Know Before You Fly: Important Information About Italy’s Airports
Italy has long been a popular tourist destination because of its relatively mild climate throughout the year and the many historical attractions to be found in such famous cities as Rome, Milan, Venice and beyond. Whether your vacation is designed for enjoying some fine Italian food and relaxing, or seeing landmarks like the Colosseum in Rome, you’re bound to have a good time.
There are nine major international airports at locations throughout the country serving the major cities, so no matter where you’re heading in Italy you should be able to get there by air. Each have advantages and disadvantages, whether it’s being located very far from the city that they serve or whether it’s being so small in size that the flight options in and out are quite limited.
The guide below details summaries of each of the nine airports, in order to help you better plan for your vacation and choose the right airport for your journey there and back.
Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport
Airport code: FCO
For travelers to Rome, this is the biggest international airport that handles the most flights. It’s also the home base of Alitalia, a major Italian airline that flies to destinations both within Italy and beyond to other countries. In the last year alone more than 40 million passengers used the airport, so you can expect it to have large crowds no matter the time of year that you travel.
The airport opened in 1961 and is divided into four terminals, with Terminal 1, 2 and 3 primarily the base for most of the flights within Italy while Terminal 4 is for long-haul international flights. Flights depart from one of the airport’s four runways throughout the day and night.
Although it’s a busy airport it is also a very modern facility, so wait times for check-in and customs and collecting your baggage should not be too long. In particular, the airport expanded its security screening area in order to cut down on what had been significant waiting times. There are also great amenities inside including
If you’re visiting Rome, Rome airport is situated roughly 30 kilometers (18 miles) from downtown, with several transportation options for getting you to the city including an hour-long train ride for €15, a rental car, or a taxi that takes roughly 30 minutes and is priced at a flat fee of €48. Car rental is also an option but the price will depend on what type of car you want and for how long.
Ciampino–G.B. Pastine International Airport
Airport code: CIA
As an alternative to Leonard da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport, visitors to Rome can also fly in and out of Ciampino–G.B. Pastine International Airport. Constructed in 1916, it is much smaller than the other airport and has just one terminal and one runway. But the benefit of it being significantly smaller in size and operation is that this is airport is rarely crowded and easy to navigate.
Another benefit to choosing this airport instead of the other option is that it is located nearer to the center of Rome. This means a reduced cost for your travel from the airport to the city and back regardless of the mode of transport, because you’ll be covering less distance. Taxis charge a flat fare of €44 and you can expect about 25 minutes for the journey time from the airport to the city and vice versa by Ciampino airport taxi. Alternatively you can take an hour-long bus ride for €4.
The only major drawback of using Ciampino airport is that because of its small size, it only processes flights for budget airlines such as Ryanair. Therefore if you’re flying long-haul or with major airlines then you likely will be unable to have this airport as an option.
Pisa International Airport
Airport code: PSA
This airport was originally used by the Italian military in the 1930s through to the 1940s and is still used by them today, although it has expanded to include commercial flights. It’s the primary airport serving Pisa, which is a city in Tuscany in central Italy. The popularity of Pisa and the surrounding areas results in more than 5 million passengers using the airport every year.
Pisa International Airport, which has two runways, is also sometimes known as Galileo Galilei Airport, in tribute to the famous Italian mathematician and astronomer. Visitors to Pisa itself can see the renowned landmark Leaning Tower of Pisa from which Galileo is said to have performed his experiment to see if two objects of different mass fell at the same speed. And these tourists will likely through Pisa’s airport, although you might not get a straight route.
One drawback of the airport is that it only provides connections to destinations in Europe, so if you’re visiting from a country outside of Europe you will not be able to get a direct flight here. You could potentially fly to another airport and then transfer if your final destination is Pisa. Although this will add to your travel time, you’ll be rewarded with a great time in the city.
In addition, a major benefit of Pisa’s airport is that it is not far from the city, making it easy to get there from the airport and back again. Taxis do not operate on a flat fare but they shouldn’t charge you more than roughly €15 for the journey downtown, which usually takes about 10 minutes but can take more or less time depending on the level of traffic. Alternatively, the airport provides its Pisa Mover train service, launched in March 2017. With this transportation service, you pay roughly €3 for a five-minute connection to the city’s central train station.
Florence Airport, Peretola
Airport code FLR
Tuscany’s capital Florence is an incredibly popular destination for tourists, and the city’s airport is capable of handling the large number of travelers that it sees every year. More than two million passengers pass through the airport annually; a large number given its small size.
The airport has just one runway and as a result the connections that it offers are more limited than bigger airports near other Italian cities. The main airline servicing Florence’s airport is Vueling, but several others operate from here as well, including British Airways and Air France.
The airport opened in the 1930s and in the late 1990s underwent a major renovation project to upgrade its terminal and various facilities. As a result, you can expect a fairly modern airport that has all the amenities you would expect when flying into another country.
Transportation to the center of Florence is easy because the airport is located close to the city. Taxi fares are set at the flat fee of €20, and you can expect the journey to last about 15 minutes although it might take more or less time depending on traffic levels. Other options for getting from the airport to the city are a €2 bus or €6 train, and these journeys take roughly 20 minutes. As with all the other airports on the list, rental cars are an option but the exact price of this option will depend on the size and make of car you choose and for how long you need it.
Milan Malpensa International Airport
Airport code: MXP
Fashion capital Milan has long attracted lovers of great designs, but also tourists coming to see its many other attractions and enjoy some great pasta. This large airport is almost 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the center of the city. There are two terminal buildings that see almost 25 million passengers a year, with flights domestic and international using the airport’s two runways.
