Covid PCR Swab Test in Rome – Where and How?


If you are in Italy and need proof of a negative Covid PCR swab to reach your next destination, this blog post is for you. 

After receiving hundreds of requests from utterly confused travelers we decided to get help from experts and pen down a no-nonsense guide to the testing process. 

Why is it so difficult to get a Covid PCR swab test in Italy?

Honestly, getting tested for coronavirus is not easy. Anywhere. 

Guidance on the coronavirus change quickly and it’s not easy to keep up with all the new rules that change by the hour. 

But Italy’s government healthcare is even more complicated. 

Italy has 20 different Regions (e.g. Abruzzo, Lombardia, Veneto, Sicilia, etc.). 

Each Region plans and manages autonomously its own healthcare services. So each has varied rules for how to get tested. 

It’s not too much to say that in Italy there are 20 different healthcare systems. 

So follow us and we’ll try to help you find your way through this. 

How does the testing process actually work?

We will guide you through getting PCR swab for coronavirus in Rome where it’s currently not possible to get tested on a voluntary basis or on-demand.

If you are departing from Rome’s Leonardo Da Vinci Airport here is exactly what you need to do in order to get a Covid PCR swab before departure.  

  1. Get a medical prescription for the PCR swab test from a local doctor or at the airport.
  2. Bring the prescription to the registration office of the authorized governmental facility where you will get tested.
  3. Fill out the requested form and pay upfront € 69.88 per swab and get 2 copies of the invoice (don’t loose them!).
  4. Get a car and go to one of the drive-through testing sites.
  5. Give a copy of the payment to the staff and get your swab.
  6. Get your results online within 48 hours. 

How can I get a medical prescription for the Covid PCR swab?

This one is easy. 

You can get a prescription at the Leonardo Da Vinci airport at your arrival. 

Show your travel tickets for a destination where a negative Covid PCR swab is required, and health workers at the airport will provide you with a medical prescription at no charge. 

If you forgot to ask for the prescription at the airport or you couldn’t get it for some reason,  there’s always a chance to get one from any licensed doctor during your stay in Italy. 
The cost of a prescription from a doctor varies but it’s usually between 45 and 80 euros.
Remember that in Rome you won’t be able to get your Covid PCR swab test without an Italian doctor’s prescription (see more below).


Need to travel?

Get your prescription for Covid PCR swab. Book online.

Where can I register and pay for a Covid PCR swab ?

With your medical prescription ready you have to go to the registration office of the authorized health facility where you can get your Covid PCR swab (this place is called “CUP” in Italian). 

The address is:

Piazza Santa Maria della Pietà 5 – Pavilion 1

Opening hours:

from Monday to Friday, from 7.45 to 12.00

How to get there: 

BUS nr. 46-49-546-911-912-913-990-916

COMMUTER TRAIN LINE FM3 ‘Monte Mario’ stop. More about the FM3 line here 

The registration office is located in an ancient and evocative district that used to be a mental hospital complex in the early 20th century.

You will be able to register and pay €69.88 upfront for your Covid PCR swab.

You will receive your credentials and instructions for collecting the online report. You will also be asked to provide a phone number in case the result is positive and you need to be contacted. 

It may be possible that you will be asked for a “Codice Fiscale“.

Don’t panic! It’s ok that you don’t have one as a traveler.

It is the equivalent of the American social security number.

The Codice Fiscale is a unique and personal combination of letters and numbers that identifies any Italian citizen or permanently resident foreigner. 

Therefore you should skip that entry. 

If a zealous employee at the registration office insists that you fill out that part,  you can calculate your “Codice fiscale” with your last name, first name, date and place of birth. 

Now you’re ready to get tested. 

covid pcr swab test

Where will I be tested for Covid-19 ?


The so called “swab test”, which is a RT-PCR test looking for viral RNA, is performed on a nose/throat swab sample.

It is used to detect the presence of an infection, and it can only detect the virus during the infection. This means it cannot detect whether a person was infected and then subsequently recovered.

The facility where you will be tested is at a walking distance from the office where you have registered and paid for the swab (about 5 minutes far). 

The address is:

Via Eugenio di Mattei, n. 72

Opening hours: 

9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (7 days a week)

It’s a drive-through testing site and it’s not declared whether you can walk-through instead – if you don’t have a car. 

According to official sources of information, you have to get there in your own car, wearing a face mask, and be sure to have a copy of the receipt of your payment. 

You have to remain in your car while the nursing staff carries out the throat swab wearing suitable protective equipment.

Here you can find a list of other suitable drive-through testing sites. 

How long for results?

Within 48 hours you should be able to get your results online. Credentials and instructions are provided at the registration desk. However, we suggest to keep some extra time to avoid last-minute surprises and to miss your flight.

Can I do the Covid PCR swab test in any lab or at my hotel/BnB/apartment?

No, you can’t. If you are in the Lazio Region and you need to get tested for travelling reasons you can have the swab test only at authorized governmental healthcare centers. 

In different Regions (e.g. Lombardia) where the test can be performed in private healthcare facilities you can probably find a lab that can send you a nurse to collect a swab. Keep in mind that private labs can be very busy, or closed for the summer holiday, so do some research ahead of your deadline.

Can I do the Covid PCR swab test at the airport ?

[Update September 1st 2020] Yes, you can. A drive-through testing centre is available at Fiumicino Airport.  It is available at the long stay car park of the airport, open 7 days a week. 

Access to the drive-in without a car is reserved exclusively for passengers arriving from Croatia, Greece, Malta and Spain who land at a time, after 8 pm, when it is not possible to carry out the antigen test at the airport’s dedicated testing site, in Terminal 3. 

Anything else?

Coronavirus information changes rapidly, so please check the publication date on this blog post – and on any source you decide to rely on. 

You can find updated recommendations on the Ministry of Health website

If you have flu-like symptoms or signs of a respiratory infection, do not go to the emergency services, do not try to get your Covid PCR swab. Stay home and call one of the Regional Covid-19 numbers.  

Even if you’re not in Rome you may need to get your prescription for a Covid PCR swab.

Make a request on our website find quickly a doctor who can help you and speaks your language. 

Enjoy your travels and stay safe!

Still got doubts?

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DoctorsinItaly Team

This article was written, curated, and updated by the DoctorsinItaly team, as part of our efforts to share relevant and current information on health and wellness related topics, as well as on life as an expat or traveler in Italy.

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