The stunning roof over the front hall at Roma Termini

Roma Termini (Roma / Rome)

This guide to Roma Termini explains what to look out for when taking trains to and from the main city centre station in Rome, and how to access the heart of the city and the main airport from here.

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At a Glance

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Terminus Station
The main departure board at Roma Termini - the steps lead up to a terrace of cafés The main departure board at Roma Termini - the steps lead up to a terrace of cafés
The frontage of Roma Termini station, the location of the taxi rank and bus station The frontage of Roma Termini station, the location of the taxi rank and bus station

An introduction:

Roma Termini train station is enormous, but because it’s a terminus station, it also has comparatively easy access to the trains, particularly from street level.

What can be less obvious is that it’s a station of many constituent parts - some of which can be a lot more crowded than others, it’s constantly busy.
The concourse closest to the trains is inevitably busiest of all - and making your way through these crowds can be a bewildering experience, particularly when arriving by train.

However, if you will be departing on a Frecce, Italo or Intercity train, your seat(s) on the train will be reserved - so you don't have to rush towards the train when its binario (platform/track) is confirmed.
Instead wait for your train on one of the quieter concourses, further back from the trains.

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Departing by train:

The entrance hall at the front of the station The entrance hall at the front of the station
The central hall at Roma Termini station, which houses the retail outlets The central hall at Roma Termini station, which houses the retail outlets
The relatively new departure hall at Roma Termini, which is front of the binari/platforms/tracks The relatively new departure hall at Roma Termini, which is front of the binari/platforms/tracks
The access to the trains is step-free at Roma Termini The access to the trains is step-free at Roma Termini

Eight Things Worth Knowing About Taking Trains from Rome's main Railway station:

(1) At the front of the station, facing the street/taxi rank, is a huge and airy entrance hall.
It is the furthest part of the station from the platforms/binari that the trains depart from , so tends to be quieter; despite the fact that it only takes a minute to reach the access points to the trains from here.
It houses departure screens and ticket machines , so can be a good place to wait for a train, buy a ticket etc.
It is rightly also a global icon of post-World War 2 architecture.

(2) Between the entrance hall and the departure concourse is a central hall, which houses most of the shops at the station.

(3) The departure concourse, the part of the station closest to the binari (platforms/tracks) is divided into two parts;

  • an area which is in front of the ticket gates and houses the main exit from the Metro; though there are other quieter Metro access points around the station.
  • an area on the other side of the ticket gates, which is immediately in front of the binari (platforms/tracks) which the trains depart from.

If you'll be taking a Regionale Veloce (RV) or Regionale (R) train at busy times, it can be a good idea to wait on the other side of the gates
You can then beat the rush, when the specific binario (track/platform) that the train will be departing from is confirmed.

(4) Ticket gates have been erected between these two areas of the departure concourse.
Manned ticket checks are carried out at these gates, you can't reach the trains without passing through them.

(5) Queues will inevitably build up at these ticket gates, so allow a minimum of 5 mins to board a train, even if you don’t need to buy a ticket.

Prior to the confirmation of the specific binario (track/platform) that your train will be departing from, the departure screens will tell you the optimum ticket gate to pass through.
So if you want to wait on the other (train) side of the ticket gates, for the departure details of your train to be confirmed, you can pass through the appropriate gate and be assured that your train will be departing from a binari (track/platform) nearby.

(6) if you need to buy a ticket, be at Roma Termini a minimum of 30mins before your train departs.
If there’s a long wait in the ticket office, use the Trenitalia branded ticket machines, they have excellent English translations, so are comparatively easy to use.
But at busy times you will also have to queue to use a machine.

(7) Don't forget to stamp your ticket if you will be taking a Regionale Veloce (RV) or Regionale (R) train.

(8) Some Regionale Veloce (RV) or Regionale (R) trains, particularly those heading north, can depart from binari '1 Ouest' and '2 Ouest;.
These tracks/platforms are a 3 - 5 min walk from the departure hall.

Arriving by train:

The taxi rank is at the front of the station The taxi rank is at the front of the station
the exit from the central hall on to Via Marsala the exit from the central hall on to Via Marsala

All of the binari (platforms/tracks) at Roma Termini have step-free access to the main station buildings; so when arriving by train you simply walk ahead and beyond the front of the trains to access the exits, and the metro etc.
You'll find yourself in an enormous building, so take your time and follow the signs.

There are multiple access points to the Metro station, you may see one of its entrances as soon as you exit the binario (platform/track) that your train has arrived at.
These access points to the Metro, which are closest to the trains are inevitably busy, so an option is to walk farther ahead into the main station building.
Because at Roma Termini you can also use the less hectic entrances to the Metro, which are available farther back in the quieter and brighter main hall.

For the taxi rank and bus station head out of the front of the station, through that impressive, light and airy main terminal building.
To access it go directly ahead through the departure concourse and then across the passage way that is lined with stores and which spans the station.
In the main bus station there is an information booth that gives details of the onward bus connections.

