ITA Airways, Italy’s flagship carrier, has launched a new direct service connecting Chicago and Rome. This development heralds a significant boost for travelers. This direct route will offer a simplified trip to one of Europe’s most popular capitals from the Windy City. Additionally, the new route promises to strengthen the cultural and commercial ties between the two cities.

A Gateway to the Eternal City

Starting this spring, direct flights from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport will mark a pivotal step in ITA Airways’ expansion strategy, especially into the North American market. Initially operating six times a week, this service will increase to daily flights by June.

The inaugural flight, which took off to much fanfare, signifies ITA Airways’ commitment to connecting the globe with Italy’s culture. The flight time, set at approximately 9 hours and 20 minutes, is a game-changer for those looking to minimize travel hours and maximize their Italian adventure. The Airbus A330neo, a state-of-the-art aircraft, services this route. It features three cabin classes—Business, Premium Economy, and Economy—ensuring a comfortable and tailored travel experience for all passengers.

“On behalf of Mayor Brandon Johnson and the entire City of Chicago, I thank our partners at ITA Airways for their investment in the Chicago market,” said Commissioner Jamie L. Rhee of the Chicago Department of Aviation, which owns and operates Chicago O’Hare and Midway International Airports in a press statement. “O’Hare is serving its largest number of Italian destinations ever in 2024, and this new route will help connect the people of Chicago to all of the rich culture and history that Rome has to offer.”

Relax in Rome This Summer At Your Leisure

During the peak summer season, ITA plans to operate 140 weekly flights between North America and Italy. According to The Points Guy and Google Flights data, this route expansion is timely, as Rome was ranked among the top five most popular summer destinations for 2024. Summer in Rome is a call to enjoy the city while basking in the Mediterranean sun, so it’s no wonder it ranks so highly. 

If you’re planning to fly directly to Rome from Chicago, make the most of the city’s pleasant evenings by watching a movie under the stars. The Casa del Cinema in Villa Borghese hosts screenings under the stars, featuring a mix of classic and contemporary films. It’s a way to experience Italian culture and cinema amid the beauty of a Roman night. Plus, just a short train ride away, the beaches of Ostia offer an escape from the city. The blue waves of the Mediterranean Sea are a welcome change of pace. The shoreline has beach clubs and seafood joints offering a fun sun day.