A common question on this and other travel sites is how best to get directly from Rome FCO Airport to Perugia, preferably without any connections.
Aside from making arrangements for an expensive private transfer, or renting a car, there are essentially two possible solutions (direct transfer by bus or transfer with connections by train), but with a couple of nuances which are worth pondering:
DIRECT TRANSFER BY BUS:
It is possible to travel from Rome FCO Airport to Assisi without ANY connections whatsoever: SULGA Bus LInes has buses departing from FCO Terminal 3 bus depot from Monday to Saturday at 9:00, 12:30, 14:30 and 17:00, arriving in Perugia Piazza dei Partigiani (bus depot)
three hours and 45 minutes later. On Sundays, there are buses at 12:30 and 16:30 (same travel time). The direct bus solution is nearly perfect, as all other solutions requre more than one connection (explained below). You can purchase the bus ticket from the driver. If possible, take this direct bus.
This is the bus:
Once you get off the bus at Piazza dei Partigiani, cross the street and proceed to the "Scala Mobile" (escalator, follow the signs) which will take you further up the hill to Piazza Italia. This is a wonderful introduction to Old Perugia, as the escalator bores through the demolished Renaissance Rocca Paolina, and represents an archeological wonderland. You are also protected from any rain!
TRANSFER BY TRAIN WITH CONNECTIONS:
If you're starting out to Perugia from centrale Rome rather than from FCO Airport, the Trenitalia train from Termini Station could be the preferred choice. If starting out from FCO, one must first determine whether to catch this train at Roma Termini or at Roma Tiburtina station. Rome Termini can be advantageous, because some of the reserved Intercity trains headed to Umbria don't stop at Tiburtina, and because Termini has a MUCH better selection of eateries. But Tiburtina can be advantageous because it's cheaper by Trenitalia unreserved airport train to Tiburtina (8 Euros) than to Termini (14 Euros), and all of the unreserved regionale trains headed to Umbria stop at Tiburtina in any case (with a very slight reduction in fare).
RECOMMENDATION: Start your online search from Roma Termini Station, so that you will see ALL Trenitalia trains headed to Umbria, including those stopping at Tiburtina. Notice that some trains require a connection at Foligno, while a few others go direct to Perugia. Obviously, try to take a direct train. If you select one of the unreserved regionale trains, you could connect at Roma Tiburtina rather than at Roma Termini, but you must first check the schedules of the airport trains to determine which of these will get you to your connecting station in time.
DO NOT PURCHASE YOUR TRAIN TICKET IN ADVANCE. You don't know when your plane will arrive, what train to Perugia you will be taking, nor perhaps even whether you'll be connecting at Termini or Tiburtina station. There are no savings by purchasing in advance, only possible detriments (because electronic tickets have a four hour validity, and you can't switch to an earlier train from the one noted on the electronic receipt). Moreover, the trains are all unreserved (save the evening Intercity train to Perugia). Purchase the tickets once you arrive at FCO, and have determined which trains to take and where to connect.
At present, the ONLY direct trains to Perugia depart from Roma Termini at 7:58 (much too early for most connections from FCO), 14:23, 17:58, 18:58 and 19:55. All but the very last train are unreserved regionale trains, which cost 11.20 Euros in second class if taken from Roma Termini, or 10.80 Euros if taken from Roma Tiburtina. The last train is a reserved Intercity, with a "BASE" fare in second class of 24.50 Euros (from either Termini or Tiburtina), yet saving merely 14-30 minutes compared to the slightly slower regionale train. The IC is a bad deal, unless you travel on a 9-Euro SUPER ECONOMY fare (which is not sold on the day of travel itself, and must be booked in advance).
As you can see, the most likely train of interest to people arriving at FCO during the morning hours is the14:23 regionale from Termini (or 14:32 from Tiburtina). There are also earlier trains, but they require yet another connection at Foligno (which is a very easy connection if your luggage is not too heavy and if you don't have mobility problems).
LOCAL TRANSPORT FROM THE PERUGIA TRAIN STATION:
Once you arrive at the Perugia train station, you will need to take a taxi, a local city bus, or the new "MINI METRO" (elevated people mover) up the hill to Perugia proper, as the distance is too far and too steep to walk with luggage. There are several city bus lines which depart directly in front of the station. The "MINI METRO" departs from the back of the station, beyond the station cafe (get off at the "Pincetto" station up the hill). The local fare is 1.50 Euros, and you can purchase the ticket from the newsstand inside the station. There are also ticket machines at the "MINI METRO" station. You must validate the ticket as soon as you board. You don't need to purchase a separate ticket for only one piece luggage per paying adult not exceeding 50X30X25 cms. (and ticket inspectors almost never bother to check, unless the piece is gigantic).
This table shows which bus lines to take:
This table shows the routing of the various bus lines:
1. First class on the regionale train to Perugia is not really necessary (although the additional 6.10 Euros for first class won't break your back, and indeed might be appreciated in order to have reclining seats, which are not available in second class). First class seats are also wider, have more leg room, and the first class railcar is often less crowded.
2. Bring food and beverages with you on the train, because there is no catering on board.
3. Allow at least 15 minutes connection time between trains at Termini or Tiburtina stations. Factor in a sufficient time cushion for possible delays arriving from the airport.
4. Termini station has a very wide selection of eateries compared to the EXTREMELY limited selection at Tiburtina: keep this in mind if you plan to purchase food for the train.
5. You can purchase tickets for BOTH the airport train AND the Perugia-bound train from the Trenitalia airport train station ticket office.
6. You MUST validate each ticket prior to boarding the respective train. Validation machines are found at the head of the departing platform.
7. The unreserved regionale train starts out from Roma Termini, so you have first selection of seats from that station.
8. Don't forget special fares for CHILDREN:
8.1 Children up to the age of 12 years, 0 days travel FREE on the Trenitalia airport trains if accompanied by a paying adult (extra children pay 50% of the adult fare).
8.2 Children up to the age of 12 years, 0 days (no matter the number) travel at a 50% reduction on the Trenitalia unreserved regionale trains.
8.3 Toddlers up to the age of 4 years, 0 days ALWAYS travel FREE on ALL Trenitalia trains, without a ticket and without a guaranteed seat.
8.4 Children up to the age of 6 years, 0 days travel FREE on the Perugia city bus if accompanied by a paying adult (extra children pay a full ticket). You can also take a stroller/buggy/pram free of charge on the bus.
8.5 Children up to the age of 12 years, 0 days travel for 50% of the adult fare on the SULGA bus from Rome FCO Airport to Perugia.Edited: 1:11 pm, October 02, 2013