International air travel can be stressful for even the most seasoned travelers. Unfortunately, air travel is a necessary inconvenience to experience the wonders of visiting another country and immersing yourself in other cultures. With some preparation and research, you can make the process as quick and painless as possible, allowing you to fully enjoy the rest of your trip! 

If you’re planning a vacation to Italy, whether you’re visiting the rolling hills of the North or the coastal beauty of the South, or you’re planning to visit multiple locations, having general knowledge of the major international airports will help you choose the most convenient option. 

As local Italian travel experts with years of experience hosting small group tours across Italy, we’re here to help you decide which airport is best for you to fly into based on your destination and how to navigate the intricacies of international air travel! 

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WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT INTERNATIONAL AIR TRAVEL

Whether it’s your first trip abroad or not, you may have concerns and fears about several aspects of traveling internationally. What if I can’t find someone who speaks English? Will I be able to read the signs? What do I do when I actually arrive at my destination? 

Traveling to another country where the native language may be unfamiliar can certainly be intimidating, but there are ways around the language barrier. 

First, some Italians, but not all, speak English—don’t be afraid to seek the help of locals. Using clear language and learning some of the basics can help with many of your fears. Additionally, most airports have visual cues on their signage that indicate where to go for Baggage Claim, Ground Transportation, or restrooms. 

Italian airports offer the same amenities as American airports – restaurants, lounges, shopping, baggage services, currency exchange, and more. 

Pro Tip: To alleviate any worries about getting caught in a bind with your wallet, plan to carry a mixture of cash and credit cards on an international trip. Some smaller businesses are still cash-only, while others only accept credit cards. Know your currency conversions and budget accordingly!

You may be worrying about what to do when you arrive in Italy. We would recommend first familiarizing yourself with Italian Customs regulations and ensuring that you are compliant with those rules to ensure smooth sailing as you enter the country. When you arrive at the airport, you will be directed to passport control, where agents can check that you are in compliance with the rules for entering the country. 

You may also worry about how to get to your accommodations. If you’re staying close to the airport, many hotels offer shuttle services from the airport. 

Otherwise, both taxis and public transportation options are widely available from all of the major airports. If you are not staying close to the airport, Italy has an extensive rail network that connects many of the major cities. 

If you can’t reach your destination by train, renting a car is the best option, especially if you are looking to explore Italy’s hidden gems. Many of Italy’s best-kept secrets cannot be reached by train. Read our 13 Essential Tips for Driving in Italy here! 

If you want to avoid the stress of car rentals, public transportation, and taxis altogether, why not book a small group tour with local travel experts where a private driver will pick you up from the airport? With options from the rolling Prosecco Hills in the North to the Southern coasts of Puglia, there’s sure to be an itinerary perfect for you! 

Now that you know the basics, let’s discuss all the details about Italy’s major international airports—and most importantly, which one is the most convenient option for your trip. 

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Rome Fiumicino Airport (Leonardo Da Vinci Airport)

Located approximately 20 miles from central Rome along the Tyrrhenian Coast, Rome Fiumicino Airport, also known as Leonardo da Vinci Airport (FCO), serves as the primary international gateway to Rome, Italy’s capital city, and is one of the busiest airports in Europe. 

Fiumicino Airport boasts modern facilities and a wide range of services catering to the needs of international travelers. Passengers can enjoy duty-free shopping, dining options, lounges, currency exchange services, and free Wi-Fi throughout the terminals.

Fiumicino Airport serves as a hub for numerous airlines, including Italy’s flag carrier, ITA, and other various international carriers. 

Travelers have several transportation options for reaching the city center of Rome from Fiumicino Airport, including the Leonardo Express, a nonstop train service that connects to the Rome Termini in approximately a 30-minute trip. 

Regional trains operated by Trenitalia are also available, as are airport shuttles, buses, and taxis/ride-sharing for door-to-door services. When you arrive, get ready for a bustling, vibrant atmosphere! This airport is the gateway to Italy’s historic capital and beyond. Wherever you’re going, arriving here will be an exciting start to your trip. Prepare for long lines and large crowds. 

This airport is busy for good reason. FCO connects by train to many locations in Italy, making it a good option for convenient public transportation. 

In fact, our tour guests fly into this airport when visiting Ascoli Piceno in the Le Marche region – picked up by a private driver! Just three hours from Rome’s city center, Ascoli Piceno is our hometown and one of Italy’s best-kept secrets. If you want to explore the underrated regions of Abruzzo, Umbria or Le Marche, FCO is the easiest way to go as it generally offers you the most flight options. .

Wondering how to connect with your next destination? When you join us on tour you don’t have to worry about how to get from the airport to your hotel because we’ll pick you up on select tours at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport! Click here to take the guesswork and stress out of the logistics on your next trip to Italy by discovering your next Italian vacation today!

Rome has another major airport called Ciampino (CIA), located just eight miles from the Colosseum. This newer airport is a hub for lower-cost airlines, operating with just a handful of commercial carriers. It is much smaller, has fewer amenities, and operates with just one terminal. Unfortunately, this airport is not a viable option for most international travelers.

