Mother's Day Flights from R861*

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Flights from Johannesburg to Rome

Ciao Bella! Want to enjoy la Dolce Vita in Rome? The less you spend on your flight from Johannesburg to Rome the more you'll have left over to visit the Colosseum, Vatican, Roman Forum and of course gelato!

Whilst they say that all roads lead to Rome, there is only one direct flight from JHB to Rome, but plenty of affordable 1-way options with the likes of Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways.

Italy's national carrier Alitalia has offered direct flights from Johannesburg to Rome's Leonardo Da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport 8 April 2018. They operate flights from Johannesburg on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Return flights depart Rome on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Both flights depart in the morning and arrive at their destinations in the evening.


Alitalia is the only airline to operates direct flights between Johannesburg and Rome. We've taken a look at all the airlines that operate and the route and we've ordered them according to relevance - e.g. most direct and general affordability. Obviously this will constantly be changing and Etihad won't always be the cheapest airline, but this serves as a guideline. Remember to also always check the flight duration as a long layover can cause great inconvenience.


Alitalia Airlines

Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) to Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO)

Direct flight (10 hours and 25 min)


Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) to Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO)

1-stop (17 hours)
Abu Dhabi (ADD)

Ethiopian Airlines

Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) to Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO)

1-stop (16 to 17 hours)
Addis Ababa (ADD)

Qatar Airways

Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) to Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO)

1-stop (17 to 33 hours)
Doha (DOH)


Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) to Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO)

1-stop (19 hours)
Dubai Airport

Turkish Airlines

Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport to to Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO)

1-stop (16 hours)
Istanbul Airport (IST)


Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) to Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO)

1-stop (16 to 20 hours)
Cairo Airport (CAI)

Air France

Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) to Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO)

1-stop (18 hours)
Paris De Gaulle (CDG)

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) to Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO)

1-stop (15 to 16 hours)
Amsterdam Airport


Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) to Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO)

1-stop (15 hours)
Frankfurt (FRA)

British Airways

Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) to Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO)

1-stop (16 to 19 hours)
London (LHR)

Swiss International Airlines

Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) to Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO)

1-stop (14 hours)
Zurich Airport (ZRH)

Virgin Atlantic

Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) to Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO)

1-stop (17 hours)
London (LHR)

Iberia - suspended Johannesburg flights from 1 May 2012


Most international flights are to Rome's Fiumicino Airport, which is 35km south-west of Rome.

  • A small volcanic vent mysteriously appeared near Rome's Airport near the end of August 2013.


Johannesburg to London to Rome

An alternative is to fly from Johannesburg to London and then from London to Rome. This may work out cheaper as the Johannesburg-London and London-Rome flight routes are very competitive. Do note however that you'll require an additional transit visa for the UK in most instances. There are exceptions to this rule however.

flight path from Johannesburg to Rome (Italy)

Other routes

See our South Africa to Italy page for comprehensive coverage of the flights connecting the two countries.


4 May 2018. Alitalia has resumed direct flights from Johannesburg to Rome. Their first flight took off on the 8th of April 2018, making their four weekly flights the only direct connection between the two cities.

1 December 2012. Etihad commence flights from Abu Dhabi to Rome, in partnership with Alitalia.

Tourist Info

By Alice Kühne

Rome, the Eternal City, is famous for so many things. Rome is home to the Pope; the Pantheon and Coliseum are two of the many famous architectural wonders to be found in the city, and who could forget the romance the city stirred up between Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday? Rome is a destination for all budgets and there is something for everyone. Visit Rome soon if you can, you will definitely not regret it. Millions of tourists can’t be wrong. And after all, there’s a reason all roads lead to Rome!

Rome – the basics

You will find Rome in the Lazio region of Italy. Rome is now the capital of Italy, but has been famous throughout history as the administrative centre of the powerful Roman Empire. Rome has a population of nearly 3 million, and Romans are 98% Roman Catholic (that’s the official number, I’m pretty sure it does not include illegal immigrants or take account of non-practising Catholics). The official language is Italian and the currency is the Euro. Rome has mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. Hats and umbrellas are recommended in summer!

A short background

According to legend, Rome was founded by the twins, Romulus and Remus, who were abandoned in the Tiber River as toddlers. These mythical twins were looked after by a female wolf before being adopted by a shepherd (you will find many sculptures and drawings depicting two human children suckling on a wolf throughout Rome). Rome began as a small Latin village round about the eighth century BC and due to its location, it soon became a centre for trade.

Rome became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, then the seat of the Roman Republic, and finally the centre of the Roman Empire from 27 BC. Caesars ruled over the Roman Empire from Rome, and made it the wealthiest city in Europe for about a thousand years. Rome also became the centre of the Catholic Church, declared by the Pope. During the Italian Renaissance in the 15th Century, Rome acquired great works from masters like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.

Rome fell under French protection in the 18th Century until 1870. During World War II fortunately for the city’s buildings, the Fascists did little damage to the city and surrendered to the Allies without too much of a fight, so Rome has very few scars from World War II, unlike many other European cities. Today, Rome is a busy, working city with well-preserved historical sites and a wide range of offerings for visitors, making it one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.

