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The train is a great way of seeing Italy with a good network of inter-city and regional, plus urban services.
For the most part rail is a much stronger proposition than any bus services between major towns and cities, buses largely only compete on urban and some regional services.
Trains serving Rome are no exception. The main central station in Rome is Termini Station.
Termini is not only the main railway station but the major transport interchange for Rome of all kinds.
Termini Station Rome is the hub of the limited Rome Metro network. And Termini is where you will find the main bus station for local buses in Rome and airport buses and trains.
Note that some long distance trains from Northern Italy to the south may circumnavigate around Rome without entering the central station Termini, offering a stop at a Rome station in the suburbs, normally Tiburtina or Ostiense.
Both Tiburtina and Ostiense interconnect to the Rome Metro.
As capital of Italy, Rome has direct train services to all the principal cities of the country.
As this is a Rome centric website on this page we look at the Rome trains that are relevant to visitors to Rome. For details of intercity train travel between other major Italian cities, please see our page Inter-City train services in Italy.
The FL lines are the commuter trains, consisting of eight lines, operated by Trenitalia, with Rome as its hub. Trains are at good frequencies and are essentially commuter trains, some of which have double deck carriages.
As the parts of Rome that are of interest to the visitor is a rleatively compact area in the centre of Rome, this network is of limited use to the average visitor.
The possible exceptions to this broad statement are the trains to Civitavecchia, Rome's cruise port, as a cheap way of reaching Fiumicino Airport without using the relatively expensive Leonardo Express airport train and for visiting Ostia Antica, Rome's old port in ancient Roman times.
Civitavecchia is Rome's cruise port and is also a major ferry port too.
It's an hour's drive from the centre of Rome and without a bus line the train is the only budget option for independently minded people on a cruise to get to and from Civitavecchia without using expensive taxis or cruise line offerings.
Travelling from Civitavecchia a typical train will stop at S Pietro (40min), Trastevere (50min), Ostiense (55min) and finally Termini (70min). S Pietro is around 15 minutes' walk to the Vatican and St Peter's Square.
Trastevere is the interchange for a frequent airport train to Fiumicino airport. Ostiense is an interchange with the Rome Metro which can take you direct to the Colosseum or Spanish Steps.
A cheaper alternative (by almost half) to the dedicated Leonardo Express train between Termini Station in central Rome and Fiumicino airport is to use the FL1 regional train. Note: you will see 'Regionale', on your ticket, not FL1, representing the fact it's a regional train.
The FL1 starts at Fiumicino Airport and is a stopping train that runs about every 15 minutes at peak times; 30min off peak times, Sundays and bank holidays. From Fiumicino it loops around the centre of Rome anti-clockwise without going into the centre and Termini Station.
The key facet of this train service is that it interconnects with the Rome Metro at Tiburtina and Ostiense stations. If you are staying in the Vatican or Trastevere area or don't want to pay the prices of the Leonardo Express, this service can be very convenient and cheap.
It's very easy to visit Ostia Antica, the port of Rome in ancient times, now a worthwhile attraction, independently by train from Rome. A suburban commuter train service runs several times an hour to the coast and stops at Ostia Antica station.
It starts at Ostiense which is twinned with the Piramide Metro station in the south-west of the city. The platforms are next to the Metro station platforms and you just walk across directly to the train.
The train ride is covered by the daily transport passes for Rome's Metro and bus public transport system.
At Ostia Antica station it's then just a 5-minute walk to the fascinating Roman port ruins of Ostia Antica.
The Leonardo Express airport train is a dedicated airport train taking 30 minutes to reach the centre of Rome (Termini Station) with a frequency every 30 minutes.
The only reason not to use the service is cost. It is around double the cost of competing bus and local train options.
The service is a dedicated airport train and runs non stop, every 30 minutes.
At Termini Station in Rome all trains arrive and depart from platform 23-24, in the main area of the station close to the left luggage office at the station.
At Fiumicino airport the station is part of the passenger terminal complex. Although it can be a fair walk out to the station area it is undercover with moving walkways.
Termini Station is like a small town in itself. There is a large underground shopping centre on two floors including a medium sized supermarket.
At platform level are all the travel agents, newsagents and eating outlets you'd expect at any major rail station.
Most of the fast-food outlets are on the main ground level. At the eastern exit is a US style steak house and other sit-down restaurants are up on the balcony and around by the car hire desks and airport train platform.
There is also a left luggage facility over on the western side of the station by where the airport train arrives. The car hire desks are also in this area.
Out front is Rome's main bus terminus and below is the intersection of Rome's two Metro lines.
The airport buses to both of Rome's airports leave from the east side of the station.
Rome being the capital of Italy naturally has direct train services to nearly all Italian cities of significance.
The Italian railway system has options for all budgets. Cost and trip duration will depend on the class of train you take.
There are three grades of train and on two there is a choice of first class or second class. There is a complex system of advance purchase and day return fares.
Frecciarossa trains - These are the high speed trains, the pride of the Italian railways. Journey time is often twice as fast as alternatives. Fares are normally double that of the express inter-city trains.
Inter-City trains - These are the normal inter-city trains with stops at major towns along the way.
You are allocated a reserved seat number when you book. Typically in a second class carriage you will travel in a compartment with six seats.
Regional/local trains - These are the opposite to the Frecciarossa trains. Trains are slow and relatively basic. What they have got going for them is price, typically 10%-20% of the price of a Frecciarossa train.
Trenitalia (link to their website below) make it simple to travel on Italian railways. Use their website for timetables and you can book tickets online with true e-tickets. Note on local services you can only see fares and order tickets within 7 days of travel.
On the longer journeys and more expensive classes of trains you will have reserved seat numbers.
For local and regional services, you will not have seat numbers. It's important to stamp your ticket using the machines found on the platform for these journeys just prior to boarding.
In the Rome urban area you can use the Rome public transport passes on the trains too. However the area covered doesn't extend as far as either airport or indeed the cruise port. The public transport passes do extend to the Ostia Antica site though.
Get the best fares by planning your rail travel needs in advance. It really does pay to look at fares and timetables at the time you are planning your trip. Even on the high-speed trains there are some fantastic fares to be had if you buy well in advance and are willing to be flexible on exact travel times.
• Cheapest advance purchase fares • Pay by credit card • Instant confirmations • Timetables