Arrival in a new city can be an adventure. Mix in an overnight flight, a foreign language, and Italian efficiency and it can be downright overwhelming.
This step by step guide to arriving in Rome, should ease some of the anxiety.
You should sign up for one of my day tours of Catholic Rome.
This is most important, right? Free WiFi is available at Fiumicino. Select the “Airport Free Wi-Fi” network. Open your web browser, and select the “Free Wi-Fi” option.
If you can’t wait, restrooms are available once you exit the aircraft. I recommend you go through Passport Control first, just to get a jump on the line. There are restrooms immediately after you go through Passport Control. There are more at baggage claim, and even more after you clear Customs. Enjoy the free restrooms while you have a chance. Free restrooms outside of hotels and restaurants are rare in Italy.
ATM / Cash Exchange
If you’ve read my guide on currency exchange in Italy, you’ll know I’m very much against you getting ripped off. Few things anger me more than people taking advantage of travelers. As such, I recommend you avoid the airport cash exchange kiosks, and instead wait until you can get to a proper bank ATM in the city. If you need cash for your driver, a taxi, or tickets for the bus, then you really have no choice. But, you can use a credit card for the train.
Once you deplane, follow the signs to Passport Control. You’ll likely need to take a tram and a few escalators to connect to Terminal 3. There is a line for European Union Passport holders, and one for everyone else. Have your Passport ready. Don’t be alarmed if your Passport is not stamped, or even opened. Just go with the flow, you’re in Italy!
If you checked luggage, baggage claim is immediately to your left once you go through Passport Control. Screens will direct you to the correct baggage carousel. Should your luggage not show up, there is a place to report missing bags across from carousel 5.
Customs and the exit
Once you have your luggage, follow the signs to the uscita, or exit. This will lead you to, and through, Customs. I don’t know anyone who has ever been stopped in Customs, so you’ll probably pass right through and not even notice.
Welcome to Rome!
As you exit Customs, you are greeted with a large wall. Just beyond this wall you’ll find people waiting for their loved ones, drivers waiting for their customers, and scammers waiting for you. Stay clear of anyone offering to ‘help’ with hotels or car services. If you arranged a pick up, your driver will be standing here holding a sign with your name on it. If you are taking a bus or train into Rome, follow the signs. If you are taking a taxi, head straight outside and turn left to the taxi stand. Only take a real taxi – real taxi drivers are not going to approach you, they will be sitting in their cars at the taxi stand.
Now that you’ve survived the airport, it’s time to get into Rome! Be sure you’ve read our tips for getting to Rome from Fiumicino.