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Rome Airport to Colosseum

Hi Everone - I’m New here. I will be traveling from Rome’s airport to my hotel near the colosseum. I’m wondering which is better for me to take... the train (to Termini) which is a lot cheaper than a taxi or should I go ahead and just take a taxi. I will be arriving around 4-5pm. I am traveling with friends, however, we’re flying in at different times so I’ll be alone when I land in Rome. Demographics:, female, African-American.

Posted by
4700 posts

Are you comfortable with public transportation? Have you traveled overseas before? If so, go ahead and take the train. Or, if you don't mind the expense of a taxi and just want to make it easy, do that. Or if one of your friends will arrive around the time you do, meet up at the airport and take the train or a taxi together.

Posted by
31318 posts


A method I often use is to use the Leonardo Express from FCO to Roma Termini, and then take a Taxi to the hotel (assuming it's not within walking distance). There are Taxis right out in front of Termini and since the ride is shorter, it will be cheaper than from the airport.

If you haven't used the FCO airport trains before, there are a few things to be aware of. If you need more information, post another note here.

Have you checked your hotel website for transportation suggestions? Many hotels have a "how to get here" section on their websites.

Posted by
56 posts

I’ve lived in metropolitan cities and have taken commuter trains often (thus I feel comfortable with this method of transportation).
My primary concern is having 1 suitcase (mid size - 50lbs + carry on bag) and dealing with pickpocketers.
Yes, pls. provide tips on taking the LE to Termini. I will then take a taxi to the hotel.

Posted by
12756 posts

My primary concern is having 1 suitcase (mid size - 50lbs + carry on

Welcome to the forum, Joyful! :O)

That you'll be hauling a 50-lb bag is a bigger concern for me than pickpockets. Travel in Italy usually involves managing a lot of stairs, uneven surfaces, and the ability to get yourself and your bags on and off trains. 50-lbs is a great deal heavier than most of us here would pack even on European trips of considerable length as it would be so difficult to handle.

I'm curious why you're packing so much, and what the full itinerary of your trip looks like?

Posted by
2542 posts

With that size suitcase I’d either go with a taxi all the way or take the express to Termini and get a taxi there. I’d not take a huge suitcase on the metro. The Leonardo Express would be fine - it has space for luggage because it is specifically set up for airport use. The metro is a typical subway, lots of stairs, crowds, nothing unusual but I wouldn’t want to navigate it while jet lagged and lugging a big case.

Posted by
1643 posts

Hello Joyful,

I'd like to suggest the transportation (I booked RT) my last two trips to Rome: They are located inside FCO adjacent to the Leonardo train. The drivers are very nice and professional.

I did have a carry on (about 12#) and a checked luggage (about 22#.) So this worked for me. My RT was 45€ which was worth it to me. (Added) and my purse/day bag, lol.

I was at my hotel in about 45 minutes. It's a shared shuttle so you may have a couple of other travelers during your ride. Each time, there was another couple. Both times, I was dropped off first because my hotel was a few minutes from Termini.

If you want, you can reserve a ride with no payment upfront. They'll send you an email confirmation.

As stated, a one-way taxi ride is 48€. Of course, the train is more cost-effective.

Posted by
6875 posts

On your way to the hotel if you take the metro just keep your valuables (passport, credit and debit cards in a pouch under your clothes. I've used something like this for the last 17 years (including 4 trips in Rome on the metro) and never been picked

Carry just enough money to get you to the hotel like you normally would do in New York, Chicago, etc.

Posted by
56 posts

My itinerary is to fly into Rome for 2.5 days, then take the train to Venice (1.5 days) and then take a cruise to Greece (7 days) and fly back to the US from Venice.

I like the idea of an airport shuttle given low probability of pickpockets.

Are there other shuttle services available? I would like to compare prices.
The airport shuttle express charges 25€.

Posted by
1643 posts

Hi again Joyful,

Yes, they quote 25€ one way. I got a little discount last year...maybe because I was a repeat customer? He remembered me, wow, lol. Anyway, I saved 5€. Upon arrival at FCO, I paid in full, got my receipt and was on my way. With the shuttle I secured, the driver loads and unloads the luggage; drops off the traveler. For me, I budget the cost into my travel.

There are other airport shuttles similar, but, I can't speak on the experience. I understand saving money is key.

I would think though buses would be a struggle since you are hauling heavier luggage. You can check out

Maybe check out these

Posted by
1643 posts

Oh, and adding to your comment,

Yes, the pickpocketing would be more of a risk on a crowded bus or train.

