Many Italians and foreign business travelers are shunning the new City Air Terminal on Rome's southern outskirts.
The air terminal used to be at the central railroad station (Stazione Termini), but for the World Cup soccer championship finals last June and July it was transferred to a new, vast building, a postmodern annex to the Stazione Ostiense.One reason that many Italian travelers have avoided the new facility is that taxis outside the building are rare.
The trip to connect with subways or buses can be cumbersome for arriving air passengers.
A series of escalators and people movers on an overpass spanning 14 railroad tracks takes passengers to the square from which municipal buses depart.
A long underpass from Ostiense station's Platform No. 1, with moving sidewalks, leads to the Piramide station (one mile south of the Colosseum) of Line B of Rome's rudimentary subway network.
From there it is a seven-minute ride (63-cent fare) to the central railroad terminal, where passengers may transfer to Line A, which traverses the center of the city.
Travelers with luggage may have a hard time squeezing into crowded subway cars.
Daytime bus service between Leonardo da Vinci Intercontinental Airport at Fiumicino (FCO on airline tags) and the central Stazione Termini ended Nov. 20, although the buses still run hourly between 1 and 6 a.m. Fare: about $4.45 (on the basis of 1,120 lire to the dollar). From 6:30 a.m. to 12:15 a.m. trains shuttling between Fiumicino Airport and the new City Air Terminal are the only public transportion for arriving or departing plane passengers.
The trains run at 20-minute intervals over a newly built rail spur. The $4.45 tickets have to be bought from machines at the airport rail station or at the City Air Terminal. The 16-mile trip takes 25 minutes.
A cab ride to the center of Rome from Fiumicino Airport costs at least $45, from the new City Air Terminal (if you find a taxi there), $8 to $10 more in rush-hour traffic.