How to get from Florence to Rome

Rome's Colosseum is one of the city's most popular tourist attractions. (Credit: Jimmy Walker via Wikimedia Commons)

Travelling between two of Italy’s most popular tourist spots, Rome and Florence is simple. You can do it cheaply in under two hours and still enjoy the beautiful Tuscan and Umbrian countryside that separate them.

How can I get from Florence to Rome?

There are several options to cover the 270km between these two beloved cities, called Firenze and Roma in Italian. Trains run direct between Florence and Rome multiple times a day, or you can drive, take the bus or rideshare along the Autostrada (the Italian fast toll expressway system) A1. There is also airline service between Florence Airport and Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport

What’s the quickest way?

The train is by far the fastest. At least twice an hour you can get a 90-minute, non-stop train between the two main stations in the heart of the cities, Firenze SMN and Roma Termini.

The train from Florence lands you right in the heart of Rome. (Credit: Ingolf via Wikimedia Commons)

How long will it take to drive?

Going by road can take up to 3½ to 4 hours whether you’re in a car, bus or rideshare.

Is it worth flying?

Probably not. Going by air will take at least three hours between the two airports, including check-in and flight time. Time from the airports to the city centres will add at least another one hour to this. Flying will cost at least €70, not counting transfers to/from the airports.

Firenze SMN is one of Italy’s busiest train stations. (Credit: Freepenguin via Wikimedia Commons)

What’s the cheapest option?

For the absolute cheapest last-minute trip, a ride-share (usually between €12 and €20 through Bla Bla Car or another ride-share service) will be the most affordable. But it will also entail matching yourself to a driver who is picking up and dropping off at places convenient to you. And then there’s the four-hour drive.

Other affordable options?

  • Buses cost €10 to €33 depending how far in advance you buy your ticket.
  • Trains cost €18 to €40 in the cheaper classes, depending on seat availability. Reserve early! The earlier you book your tickets, the more chance you will have of securing the lowest fare.
  • Driving yourself will cost at least €40 for a one-way car rental (and likely much more) as well as €18 in tolls plus petrol.

What’s the best way?

The fastest and all-around best option is the train. Not only is your journey just 90 minutes from the heart of Florence to the heart of Rome, but it’s also the most comfortable and you have the choice of dozens of trains each day. And outside of busy weekend or holiday travel times, you can usually find at least a few trains a couple days before your journey that still have the cheapest seats available. You can purchase tickets from four months prior the date of the train.

Otherwise, buses don’t offer any advantages in terms of journey time or price, self-driving is expensive, while flying is both time-consuming and expensive.

What are my train choices?

There are two train operators between Florence and Rome. Both use modern, fast trains very similar to France’s famous TGVs and take about 90 minutes.

Trenitalia is the Italian state railway. Its fast trains on the route are called Frecciarossa (Red Arrow) and they offer several classes of service, all with free wifi. The cheapest is Standard, which has seats four across that are roomy and comfortable. The next level up is Premium, very similar but with leather seats. Business is the equivalent of first class, with luxurious seats three across. And then there’s the exclusive Executive class which offers just eight spacious reclining leather seats in the first carriage of each train with a complimentary steward service. All trains have cafe cars and full restaurants, although it might be hard to eat an entire meal in under 90 minutes.

Italo is a private train company that operates fast trains on the same tracks as Trenitalia. They also offer several classes of service, all with free wifi. Smart is the cheapest and has roomy seats four across. The next class up, Comfort, is unique to Italo and is an incredible deal as the seats are first class (luxurious and three across) but only cost €5 to €10 more than the cheapest available Smart seats. Their true first class is called Prima and only differs from Comfort in that an attendant provides basic beverages and you can purchase a cold meal box. Otherwise catering for most Italo passengers is limited to vending machines for coffee, drinks and snacks.

How can I buy a ticket?

Train tickets from Florence to Rome can be purchased here on Rome2rio. Alternatively, the websites for both Trenitalia and Italo work in English. You can then print out the ticket or pick up from a machine at any train station in Italy. Note that all the fast trains are reserved, so just like the airlines, you can only take the train you’ve selected. Any changes will usually cost money, which can be the difference in price between what you paid for your ticket and the cheapest available ticket on the train you want to switch to. If you need more information about buying tickets, we recommend visiting our dedicated help pages which also provide information about ticket types, luggage allowances and wheelchair access.

What if I have a rail pass?

Since the trains are reserved, even if you have a Eurail or InterRail pass, you still have to buy a reservation, which will cost €10. The easiest way to do this is using the online booking site ItaliaRail and checking the option ‘I have a Eurail/Interrail Pass’.

The stunning facade of Orvieto cathedral, on the slow route between Florence and Rome. Credit: ADonovan0 via Wikimedia Commons)

TOP TIP:
About every hour, Trenitalia runs a train on the original slow route between Florence and Rome. These take 2.5 hours to 3.5 hours. Most of these trains are not reserved and tickets are a little cheaper than the fast trains. The beauty of these trains is that they make numerous stops along the way, which means you can hop off in say, Orvieto, and break up your journey with a visit to the beautiful town and its famous cathedral.

Rome2rio, based in Melbourne, Australia, is organising the world’s transport information. We offer a multi-modal, door-to-door travel search engine that returns itineraries for air, train, coach, ferry, mass transit and driving options to and from any location. Discover the possibilities at rome2rio.com