The Leonardo Da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport, also known as the Rome-Fiumicino Airport, is Italy's primary airport serving the capital, Rome. It is the largest airport by passenger traffic, with almost 38 million passengers served each year across 150 destinations worldwide.
The airport is located some 16 miles southwest of the city centre, linked to Rome by train or by road. The airport officially opened on January 1960 with two runways to replace the smaller Rome-Ciampino Airport which primarily serves domestic and chartered flights today. During the decade, Alitalia invested heavily on the new airport, building hangars and maintenance centres. From two runways, it was increased to three. In 1974, the services were brought together under its present operator, Aeroporti di Roma, seeing to it that the airport improves and grows as the years pass.
The airport is set to improve on its facilities through a construction of an environment-friendly cogeneration system, and a pier dedicated for international flights to up the passenger growth from 38 million to 55 million by 2018. All these improvements are included in the “Masterplan Fiumicino Nord”, involving four new terminals and two new runways to be built by 2044, when there are estimated to be 100 million passengers per year.
What to see & do
The airport serves Rome, one of the main attractions of Italy and Europe on its own. The city is highly seductive and thrilling – where history, human genius, and warmness conspire to create a wonderful polis or state. A trip to Italy's capital is much about delving on the lifestyle as it is much about enjoying art and learning about its history.
Roman Forum – Originally an Etruscan burial ground, the Roman Forum was developed into ancient Rome's show piece – a vibrant public area where marble-clad temples, basilicas, and public spaces are all found. Today, it is known as an impressive site of old Rome, lines of ruins where you may imagine life back then. Landmark sights include the Arco di Settimia Severo, and the nearby Curia, the seat of the Roman Senate. All rusty and old today, it gives a sense of nostalgia – bringing back the tunes of yesterday to today's mess.
Pantheon – A 2,000-year old temple which now stands as a church, the Pantheon is one of the best preserved monuments of Ancient Rome. A little crumbly but standing magnificently, the AD 120 temple was built during Emperor Hadrian's time, overlapping Marcus Agrippa's original 27 BC temple. The dome within is considered the Romans' greatest architectural achievement as it is the largest unreinforced concrete dome ever built. The temple itself is originally offered to 'all gods' [etymology: 'pan' (Gk.) means all, and 'theos' (Gk.) means gods] before it was consecrated into a Christian church in AD 608.
Vatican – Although considered as a separate state, Vatican is still part (by territory) of Rome and is served by airports in the city. Vatican is the seat of Catholicism, the home of the Roman Pontiff, and the nurturer of many Renaissance and Classical art pieces which has been the inspiration of many artists both old and new.
How to get around within Rome
Rome has an abundance of travel options perfect for tourists and locals themselves. Although driving cars can be a pain especially with Rome's almost unbearable traffic situation, taxi cabs are a gift to mankind here. There is a cab almost everywhere, although travellers should be wary of fake taxis going around. Fake taxis are dressed up like cabs but are actually unauthorised vehicles without licenced meters and drivers without identification cards. Be careful when asking for taxis especially in the airport, as some airport employees may direct you to Mercedes limousines and might double your fare. Cheap travel options meanwhile include buses, HO-HO buses (hop on-hop off buses), the tram lines, the metro lines, the light rail system, and the regional train. These buses and transits offer cheap ways to travel, but are often crowded. Other transport modes include bicycles, moped, and 'segways' which can all be rented for touring around the city.
How to get there
The Leonardo Da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport, or Rome-Fiumicino Airport, is the main international airport and gateway when going to Rome. Cheap flights to the destination can be booked using Skyscanner. Skyscanner is an online resource of the cheapest flights from over 600 airlines and destinations, including Rome. The airport is the main hub for Alitalia and Vueling, and is the focus city for Alitalia CityLiner, Blu-express, Blue Panorama Airlines, easyJet, Mistral Air, Neos, and Ryannair.