Where to Meet at FCO?

One question that always comes up on travel boards is, “We are arriving ahead of other people in our party and would like to know where would be the best place to meet at FCO?

Leonardo Da Vinci Airport (FCO) is a large, sprawling airport with multiple terminals, numbered 1, 2, 3, and 5. The airport can often be very crowded and quite chaotic. In addition to the numbered Terminal locations, there are also Gates B, C, D, G, and H. So for a first-time traveler to this airport, it can also be very confusing. Hopefully, this article can give you some easy-to-find and easily-recognizable places to meet your party.

Arriving at the Leonardo Da Vinci Airport from the USA
Getting through Arrivals and Baggage Claim in Terminal 3
The Train Station at the Leonardo Da Vinci (FCO) Airport
Terminal 5 at Leonardo Da Vinci Airport
Lost Luggage – Oh No!
How do I get to FCO?

Currently, all International, Non-Schengen flights come into Terminal 3, through Gates G and H. From there, Non-Schnegnen travelers are routed through immigration (passport control). If you’re coming directly from the USA, you’ll come through Terminal 3 – see our post on Arriving at the Leonardo Da Vinci Airport from the USA. If you’re an arriving US passenger, or Non-Schengen visitor, you might also read Getting through Arrivals and Baggage Claim in Terminal 3. Both these articles have maps and pictures that can ease your transition through the FCO airport.

Terminals T1, T2, and T3 at the Fiumicino Airport
Map-of-FCO-Airport-ADR-SiteThe Gates B, C, D, G, and H at the Fiumicino Airport

On some USA airline websites, the airline might infer that you will arrive at T5. This is inaccurate. No flights arrive at Terminal 5 – it is a departure-only terminal opened in May 2008 for all departing US-flagged carriers – and El Al. Here travelers go through more intensive security checks than in the other termminals at FCO. You can leave Italy from Terminal 5, but you can never arrive there. For more info on T5, read this post, Terminal 5 at the Leonardo Da Vinci Airport.

If you’re coming from Gates G – a “secured” satellite gate – you’ll come into the Terminal 3 Arrivals area via the sky-train (see photo above). If the Gate G satellite gates are full, you might be bused from your plane into the T3 Arrivals Area (This happens quite rarely for US arrivals). From the G Gates, you ride the train, then walk endlessly in T3, go through immigration (passport control), get your luggage from carousels 4-8, “walk-through” customs, and then exit into the non-secured, public section of Terminal 3.

The Satellite G Gates from above. The “Skybridge” rail system is circled in yellow.

Many Schengen – or domestic EU flights – also arrive at T3. They come in through Gates B, C, and D and often head for different carousels. Domestic Alitalia, Air France, AirOne, and KLM flights pick up their luggage in Terminal 1.



So Where do I Wait?

If you’re arriving first and you need to wait on other arriving passenger, you have a few options. Some arrivals will be from outside the European Union (EU), like the United States. Others will be coming perhaps from a connection in AMS, FRA, CDG, etc. and thus are considered “domestic” EU flights. There are really two “best places” I would recommend to meet: The Train Station at FCO and the Meeting Point in the public non-secured section of the Arrivals Area, the lowest level in Terminal 3.

The exception might be if both parties are arriving on domestic Alitalia, KLM, Air France, and AirOne flights. As all these flights come into T1, you’d be better served waiting downstairs in the T1 Arrival area. However, it’s unlikely that all parties would be traveling just these airlines… so we’ll look at the largest percentage of arrivals.

Looking back at the Terminals map (above), you can see the FCO Train Station on the left side of the map, marked by the blue-outlined arrow. Across the street from the train station are Terminals T3, T2, and T1 – moving from left to right on the map. In the bottom center are the parking garages (labeled A, B, C, D and E). You do not see T5 because this isolated, departure-only terminal is about 1,000 meters to the left of T3 in this map. You can also see that the recommended spots to meet, the train station and the T3 Arrivals Area – marked by the the yellow-outlined arrow – are relatively close to each other.


