Train from FCO to Rome Termini to Venice

My wife and I are flying into Rome in late October. Our plan is to go from the airport, FCO, to Rome Termini train station and from there take an express train to Venice. We would like to book our train tickets now. A few questions: 1. Suggestions for travel from FCO to Termini 2. How much time should we allow ourselves to get off the plane and be at the Termini in time to board a train for Venice 3. We are booking second class tickets. What are your suggestions for seat selection on the train?
Thanks, Joe & Cindy

Posted by Laurel
Rome, Italy
2210 posts

Joe, We did just this on a trip to Italy before we moved. 1 - The Leonardo Express is €14 per person, leaves about every half hour. Very convenient. 2 - If you carry-on (no checked baggage) you should de-board, clear passport control and customs in 45 minutes. That's been my experience 3 times. With checked baggage, I assume longer but don't know for certain. Then you wait for the LE and the ride takes 35 minutes. If your plane lands at 8:30 AM, for example, you might well be at Termini by 10:10, if you catch the LE at 09:38.
3 - Planes can be late. I would not buy your tickets to Venice until you are at Termini. If you buy non-refundable Freccia tickets in advance and your plane is two hours late, you will lose your investment. There are hourly trains and you will get seats. Just wait to buy when you are on the ground. You can even buy them at FCO if you have time before boarding the LE.

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6735 posts

Joe, in general, you should allow yourself about 2 hours from your plane arrival to get to Rome-Termini and board your train. However, it's not the best idea to lock in on tickets with the expectation that you can make your train. Planes are often late. if you have non-refundable tickets, they will be toast if your plane is late and you miss your connecting train. Best idea is to arrive, claim your luggage, go through Immigration and then go out to the train terminal in front of Terminal 3. Buy your tickets to Venice at this station. Allow 20 minutes to change trains at Rome-Termini as the Leondaro Express comes in on tracks a bit distant from your next train. You will need time to walk into the main track area, examine the digital sign board to see your train and then board the train. Again, you can buy discounted tickets in advance but you better leave plenty of transfer time. Yes you get a later start to Venice from Rome but its better than risking your ticket.

Posted by Ellen
Centennial, CO, USA
1396 posts

We did a similar trip in May. I bought our tickets for Bari on line several months ahead and saved a lot of money. I had a printed copy of our eticket with us (if you buy ahead, MAKE SURE you have copy to show the conductor- we got asked several times for it) Landed in FCO, got off the plane and made it through passport control fairly quickly, luggage took much longer, (had to get luggage we had our tandem bike with us) We made the walk to the train station at the airport, bought our ticket for Termini. The Leonardo Express is the best way to go. it's very simple to catch a train, and they run about every 35 minutes. A taxi will run you 50Euro...not worth it when the train is so simple and quick. I planned plenty of time to catch the fast train from Termini, so we had about 2 extra hours. We just relaxed at the binaro and did some people watching. If I do this again, I won't have as long from plane landing to the train leaving. We could have caught an earlier train. As far as the seats go. I think when I booked, they were selected for me. We didn't get seats next to each other, but rather facing each other.. We both had window seats.

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
2531 posts

Joe, I agree that you should buy your Rome-Venice ticket at FCO. Keep in mind that the automated machines need chip+pin credit cards, or you can use euros. If you really want the super-economy ticket, get it for a mid-afternoon train and you'll be in Venice four hours later. If you arrive in Rome early, check your bags and have a nice travel-break in Rome. By the way, the Leonardo Express now comes into Termini at track #24, at the railhead, so it's no longer a long walk to your connection (I think this has been the case for at least a couple of years).

Posted by Frank
Wilmington, DE
1476 posts

Pre-purchasing tickets from Roma Termini to Venice S. Lucia may be worth the risk as the savings is over $65 per ticket. Super Economy fare is €29 while Base fare (day of travel) is €80. If you pre-purchase, it's wise to allow a couple-of-hours buffer in case of a late flight. For maximum flexibility on travel from FCO to Roma Termini, buy your Leonardo Express tickets at the airport; or if you arrive on time and have pre-purchased tickets with some buffer time, you can save about €6 per person by taking the bus (a motor coach) to Termini instead of the train. Also note that the arrival track for the Leonardo Express moves around. It was back at the far tracks last October, so allow at least 20 minutes between trains just in case it's there again. BTW, I pre-purchased a €19 ticket for a departure from Termini about 3.5 hours after my scheduled flight arrival on an upcoming trip (I'll have just a carry-on). With that amount of buffer, I decided it was a reasonable risk for $50 of savings.

Posted by Joe
Mendota Heights, Minnesota, USA
32 posts

Thank you (or I should say grazie)Laurel, Larry, Ellen, Zoe and Frank for the sound advise! We are going to hold off getting our Roma-Firenze tickets until we arrive at FCO. Ciao!!

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8646 posts

The Leonardo Express is a regional train. There is open seating and your ticket is good on any train. Be sure to validate (time stamp) your tickets in the machine at the station at FCO. You will be assigned reserved seats on the high-speed train from Rome to Venice. No need to validate your tickets for that train.

Posted by Elayne
2 posts

Hi Joe We are catching the train also but was wondering do you know or found out what happens if you miss the train that you have pre-purchased tickets for. Are you able to use the ticket on the next train? Regards Elayne

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
5776 posts

Elayne, if your pre-purchased train tickets are for a specific day and time (usually with seat reservations), and you miss that train, you're out of luck.

Posted by marie
west Chester, PA
37 posts

Joe, this is a silly question,but why not fly directly into Venice? Marco Polo airport is small and very easy to navigate. It is very easy to go from FCO via Leonardo express to Termini and then to Venice, but if I had a choice, I would fly directly there.

Posted by Joe
Mendota Heights, Minnesota, USA
32 posts

We thought of that Marie, but we are flying using Delta miles and, as usual, there was nothing available.