The Italians

Everything “they say” about the Italians are absolutely true. They have a million ways to drink coffee, they have a million flavours of gelato, they talk with their hands, loudly, they are vicious drivers and…Italian men are incorrigible flirts. I would recommend any self-conscious woman to spend a week in Italy. Whether you are a woman young or old, skinny or heavy, good looking or… cinematic, you will be wolf-called down the street at one point or another. Asking for directions, buying fruit, or even just enjoying a cup of coffee will be invitation enough to an Italian man.

Getting around

Rome has two airports: Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino International Airport, the main, modern airport and also easily accessible by public transport (train and bus); Ciampino International Airport, in the Southeast of the city, serves low-cost European airlines and is accessible by bus.

A good option for tourists is to buy the Roma Pass. It is valid for three days and gives you access to public transport in Roman, as well as free museum tickets and discounts to many tourist attractions). Be wary of pick pockets when using public transport!

Buses, metros and trams are run by the ATAC. You can buy tickets beforehand at a “Tabacchi”, you will see a big “T” sign outside. Tickets vary from single rides, to daily, 3-day, 7-day, monthly and even annual passes. Tickets can be used for the bus, metro and tram. If you’re using a single ticket, validate your ticket at the start of your journey, and the ticket is valid for the next 75 minutes. Keep your ticket with you in case you run into an inspector. Look out for a big red “M” sign for the metro. Avoid public transport at peak traffic hours, as you will be flattened by the commuting crowds and the risk of pickpockets are higher.

There are also many double-decker, open topped buses that are especially for tourist. A ticket gives you a day’s access and you can hop on, hop off as you wish. On board the buses are earphones that give you information on interesting sites coming up.

Although renting a car in Rome is possible, it is not worth the effort. The roads are chaotic and there are few road signs. Parking is another frustration, as is dealing with Italian drivers.

Taxis are expensive in Rome, however they will get you from point to point without hassle and delays. To catch a taxi, find a taxi stand, found in most piazzas. Make sure to check the taxi metre when you get in. There will be a standard starting charge; extras will be charged for baggage in the trunk and for after hours/weekends/public holidays.

Renting a bicycle is a popular option to get around as it gives you freedom to cover more ground which ever direction to choose. Cycling is especially suitable for relaxing trips to the edge of Rome, where there’s far less traffic and the scenery beautiful.

Walking tours

One of the best ways to discover Rome is slowly on foot, guided by a knowledgeable tour guide. There are plenty of walking tours available in Rome, choose from themed tours such as “Love and Death” or “Rome Underground” or specialised tours for shopping, culinary delights, and wine tasting; or popular Roman sites covered in the “Vatican” tour, “Ancient & Old Rome” tours, and the “Catacombs & Roman Countryside” tour. Joining a walking tour is highly recommended for informative hours exploring Rome with a running commentary.


Obvious Roman highlights include the Coloseum, the Vatican City, the Vatican Museum, Trevi Fountain, Circus Maximus, St. Peter’s Basilica, etc. Do try to see these famous sights, as they are truly spectacular.

Colosseum in Rome

While you’re in Rome, try a few of my favourite highlights too…

The Roman Pantheon is an amazing structure built in 118 AD by Emperor Hadrian. You will recognise it from the large dome and the big hole in the centre of the dome. It was considered an architectural marvel in its time (the dome was the largest dome in the world for more than 13 centuries!) and today it is still a must-see for architectural lovers, for its rhythm and grandeur.

Shopping has to be one of the best attractions of Rome. Whether you are there during sale season or not, bargains are everywhere. The quality of Italian craftsmanship speaks for itself. You can find anything from leather goods, silk finery to silver wares; just remember to pack an extra suitcase to take home.

Find a deli, and sample all the amazing cheeses Italy has to offer. Don’t walk away empty handed, buy some of your favourites and make sandwiches to snack on while you explore the city. Explore an Italian supermarket. Buy a few bottles of vino and have a picnic by the river!

Find your own “favourite” gelato and pizza shop. Anyone who has been to Rome boasts of knowing “the BEST gelato/pizza shop in Rome… and you HAVE to try the…” To be honest, in the three weeks I spent in Italy, eating ice-cream and pizza at least four times a day, I never once had a bad experience. So find a remote, hole-in-the-wall gelati/pizza shop and claim it your own.

Useful info

S.P.Q.R. - You will often come across this abbreviation in Rome, which stands for "Senatus Populusque Romanus" in Latin, meaning: the “Senate and People of Rome".

Pack comfortable walking shoes. More than one backpacker warned me about the “hard” roads of Rome, which I did not understand. A cobbled road is the same hardness the world over, is it not? But after two days of walking Rome, my sandals literally broke in half. Both shoes cracked right down the middle and were unsalvageable—much to my delight. I finally could justify buying more shoes in Rome.

Pickpockets are quite common in Rome. Beware of crammed buses and metros. Hug your bags closely in front of you and never leave anything unattended.

Go to turismoroma for the latest tourist information in Rome and to activate your Roma Pass. Sign up for their newsletter before you arrive to find out about exhibitions or entertainment news coming up. The website is also available on your smartphones (mobile.


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