So you’ve decided to head to Abruzzo and now it is time to plan the logistics. How to get from Rome to Abruzzo? Here is the complete guide on travelling by train, bus or car.
Travelling from Rome to Abruzzo by train is the slowest option but you have some time to spare you will be rewarded with breathtakingly beautiful views from your window: the mountains, hilltop medieval villages and picturesque valleys.
From where: while you can get the train to Abruzzo from Roma Tiburtina you will have to make 2-3 changes and waste a lot of time, so departures from Roma Termini make more sense as there are several direct trains every day. However, if you want to leave early in the morning on a Sunday, the first train from Roma Tiburtina will be your best option.
Journey time: depends on the train. Some take up to 6 ½ hours! To save time make sure you book a regionale veloce (regional fast) train which takes 3 ½ hours to arrive to Pescara.
Arrival: There are four railway stations in Pescara: Centrale, Porta Nuova, S. Marco and Tribunale. There are not far from each other, but Pescara Centrale is certainly more convenient if, for instance, you need to rent a car or someone is picking you up (there is a large parking area in front of the station).
Trains from Rome go to other cities in Abruzzo: Sulmona, Avezzano, Tagliacozzo (the last two connections are closer to the Italian capital, hence more frequent trains). From Sulmona and Avezzano you can hop on regional trains to get to smaller towns such as Pratola Peligna, Manoppello, Popoli, Torre de’ Passeri, Chieti. The slow regional trains from Roma Termini also stop at smaller stations. To see the itinerary, click on the small “i” symbol beside the train number (see the images below).
Cost: You will pay around €15 for a one-way journey from Rome to Pescara.
Tickets: You can buy your train ticket online on Trenitalia.it (with a credit card or PayPal; switch the language to English on the website’s homepage). If you prefer paying cash head to the cashier at the train station or a ticket machine. Please note, smaller trains station might only have machines available. You can also buy a train ticket at a tabacchi shop near a station (normally, in smaller towns).
Things to remember: your train ticket will include the train, carriage and seat number. If you are boarding a regional train do not forget to validate your ticket before boarding (place a corner of your ticket in one of the brightly coloured validating machines that you’ll find on the platform).
Travelling from Rome to Abruzzo by bus might be less romantic but it is quick, cheap and comfortable. And you will see beautiful landscapes zooming past your window and go through some of the longest tunnels in Italy.
There are many companies serving different routes, so you will have more flexibility with the departure time compared to travelling by train.
From where: You can catch a bus to Abruzzo at Roma Tiburtina, Fiumicino or Ciampino airports.
Journey time: Depends on your destination but, in any case, it is quicker than any train, especially if you need to get to Teramo, Vasto or Lanciano. A bus from Rome will take you to Pescara or Teramo in about 2 ½ hours. Some bus companies offer express routes with no or fewer stops on the way to your destination.
Arrival: The main destinations are Pescara, Chieti, Teramo, L’Aquila, Avezzano, Sulmona, Lanciano, Ortona, Vasto. Some busses from Rome will also stop at smaller towns such as Torre dei Passeri, Pratola Peligna, Giulianova, Roseto degli Abruzzi, San Salvo.
Cost: Varies from €9 to €35 one way depending on the bus company, destination as well as departure time (as you can see in the example on the image below showing prices with Flixbus from Rome to Pescara).
Tickets: The easiest way to buy a bus ticket from Rome to Abruzzo is to go to the company’s website (we list most of them below). Prontobus has a very handy free app for Android an IOS which you can use for buying paperless tickets (you show a QR code for boarding). You can also get a ticket at bigger bus stations (Roma Tiburtina, Pescara etc.)
Things to remember: Make sure you check the departure point as they might vary depending on the bus company.
These are the websites where you can buy bus tickets for travelling from Rome to Abruzzo:
Driving from Rome to Abruzzo is easier than you might think. There is very little traffic on the motorways (A24 takes you to L’Aquila and Teramo and A25 – to Pescara). See the real time traffic situation via webcams on A24 and A25.
Journey time: Depends on your destination. You will get to Pescara in one hour 50 minutes from the exit on the Grande Raccordo Annulare in Rome, 1hr 40mins to Teramo, 2hr 30mins to Vasto. It is certainly faster than travelling by train or bus but more expensive.
Cost: The toll costs almost €20 and petrol, at the current price (€1,62/litre), will set you back €25-30. However, renting a car might be the only viable option if you are travelling to a small village or town in the mountains that are too far from a train or bus stop. To calculate an estimated cost of your car journey use Viamichelin website.
Things to remember: Make sure to fill up the tank in Rome as there are very few petrol stations on the motorways. Have a valid credit card or enough cash to pay your toll (see here for instructions on how to do it).
If you are not pressed for time and feeling adventurous take the ancient Via Tiburtina Valeria (Strada Statale 5) around 286 BCE to connect the centre of Rome with the Adriatic Sea. It will take you almost six hours to drive to Pescara, but you will see some of the most beautiful corners of the region steeped in history.
All major car hire companies have offices in Abruzzo with various drop off points at the airport and in cities. See the car rental options available for your trip from Rome to Abruzzo here. Make sure to check prices not only at pick up points in Rome but also in Pescara car rentals as, sometimes, you might find better deals. You can get a bus from Rome and pick up your rental car in Pescara (click on the link to view options). Having your set of wheels will certainly help you to explore the region better as there are very limited public transport options available.