The Train Station at FCO

If everyone in all parties is riding the train into town, the train station at FCO is a great spot to meet. There is some seating, a couple of snack bars and cafes, and plenty of places to buy train tickets. To get to the train station from the Arrivals Area, read our posting on The Train Station at FCO. The only disadvantage of waiting here is you have no posted information on incoming flights… so if you are waiting for someone you WILL NOT know if their flight has been delayed, or even cancelled unless you walk back over to the Terminals 3 Arrivals Area or have the opportunity to contact them via a mobile phone. Here are a few pictures of the Train Station Area at FCO.

IMG 4115
Heading Towards the Platforms at the FCO Train Station

Seating Area & Cafe’ located in the waiting area at the FCO Station
IMG 4118
Bookstore, Tabacchi shop in the Train Station waiting area.
IMG 4120
Standing in the waiting area and looking from the Train Station towards the Terminals
IMG 4117
Getting a bite to eat while waiting at the Airport Train Station



Terminal 3 Arrivals Area

Perhaps the BEST spot to wait for your arriving party may be in the public section of the Terminal 3 Arrivals Area. Here you will find EVERYONE waiting, including friends, family, taxi and shuttle drivers, cruise ship representatives, etc. This is the place to wait!

The Terminal 3 Arrivals Area is located in the BOTTOM floor – Level 0 – of Terminal 3. If you are coming from Rome to meet someone, follow the signage DOWNSTAIRS from the main level of Terminal 3 to the public section of the Terminal 3 Arrivals Area. This is the floor BELOW ticketing and check-in… and the lowest floor you can go to. There are plenty of signs everywhere and you can ride escalators or elevators downstairs.

If you are arriving by plane and plan to wait on someone… GREAT! You’ll more than likely come out this same area – except if you are on one of those domestic Alitalia, KLM, Air France, and AirOne flights. The Terminal 3 Arrivals Area is busy with folks doing exactly what you are doing – waiting on someone else to arrive!

IMG 4131If you are an arriving passenger, when YOU exit out the frosted doors of the Baggage Claim and Customs Area, you’ll come directly into this public, non-secure area. Here’s the view you will see as you come out the frosted doors from Baggage Claim.

IMG_6078All these folks on the railing above are looking into the “Baggage Claim” area, through the frosted doors, hoping to get a glimpse of someone they know heading towards them.
IMG 4138From the vantage point of the folks on the rail above… here’s the frosted doors they are looking into.


As an arriving passenger, as you’re exiting out these frosted door, the “waiting area” is to your immediate LEFT. So turn left and you will see this bank of TV screens displaying all arriving flights. This would be an ideal place to wait for someone coming in on a flight after you. The TV screens provide real-time information and can be a huge asset.

IMG_6076IMG 4137IMG_6096

Also on your left, you can see this HUGE pole, painted a burnt orange color, with the signage: Meeting Point, as pictured below. If you look closely at the picture above with the folks leaning on the rail, you can see this HUGE pole in the far left side of the picture. So when you exit out of the frosted doors HEAD LEFT, past the Arriving Flight TV screens to this pole – A GREAT place to wait and easy to find! There are a few seating areas adjacent to the pole.

IMG 4139

In the background of the top picture above you can see a cafe’. When taking this picture, our back was against the orange pole… and as you can see, there is some limited seating to the left of this picture.. which would be to the left of the Meeting Point pole. Look at the pictures below. Now we have moved closer to the cafe and the bookstore. This gives you a great view of another place to possibly wait… this is BEHIND the burnt orange pole, still moving to YOUR LEFT as you exit the frosted, sliding doors of the Baggage Claim Area.