If you're also carrying a tote/day bag/backpack of sorts, make sure the zippers are well secured. It's much easier to keep an eye on a cross body bag.

Since you not that new to train traveling, still, keep aware of your valuables of course. Perhaps invest in a money belt or similar if you don't have one. Keeping your extra vital info safe is key; especially on a bus or train.

I've been to Rome twice so far with no issues. I felt safe walking out and about. I did take the city bus sometimes when I tired late. I also took the metro from the outskirts back into Termini; it was fine. There are panhandlers around Rome as well as street vendors with scarves, string bracelets, junky selfie sticks and gooey toys. I just say, no thank you, in Italian and keep on walking. No worries.

Posted by
56 posts

Hi Girasole - thank you so much! Per your recommendation I have booked the airport express shuttle for 25€. Doing the math the shuttle is only 3-4€ more than (Leonardo express train + taxi to hotel). The shuttle is door to door (so to speak) with significantly reduced chance of pickpocketers and departs the airport every 20 minutes. Thanks again!

Posted by
21329 posts

There are times to save money and times to spend a little. Given the amount of luggage (and even for a cruise it is too much) I would take the taxi directly to you hotel from the airport -- it is 48E fixed. Using the train and subway means hauling your luggage through the train station and down the stairs/escalator to the metro and back up the stairs to the street and on to you hotel. You will save about 25E doing that at the cost of a huge hassle. Train to Termini and then a taxi might save maybe 10E. One problem is that you are traveling in Rome at rush hour time. A shared shuttle works but again the savings is not that great. So from a convenience viewpoint either take the shared shuttle or the taxi. The other recommendations are impractical.

Posted by
26377 posts

or reevaluate your packing and save money and your back.

The convenience will multiply throughout the journey.

But if ya gotta take the steamer trunk, take the steamer trunk - just understand the costs and inconvenience it will cause.

Everybody is different - it is not for me to tell you how to pack or what you need or want - but to provide options.

So if the elephant is going in the steamer trunk use taxis.

Posted by
31318 posts


My suggestions for avoiding issues with the airport trains also apply to using the Metro and other public transit in Rome. When using locally purchased tickets or passes, it's extremely important to validate (date & time stamp) the tickets prior to boarding the train. Failure to do so can result in hefty fines of about 50€ PP, which will be collected on the spot! This is also the case with the Leonardo Express and the FL1 train serving the airport.

Depending on the type of touring you'll be doing in Rome it may be worthwhile to use one of the transit passes, which are available in single use, daily or multi-day configurations - . These have to be validated only once prior to the first use, and expire at midnight on the day of validation.

Posted by
56 posts

Thanks everyone for your sage advice.

I’m diligently watching YouTube videos in an effort to try to packet lighter. I just think I can’t pack 2 weeks of clothes into a carry on. I don’t want to spend a lot of (any) time shopping for clothes in Rome, Venice and Greece. I’d rather see sights.

Any packing tips or recommendations are greatly appreciated.

Posted by
853 posts

Joyful Traveler,

I agree with "take a taxi to the hotel" from FCO. The other thing to keep in mind is that cruise ships do have laundry's. Every one I have been on you could "send the laundry out" to be done, or they had a laundromat on each level that you can use yourself.
We took advantage of this and it saved us a lot of packing more stuff!

And remember, when you take the train to Venice you still have to go through the train station in Rome with lots of stairs. And you have to drag that big suitcase out of the train station in Venice and most likely take a Vaporetto to get close to your hotel and then drag it from there.

On our first trip to Italy, which I planned as independent travel for hubby and I, we each had a very small carryon and we had one
very large suitcase. Landed in Venice, got to the train station and were walking a few short blocks to the hotel. We had to go over one bridge which we didn't know had steps up and down. We got to the top of the bridge and my husband paused and said, "If you ever want to come to Europe again, we are NOT bringing this big suitcase" I agreed and we've been back many more times.

Have a Great Trip!

Posted by
1643 posts

You are very welcome Joyful. I hope everything goes smoothly. And, I hope you get Sergio as your driver, lol. He resembles "Gepetto" and is very friendly as well as a good driver. I had him twice.

I know this thread is on "transportation" but, since you mentioned it, and, it "goes hand in hand," lol, I'd like to suggest a couple of things. I don't know which luggage you have, but you may know that a suitcase empty can start off heavy.

