Trenitalia has introduced a direct train line from Rome’s Fiumicino airport to Venice, and that is great news for travelers entering Italy through its busiest airport. If you’re from the United States, just about all direct routes to Italy serve FCO – other than the very competitive JFK-MXP route – and many are headed to other cities within Italy. This news brings what I find to be the most convenient option to the mix.
While Rome has perennially huge tourist numbers, Venice and Florence are right up there as well. Previously, the way to get to those places was to generally fly direct to Rome or Milan and either connect to another flight or board a minimum of two trains to either destination. At Rome, this would involve taking the Leonardo Express to Roma Termini, then transferring to either a high speed or regional train to Venice or points in between. Now, travelers heading from FCO to Florence, Bologna, Padua or Venice can instead skip the Leonardo Express and hop right on a high speed Frecciargento train to those cities.
The schedule isn’t quite frequent yet, but they happen to be well timed for most transatlantic travel. As these destinations operate on one line, there are two scheduled departures and two scheduled returns each day. For now, you can board this route out of FCO at 11:08am and 3:08PM. Trains return to FCO at 9:52am and 1:52pm, with the departure on that return trip obviously depending on the city you’re starting from.
The (warning: PDF link) timetable does reveal one potential inconvenience. The early departure from Venice, arriving at 9:52am at FCO, departs from Venezia Mestre and not Venezia Santa Lucia. Venezia Mestre is actually located on the mainland and requires a train ride or water taxi of its own to get to, so if you are planning to fly from Rome, you might want to book a later departure if the plan is to spend your last day in Venice and get to Rome on the day of your return flight.
Trenitalia high speed trains – le Frecce, or arrows, are bookable online, from the United States, using American credit cards at their website. That didn’t used to be the case, so I’ll simply mention that and am happy to answer questions in the forum or the comments.
I had not seen this news picked up by many English-language travel websites or blogs, so even though the route is a couple months old I thought it’d be something informative to write about. I am certain to be on one of these trains the next time we go to Italy. I’ll always take a train over a connecting flight, and these particular trains are both convenient and extremely comfortable.