Whether you are driving along the south coast of France and entering Italy via the Alps, or catching a ferry from Tunisia to Palermo, arriving in Italy is generally hassle free.
With good transport hubs and modern infrastructure in the north of the country, most visitors tend to start a trip around Italy in Milan, Rome, or Tuscany. From here it's easy to make use of Italy’s affordable TrenItalia network, or to hire a car to explore the more off-the-beaten-track parts of Italy.
There are several major international airports in Italy, but Rome Fiumicino and Milan Malpensa are two of the most popular entry points by air. In the south, Palermo is the main hub for visitors to Sicily, while Naples has the largest airport and port for tourists to Pompeii, Sorrento, and the Amalfi coast.
Visitors can also enter overland from the neighbouring countries of France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia, while regular ferry routes connect Italy to countries like Greece, Croatia, Malta, and Spain.
Citizens from Europe, the US, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and Canada can visit for tourism for up to 90 days in any 6 month period. It’s required to have at least 3 months remaining on your passport after your arrival date. It’s worth noting that time spent here will count towards your 90/180 days allowed in any Schengen country.
For other nations including India, Egypt, and South Africa, you will need a visa to visit Italy. A Schengen visa costs €80 for adults and €40 for children aged 6-12 (free under 6). See the full list of visa requirements for Italy on the official website.
Serving over 40 million passengers in 2019, Rome–Fiumicino International Airport "Leonardo da Vinci" is by far the busiest transport hub in the country. Spending a few days in Rome is a great place to get your bearings and start a longer trip around Italy.
The “Airport Free Wi-Fi” network is completely free and unlimited in Rome Fiumicino. Either download the official ‘Aeroporti di Roma’ App for the 4Mps network, or use the standard browser connection (2Mps). You can also buy an Italy Sim Card or use an eSim like Airalo.
You will find many free-to-use ATMs in arrivals. Though there are currency exchanges, these places never have the best rates, so it’s better to change money in the local banks or use a travel card like Wise.
Rome’s main airport is located just under 20 miles away from central Rome, it has four terminals that you may be arriving at with easy transport links to the centre. You can get from Fiumicino Airport to Rome city centre by train, bus, private transfer, or by taxi.
The Trenitalia ‘Leonardo Express’ train connects Fiumicino airport with Termini - the main train station in Rome. The non-stop 32 minutes service is a great way to avoid traffic, leaving the airport every 30 minutes (every 15 minutes during peak hours). It runs from 6:38 a.m. to 11:38 p.m. and tickets cost €14 per person.
There is also a regional train called the FL1 that links with Trastevere, Ostiense, Tuscolana, and Tiburtina stations in Rome. If your hotel is nearer one of these areas, it’s best to use this train as you will probably still need to get a taxi for the last leg of your journey. As it’s a commuter train, tickets are just €8, with departures every 15 minutes or so.
You can also take the bus from Rome Fiumicino to Termini, it’s the cheapest option at just €7 and the bus journey lasts roughly 50 minutes. Coaches are modern and reliable and can be booked online in advance with Get Your Guide. Another benefit is that you can catch the next bus if you miss your time slot.
Taxis are another option, costing a flat fare of €48, the journey takes about 35-40 minutes depending on traffic. Private transfers might be a better option for families or groups travelling together.
A private transfer costs €70 but can be split by up to 8 people, plus you don’t need to worry about carrying heavy luggage or finding your way around public transport systems.
Though airports and transportation have good disabled access, Italy’s historic sights and uneven roads don’t lend themselves to accessible travel.
Several attractions like the Vatican Museum make up for this with free entry for disabled visitors and their caregiver. RomeWise has comprehensive information on which sites are accessible as well as further resources.
If travelling by train, the TrenItalia website has information on barrier free stations and further information for those with disabilities. In cities throughout Italy many urban buses and some taxis are wheelchair-accessible, but assistance from a caregiver might still be necessary.
Planning a trip to Italy? Read our Italy travel guides.