Terminal 1 processes a range of flights both within Italy and beyond, including to the United States. Terminal 2 is used currently solely by the budget airline easyjet.
From 1998 to 2008 the airport served as the primary base for the major Italian airline company Alitalia, but it then relocated to Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport as its main hub.
Although Milan Malpensa Airport is not located near Milan itself, getting to the city is fairly simple. Taxi fares are set at a €95 flat fee so you can’t be overcharged for the journey, which can last roughly 45 minutes depending on the severity of traffic. Alternatively, you can board the Malpensa Express train at the airport which will connect you to Milan’s train station. This train ride lasts for 50 minutes and costs €15 for a one-way ticket. A reliable bus service also operates at the airport, charging €10 for a 45-minute one-way ride to Milan.
Milan Linate Airport
Airport code: LIN
As one of two alternatives to Milan Malpensa International Airport, Milan Linate Airport is located much closer to the center of the city so your transportation time will be significantly less. At roughly one mile from downtown Milan, the journey from the airport doesn’t take very long at all.
However, this airport is much smaller in size and therefore fewer airlines fly in and out of here, with about a dozen airlines currently operating out of the airport to destinations solely within Europe. It has two runways and a helipad, and even though it’s smaller in size it’s still a very popular airport and in a typical year processes about 9 million passengers.
There is just one terminal building at this airport that handles all the passengers, but it still has all the food and drink, shopping, and other amenities you’d expect from a busy airport.
To get from the airport to downtown Milan you can rent a taxi, and these charge €55 flat fees as long as your final destination is within the city. The trip from the airport to Milan will last roughly 20 minutes depending on traffic levels. A much cheaper alternative is to catch one of the regular bus services from the airport to Milan, costing €2 for a 30-minute one-way ride.
Orio al Serio International Bergamo Airport
Airport code: BGY
The third of three primary options for flying to Milan is located quite some distance from the city itself at more than 45 kilometers (28 miles) away. Bergamo airport it is a large airport with two runways, and is popular with tourists, processing more than 11 million passengers every year.
If your final destination is the city of Bergamo then this might be the best airport for you because it’s much close to that city than it is to Milan. However, if you will be spending your vacation in Milan then you will have to be prepared for a long journey to the city if you choose this airport.
Ryanair has perhaps the most flights in and out of this airport to destinations across Europe, although several other airlines operate out of the facility, including Air Italy, Alitalia, Blue Air, British Airways, Neos, Vueling and Wizz Air, so you have plenty of flight options.
Once you’ve landed at the airport and have collected your bags it’s easy to get to Milan, although the distance can make it an expensive trip. One option is to simply order a bergamo airport taxi from one of the designated taxi stands and the driver will take you on a roughly 50 minute journey to the city for a fare that could be over €100. A much cheaper option is to ride on one of the buses that serve the airport and Milan, which charge €5 for a one-way journey of about 1 hour.
Naples International Airport
Airport code: NAP
Many tourists flock to Naples to see the mix of history and the modern world, and to indulge in the famed Neapolitan cuisine that includes pizza, which was invented in the city. It’s possible for travelers to do this thanks to the connections available at Naples International Airport.
Starting in 1950, commercial airlines began operating out of the airport that had previously been used for military operations. Present day the airport has one terminal and one runway to handle all flights in and out. Despite its small size compared to other Italian airports, it still sees roughly 10 million passengers every year. In addition to being a great choice for visiting Naples. Naples airport is also the closest option if you’d like to see places including Capri or Pompeii.
Many airlines large and small use the airport for connections to destinations in Europe and beyond, such as the United States. You can find flights here with carriers including Aer Lingus, Air Malta, easyjet, KLM, Ryanair, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, Vueling and Wizz Air.
The airport is located roughly 6 kilometers (3.8 miles) from downtown Naples, making it easy to get to the city once you’ve landed and have your bags. Because the airport is not too far from the city, Naples airport taxi fares are reasonable and the journey should not take too long. Expect to pay roughly €25 for a one-way taxi ride from the airport to the city. Alternatively you can take a bus to Naples which will cost much less than a taxi but could take longer to get to your destination.
Venice Marco Polo Airport
Airport code: VCE
This airport, which is located close to the city of Bergamo, is also near to Venice. That makes it the best option for tourists who want to visit Venice and see its famed canals and gondoliers, and to marvel at the architecture that makes it one of the most unique cities in Italy. But some people do use this airport to get to Milan, even though that city is quite far away.
Venice Marco Polo Airport celebrated the opening of a new modern terminal in 2002, and all passengers use this single building for their flights. Several major and budget airlines use the airport, which has two runways and sees almost 12 million passengers every year. It’s named after the explorer Marco Polo who ventured to Asia in the 13th century.
Venice airport is located about 8 kilometers (4.9 miles) from downtown Venice, so the journey time after you’ve landed to get to the city is not very long. You could rent a car, get a bus ride, or even get on a boat and sail your way into Venice. The different options have varying prices and durations, with the boat taking perhaps the longest, so choose what’s best for your plans.
If you’re flying into Venice Marco Polo airport but Milan is your final destination then you can expect a longer and more expensive journey to get there. Taxis are perhaps the best option, with a one-way ride lasting roughly 20 minutes or more depending on traffic for a fare that should be roughly in the €30 range. Buses also service the airport, and you can expect to pay roughly €7 for a journey that on average will take almost 30 minutes to get to Milan.
There is another airport in the vicinity known as Treviso Airport, but this airport is only for budget airlines like Wizz Air or Ryanair and as a result has very limited flight options.