As many of you know, I took a two-week trip to Italy in early April to celebrate my one-year anniversary with Brock. We met on April Fool’s Day, and when plane tickets to Rome came up for super cheap the day before our anniversary, we booked them and started planning!
Out of all of the places I traveled in the past several years, Italy never made the itinerary because I wanted to save that trip for something special (well, someone special – I am a bit of a romantic). Brock had never been to Europe, either, so this trip was the perfect opportunity for both of us.
A few recommendations:
- If you’re an iPhone user – download Hopper! It’s a pink app with a bunny that will send you notifications when flight prices dip down.
- Start using a travel credit card. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has amazing benefits and we booked most of our accommodations for this trip using rewards points Brock had saved up.
- Try to pick up some Italian phrases before you travel. Your local library will have phrase books for checkout, or you can access Rosetta Stone for free through there online system!
When we arrived in Rome, Brock and I headed straight for the train station. The international airport is about an hour from the center of the city, so keep that in mind when you are planning train tickets.
There are three ways to get from Fiumicino to Roma Termini (the central train station):
- Leonardo Express Train: 15€ per person and takes about half an hour. The train runs every 15 minutes. You can purchase tickets from a desk outside of the security checkpoint, or the machines on the way down to the train. The machines and people working the desk can all complete the transaction in English.
- SIT Bus: Leaves from Terminal 3 and costs 8€ per person. You can purchase tickets on the bus or online.
- Taxi: There is a set fee city-wide for taxi transport from the airport to the city center and vice versa. The 48€ fee covers all passengers and bags, and it is illegal for the driver to charge your more. If you are traveling to/from Ciampino, the set fee is 30€.
Once we arrived at Roma Termini, we took our train to Milan. There are different train companies in Italy, each with different fares and time schedules. Since we had been traveling on a plane for so long, I opted for the “fast” train.
Tips for traveling by train in Italy:
- You will need to have your tickets ready before you can enter the boarding area. There are restaurants and cafes on both sides, but you will not be permitted to enter the train tracks area without a valid ticket.
- You *must* validate your ticket at the little machines next to the trains. There are tiny little boxes affixed to poles at the beginning of each train track. You must insert your ticket into the slot and have it stamped. If you do not, you may be subject to a fine from the conductor.
- In many cases, there are assigned seats on the train that you can choose when booking. This is true for first and second class. Most trains should have some type of outlets in the seats and wifi access, as well.
My next post will be about our short stay in Milan, and the funny things that happen when you are flexible in your planning. Enjoy these photos of the Italian countryside from the train)!