Have you considered a rolling duffle? It will have two big (inline) wheels as well as a trolley handle. I have this one in black. I have traveled Domestically and Internationally with it. Held up really well as a checked and carry on.

It's on the expensive side right now, but Kipling has sales with deep discounts at times. Also, Macy's store sells a lot of Kipling and on their online store too. They also discount Kipling and take coupons on top of that. I got mine about two years ago at Macy's on sale, coupon and ended up paying less than $60. I thought it was being discontinued. No. lol. But, any good, sturdy (material) rolling duffle will have the better wheels, more room because it is 'unstructured.'

Also, there is TravelPro I used this one as a checked for my last year's trip to Rome. Came out perfect. It's fairly lightweight empty. I got mine at $70 which is about what they are selling it now on their website.

Just some ideas to think about. Maybe you can start a "packing" thread so people can give suggestions without them getting lost in between "buses, trains and taxis," lol.

Good luck!

Posted by
12756 posts

I just think I can’t pack 2 weeks of clothes into a carry on.

Joyful, you don't need to restrict yourself to carryon but I travel for 3 weeks in Europe in a 24" case (bigger than the "travel light" club here would use) that weighs less than half of yours, fully packed, when I leave the States. I also have a modest carryon with handles that I can slip over the handle of my larger bag for easy transport. All tops match all (dark only) bottoms, and practically all tops are of light, no-fuss fabrics that can be rinsed out in a sink and hung to dry overnight. We do a bigger wash-up at a coin laundry once or twice during the trip: often a cultural experience! :O)

If an item of clothing can't be worn multiple times, it stays home, and I only take two pairs of shoes: wear one and pack one. Neither my husband or myself do any clothes shopping on our trips although we do bring home some other mementos.

There are tons of tips in the packing forum for lightening the load, and you'll be glad you did so one you get a look at some of the surfaces and stairways in Italy you'll be navigating with your bag.

Posted by
21329 posts

We are just back from a 26 day cruise that included formal events (not all cruise ship do anymore). For the two of use we had three rolling carry on size bags and one small backpack mostly as a day bag. Two of the rolling bags were small, 19" bags. That is one more bag that we normal take when traveling in Europe. You don't pack two weeks of clothes. For us we pack three changes -- wear one, pack two. And add three or four extra shirts. Since it is a cruise, I do pack a black sport coat, one white shirt and two ties and wife has a black cocktail dress and extra shoes. That is what goes into our third rolling bag. Self-service laundries on cruise ships are rare or at least very rare on the ships we use. On our last cruise, we had a pillow case size bag that you stuffed with dirty clothes and for $20 was washed, folder and return in a day. It held about a weeks worth of dirty clothes. You need to inquire about the facilities on your ship. Not all ships are the same. What line are you cruising with?

Posted by
8889 posts

the train to Venice (1.5 days)

As regards your case. I would be more worried about a heavy case in Venice than on trains. Venice has no roads, just paths, with up-and-over bridges (steps) and canals. There are the water buses (Vaporetto) and expensive water taxis, these both require lugging your case on and off a boat. Unless your hotel is within a few hundred metres of the station, a heavy bag will be a pain in Venice.

As for luggage on trains, you have of course read the Man in Seat 61's page on the subject:

Posted by
1482 posts

Hi Joyful,
Congratulations on what appears to be your first trip to Italy!
I will reiterate the absolute need to go from 50 lbs of suitcase down to about 20-22 lbs.
You will be shopping for stuff to bring home once you see what's on offer, so you'll need a place to put the goods!
You are on the right track watching packing videos.
I've been traveling to Europe for years, and still watch them and learn new things.
I do not travel carryon only, but my checked case is no bigger than 24 ins. and weighs about 6 lbs empty.
By now you will have learned about mixing and matching outfits, and sticking to a basic colour scheme in order to do this.
You can always hand wash your undies, and there are plenty laundromats in Europe.
You really don't want to be navigating European rail stations with a huge case.
It's hard enough with a small one.
You also have to be able to lift said case up a couple of enormous steps (I'm talking almost waist high total when you're looking up from the platform) onto the train, then find somewhere to put it on board.
That's a real pain, believe me.
The trains in Italy are not the type where you can just roll a case straight on with no change in elevation.
Here's a great website with info about all sorts of stuff, including packing lighter.

It's mostly about Venice, but has a lot of great general travel info too.
I would share all the info you are finding on this site with your travel friends, as you don't want to be the only savvy one while they are dragging "the steamer trunks"!
Hope you will let us know how your trip planning is going!