Getting around in Italy

by Andrea Segura - Friday, March 3, 2017

Benvenuti in Italy!

As you are planning your bicycle trip and beyond, you will certainly wonder how to best get around. We’re here to help and have put together some general information and tips for you. You will find tour-specific travel information in your Getting to and Away (GTA), which was emailed to you with your reservation confirmation. Note that any fares and timing mentioned are estimates. 

We also recommend Rome2Rio, which is an excellent route and travel planning resource.

Rome / Roma

Name and airport code: Fiumicino – Leonardo di Vinci (FCO) Website: www.adr.it.

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To and From the Fiumicino Airport:

  • By Train: The Leonardo Express train operates from 6:35 am to 11.35 pm and runs every 30 minutes. After leaving customs follow signs for TRENO. This train will take you to Rome’s central train station, Stazione Termini, with a trip length of 32 minutes. www.trenitalia.com.
  • By Bus: The Sit Bus Shuttle will take you to Rome’s central train station, Stazione Termini or to Piazza Cavour (temporarily at Via Crescenzio n. 2) – Vatican Area. The bus stop is located outside Terminal 3 after the pedestrian bridge (Stall nr. 1); tickets can be purchased on the bus for an additional fee. www.sitbusshuttle.it.
  • By Taxi: In agreement with Rome municipality, taxis charge a fixed rate for the transfer Rome Fiumicino Airport to Rome city center (called also area within Mura Aureliane). Cost is around € 48 (status 2017) for a maximum of 4 pax and luggage. Authorized taxis in Rome and Fiumicino are white in color and can be identified by the license id number on the doors, back, and inside the taxi; and have “Taxi” displayed on the roof.
  • By Metro: The Metro Fara Sabina-Fiumicino line (FL1) runs every 15 minutes (30 minutes on holidays) stopping at some of the main railway stations of Rome.

Milan / Milano:

Flights from the U.S. arrive at the Milano Malpensa Airport (50 km outside of Milan) and most European flights arrive at the Milano Linate Airport (7 km outside of Milan.)

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To and From the Malpensa Airport

  • By Bus: We recommend the operator Malpensa Shuttle that operates buses to Milano Centrale (Milan’s main train station) daily from 5:30 am to 12:15 am every 20 minutes leaving from Terminal 1 Uscita (Exit) 5 and from Terminal 2 in front of the arrival gate. Tickets can be purchased online and also on board. Other coach services are available.
  • By Taxi: A taxi to Milano Centrale (Milan’s main train station) costs approximately € 90/95 (status 2017). Check rates at www.taxiblu.org or www.milanotaxi.it.
  • By Train: Frequent regional trains (R) connect Malpensa Airport with Milano Centrale (Milan’s main train station) in about 50 minutes. Check schedule at www.trenitalia.com (enter Malpensa Aeroporto and Milano Centrale for your departure and destination).

To and From the Linate Airport

  • By Taxi: A taxi to Milano Centrale (Milan’s main train station) costs about € 35/40 (status 2017).

Venice / Venezia:

Name and airport code: Aeroporto Marco Polo Venezia (VCE)

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To central Venice or the Lido of Venice:

There are two options to cross the water to central Venice or the Lido of Venice. From the airport terminal take the complimentary shuttle or walk 500 yards (left out of the terminal) to the dock.

  • Water shuttle bus: Linea Alilaguna Aeroporto. This private ferry boat (vaporetto) that connects the Marco Polo airport to the Lido has two possible lines.
    • The RED Line (AEROPORTO-CERTOSA – LIDO) stops at Murano Museo and then reaches the Lido (stops at the first dock: Lido S.M.E). The RED line runs only in the summer (April to October) and the schedules are not available year round.
    • The BLU Line (AEROPORTO- SAN MARCO –TERMINAL CROCIERE) stops at Murano Colonna, Fondamente Nuove, the Lido, and then San Marco in central Venice. The ride to the Lido takes about 1 hour, to central Venice a little longer. Tickets can be purchased on board with a small surcharge and also online at www.alilaguna.it. Their website is very user-friendly with English translation.
    • Hint: Occasionally there is a long line and an hour wait for the vaporetto. You might want to consider taking a more expensive private water taxi to save time.
  • Private Water Taxi: Agree on a price before embarking and expect to pay € 110 (status 2017) to the Lido of Venice. Look for a yellow stripe and number on the side of boat that designates the taxi is authorized to carry passengers. The trip takes 30 minutes with a maximum of 4 passengers. You can reserve and pay your water taxi transfer at the following website: www.venicelink.com under “Private boats”. You will find special offers online. There is also a shared transfer water taxi shuttle service available from the airport to Venice city center. You can reserve and pay at www.venicelink.com under “Venice Shuttle (Airport)”.

