Planning a holiday in Rome is as simple as arranging your desired accommodations. There are 12,375 flights leaving from London to Rome each week, with rates beginning at £83. Many of the flights are non-stop, whisking you to Rome in less than three hours. Thirty-four percent of all London flights to Rome leave in the afternoon, landing you in the Eternal City in time for some evening relaxation and enjoyment.
The trip to Rome covers just 892 air miles, with the direct route a slightly slanted horizontal line. This means, even if you choose an economy class seat, your ride won’t be any more uncomfortable than a three hour drive into the countryside. You may find this the perfect opportunity to take advantage of cheap flights such as Vueling, Iberia or Norwegian Shuttle, or you may wish to pamper yourself with a business plan seat on British Airways. British Airways has 29 nonstop flights leaving London for Rome, with accommodations ranging from economy class to first-class seating.
There are two airports that serve Rome; the Fiumcino or Leonardo de Vinci Airport and the Ciampino. The Fiumcino is Europe’s sixth busiest airport, handling flights of international origin and transatlantic flights. There are over 130 shops, restaurants and coffee shops within the airport for the comfort and convenience of the passengers.
The Ciampino airport is a joint commercial, and military airport, twelve kilometres from Rome. Built in 1916, it’s the oldest airport still in operation, and was Rome’s main airport until 1960, handling two million passengers a year. It stagnated for decades after the Fiumcino was built, but has recently seen a renewed energy in budget airlines, such as Ryanair, which conducts cheap flights from London Stansted to Ciampino.
This bustling hub of domestic, international and transatlantic flights is the largest of Italy’s airports and the sixth largest in Europe in regards to traffic volume. It’s located 26 kilometres southwest of the City of Rome and can be reached by rail or road. Domestic flights depart from terminal A, domestic and international from terminal B, and transatlantic from terminal C. Information desks are located within each terminal, while information kiosks, providing guests with touch-screen technology and video-conferencing with an operator are located in terminal A with Departures and Arrivals. Information services are free of charge.
The Fiumcino Airport is sensitive to families with small children, as well as the needs of the elderly and disabled. It provides nursery areas to all passengers, with facilities to assist the young travellers. Nursery areas are located at terminal B, near Gate 1, and terminal C, near the Sky Bridge station. Nursery services provide baby bottle heaters, beds and changing tables.
There are a number of manned stations and interactive points to help passengers find assistance and to provide information on flights. The interactive points are accessible to people in wheelchairs and operate from 7:15 - 23:30. Toilets for disabled people are located throughout the airport, but there is still a Special Care Lounge, with toilets for the highly disabled passengers.
Both airports have direct bus and rail connections, taxi services and rental car offers. From the Fiumcino Airport, you have a choice of two different trains. The Leonardo Express is a direct train that leaves the airport for the centre of Rome every thirty minutes. Tickets cost 11Euro if you buy them at the counter or at the termini newsstands. Tickets sold at the departure platform are more expensive. Get your ticket stamped at a yellow validation machine just before using it. Tickets expire ninety minutes after validation.
The metropolitan train links the airport with the regions of Roma Tiburtina, Fara Sabina, PoggioMirteto and Orte. Tickets cost 5.50 Euro and should go through the same validation process. The extra cost of the Express is for the convenience of a direct ride to Termini.
Taxis from Fiumcino Airport to the Rome city centre or vice versa cost 40 Euros. From the Ciampino Airport to the centre or vice versa, cost 30 Euro. Taxis are white. They are placed outside the passenger stations for full convenience. You do not have to negotiate the price. Regular fares have a taximeter. A number “2" should appear for the first part of the journey as it is outside city limits, but the number should be transferred to “1" after hitting the ring highway (G.R.A.) Travels within the city have a lower rate than outside the city limits. Luggage is an additional expense of 1 Euro per piece.
For visitors preferring to rent a car, there are a number of rental companies, including Sixt, Europcar, Hertz and Avis, with offices at the airports. There are also budget companies located within the city and accessible through their web sites. In a region that covers nearly 1,300 kilometres, this is a practical asset if you are planning a long holiday filled with glorious destinations and fabulous experiences. You’ll be able to write your itinerary that pleases you best and travel at your own pace.
There is a word of caution however, about driving in Rome. It’s not for the faint-hearted. You have a fifty percent more chance of having a driving accident in Rome than in London or Los Angeles. You must learn to be an aggressive driver and throw many of your usual cautions to the wind. Finding parking spaces is not easy for major attractions. If you are using a rental car, do not use it to drive into the centre. Most of Central Rome is a ZTL (forbidden drive zone), and there are cameras for enforcing the law. You could receive a notice of a traffic violation six months after returning home from your holiday.