian rail. I am pleased to say I've finally (well, mostly anyway) conquered that beast - and so can you!
As is the case in most of Europe, trains are the primary mode of transportation in Italy and usually the easiest, most economical way to get from Point A to Point B. Because train travel is not so common in the US, figuring out how the system works can be a source of some anxiety for Americans taking their first trips by rail in a foreign country. Here's the good news:
• Trenitalia operates the vast majority of the country's rail system so ticketing, schedules and whatnot are usually very consistent
• Italo - a relatively new high-speed train service between major Italian cities - has been offering some very nice rates. Give it a look as well: http://www.italotreno.it/EN/Pages/default.aspx
• Stations in the major cities are well-staffed and you can usually find help. Approached politely, locals are usually very helpful as well.
• The cost of train travel in Italy is usually very reasonable, and forking over for 1st-class seats is never necessary. 2nd class is the standard way of travel for Italians, and there's usually very little difference between a 1st and 2nd-class carriage.
• In many parts of Italy taking a train is MUCH less stressful or potentially expensive than dealing with a car. Many cities have zones where only locals with a permit are allowed to drive and fines for innocently wandering into them are very steep.
• Once you get the hang of it, schedules (posted in all stations) are easy to figure out
• It's usually not necessary to buy tickets in advance although it's well worth checking the Trenitalia site for any reduced-price tickets available for fast trains. Otherwise, tickets are easily purchased at most stations in Italy either at ticket windows or from automated machines (you may need to use cash).
• If purchasing in advance, ALWAYS do so through the Trenitalia or Italo websites and not a broker such as Rail Europe or similar which may involve paying extra fees
• If you're really nervous about purchasing tickets from a machine or station agents, larger cities and towns also have travel agencies that sell tickets. These are often found in or very near the stations: there is one right next door to Santa Maria Novella's entrance in Florence. It can cost you a few euro more but lines for the counters are often shorter, and agents usually speak reasonably fluent English. You may either purchase tickets for a specific journey or for all of your train-travel treks in Italy at once if flexibility isn't a big concern. How to find these? Look for the green-and-red FS logo in the window. Generally, though, tickets are easy to purchase via machine or ticket window.
• Central train stations in the largest cities are much like airports: they offer lots of services. See this link for a glance at shopping, restaurants, agencies, luggage storage, visitor help, etc. at Italy's busiest rail hubs:
The pitfalls? Strikes that can raise some real havoc with inflexible itineraries, and holidays that cancel out the posted schedules for some regular runs. There are also some tiny stations that may either not have ticketing agents or may be closed when you need them. With the exception of strikes, most of these snags can be gotten around with some advance planning and pre-purchasing of onward-journey or round-trip tickets so it's not as bad as it sounds.
I'll try to cover some of the finer points about rail travel in separate tips but some good on-line learning resources are:
"A Beginner's Guide to Train Travel in Italy":
This is an excellent 'Idiot's Guide' (yes, I used it!) with some step-by-step information
VT members mccalpin and Leics have Italian trains down to a science: post a querry in the forums and more than likely you'll get excellent help from either of them or from a number of our other rail experts.
"Train Travel in Italy":
This is something fun for little ones or tired feet ,we were neither but is still quaint and nice to see them around still, remember when took my little ones on them now too big to ride lol!
Inside Villa Borghese you have this wonderful little train with diesel engine ,it provides Villa newbies a general park overview. Three stops: Casina delle Rose Café, Viale Goethe and Casino Nobile (Galleria Borghese) every day from 10:30am to sunset.
Another way to see the huge Villa Borghese quick and simple. We did walk into it ::)
No need to worry about times you will see in the Villa Borghese all over but the museum is prime area and can take it at any stop. sorry did not ask the price.
this is the main biggest train station in Rome and its a hub for tramway buses,taxis metro to all of Rome. The way from the airport by public transport takes you here including the leonardo express from fiumicino.
It is huge with lots of shopping and eating areas galore. You can plan your trip from here as all is within walking distance, and you have all kind of tourist service outside such as internet cafes on via marsala.
The metro lines A and B goes by here, the tramway line 5, the airport express train, the train to all Italy and the bus station outside is great with many choices to see the city better
prices are 1,50€ then you have 3 days five days week, and monthly passes, we took first the weekly CIS at 24€ per person then we found more economical for us to use the single tickets
It is the second biggest train station in Europe behind gare du nord in Paris; and its crowded too.
however, all is easy to find and many folks speaks several languages there with a bit of italian you will be in heaven.I speak not bad so it was a breeze.
ticket office in addition to machines is here, office is open 6h30 to 10pm
many services such as metro
Underground line: A (red line), B (blue line)
Streetcar (tramways) lines: 5, 14
Lines bus: C2 – C3 – H – M – 16 – 38 – 40 – 64 – 75 – 82 – 85 – 90 – 92 – 105 – 170 – 175 – 217 – 310 – 360 – 649 – 714 - 910
Taxi connections outside via marsala are many white official cars and the law in italian here
Connections to the airports:
Trenitalia railway service Leonardo Express - Fiumicino
Private Shuttle Services: Terravision, tambus, BIT etc by bus from 5 euros online to 6 on the bus.depending on the company. Tambus is great.
can somebody please tell me the price of the one way train ticket from Termini Rome to Fondi Sperlonga during July 2013 for 24year old students? Also I would like to ask about price for bus tickets from Fondi Sperlonga directly to Sperlonga and where can I find some timetable for this bus? Thank you very much for Your answer, because I just can not find this informations somewhere:))
Getting from Rome's Fiumicino Airport to Central Rome is very easy ....
