January 24, 2013
I generally hate airports in the US, full of stale air and rushing hordes. Mouths chomping on burritos big as birch logs. Eyes glued to the Screamers on CNN or bright laptop contraptions. (OK, OK, I’m guilty, too.)
But the Rome airport? I’m in love.
First you hear: Signori e Signore, Benvenuti a l’Aeroporto Internazionale Leonardo da Vinci. (Is there any other country in the world that would name a major airport after a Renaissance artist?)
You step off the plane and inhale the sugary elixir of caffè latte.
People nibble away at the bars–they’d never be caught dead taking their food to a gate. Brutta figura!
The airport is steamy, even in winter.
1. Woman in coffee bar: “I waited at the counter for five whole minutes, and then they told me I had to go pay first at the cash register, where I waited another five minutes. And after all that time, look what I get! A teeny cup with a few drops of thick black stuff on the bottom.”
Husband: “It’s called Italian coffee.”
2. Texan in line behind me: “I’ll be so glad to get home.”
Woman in her tour group: “Really?”
“I didn’t like the food here.”
“Not spicy enough.”