Wondering how to get the high-speed train from Rome to Florence?
Want to know if you should purchase your tickets in advance? Where to buy them? How long the ride takes?
I've got all the answers right here!
Over the years when we ran our B&B in Rome, we helped thousands of our hotel guests with their plans to get to Florence from Rome, whether as a day trip or as their next destination after Rome.
So I know very well what questions you have about taking the train from Rome to Florence, like:
Two of the must-see cities in Italy are Rome and Florence.
People visiting Italy from abroad often fly into Rome, since it has such a big international airport, and there are so many options for flights.
They (hopefully) will spend some time exploring Rome, and then will head to Florence as their next destination.
Here are some quick facts about taking the Rome to Florence train journey:
This page is specifically about taking the train from Rome to Florence, as opposed to driving, flying or taking the bus.
The trains in Italy are well-run and punctual - at least the fast trains are. There is an old joke about Mussolini that at least he made the trains run on time. I am not sure if that part is true, but the high-speed trains run really well today, regardless of which train companies are running the route.
Both Rome and Florence have central railway stations, and there are frequent, well-run, comfortable trains between them.
The high-speed trains are incredibly fast, taking only 1.5 hrs to go between Rome and Florence.
Any other method of going between Rome and Florence will take you nearly twice as long.
If you want to know about other ways to get from Rome to Florence, jump to this section.
With the high-speed train on either Trenitalia or Italo, you can get between Rome and Florence in 1.5 hours.
In most cases, these are non-stop trains although some trains with Roma Termini as their starting or ending point may also stop at Rome's Tiburtina station.
The different train options boil down to taking a train with Trenitalia or Italo.
Trenitalia is the original state-run rail system of Italy. Italo is a somewhat newer competition to Trenitalia. Both offer fast trains. Trenitalia has many more options for slower local and regional trains.
And then, it's about which Rome train station to use, what time you want to go, and the cost.
Trains run all day and into the evening, but you won't see night trains on offer, as the journey isn't long enough to need them.
HOW TO USE TRENITALIA AND ITALO WITH ITALIAN PLACE NAMES
If you use the Trenitalia or Italo websites to view schedules or book your tickets, you will need to use the Italian places names even if you use the English version of their respective websites.
For Rome, select Roma - tutte le stazioni or just "Roma" to see all the stations.
For Florence, select Firenze - tutte le stazioni, although you should try to go to Santa Maria Novella, which is the main central train station in Florence.
If you use a third party travel agency website like Trainline, you may use the English versions of the place names, Rome and Florence.
More about this below.
The Trenitalia website is actually pretty easy to use, and gives you a lot of options for times and types of trains. You will have to create a login with them if you want to buy tickets on their site.
To view Trenitalia train schedules and fares, and purchase tickets online, visit the Trenitalia website. For English, click the flag in the top right corner.
In the above screenshot, which shows a sample of all types of trains and stations from Rome to Florence, you can see there are lots of options. Note that the freccia trains only take 1.5 hours, while the Regionale and Intercity trains take 3-4 hours to get to Florence from Rome.
As for the prices, you can see that the regional and intercity trains are around 20€ one way. But even with only two days' notice (in low/mid season), you can get close to that price for a fast train.
Why do the prices say "starting from"?
Depending on how far in advance you book (i.e. availability), you can get "economy" or even "super economy" tickets.
Sometimes there are really good specials for going back and forth same day.
The difference between first and second class is mostly legroom and (possibly) crowds.
First class can be quieter since there are often fewer people.
On the frecciarossa trains, there are even "quiet" cars, with complimentary wifi, really great if you are going farther like to Milan or Venice.
For the relatively short train ride between Rome and Florence, I personally don't think it's worth spending the extra money for those amenities.
In 2012, Italo began operations and now competes with Trenitalia, offering slightly fewer routes. They supposedly offer lower fares but in my research looking up fares for taking the train from Rome to Florence, I've found it depends on how far in advance you book and the times you want to go. It's all about supply and demand!
To view Italo train schedules and fares, and purchase tickets online, visit the Italo website. For English, click the down arrow in the top right corner.
I love Trainline's website because it is super easy to use and when you look for train tickets in Italy, they give you all the options on one screen, including trains with Trenitalia and Italo, and high-speed and regional trains.
You can also access all your bookings in the app, so if you're doing multiple trips it's a great way to keep track of everything on the go.
Trainline also offer options for across Europe and the UK, so you can even use their website to book a night train or connecting train for longer distance travel.
