Can anyone tell me if there are any stairs to navigate when you take the train from FCO to Termini?? Not sure if I could lift my luggage on a flight of stairs. Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Is a Taxi the only other option?? I will be traveling alone..
Unfortunately yes. The stairs are getting to the station at FCO. Once at Termini you are OK. I hate to suggest this but FCO may just be the beginning of when you are going to have to take luggage up and down stairs. It is a frequent happening when traveling. Can you get it lighter? The taxi would be 48E. The bus from the station is 8E.
Angela, You'll undoubtedly have to deal with stairs on a regular basis while travelling in Italy, including getting on and off trains or changing platforms via the sottopassagio. As I recall, the airport train station has some escalators, which should make that part a bit easier. If no Escalators, you'll have to manage with stairs, so I agree with Frank that you may want to pack light! Have a look at this excellent website for details: www.roninrome.com/%20transportation/the-train-station-at-fco The Leonardo Express is the quickest and easiest way to get to Rome from FCO. Fare is ~€14, the trip is about 35 minutes and not affected by traffic. BE SURE to validate your ticket prior to boarding the train, or you'll face a hefty fine which will be collected on the spot! Happy travels!
There is an elevator if you search it out. There are escalators and you can hump a wheeled bag up and down stairs slowly if necessary. Me, I take a cab anymore if I'm traveling with a heavy packer (i.e., my sister). My flights always arrive early in the morning so traffic is not usually an issue but even if it was an issue I'd take a cab if I had a heavy suitcase an was by myself. After a 12 hour flight I'm pretty beat and the cabs have a fixed rate to/from the airport and have the virtue of dropping you off in front of your hotel. Be sure to take ONLY an official airport taxi - just get in the regular taxi line. All said and done, however, travel with only what you can hoist up and down the oh so many stairs you will come to ah, love:) You're allowed to take a breather on the landings....
I can't remember exactly how I managed, but I am sure that I did NOT have to lift my luggage up a flight of stairs in Rome, arriving or departing (twice in the last 3 years). There are elevators, though they aren't always easy to find. Most train stations in Italy have elevators to/from the train platforms - again they aren't always easy to spot. I've also found that people are really helpful in lifting suitcases on and off the trains. Are you going to any other places besides Rome? I have found non-stair options in most places I've been to - the only notable exception was in Riomaggiore in the Cinque Terre.
Possibly the best option is to lighten the load if you can. There are many here who can give hints in that regard, upon request. There are entire websites devoted to packing light, and the man who sponsors this website and set of guidebooks has written much in that regard. Not only do you need to consider the stairs, but many hotels have steps to the front door, and often steps to the elevators. In Bologna I had steps from the elevators to my room. Also, if you are doing any traveling by train you will likely want to put your bag in the rack overhead, and you will need to be able to lift it both up and down, over your head. If there is nothing you can do to lower the load then, yes, paying more for taxis and hunting for hidden escalators and elevators will be part of the holiday. Has anyone ever found the elevators in Venezia Mestre? I never have done and would like to help others with lots of luggage changing trains in or out of Venice.
Thank you ALL for your great information!! In order to explain my dilemma a bit further, I am traveling from New Orleans to Rome with a layover in Atlanta. I typically focus on traveling light but have not been able to manage just a carry-on. I have had my luggage substantly delayed twice so I typically take a rolling carryon for a change of clothes, stuff to make that 12 hour flight more bearable, & to help with a long or fast connection. When I arrive in Rome, I will travel immediately to Florence. Is there a long walk at some point during that transfer? (I chose traveling to Rome instead of Florence to eliminate a layover as I had this same trip cancelled by Delta in June. My flight from New Orleans was delayed 8 hours,and they could not resaonably get me to Florence without being in route for over 24 hours. UGH!!). I have no trouble walking but after 15 hours in transit, I probably could not manage lifting 30 lbs, repeatedly. I will be traveling from FCO to Termini then immediately catch the train to Florence. I will take a cab to an apartment in Florence for 7 days. (The apartment does not have a washing machine). Then I will take return to Rome for two days before I fly out. I will take a taxi to FCO as it may get me closer to my departure terminal. am I right about that? Any suggestions on train travel or packing light would be greatly appreciated? I did look at the Ron in Rome instructions and they were very good. Also, I am a little apprehensive to buy my train tickets in advance. I'm not sure what time of day I would traveling. My flight SHOULD get in to FCO at 7:30 am. Although I travel a good bit, trains I find very confusing. I have used Termini as a metro stop but never a train to another city. You guys who are able to fly non-stop are REALLY lucky!!!
At Rome Termini and in Florence (Santa Maria Novella) the train platforms are at street-level. It may be a few minutes' walk from the Leonardo Express (sometimes they stop in the back of the station) to the Florence train, but on level ground. In Florence, it's a very short walk to the taxi stand. I have never had to put my luggage overhead on a train. There are luggage racks at floor level at the end of each car and a 24" or 25" bag will usually fit in the floor space between back-to-back seats in the middle of the cars.
I would not buy a non-refundable ticket to Florence. If there's any delay, you've lost the money and still have to buy a full-fare ticket. Sometimes saving money isn't worth it.
Angela, "The apartment does not have a washing machine" Which area of Florence is your apartment located? There are Laundromats (Lavanderia) in various parts of the city, including one directly across from Katti House. Even if there's no washing machine in the apartment, you should still be able to do laundry. You can buy your tickets for the entire journey at the FCO rail station. As the others have said, both Termini and Firenze SMN stations are at track level, so you'll only have to walk from Platform 24 (Leonardo Express) to whichever platform your train to Florence is departing from.
