After arriving at Fiumicino airport around 5 am on Friday, I wandered through security and immigration and was directed to the E Gates.
The what gates?
For as long as I have lived in Rome, there have always been Gates A, B, C, D, G, H
So E? That’s new.
The E gates in Terminal 3 have been a long time coming. In fact, the construction of the new airport area cost €390 million.
Ever since a 2015 fire took out the G gates area and seriously impaired the functioning of the airport, I have been pretty skeptical that Fiumicino airport could pull off any real improvements. FCO became one of those life necessities that you know you have to deal with but never look forward to.
However, the new extension is impressive, with modern lighting, lots of open space and plenty of seating and lounging areas. My beloved Furla is back (with duty free prices) as are many other Italian luxury brands including Prada and Bulgari.
But it is the new restaurants in Fiumicino’s E Gate waiting area that is the most exciting. My early flight was not super conducive to sampling Italian classics but I am looking forward to trying them all over the course of the next year.
Side note: I am about to torture you with iPhone shots. I decided not to lug my Fuji X-M1 with me on this trip home because I was tired and not thinking straight.
There is Attimi from Heinz Beck of La Pergola fame that is set to open soon. Look out for it on the second level of the terminal area. The tasting menus will be based on the amount of time you have to enjoy them.
Already open, even at 6 am, was Cristina Bowerman’s Assaggio on the ground floor.
It seemed a bit early for vino, but I am pretty sure that the bar with wine from all over Italy will become one of my go-to FCO spots.
Upstairs is a beer lounge as well as Farinella. I stopped here for a cornetto with crema to fuel up for the long day of sitting around.
The restaurant also offers pizza, primi and secondi if you are going to be transiting through the airport around lunch or dinner.
And with a €3 aperitif on the menu? Ok, I’m tempted.
AND GET THIS: there is a Ramen shop.
Well played, Fiumicino.
The main E gate area opened just last week, so we shall see how long it stays nice.
According to the link above, Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) president, Vito Riggio, called Fiumicino “one of the best airports in the world in terms of quality.” “Our competition is in Istanbul and Madrid. Now we are on par with Asian airports, including aesthetically, with the curving steel and architectonic structure. Italy can do it,” he added.
Well… let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
But do enjoy a good meal at the airport! Finally.