This area front of the station is comparatively quiet, in contrast to the constantly busy exits at either side of that main passage way on to the streets named Via Giovanni (to the left) and Via Marsala (to the right).
You'll find the street exits under the video screens.
Pick-pockets and beggars can exploit these crowds at the exits on to the Via Marsala and Via Giovanni Gioltti - particularly avoid being distracted by children asking for help and money, their elders are hoping to exploit the situation!

To St Peters Square/Vatican City from Roma Termini:

The nearest Metro station to the Vatican City is Ottaviano, take Metro line A (direction Battistini).
Ottaviano station is named ‘Ottaviano S.Pietro Museo Vatican’ on Metro maps.
However, St Peter’s Square is a 12 - 20 min walk from this station along the street named Via Ottaviano.

Though if you're heading to the area around the Vatican City, another option can be to take a commuter train instead of the Metro, though these commuter trains typically depart from binari (platforms/tracks) 25-29, which are some distance from the main concourse.
Trains on commuter line, FL5 or R5 (that terminate at Civitavecchia) call at Roma S.Pietro station.
Some Regionale (REG) trains from Termini towards Grosetto and Livorno also call at Roma St.Pietro.
This station is a 10 min walk from the Plaza S.Pietro - the  location of St Peter’s cathedral, hence the station's name!

Therefore taking the train to S.Pietro is less hassle than using the metro, but there can be gaps of up to an hour between departures from Termini.
So if there is no train due to depart Termini for S.Pietro within 25 mins - the balance tips in favour of taking the Metro.

To the Colloseum/Forum from Roma Termini:

Take Metro Line B (direction Laurentina) to Colosseo.
However if your train calls at Roma Tiburtina station, before arriving at Roma Termini, make the connection to Metro Line B at Tiburtina

To the Spanish Steps from Termini :

Take Metro line A (direction Battistini) to Spagna station.

To The Pantheon from Termini station:

There is no Metro station within a 15 min walk of the Pantheon - so to reach it from Termini take bus lines 40 and 64 from the bus station in front of the station and alight at the stop 'Largo Torre Argentina'.

To/From Fiumicino - Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport by train:

A Leonardo Express awaits departure from Roma Termini A Leonardo Express awaits departure from Roma Termini

Every 15 minutes during the day Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport is linked to Roma Termini by Italy's most frequent rail service, the Leonardo Express.

The trains are non-stop in a journey time of 32 minutes, which partially justifies a price of €14; though groups of four people can save €16, by travelling at a group rate of €40.
As per other trains in Italy, children aged 4 and under travel for free, but what's unusual about the Leonardo Express is that each adult ticket holder can take a child aged 5 - 11 at no extra cost.

Particularly when heading to Rome's main airport, the other advantage of taking the Leonardo Express is that being a dedicated service, seats and luggage storage space on the train are very likely to be available.
Though if you have a lot of luggage and the next train is about to depart within 5 minutes, it can be a good idea to hang back, so that you will be among the first to board the next service, 15 mins later*.
*= Before 07:00 and after 22:00 the frequency drops to every 30 minutes, but the final departure from Roma Termini is at 23:05; the final departure from the airport is later, typically after 23:50.

Connections are available in Roma Termini with trains from and to the overwhelming majority of other Italian cities including Assisi, Florence, Naples and Perugia.

The alternative train service to and from main airport in Rome

The Leonardo Express is not only the only Rome airport <> city centre rail service which uses Fiumicino Aeroporto station, as line / route F1 of the city's local rail system also terminates at the airport.
The trains on line F1 heading towards Rome city centre typically have a final destination of Fara, Orte or Poggio.

Compared to the Leonardo Express, these trains on line / route F1:

  • are as frequent during the day
  • cheaper by €6
  • stop at an additional six stations between the city centre and the airport
  • call at different stations in the 'city centre' - Roma Tuscolona; Roma Ostiense and Roma Trastevere.

However, all of these stations are some distance from the historical heart of Rome, though Roma Termini station is approximately a similar distance from the Colosseum as Ostiense station.

Ostiense station has an awkward interchange with Piramide station with line B of the Rome Metro, but Line B gets closer to the city centre than line F1 with its stops at Colosseo and Cavour.

Though the Leonardo Express offers an easier connection to Line B at Termini station, and the metro Line A also calls at Termini.

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Roma-Tiburtina Station

If your final destination in Rome is along Metro Line B (Colosseo station lives up to its name with a location opposite the Colosseum) - then making the transfer to the Metro at the superb, newly reconstructed Roma Tiburtina station is recommended.

So when heading to Rome/Roma don’t dismiss trains that do call at Roma Tiburtina - but don’t call at Roma Termini.

The line B Metro transfer at Tiburtina is less busy than that at Termini and it can result in a quicker journey overall.

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