Chani and Ken:
Thank you so much for additional suggestions. I think I will try the train from FCO to Termini. If I were to buy both tickets at the airport train station, how long would I need to allow for the trip and transfer at Termini? or should I just buy the second ticket at Termini? Do you have any idea if a taxi would get me closer to my terminal on the return trip to FCO? Or would the return be just a duplicate of the arrival? Ken: I'll be staying near Santa Croce.... Once again, thank you soo much for walking me through my arrival and departure!!
You should allow an hour plus waiting time at Termini especially if you walk a little slow. The LExpress takes 30 minutes. But the arrival platform is at the far right side (as you face the tracks) and it is a bit of a hike to the front and then to the other platform. Buy your ticket to Florence at the airport as it will save considerable time. If you want to pick up a snack, use the restroom, etc., than add an additional 30 minutes or so. When you buy the ticket get the platform number. But double check the platform number when you get to Termini because platforms sometimes change. Depending on your departure flights the taxi will dump you in front of Terminal three or five.
Angela, I would also allow an hour for the trip from the airport until departure of your train to Florence. The trip on the Leonardo Express is 32 minutes, and that's always been fairly constant in my experience. As I recall, it now arrives at Track (Binario) 24, which is on the right side of the "main tracks" when facing the tracks. It used to arrive at either Track 25 or 26, which is about 400 metres from the end of the tracks, so a bit of a hike. DON'T forget to validate your ticket prior to boarding the train!!! The likely scenario is that you'll disembark from the L.E. and walk to the front of the train, check the electronic monitor to determine which track your next train is departing from, and then walk across to your next Train. BE SURE to check the train number printed on your ticket against that shown on the electronic board. That shouldn't take much more than about 10 minutes. Regarding laundry, it would be a bit of a hike to walk from the Santa Croce area to the Lavanderia on Via Faenza (across from Katti House), although not impossible. I've found that Florence is quite "walkable". I'd suggest asking the staff at your apartment when you check-in, as they'll know where the nearby laundries are. Cheers!
Thanks Ken for the great information! So if my train leaves the airport at say 8:30 then my Termini to Florence departure should be no earlier than 9:30, correct? I have used Termini for the metro and found it to be very confusing but these directions are very good! Thank you! So, are these laundries self service or can you drop you stuff off then pick up later. What are you MUST SEE'S in Florence? Just a few museums is enough for me but I do like to see famous art... Grazie
Allow an hour min but truthfully I would add in 30 minutes extra minutes in case I wanted a snack or use the restroom. At the end of the day, 30 mins is not that significant but could be in the middle of the day. Our experience is Italy is that the self-laundries are staffed and for an extra fee will do the laundry for you. But self-laundries are not as cheap as in the US.
Angela, 30# is a lot to take for a fairly short vacation. I carry about 20# and am able to handle that without strain, although it does get heavier toward the end of the day. I suggest you plan to sink-wash undies and other things if possible. I travel with a total of 3 outfits including the one I am wearing. Really, it does get boring but travel is so much easier when the weight of my bag isn't a problem. There are packing lists at other locations on this website and in the Rick Steves books. For clothes, mix and match works. Throw in a couple of scarves to dress it up and you've got your wardrobe! For a trip of 10 days or so, I would use a laundromat midway through if one is available.
Angela, "So if my train leaves the airport at say 8:30 then my Termini to Florence departure should be no earlier than 9:30, correct?" That's a MINIMUM TIME to allow. However, as Frank mentioned it's often a good idea to leave more of a "cushion" in case of unexpected delays. If you miss the train listed on your ticket, it will be worthless and you'll have to buy another. You'll have to go with what you feel comfortable with. There are frequent trains on that route, so even if you allowed 1.5 hours, you wouldn't have long to wait, and that would allow some time to buy some snacks for the trip. Cheers!
My favorite museums in Florence are the Bargello and the Duomo Museum (Museo dell' Opera). The Baptistry is worth going into for the ornate mosaic domed ceiling. The Medici Chapels are something to see, especially don't miss them if you are a fan of Michelangelo.
You can travel between anywhere on the passenger terminals of FCO and its train station using elevators. No need to climb stairs. It takes a bit longer to walk around and get to the elevators, but you can use them. If you are carrying heavier suitcases, I assume they have wheels, right?
Frank: I apologize, I had forgotten your comment. But that's what I was concerned about.. A totally different look & procedure with the washing/drying machines.. Extra $$$ would be worth it for lighter luggage!!! Thanks!!
Andre: Lol!!! Yes, my suitcase has wheels!!! It even has 4 which is a big help!! I have no problem with escalators, just lifting up a flight of stairs.. Chiani: thanks..the Duomo museum was not on my list!! But you do recommend the Medici chapels?? Ken: thanks for clear instructions!! I know what to do now & will allow adequate time..and I am trying to pack light!! These laundromats don't have someone that will do your laundry??
Angela - I will report my earlier comment about self-laundries. ......Our experience is Italy is that the self-laundries are staffed and for an extra fee will do the laundry for you. But self-laundries are not as cheap as in the US...... We have found that you can do it yourself but the machines are different, amt of soap is different, controls are different, etc., and it is just easier and simpler to allow the attendant to do for the extra fee.