This area – the Terminal 3 Arrivals Area – is probably the ideal spot to wait. It has the TV screens showing arriving flights. It has a cafe. It has some limited seating. There are bathrooms adjacent to this area (Right side as you exit the frosted doors), and some limited shopping. Some folks feel that if their party is arriving 30-45 minutes after they arrive, they should just wait in the baggage area. I’d say go ahead an clear customs and head outside the secured area. There are few facilities in the baggage area and there are NO boards updating arriving flights. The plane you’re waiting on might be 2-3 hours late… and you’d never know standing in the luggage claim area… so head for the Meeting Point pole in the non-secured area.

Other Things to Do while you Wait

In addition to eating and/or some shopping, there are three ATM’s located in this public, non-secure section of the Terminal 3 Arrivals Area. The first ATM, pictured below, is against the back wall. If you are exiting the frosted doors, this ATM would be to your left. Note all the shuttle companies located in the right side of the picture below. The ATM is between the shuttle companies and the Cafe’ on the back wall.

IMG 4143IMG 4133

There are two other ATM’s located on your RIGHT as you exit out of the Baggage Claim area. They are on the hallway heading towards the train station. In the pictures above, the first is of the signage you look for (Train Station) and the second shows the ATM on the right side of the hall. There is also one just out of the picture on the left side of this same hall.

IMG 4136UPDATED June 2011 – The SmartPhone store in T3 is currently closed – Not sure when, or if, it will open again. We’ll leave this info in this post in hopes the store reopens. For more info on other phone or SIM card purchase options at FCO, see the post: Purchasing a Phone or SIM card at the FCO airport

If you need a SIM card for your phone.. head to the SMART PHONE store. This is on the same hallway (to the right as you exit the frosted doors) as the ATM’s. I spoke with a representative here and if you have an unlocked phone, they will set you up with an Italian SIM card. All you need is a passport and on occasion, an Italian address (your hotel, B&B, or Apartment). They say once you install the SIM, the phone number will be activated in about 2-3 hours. If you do not have an unlocked phone… they can sell you one of those also! Again, check out our post for alternatives to this “closed” store.

Finally, again heading right out of the frosted exit doors and down the hallway towards the train station, you will see this shop that sells the Roma Pass. The Roma Pass is NOT good on the train into town but could be useful to you after you get settled – or perhaps connect to the metro at the Roma Ostiense or Roma Termini stations. For more info on the Roma Pass, CLICK HERE!

Of all the spots to wait in the airport, the Terminal 3 Arrivals Area probably provides you the most services and information of any “meeting spot” at Leonardo da Vinci (FCO) Airport. This is where I wait for folks arriving!

Header: FCO Terminal – Photo by By sfPhotocraft
Skybridge photo by Andrew Scott, flickrhindmind.net
Satellite Gate G from Above – Photo by Aeroporti di Roma’s photostream


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26 Responses to Where to Meet at FCO?

  1. Ron in Rome says:

    Yes, I would designate ONE spot t meet f you’re coming in at different terminals and this is perhaps the best… as you’ll have to clear passport control and she will have already done so in AMS. The Rental Car location is across the street in the parking garages and accessible from both Terminals. So I’d pick one or the other and T3 is just easier to find things in/from.

  2. George says:

    Just read your post and we are leaving this friday, Meeting my sister at FCO and coming in from Atlanta via AMS/KLM, This means they will be arriving at Terminal 1 while I will be at T3/T5 United direct. We are picking up a car at Europcar. Is the meeting place still the best place to meet? Would that be too hard for my sister to walk from T1 with her luggage? Thanks

  3. Globetrotter says:

    This website is just AMAZING! Thanks Ron!!

  4. Gina says:

    Thank you so much for the great pics and info…meeting up with family in Rome and this was such a help. Okay…everyone meet by the BIG orange post!

