I am an Italian citizien that spent the last 6 months abroad in Japan. I will be returning to Italy next week, and I have booked an Alitalia flight that goes from Tokyo(NRT) to Roma(FCO),I will then wait 2 hours for the connecting flight from FCO to Bologna(BLQ).

Alitalia allows 2 checked-in baggages, that I have basically filled with gifts for various family members and friends. There's really a lot of stuff and it's tightly packed with clothes, if I'm stopped at Roma for customs I will certainly miss the flight to Bologna.

I am trying to decide if it's worth spending some extra money to change the flight from FCO to BLQ to one that departs later, but I want to be sure that I really need to, because the other flight is not cheap.

With this Itinerary, at which airport will I have to pass through customs?

[EDIT] I realized I forgot to specify that the itinerary has been booked as a single ticket.

  • I flew to Spain in 2017, and the passport control was in Madrid, and customs were in Malaga. It is my understanding that this is done throughout the EU. There was an extensive question about this somewhere on SE Travel, but I don't remember where it was. Apr 15, 2019 at 8:18
  • Here is the link to the respective EU website: https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/business/customs-controls/travelling-air_en . Case 5 is what you're looking for (assuming both flights are on a single ticket).
    – Sabine
    Apr 15, 2019 at 8:34

1 Answer 1


As my experience shows, you will pass through immigration in Rome but customs check will be done in Bologna. At least how it was when we were doing similar itinerary to Catania - our bags were checked at Catania Fontanarossa before handing them to us.

So I think that either there will be no explicit customs check, or it will be done in airport of final arrival.

I remember we had another flight to Milan via Zurich, and there were no customs check at all, we just grabbed our bag off carousel and were free to go as Zurich-Milan was domestic.

Update: I also think they will put you on a next flight to Bologna if you miss your designated one for the reason of customs delay, and I think Rome-Bologna flights are fairly frequent so you won't be delayed too much.

Update 2: This assumes you have a single ticket booking. If you have two tickets that are completely separate, you will likely need to pass immigration, then get your bags via customs and resubmit them at check-in in Rome. There is a big chance that you will miss your second, non-connected flight since immigration in Rome took an hour waiting in lines last time I've been there. In this case you should consider changing your tickets.


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