To the Venezia Mestre Train Station

If you are taking the train from Venice to other destinations in Europe you probably want to take the bus from the airport to the Venezia Mestre train station located in Mestre on the main land instead of entering central Venice.

  • By Bus: The ATVO bus company has a direct bus (FLYBUS) from Venice’s Marco Polo airport to Venezia Mestre, the main bus and train station located on the main land. Look for the large charter blue buses found outside of the Arrivals terminal that say Mestre. The ride takes 20 minutes. You can buy a ticket from the ATVO booth in the Arrivals terminal, on board and also online. Check schedules & buy tickets at: http://www.atvo.it/.

Florence / Firenze and Pisa:

  • By Bus: Terravision operates a shuttle bus that connects the Pisa airport and Florence’s main train station (Santa Maria Novella) and the Florence airport with buses running about every hour. For schedules and online reservations check: www.terravision.eu/florence_pisa.html.

General Train Transportation Information

Major Train Stations:

  • Milan (Milano): Milano Centrale
  • Florence (Firenze): Firenze Santa Maria Novella or FSMN
  • Rome (Roma): Roma Termini (Roma Fiumicino is the airport)
  • Bologna: Bologna Centrale
  • Pisa: Pisa Centrale
  • Venice (Venezia): Venezia Santa Lucia (S. Lucia) train station for central Venice or the Lido of Venice
  • Venezia Mestre train station for all other Italian destinations
  • Naples (Napoli): Napoli Centrale
  • Turin (Torino): Torino Porta Nuova
  • Genoa (Genova): Genova Piazza Principe
  • Verona: Verona Porta Nuova

Schedules and Booking: Eurostar (ES- Frecciarossa, Frecciabianca, Frecciargento) & Euro City (EC) trains require a reservation and it is not possible to just “hop” on to the next train heading your direction. If you miss your train, you will need to exchange your reservation. On the other hand, regional (R) and local trains (D, R, IR, E) do not require a reservation and tickets are easy to buy at the train station before departure. If you miss this type of train, all you need to do is catch the next departure. These trains are mainly second class.

  • D: Direct
  • R: Regional
  • IR: Interregional
  • E: Express
  • IC: Intercity
  • ES Italia AV: Euro Star
  • EC: Euro Star City

The Italian railway operator is called Trenitalia. You can check schedules and purchase tickets at the website. All train stations, and even some bus stations for towns that do not have trains, are covered by this system. For online purchase pay with your credit card and then print the receipt of your ticket (don’t select the self-service option). Your receipt has a bar code that the conductor will scan. Not all destinations are available for advance purchase online, some smaller stations or local lines do not allow advance purchase. Depending upon your destination you may be able to choose from a base fare or a premium or discount fare (restrictions apply). Note that schedules are usually published about 90 days out.

Train Travel Reminders:

  • Recheck the Binario: Check the overhead board for the correct departure track (binario) of your train. The binario can often change shortly before the scheduled departure time.
  • Seating: Most regional trains have open seating, select a seat in your designated class of service (first or second). For Euro Star/Freccia travel, refer to your ticket for your seat assignment.
  • Arrival at your Destination: Depending upon your destination, your train stop may be very short, know the stop before yours and be prepared to exit the train.
  • Validate your ticket: You must get your ticket stamped at one of the machines (usually by the train tracks or close to the ticket booth) before entering the train. This goes for all trains tickets except EuroStar and Freccia, or tickets purchased online that have a specific departure time.

Other Types of Transportation

  • Taxis: Taxis can easily be found outside airports and train stations. It is good practice to ask for an approximate fare before the ride and pay meter start. Keep in mind that the cost may vary depending on traffic in the city and the time of the day. If you intend to pay by credit card, ask in advance. It might not always be possible.
  • Rental Car: If you decide to rent a car, we suggest arranging this from the U.S. – it’s cheaper. Be sure to find out the exact address of the location to pick up your rental car (preferably at your arrival airport). It’s best to make these arrangements in advance, and if you wish to go through an Italian company, we suggest MAGGIORE .
  • Bus: Some buses are operated by the Italian railroad so you will find bus schedules on the train web site and can buy tickets on-line or at the train station. For city buses (like the #7 going to Fiesole from Florence), you can buy tickets at a tabaccheria (small shops with the blue or black “T” out front) and validate them on the bus.

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