  5. Ron in Rome says:

    Vicente – if you mean the Cotral desk, there is one near the bus depot…

  6. Vicente says:

    Hi Ron,

    Where is the cotav desk in T3, is it near the burnt orange pole ( the meeting point)


  7. Ron in Rome says:

    Laura, there is no shortcut after immigration…. you would just walk past all the luggage carousels, past customs, and out the frosted doors into the non-secured waiting Arrivals Area of T3. There is only one Hertz counter but I would still wait in the Arrivals Area, near the orange pole meeting point. There are no MONITORS detailing incoming flights in the car rental area so you would not know if your friends were delayed. And unlike the train station, there are no cafe’s or places to get a drink/eat and quite limited seating in the car rental area. You’d be far more comfortable – and informed – waiting by the orange meeting pole.

  8. Laura says:

    Hi Ron
    Thanks for such a great website. Regarding meeting at FCO. I see your great article about meeting at the meeting place outside the frosted doors after baggage claim, but since we are renting from hertz it was suggested we meet at the Hertz rental counter so we can move forward with our car rental while waiting to meet. We are arriving from the US. Is there only 1 Hertz pick up counter at FCO? Is this a good plan or would you still recommend meeting at the orange pole meeting place? Also, since we are not checking bags, is there a shortcut to avoid the walk to baggage claim, or will we still need to head that direction to go through customs? Grazie mille!

  9. Ron in Rome says:

    You will come in at the G Gates , Non-Schengen and have to go through immigration. Then you’ll probably head to baggage belts 4-8. Your other party will come in probably at the C Gates and head to baggage belts 9-11 to get their bags. They will not need to go through immigration as they are already inside Italy and the Schengen zone. Everyone walks by customs (don’t stop) on their way out of the secured area. Your biggest wait will be on luggage. Immigration can take 5 minutes ..or 50 minutes depending on how many Non-Schengen planes land as yours’ does, and how many counters they have open. Their luggage will probably come out quicker. They should be outside in the non-secured area (which is where I would wait) in 20-30 minutes after landing. Again, all depends on luggage.

  10. MC says:

    We are flying Delta into FCO. We are sharing a ride with some folks to go to Civitavichia. They are flying Easyjet from Venice. Would we end up in the same terminal? Since they are coming from within Italy, do they still need to go through Immiration and Custom? Would you say 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour is a good estimate to go through Immigration and Custom? Wondering if it would take the same amount of time for our friends flying in from Venice.
    Thanks in advance for your help. Your website is very helpful!

  11. Ron in Rome says:

    Alexxa, you have to get from one train line to another. First you have to get into Rome, and then you have to jump on the “2nd line,” the Roma-Viterbo line, to get out of Rome and up to Labaro (La Celsa ). Do a Google search for a “MetroRoma map” and you’ll see the Roma-Viterbo line. Labaro is the 10th stop and La Celsa is the 11th. This line STARTS at the Flaminio Train Station which sits NEXT To the Flaminio Metro Station, which is on line A – near Piazza di Popolo.
    The easiest method might be to take a taxi to the Flaminio Station and then ride the Roma-Viterbo line out to Labaro. Or you could ride the Leonardo Express to Roma Termini, jump on the Metro A line to the Flaminio Metro station, walk outside the metro station, turn right and enter the Flaminio Train Station… and get on the Roma-Viterbo line… Depends on your needs, budget, and number of folks. Look up the map and you’ll see the Roma-Viterbo rail line at the top center of the map (usually a grey line!). It is a MetroRoma train so the stations will not show up on Trenitalia, but they do show up on the ATAC site. Hope that helps!

  12. Alexxa says:

    Hi Ron, I will traveling to Rome in March 19 till 23 March 2012, please help , our accomodation it is in Labaro ( La Celsa ) can you tell us the easy way from Air Port Fumicino to La Celsa, thanks !

