Fast train to Venice: is there a stop at Rome airport?

We'll be arriving on a Sunday (mid-morning) in September, and need to go to Venice for our first night in Italy. I know that there's a "fast train" from Rome to Venice, but will we need to go first by regular train from FCO to the train station in Rome, or does the "fast train" have a stop at the airport? When we traveling in France, we took a fast train that stopped at CDG as well as in Paris. It would be lovely if it's like that in Rome, also, but I'm not holding my breath!
Thanks in advance!

Posted by Laura
Rick Steves' Europe
6990 posts

No, for Rome airport, you always have to connect to/from the separate airport shuttle train at Roma Termini or Roma Tiburtina station (fast trains tend to stop at both, now). Roma Fiumincino airport is reflected in train schedules. How to Look Up Train Schedules Online gives you the DB train schedule link and tips for using it.

Posted by lgalen
28 posts

How much time should we allow for arrival, customs, etc. and getting to the fast train station? We'll just have carry-on bags. Also, is it okay to get "economy" seats, or should we spring for "comfort?"
Many thanks for your SWIFT reply--you guys are FAST!

Posted by herronlaw
6 posts

Take the Leonardo Express from FCO to Termini, from Termini you can get the train to Venice. Beware - that train will require advance reservations, so plan in advance.I'd allow at least 2.5 hours to get through everything at FCO, find the train at FCO and get into Termini (assuming of course that your flight is on time)

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
12409 posts

Not sure what the beware is about. All trains in Italy require you to buy a ticket in advance (cannot buy on the train) but the advance time can be five minutes. Also, all trains except the Regionale trains require a seat reservation that comes with the ticket. Only the Regionale trains are open or non-reserved seating. The Leonard Express is the fast train - nonstop, first class only - between Termini and the airport. There is another train, FM1, which is a local train with a couple of stops but half the price.

Personally I would not buy the ticket to Venice in advance. While 2.5 hour is a reasonable allowance if everything clicks. Last May it took us over two hours to clear immigrations on a Saturday morning. Then it can take an hour to get to Termini especially if you just miss the train and have to wait 30 mins for the next train. Then you need a good 15 minutes to find the platform to Venice. Then maybe a water closet stop, something to eat, so your 2.5 hours can be gone in a hurry. If I had to have a window it would be closer to four hours.

I would buy the Venice ticket at airport train station ticket window when you buy the L Express ticket because by that time you will know your time schedule. Be sure to validate - time stamp- your LE ticket prior to boarding. If caught, it is an expensive learning experience. All train tickets die when the train leaves the station so you cannot miss a train and go get a new tickets. (Years ago you had 90 minutes but not today)

Posted by Sherry
San Jose, CA
1673 posts

I think 2.5 hours is optimistic. I'd allow at least 4 hours if I were prepurchasing the tickets. And I would prepurchase only if it was so cheap that it wouldn't be much of a loss if a flight delay caused me to miss the train.

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6888 posts

There are about 55 fast trains a day from Rome FCO to Florence. Many go on to Venice without a change. One of the worst times to buy a nice non-refundable ticket in Italy on a fast train is when you are arriving after a long flight and you need to transition to the main train station for the train. To much risk on the plane being late, clearing immigration taking longer than you planned, etc. On the other hand, you can get tickets in advance (119 days in advance) from Rome Termini to Venice for as low as 29Euro. Regular base fare is 80Euro. If you are willing to take the chance of losing the 29Euro ticket and paying 80Euro, go for the highly discounted ticket in advance. If you make it, it's 29Euro. If not, it's 109Euro.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
20595 posts

lgalen,

As some of the others have mentioned, buying tickets for the Rome-Venice train is a bit risky as you could be late connecting with the train for a number of reasons. If you miss the train, your ticket is worthless and you'll have to buy another at full price.

I'd suggest buying tickets for both trains at the rail station at FCO, either using a Kiosk or at a staffed ticket window. One important point to note is that the Leonardo Express is a Regionale, so you MUST validate your ticket prior to boarding the train, or risk a hefty fine which will be collected on the spot! The L.E. trip is about 32 minutes and tickets are €14 PP as I recall. As the others have mentioned, there are two different trains operating from the airport, FM1 and L.E. Be sure you board the correct train! You may find it helpful to have a look at THIS excellent website which has good information on transportation from the airport.

The train from Roma Termini to Venice will be a Freccia high speed version, which travels at up to 300 kmH when it gets going. Reservations are compulsory on those and will be provided with the ticket you buy. The reservations are specific to train, date and departure time so you can ONLY use the one train listed on the ticket. Note that your destination station will be Venezia Santa Lucia.

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
5150 posts

The Leonardo Express has open seating, no reserved seats. The Freccia trains come with a reservation, first or second class. You can buy both tickets from an automated kiosk if you have a chip and pin credit card or euro (machine makes change and gives prompts in English, choose your language).

I would not count on 2.5 hours as sufficient, more like four, but if your plane is delayed by more than an hour, you are going to lose money buying a ticket before you leave. Super-saver fares in high season on that route go pretty fast, anyway.

Posted by Kathy
United States
724 posts

I'll agree with all of the above that your tickets to Venice are best purchased once you arrive in Rome. Having been through Fiumicino a couple of times, I can promise you that there's no guarantee how quickly you'll pass through immigration; it depends on how many international flights arrive at once.

One thing which may be a consideration, though: is your flight direct to Rome from outside the Schengen, or might you have a plane change en route in a Schengen country? If so, your entry process will be much faster as you will have gone through immigration at your entry point, and will not need to do that in Rome; your flight will be considered domestic versus international.

And you do not need to purchase first-class train tickets: we always travel 2nd class - unless there's a good bargain on an advance 1st class ticket - and have been completely comfortable.

Posted by Kate
Nashua
37 posts

Hi, We had these same questions for our trip this past May. Ultimately, since we had to come in to Rome from the airport anyway, we decided NOT to have a 24 hour travel day but to get a room for one night very near the train station. We lucked out and found BB Queen (perhaps a 5 minute walk from Termini (and very well reviewed on TripAdvisor), really well priced, impeccably clean, A/C, 4 private rooms with ensuite. We could make train reservations in advance for the next morning and got to Venice just after noon (a 3 hour 45 minute trip).

In the area of the hotel we saw Santa Maria Maggiore, the Vittorio Emanuele and the Museo Nazionale Romano. We also grabbed a porcetta sandwich at Er Buchetto, a tiny place serving only porcetta and doing that since 1890..google it. and had dinner at a place everyone dreams of that Julia recommended...tiny and only Italians there (except us)

Just a different solution.

Posted by Holly
Watertown, MA
53 posts

The FM1 is now known as the FL1, it departs every 15 minutes and costs €8. The Leonardo Express is still €14.