Leonardo Express Airport Rail Link to Rome – Review
The Leonardo Express began operations in December 1989, offering half-hour non-stop service from Leonardo da Vinci Rome Airport, or Fiumicino, to Rome’s city center.
The one-class trains, run by Trenitalia, the major railway operator in Italy, are comfortable and offer a variety of seating with excellent views of the passing landscape.
The trains operate between Fiumicino and Roma Termini, the city’s main railway station. Roma Termini offers easy connections to trains connecting to all major cities in Italy as well as daily international service to Basel, Geneva, Munich, Paris, and Vienna.
Roma Termini dates back to a temporary station that opened in 1863. Construction of the permanent terminal began in 1868 and it opened in 1874. It was demolished in anticipation of the 1942 World’s Fair and a new terminal, the current structure, opened in 1950.
It’s worth stopping and looking around upon arriving at Roma Termini, taking in its modernist façade, the reinforced concrete cantilever roof with a double curve that seemingly defies gravity, and the aluminum friezes by Amerigo Tot that are intended to represent the sound and speed of a train.
BUYING A TICKET
Before exiting the airport’s international terminal, I stopped and purchased a ticket at a multilingual kiosk, using a credit card. The entire transaction took about 45 seconds and the user interface and instructions were quite clear.
Tranitalia guarantees the Leonardo Express will operate every day year round, even, as its website puts it, “even in the event of strikes” (which are always possible and indeed expected, in Italy). The fare is a reasonable €14, or $19.50 at the current exchange rate, comparing favorably with the £21 or $35.27 that it costs to ride the Heathrow Express to Central London.