Travel from the U.S. to Rome
Getting to Rome
The Rome Center Office in Chicago organizes group travel with its agency, Advantage Travel, via Air One Airlines departing from Chicago. Group travel is provided for students enrolling either for a Fall or Spring semester; there is no group travel arrangement for the summer session. There is a specific group departure date from the USA and a specific group return date from Italy. While there can be no deviation from the USA departure date, generally the return date from Italy can be changed once.
While there is no obligation to travel with the group, this arrangement for travel from the USA to Rome is recommended for many reasons. The group receives:
- Special check-in assistance at O'Hare's International Terminal
- Private transportation provided by Advantage Travel from the Fiumicino/Leonardo da Vinci Airport via chartered bus directly to the Rome Center Campus (travel at the end of term back to the airport is not included and is by the student's own arrangement)
- Favorable pricing on the round-trip ticket during the August high season
Please be advised that students who do not purchase the group ticket through the approved travel agency are not entitled to transportation on the chartered bus to the campus, even if they arrive at the Rome airport about the time of the group flight arrival. No transportation is provided by the agency for the group return, but the Rome Center will hire a bus on the assigned departure date. Students must pay for this service and seats are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Students who cannot be accommodated on the return bus can share taxis for a minimally higher cost.
Rome Center representatives cannot meet students who travel independently. Students traveling by air are advised to take an officially licensed taxi. The distance from the Fiumicino / Leonardo da Vinci Airport to the John Felice Rome Center is roughly 20 miles, and the fare is about €50.00 - €60.00 depending on traffic. Picking up a taxi at the airport is not complicated, but for a tired and overwhelmed traveler it can be a little tricky. The first rule is to take only an officially licensed taxi.
Taxis: What to Look For
An officially licensed taxi:
- Is a white car of any model, from sedan to mini-van
- Has a rectangular light on top that reads "TAXI"
- Displays the crest of the Comune di Romaon one its doors that lists its license number. The crest is burgundy, with a gold crown and "S.P.Q.R." written across it in gold.
- Usually has a small horizontal stripe across it. The stripe is checkered with the City of Rome's colors, burgundy and gold.
- Displays a company logo and a rectangular sign on one of its doors. The sign lists the company's phone number, as well as the name and number of the taxi. Each taxi is identified by a city name and a specific number (e.g., Roma 26, Milano 34, Bari 5).
- Can be found only at official taxi stands, which are marked by a bright orange rectangular sign that reads "TAXI." Taxi stands are located immediately outside the arrival terminals at the airport. Simply follow the signs inside the terminal that direct you to the curbside taxi stand.
Taxis: Directions and Cost
- Officially licensed taxis only line up at official taxi stands. An official taxi stand is marked by a bright orange rectangular sign that reads "TAXI." Taxi stands are located immediately outside the arrival terminals at the airport. Simply follow the signs inside the terminal that direct you to the curbside taxi stand.
- Expect to wait in line for an officially licensed taxi.
- If a dispatcher is not present, check for the identifying characteristics listed above before boarding a taxi.
- Ask to be driven to "Loyola University at Via Massimi, 114-A" (tell them it is in the "Balduina" area of Rome). Most licensed taxi drivers are familiar with the location and/or speak enough English to understand. In order to avoid any confusion, write down the address on a sheet of paper and hand it to the driver. Try to ask how much it will cost before getting in the taxi.
- When you reach the green gate at Via Massimi 114, make sure the driver brings you all the way down the lane to Loyola's own, clearly marked entrance before getting out. It is the first green gate on the right side. If you go to the end of the driveway you have gone too far and will end up at the convent next door!
- The cost of the taxi ride will vary depending on the number of people, the number of bags you are traveling with and the time of day. It is best to budget €70.00 ($90.00 US) for your one-way trip just to make sure you have enough money with you.
- It is not mandatory to tip your taxi driver, but if you do, € 1.00- €3.00 will suffice.
- If there is a misunderstanding about the amount of your fare, ask your driver to wait while you ring the Rome Center doorbell and seek assistance from a Rome Center staff member.
- Take an unofficial taxi or a private car service.
- Take a taxi from someone who approaches you and asks, "Taxi?" These people are not officially licensed taxi drivers, but rather drivers of private cars for hire.
- Take a taxi that is not at the official taxi stand.
- Take a taxi without the identifying markings listed above.
- Get out of the taxi outside the gate at Via Massimi 114. The driver should bring you all the way down the lane to the Rome Center's private entrance, where there is a doorbell and an intercom to our porter's lodge. Ring the bell if you have questions or need assistance.
Students arriving by train at the Stazione Termini (Rome's Central Train Station) should take the Metropolitana (Metro Line A) to the Cipro Stop and then transfer to any of several buses (990, 913, 991, 907) traversing the Via delle Medaglie d' Oro in the Balduina neighborhood on Monte Mario. Students who do not speak Italian fluently should consult an English-speaking employee at the information booth in the train station for precise directions before they leave the train station. Students should also pick up a map of the city bus system (ATAC) and ask how to use bus tickets, as well as how to embark and disembark from the buses, this information can also be found on the ATAC Roma website.