Italo only has high-speed trains, which means it will take you 1.5 hours or less to get by train from Rome to Florence with them.
Trenitalia offers high-speed trains, in addition to other, much slower trains.
This is evident from the times you see when you look at the train schedules: the freccia trains are all high-speed, and take around 1.5 hours to go between Rome and Florence. (See the screenshots above.)
The Intercity and Regional trains take longer: The Florence to Rome train duration on these types of trains can take 3-4 hours, because they travel more slowly and makes lots of stops.
I once got on one of these trains by mistake (yes I know), and it was a really really slow and long day for me. I don't recommend this. But...
If you are buying tickets on the same day of travel, you will usually find that the regional train costs about half the price of the fast trains (around 20€ vs around 40€ one way), but takes almost twice as long.
So you'll need to decide if time or cost is more important to you - for cheap train tickets, the slower options will pretty much always be the best option.
Termini used to be the only really major train station in Rome, considered the main station.
Tiburtina station is the "new" central station in Rome, meant to be an additional main station to Termini.
In the end, even though Tiburtina is much newer and even nicer than Termini station, and even though there are lots of trains coming and going from Tiburtina, Termini is still often considered the main station in Rome.
Some trains leave only from Termini or only from Tiburtina, so it might be a matter of schedule and price.
The biggest difference between Termini and Tiburtina stations is that you can take either the red line or blue line Metro to get to or from Termini station.
But to get to or from Tiburtina, you can take only the blue Metro line.
If you are staying in the center of Rome, or near the Vatican, and you want to leave out of Tiburtina, you may need to still go to Termini to change metro lines from the Red line A to the Blue line B (or take a taxi.)
There are other train stations in Rome (San Pietro, Trastevere, Ostiense, Euclide to name a few), but to take the train from Rome to Florence, you will use either Termini or Tiburtina (actually a few of the Italo trains also leave from Ostiense but they pass through Tiburtina.)
Click here to visit a map of Rome's train stations. It will open in a new window.
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If you have a rail pass, and want to use it to take the fast train to Florence, you will need to pay an additional 10€ fee to get a reservation.
You can do this online or at the kiosks at the station.
To book your tickets for the train from Rome to Florence, you can:
There are very easy-to-use kiosks all around Termini and Tiburtina stations (and in Florence too.)
First you just tap the screen to select your language, and the rest is very straightforward. Just follow the prompts.
You can pay with cash or credit card.
Using an agency means paying a small fee (like 2-3 Euros per ticket), but the advantage is that you have a middle-person to assist you if you have any problems with re-scheduling or otherwise.
And with an agent, whether online or human, you can see and understand the ticket options and purchase process more easily in English.
There are a lot of travel agencies all around Rome, including inside the Termini train station.
You can also use an online train ticket agency such as TrainLine.
No matter what season you visit Rome, here are 4 things never to leave at home:
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You can usually buy your train tickets on the day of travel, right at the handy kiosks inside Termini or Tiburtina station (and in the Florence station, if you are coming back from Florence to Rome via train.) This can be nice if you are not sure what day or what time you want to go.
However, in very high season, you may find limited seat availability on the train you want.
And, if you book in advance, you may find discounted and even super-discounted fares.
If you decide to take a regional or Intercity train from Rome to Florence, then you don't need to purchase your tickets in advance.
You can purchase these at the newspaper kiosks around Rome or inside the train station.
These are generic tickets, without seat assignments (for the Intercity train, you can pay extra for a seat reservation if you want.)
When you take a regional or Intercity train, you need to validate your tickets in the yellow or green box, which you will find at the head of each track.
You do NOT need to validate any tickets for the high-speed trains, as you have a specific seat number, and the ticket is ONLY good for the date and time indicated on the ticket.
Is there a direct train from FCO to Florence?
Yes, this is possible!
You can take a Trenitalia high-speed train from Rome's Fiumicino airport right to Florence (you do have to stop in Rome's Termini station, but you don't have to change trains there.)
To take the FCO to Florence train, follow the signs in Fiumicino airport for the train station (the same one with the Leonardo Express trains that take you from Fiumicino into Rome.) You may purchase your tickets right there.
The train trip from Fiumicino to Florence is 2 hours and 15 minutes. Rates start at around 25€.
BIG CAVEAT: There are only 2-3 of these trains per day. So even if there is a direct train from Rome airport to Florence, you will find so many more options if you take the Leonardo Express train from Fiumicino into Rome's Termini station, and then get one of the frequent fast trains from Termini to Florence.