The Leonardo Express is the name of the train that will shuttle you from Rome's main international airport, Fiumicino, to central Rome's Termini station, a Leonardo Express train leaves every half hour in each direction.
From Rome Termini: Trains to the airport start at 5:52 in the morning, with trains running at 22 and 52 minutes after the hour. The last train of the day departs at 22.52 (10:52pm)
From Rome's Fiumicino International Airport: Trains to Termini Station start at 6:35 in the morning, with trains running at 5 and 35 minutes after the hour. The last train of the day departs at 23.35 (11:37pm)
The train covers the 37 km in around 31 minutes.
Tickets can be purchased at the main ticket windows, as well as at the automatic ticket machines and at the news/tobacco stores in the foyer of Termini station. Validate ur tickets prior to boarding the train by using the machines near the track, called obliteratrici in Italian, and the tickets cost 15.- Euro / one way ...
The attached photo is of the Trenitalia ticket machines at Roma Termini. These extremely convenient machines have 5 languages, take cash or chip-and-pin cards (not mag swipe credit cards!), and have the same trains and prices that you would find online or at the ticket window...i.e., for most riders, there is no point in standing in line.
I am told that you can buy tickets for both the premium trains and the regional trains on these machines (as opposed to the Rete Regionale machines that sell only regional tickets). See the separate tip for a photo of them.
Please see the attached photos for two different types of self service ticket machines for the regional train network in Lazio. Id not know if the other regions have similar machines, but I would guess they do.
Note that one machine is cash-only, while the other machine accepts cards with chip-and-pin, but not traditional swipe-type credit cards. Thus, Americans who do not have chip-and-pin cards yet will need to either have plenty of cash (in bills that are not too big) or acquire a chip-and-pin card from their bank or from a service like Travelex.
- "Biglietti" is "tickets"
- "rete regionali" is "regional network". The local trains are actually regulated by the region, not by Trenitalia, which is a brand name by the Ferrovie dello Stato (national railways) for their upscale long-distance service
- "monete" is "coins"
- "annulla" is "cancel [the transaction]", i.e., start over
- "banconote" is "bills" (like "currency")
Our first couple of experiences with Europe's train stations were a bit hectic and then frustrating. On our first trip to Europe in 2008 we were leaving London and going to Paris on the Eurostar. We had an early morning departure. A week or so before they had an accident with a non passenger train and thus trains were departing at different times then scheduled (some earlier and some later). Ours was leaving earlier and we barely made the train so didn't get to see much of the St. Pancras station. We arrive at Gare du Nord and my experience trying to buy a ticket for the RER left me frustrated.
However, after that first time on a European train and stations we have had nothing but interesting experiences at the stations and the trains themselves. I won't go into all the little stories here, but will try and document them on individual pages for various cities.
On our second European trip in 2012 the Rome Termini station was the first train station on our visit. I always try to get to departure points for airlines or train stations plenty early so I don't have to rush about (doesn't always work with my wife on the trip, but I try) so I think we arrived about 45 minutes or so before our scheduled departure from Rome to Florence. During that time we were able to walk around the station, walk in a couple of shops and look at the tote board for our scheduled train. I had prepaid for tickets at home in the U.S. and since the high speed train to Florence had assigned seating and I had pre-printed the tickets out we could just board the trains without having to use the yellow machines to punch a ticket. (I checked with someone at the station ticket office just to make sure that was the case).
Anyway here are some pictures of the Rome Termini station.
Just a note here for the cruise crowd:
Rome is not on the sea. Rome is over an hour (by train) inland from the port town of Civitavecchia - where the ships dock. Virtual Tourist sees a lot of questions from cruise passengers wishing either to skip the ships' tours for budget reasons or who simply prefer to do their sightseeing solo. To do so you need to get yourself to the Civitavecchia train station and hop a commuter train to Termini, the central train station in Rome. Then reverse the process to get back to your ship.
We have two members, mccalpin and travelgourmet, with detailed reviews on just how to do that, and here's where you find them (thanks, Bill and Larry):
The only caution is that ships will not wait for tardy passengers so making SURE you are back on board by the time yours sails is your responsibility. Italian trains do go on strike now and again, and holidays can interfere with normal schedules so check when you buy your tickets that all will be running normally before you hurry off to Rome.