Rome’s Airports — Fiumicino vs Ciampino

Depending on where you’re coming from and what airline you’re flying to Rome, you’ll end up in one of the city’s two main airports — Fiumicino or Ciampino. It heavily depends on if you’re flying regionally or internationally due to the airport’s size and capability, as Fiumicino is much larger and busier than Ciampino. Here’s what you need to know about each airport. 

Fiumicino Airport

Fiumicino Airport, Rome ,Italy

Rome’s main airport and the larger of the two by far, Fiumicino (FCO), is typically the airport of choice when you’re flying to and from Rome. As you’ll learn shortly, Fiumicino is the only Roman airport that offers long-distance, international flights. So if you’re flying from overseas into Rome, you will be flying into one of the five terminals at Fiumicino when you arrive. 

Due to its relatively larger size and how much busier it is than Ciampino, Fiumicino has many more stores and restaurants. This is a good thing because you should expect some pretty long wait times for just about anything at this busy airport. If you’re flying in from out of the country, you’ll have to wait not only for your baggage — which can take up to an hour or more — but also for immigration. That can be another hour or two easily.

From Fiumicino, it’s easy to get to Rome and the city center no matter how you want to make the trip. From the airport itself, you have all the popular travel options to reach the city of Rome: trains, buses, or taxis. 

Leaving Fiumicino, you can choose from a regional train or high-speed train to head straight to Termini (main station in Rome) in 30 minutes or less. There are also plenty of bus options that will take you to the same spot, although it’ll take closer to 40-45 minutes depending on traffic. Lastly, if you don’t want to take the train or ride in a crowded bus, you can pay the extra cost and take a taxi from Fiumicino, but it’s typically not worth the price compared to the other options.

Ciampino Airport

Ciampino Airport, Rome, Italy
Rome Ciampino, Italy – January 12, 2019: People waiting for boarding to Ryanair plane on Ciampino Airport near Rome. Ryanair is the biggest low-cost airline company in Europe

If you’ve been to Fiumicino (or almost any other airport), you may be shocked at just how small Ciampino (CIA) airport is when you arrive. This tiny airport only has one terminal, but that isn’t always a bad thing. It’s less crowded, far less busy, and much easier to find your way around than the bustling activity common at Fiumicino. 

As alluded to previously, Fiumicino is the only option for long-distance international flights, so you won’t be flying into or out of Ciampino if that’s the case. Which may or may not be good in your eyes depending on where you’re flying to or from, but there’s one for sure — getting through security and getting your baggage at Ciampino is way faster than it is at Fiumicino! Without all the immigration, passport, and long security lines, you can be in and out of Ciampino in no time at all.

This is definitely a good thing because, unlike Fiumicino, Ciampino is not filled with shopping locations or restaurants to eat at. So you won’t have a whole lot to do at the airport once you’re through security, but you also won’t have to get there two or more hours early either. So it’s both good and bad, but Ciampino is what you can expect from a tiny, regional airport.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which airport is closest to the city of Rome?

Ciampino (about 15 km) is closer to Rome’s city center than Fiumicino is (about 30 km). It will still take at least 25-30 minutes to reach Rome leaving from Ciampino. 

How far is Rome Fiumicino Airport from the city center?

Depending on if you take a train, a taxi, or a bus, the trip from Fiumicino airport to the city center of Rome will take around 30-45 minutes.

Is Rome Fiumicino Airport also known as Leonardo da Vinci Airport?

The main airport of Rome, Fiumicino, is also referred to as the Leonardo da Vinci airport. The names are used interchangeably while in Rome, so keep that in mind when you’re planning your trip.