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Milan Malpensa & Milan Linate

Milan Malpensa (MXP) is one of Italy’s busiest airports, second only to the Rome Fiumicino Airport. Located approximately 30 miles northwest of Milan’s city center, Malpensa Airport is situated in the province of Varese in the Lombardy region.

Similar to Rome’s airport, the Milan Express offers direct train service to the city center, in addition to shuttle bus services, taxi services, and more. A gateway to Italy’s fashion capital, the amenities inside of the airport are world-class. 

Milan Linate, on the other hand, is located just five miles from the city center. It is again a smaller airport serving primarily domestic and European flights—it is known as the city’s business airport. 

We recommend flying into Milan Malpensa for many Northern Italian destinations, such as Lago di Como, because of its extensive train network. It is just a quick 45 min ride from Milan to Lake Como. 

Want to explore Northern Italy beyond the beaten path? Consider a small group tour with us! 

ITALY'S MAJOR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS BEST milan

Venice Marco Polo Airport

Located approximately 8 kilometers north of Venice’s city center, Marco Polo Airport (VCE) is on the mainland in the Veneto region. Named after the famous Venetian explorer, it has been in operation since 1960 and has since become a vital transportation hub for travelers visiting Venice and the surrounding areas.

Marco Polo Airport is a hub for domestic and international airlines, offering flights to destinations across Europe, Asia, and beyond. ITA, easyJet, Ryanair, and numerous other carriers operate at Marco Polo Airport and serve popular routes to and from Venice.

Regular bus and shuttle services provide transportation to Venice’s city center and other destinations in the Veneto region. There are even water taxis and water buses (vaporetti) that offer scenic transportation to Venice’s historic city center and islands like Murano and Burano. 

The Venice Airport is the best airport for most locations in the Veneto region. Uncover the hidden gems of the Veneto region by visiting Italy’s Oldest Distillery, UNESCO Heritage Sites, Castelfranco Veneto, and other historic sites on tour with us! 

major airports in italy for international travel

Florence Airport

Florence Airport, officially known as Aeroporto di Firenze-Peretola (FLR), provides travelers with convenient access to the enchanting city of Florence, the cultural heart of Tuscany.

Situated just 4 kilometers northwest of Florence’s city center, Peretola Airport serves as the main airport for travelers visiting Florence and the surrounding areas. Originally established in the early 20th century, Florence Airport has undergone expansions and renovations over the years to accommodate the growing number of passengers.

Florence Airport primarily serves domestic and European flights, with connections to major cities across Italy and Europe. Airlines operating at Florence Airport include Alitalia, Vueling, Lufthansa, and other carriers offering flights to destinations such as Rome, Milan, Paris, London, and beyond.

Shuttle buses to the city center and rental car services are available. Be advised that this airport is much smaller than other major airports, operating on just one terminal. Passengers are taken to and from planes via shuttle buses, making wait times longer and delays inevitable. 

The Florence Airport is ideal for any location in Tuscany. Umbria is also accessible from The Florence Airport if you would like to get off the beaten path and explore Italy’s more undiscovered regions! However, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for train travel and accessibility to locations across Italy, like the Rome airport. 

best airports in italy for international travel

Naples International Airport

Naples International Airport, also known as Aeroporto di Napoli-Capodichino (NAP), is the main gateway to Naples’ vibrant city and the stunning Amalfi Coast.

Located just 7 kilometers northeast of Naples’ city center, Capodichino Airport is situated in the Campania region of southern Italy. Originally built as a military airfield during World War II, Naples Airport has since transformed into a major civilian airport serving domestic and international flights.

Like Florence International Airport, Naples Airport is small and operates with just one terminal. Shuttles, buses, taxis, and rental car services are available from the airport into the city. Pompei, Amalfi, and Sorrento are popular destinations in proximity to this airport. 

best airports in italy for international travel

Bari Karol Wojtyla Airport

Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport (BRI), formerly known as Bari Palese Airport, is the main airport for Bari, the capital of Italy’s Puglia region. It is approximately six miles from the city center. Despite its small size, the airport is equipped with excellent facilities, amenities and offers multiple daily flights to other major European transportation hubs making it the best airport in Puglia to connect with your tour here.

Puglia is a great Southern Italian alternative to the busier, more touristy Amalfi Coast. Here, you’ll experience the beauty of coastal Italy with half the crowds and fewer tourist traps—which is exactly why we chose this up-and-coming destination for a brand new tour in 2025! 

Passport to Puglia is now open, with just a few spots remaining for May 11-18, 2025! Email us for all the details. 

International travel can be complicated, but this guide should give you a great place to start when deciding which airport to fly to. Remember to take into account accessibility to your accommodations and ease of access to the region you want to visit. 

Planning an international trip can be overwhelming, especially when you have to plan all the logistics, activities, and meals without knowing the local secrets. Without a local travel expert to help, it can be difficult to learn the lingo and have an authentic experience. 

Let us plan the trip for you, and you can avoid the logistics nightmare altogether! All you have to do is hop on the plane, and we’ll pick you up at the airport, whisking you away into your dream Italian life for the next week. 

We offer tours across Italy, from the North to the South, to right in the middle of Italy in our hometown of Ascoli Piceno, Italy’s most underrated city. Choose your itinerary today! 

 

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