  13. Ron in Rome says:

    Suzi, with 14 folks (not sure of your ages) your best bet might be 4 taxis at €40 per cab or €160 — if your accommodations are INSIDE the taxi-agreement zone. I think two/three shuttles would probably run you more. The Leonardo Express is €14 per person, but children UNDER 12 do ride free…. so if you have 4-5 children, that may be a less expensive option. The taxis and shuttle WOULD drop you off in front of your accommodations. With the Leonardo Express, you’d have to walk those four blocks with luggage.

  14. Ron in Rome says:

    Sherry, both flights should arrive in Terminal 1. If you have to get luggage, it is in the lower level and after you exit the secured area there is a MEETING POLE in T1 Arrivals, the same color and size as the pictures of the T3 Arrivals Area… So you could met there or for a back-up you could meet at the FCO train station which is about a 10 minute walk away from T1.

  15. Sherry says:

    Thanks for this great and informative post. It answered pretty much all of my questions and the pictures and maps are a great addition! I am meeting my 18 year old niece and we both fly Ailitalia – but I arrive from Malta and she arrives from Amsterdam (staring in the US, but Ailitalia from Amsterdam to FCO). Based on the info I found on Wikipedia – it appears that both flights should come into terminal 1 – do you have any idea if that’s correct? However the best bet may still be to simply meet at the train station as you suggest.
    Thanks again!

  16. Pam says:

    Thank you so much. I am meeting my husband who is arriving in Rome the day before me, I was so nervous that I won’t find him. Now i’m forwarding this article to him and we can both stop worrying. :)

  17. admin says:

    Christine, the Arrivals area shown in the pictures is outside security. So your husband can meet you there, after you get your luggage and you exit through the frosted doors. The transportation office – the Tourist Info Booth or P.I.T. – will open EVERY DAY ay 09:00.

  18. Christine says:

    This is great! My husband and I have been trying to figure out where we are going to meet. Now, this is my question…. My husband will be in Italy for business a week prior to me. If he is to meet me at the airport, will he be able to get to area you are showing above or is that for ticketed passengers only? From the pictures I am guessing it’s for others as well. Also, I will be flying in on Sunday, do you know if that transportation office will be open on a Sunday afternoon so that we may pick up our Rome Pass?


  19. Janice says:

    Thank you for posting this helpful information! Now I know to wait directly under the exclamation point for my travel companion.

    Very helpful.

  20. Jason says:

    Very informative, thank you. I will be meeting family arriving on an earlier flight and this helped a lot with identifying a meeting place.

  21. Jim says:

    Want to thank you for all the great information. We made our way through the airport smoothly and everything looked so familiar.

  22. julie Edstrom says:

    Ron, I just found your website a few days before I leave for Rome, and I think it is wonderful! I am meeting up with some members of my family, on separate flights in the FCO airport, and I am wondering if there is a relatively easy way (train/bus) to get from the airport to the below hotel near the Vatican

    La Maison Royale, Via Giovanni Vitelleschi 34
    00193 – Roma
    Thank you, I have already printed out your hints on getting around the airport!

  23. Sarig says:

    Ron – love your website – especially the photos!

    I am meeting my parents in Roma this summer, and they will be stopping in Rome on their way back to the States. So that they don’t have to bring their luggage into the city/hotel – would you happen to know if there luggage storage at FCO?

    Thank you so much for all the wonderful information!!!!!!

  24. Kristen says:

    Thanks again, Ron, for this info! We’ll be in FCO on this Saturday for the first time, coming from the US, and meeting our son coming from Paris. A question about the train station in FCO…. we will be doing some train travel while in Italy and will need tickets for Rome-LaSpezia, LaSpezia-Florence, Florence-Venice, Venice-Rome. Should we take the time on Saturday and buy them at that FCO train station or are there other convenient places to Piazza Navonna, where we’ll be staying for 3 days?

  25. Kristen says:

    Thank you so much, Ron, for providing this information. I posted on Trip Advisor and responded to you link there, too, but I just wanted you to know how much I value the information you’ve provided on traveling in Rome. Thanks!

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