Rome is serviced by three airports, each of which offers flyers different advantages.
Leonardo da Vinci Airport (also known as Fiumicino Airport or FCO) is the city's largest one. Located 35 kilometers southwest of Rome's historic city center, Fiumicino serves as the main hub for Alitalia Airlines and Vueling Airlines.
Fiumicino Airport receives nearly all transcontinental flights to Rome, Italy. Delta flights to Rome come from Atlanta, Detroit, and New York's JFK Airport, and offer an easy way to get to the city from the United States. Cheap flights to Rome from the United States also depart from Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.
Those who are looking for an airport lounge at Fiumicino Airport are in luck. Alitalia maintains several lounges for its frequent fliers and paying customers. British Airways, KLM, and a number of other airlines provide lounges as well.
Discount flights to Rome from other cities in Europe often land at Rome Ciampino (CIA), an older airport. On the other hand, most charter flights to Rome arrive at Roma-Urbe, the city's oldest public airport.
Rome is also a popular entry point for transcontinental flights to Europe in general. From Fiumicino Airport, you can catch flights to every major European city as well as many smaller ones. If you are taking a train to your destination, the public train from the airport runs directly to Termini Station, Rome's main rail hub.
If you are looking for inexpensive flights to Rome, your best bet might be Ciampino Airport. This airport receives Ryanair and Wizz Air* flights from more than four dozen European cities and a handful of cities in North Africa. Those arriving from non-European countries might consider flying into a major European air hub like Dublin or Barcelona and then transferring to a Ryanair flight bound for Ciampino Airport. While this could complicate your trip, it could also save you a significant amount of money.
Vueling has a hub at Fiumicino Airport and offers many discount flights to Rome from more than three dozen destinations throughout Europe. Other discount carriers servicing Fiumicino Airport include easyJet, Wizz Air,* and Ryanair.
Alitalia Airlines brings the most flights into Rome's Fiumicino Airport. The airline offers discount flights to Rome from many cities around the world. Serving nearly 100 cities from Fiumicino Airport, Alitalia also offers the most international flights to Rome, Italy. If you are trying to find an affordable flight, Alitalia might be the best non-budget airline to consider.
Rome is a popular tourist destination throughout the year, but it is especially so during the summer months. In August, many Italians take their summer vacations. This can mean less staff at many tourist attractions, which translates into longer wait times. The weather can be very hot in Rome in the summer, so would-be visitors should keep this in mind as well.
Christian holidays are also busy times to come to Rome because of the many events that draw pilgrims to Vatican City. For this reason, flights to Rome can be somewhat more expensive around the Christmas and Easter holidays. On the other hand, the activity at Vatican City and Rome's bustling Christmas markets can make the holiday season a magical time to visit the Eternal City.
If you want to get discount flights to Rome, visit during the low season from mid-January to mid-March. The shoulder seasons from April to June and September to October offer travelers many benefits, including affordable flights, fewer tourists, and beautiful weather.
Getting to and from Rome's Fiumicino Airport can be quite easy and affordable. Non-stop trains leave the airport frequently and take you straight to the heart of Rome's Old City at Termini Station in about 30 minutes. Termini Station is the hub for both rail travel and local city travel throughout Rome. Non-stop express train tickets to Termini Station cost EUR 14 per person.
Another option is taking the bus. Companies like Roma Airport Bus, T.A.M., and SIT Airport Bus travel between the airport and a variety of places downtown, and rides cost between EUR 4 and EUR 8 per person. While they take a bit longer than the train, they offer a more affordable option for those looking to get to and from Fiumicino Airport.
If you're willing to spend a bit more money to get from Fiumicino Airport to the city center, taxis can take you directly to your destination. While they won't save you much time, the fixed price of EUR 48 for up to four people to go to the historic center can provide convenience for a reasonable price if you have a larger group.
If you want a rental car, Fiumicino Airport is home to most of the major American and European rental car companies, including Avis, Sixt, Hertz, and Europcar. To reach the rental car counters, follow the signs in the arrivals area to the pedestrian tunnels that connect the terminal to the Multilevel-Comfort Parking structure.
Terravision buses frequently travel between local train stations and Rome Ciampino Airport. These buses take about an hour to reach their destination, and the cost is EUR 13 per person. Rome Ciampino Airport is closer to Rome's center than Fiumicino Airport is, but it takes buses longer to reach the city from Rome Ciampino than it takes buses and trains from Fiumicino.
It is possible to get a rental car from the counters in the arrivals section at Fiumicino Airport. Cars are available from companies like Europcar, Avis, Hertz, Thrift, and Sixt.
If you've taken a charter flight to Rome and have landed at Roma-Urbe Airport, both buses and trains run from the airport to Rome's historic city center. Nuovo Salaria Train Station is only a 400-meter walk from the terminal. Getting to Rome's Termini Station in the city center takes less than 20 minutes, though you must change trains at Tiburtina Station.
Rome might be one of the world's most popular destinations for history and culture. The historic center of Rome is best known for the imposing Colosseum and the Roman Forum. While the price of admission for these sites isn't cheap, they are just a few of the city's many must-see attractions.
Another top place to visit is Vatican City. Located in the middle of Rome, Vatican City is the world's smallest country. It is also the home of the Pope, who is the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Pilgrims flock to the Vatican to worship in the city, especially on Sundays and Christian holidays.
The history of Saint Peter's Square and the beautiful art at the Vatican Museum can be appreciated and enjoyed by anyone. If you do visit the Vatican Museum, arrive well before the museum's opening time; the line to get in can be quite long, especially during the peak summer months.
If you're looking for inexpensive things to do in Rome, taking a walk can be a great cultural experience. Best of all, it costs nothing! Rome is an open-air museum with magnificent churches and bustling public squares hiding more than two millennia of history around every corner.
In addition to the squares, many ancient sites in Rome's historic district are free to visit. These include St. Peter's Basilica, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, and the Trevi Fountain. Be sure to stop by Trevi Fountain before leaving Rome to throw a coin into the fountain's waters. Tradition has it that this will ensure a return visit to Rome.
You can't leave Rome without trying some delicious Italian food. Restaurants along public squares offer the most ambiance. However, to save money and get more authentic food, head into the more residential parts of the city. Another Italian treat that must be tried after a hot day of sight-seeing is gelato. Similar to ice cream, gelato is a delicious dessert offered at many gelaterias throughout the city.
Whether you visit Rome during the tourist peak, the low season, or the shoulder season, you are sure to enjoy your stay in the Eternal City. Knowing where and when to fly into the city can be challenging because of the many options. However, if you follow the tips given above, finding discount flights to Rome will be easier. Arrivederci!
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© 2015 Hipmunk, Inc. Hipmunk is a trademark of Hipmunk, Inc.