Plan Your Arrival

Upon your arrival in Rome, there are a number of mandatory appointments and events during the first few weeks. Do not plan to leave Rome or have friends or family visit during this period as you will be busy with orientation activities. These events include an academic and apartment orientation and the relevant appointments for your permesso di soggiorno.

Arrival Dates

There are two approved arrival dates for each semester (refer to the Cornell in Rome academic calendar for the exact dates for your semester).

The early arrival date is mandatory for the following students:

  • Any student taking ITAL 1110 Elementary Italian I in Rome
  • Any student taking Intensive Italian
  • Any student enrolled in the Foundations in Architecture program

The early arrival date is optional for any other student. These dates are arranged in order to facilitate the arrival and permesso di soggiorno process. If you need to arrive on another date, please contact Andrew Meis and the Cornell in Rome staff to make sure that there will be no problems.

Vacation Travel before Arrival

In order to take advantage of their time abroad, many students choose to travel in Europe before the start of the semester in Rome. Before you arrange such travel, be sure to keep in mind the following:

  • You can only enter the Schengen Area before the start of your study visa if you have a passport from a country with a Schengen visa exemption.
  • The government of Italy mandates that anyone with a study visa must check in within eight days of arrival in Italy. Upon your arrival in Italy, your passport is stamped with the date. These appointments are arranged by the staff in Rome for specific dates.
  • Given the two constraints above, if you wish to travel before the start of the program, it is best to plan to arrive in Europe at an airport outside of Italy, and not enter Italy until the determined arrival dates. This type of plan ensures that there are no problems with the study visa check-in process.

Important Arrival Tips

  • Bring the visa documents that were returned from the consulate with their seal. You could be asked to show it at the airport together with your passport. Don't lose these documents as it is not possible to get copies.
  • Purchase a flight that arrives with enough time for you to get to Palazzo Santacroce within arrival hours. Give yourself two hours from flight arrival time to travel to the city center (one hour for luggage pick up and customs and one hour for travel).
  • Enter your flight departure and arrival information in the Cornell University study abroad application before the end of the semester prior to your departure.
  • Have some Euros in cash on hand in case you need it right away.

Transportation Options from the Airport to the City Center

Car Service

Schedule a car in advance and a driver will be waiting at the airport to take you directly to Palazzo Santacroce. You can set it up for arrival by yourself or for larger groups starting at around €50.

Taxi Service

From Fiumicino to the city center (Palazzo Santacroce), there is a fixed rate of €48; from Ciampino to the city center, there is a fixed rate of €30. At the airport go to the taxi line and only take regular white taxis. Drivers may approach you offering to help you skip the line, but they are not regular taxi drivers and will charge much more.


  1. Take the train from the Fiumicino Aeroporto train station to Stazione Trastevere (train toward Fara Sabina, get off at the eighth stop, €8). Be sure to validate your ticket!
  2. From Stazione Trastevere take tram line 8 (tram toward Piazza Venezia, get off at Arenula-Cairoli, €1.50).
  3. Walk to Palazzo Santacroce.

Sample Arrival Itinerary

  1. Flight arrives.
  2. Go through airport customs.
  3. Exit airport security and find your planned transportation.
  4. Go directly to Palazzo Santacroce (Piazza Benedetto Cairoli 6) and meet the office staff.
  5. Pick up apartment keys and welcome packet and go to your assigned apartment.
  6. Explore Rome!
  7. Attend mandatory apartment orientation, Palazzo orientation, and permesso di soggiorno appointment with the staff in Rome (you must stay in Rome during this time).
  8. Attend mandatory program orientation.
  9. Begin classes.
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