ONE MORE CAVEAT - Don't forget the Leonardo Express ticket validation or you risk a fine!
SHOULD YOU BOOK YOUR TRAIN FROM ROME TO FLORENCE IN ADVANCE IF YOU ARRIVE IN ROME FIUMICINO AIRPORT AND WANT TO GO DIRECTLY TO FLORENCE?
I get this question a lot.
On the one hand, it would seem like a good idea to book these tickets in advance - you might get a better price, and, your tickets will be done and you won't have to deal with it once you land.
I advise against this.
First of all, you just don't know what could happen.
Flight delays, missed connections, lost luggage, are all factors that could delay your departure from Fiumicino airport in a timely fashion.
Second of all, it would just add further stress to your trip, worrying about if you will make it in time.
If you want to take the train from Rome to Florence directly from Fiumicino airport, I suggest you purchase the ticket once you land in Rome and are ready to travel.
However, note also what I said above.
There are only 2 trips per day that go directly to Florence from Fiumicino.
You are better off getting to Rome Termini, where you will have lots more options for taking the train from Rome to Florence.
The train station in Florence is just at the edge of the city center in Florence.
To get into the city center takes about 10-15 minutes on foot.
Walk straight out of the train station either directly in front of you, or just a little to your left, and cross over the big streets. You will almost immediately find yourself right in town.
FREE FLORENCE MAP AND ASSISTANCE
To get a free tourist map of Florence, walk straight outside the train station, and cross over the multiple streets in front of you.
On the other side you will see the Official Florence Tourist Board, where you can get a map for free.
Inside the Florence train station, there are plenty of "tourist information points", but they are for profit, and their maps are not free.
While I'd strongly recommend the high-speed train as the best way to travel between Rome and Florence, for ease and speed, if you prefer not to, you do have other options.
This is probably the most popular way to get from Rome to Florence when not taking the train.
We often get this question about how to drive from Rome to Florence, and I will say we have often talked people out of it.
If you are driving around Italy and already have a car, or, if your plan is to leave Rome and visit other country spots before you go to Florence, perhaps spending time in an agriturismo somewhere in Tuscany, then of course having a car makes sense.
But if you are going straight from Rome to Florence, the best bet is to take the train. If you will also visit the countryside after Florence, then rent the car in Florence when you are finished with your visit there.
It is never a good idea to have a car inside either Rome or Florence.
First of all, both cities have congested and often pedestrian-only city centers.
Often there are restrictions about where to drive and where to park and you risk hefty fines for going into the restricted zones.
And then there is getting lost, and dealing with often-changing road directions that may not have been updated in your GPS.
COSTS OF DRIVING FROM ROME TO FLORENCE
You have to take into consideration the tolls on the Autostrada between Rome and Florence.
Tolls will run you around 20€.
Fuel in Italy costs a lot more than it does in the US or Canada.
Plan about 35€ in fuel costs just to drive from Rome to Florence without major detours.
Booking a rental car while in Europe is much more expensive than if you rent it from home before you travel here.
Rome has two airports, and Florence has one.
The flight between the two is about 1 hour.
You also need to consider cost, plus the time it takes to get to the Rome airport, and time at the airport.
Then once in Florence, you will have to get into the city.
All of this including the flight will take close to 4-5 hours.
If you are not a train person, or just like taking big buses, then you can take a bus from Rome to Florence.
Bus trips cost around 20€ one way, and take almost 4 hours in each direction. You will go slowly and have plenty of stops so a lot of chances to really soak up the countryside as you drive along.
Buses leave from Tiburtina and Termini stations in Rome.
Ready to plan your trip?
Another way to visit Florence from Rome is to take a day trip with a tour. This way, you don't have to think about any of it.
Many of these tours also include a stop in Pisa. It's a full and busy day, but you will see a lot!
Florence can easily be a day trip from Rome, although of course I'd recommend more time there.
The cities are so close that you can easily leave Rome after breakfast and still have a full day in Florence.
Whether you are visiting Florence as a day trip or longer, you should book some things in advance, especially the Accademia (where Michelangelo's David is), the Uffizi Gallery, and the Duomo (cathedral).
Spending just one day in Florence?
For more things to do in Florence, visit the Get Your Guide portal here.
One of my favorite Florence bloggers is Georgette Jupe, otherwise known as Girl in Florence, a "Tuscan Texan", who really has her finger on the pulse of life in Florence. She has a great page you can start with, all about Useful Information About Florence.
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Comments? Questions? Suggestions?
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