When in Rome …
Italy is known the world over for its fashion and gastronomy and this fact has not escaped Rome airport.Rome Fiumicino airport, officially known as Leonardo Da Vinci, is the main air hub for the Italian capital, and also the biggest gateway to the country. The airport has become the leading entry point over the past few years, mostly thanks to the fact that Alitalia, the troubled national airline of Italy, ended its dual hub operation.
The move meant that Milan Malpensa airport lost, almost overnight, its main hub carrier, while Fiumicino became the focus.The stark change of fortunes is a reminder of how important tenant airlines are to airports.
Operator, Aeroporti di Roma has been slowly improving the hub, after years of under-investment, in line with a development plan spanning 2007 • 2016, to put it on a par with other airports in Europe. ADR by its own admission, says that in recent years “on average €7 was spend per passenger in investment by large European hubs, versus Milan Malpensa’s €3.4 and Rome Fiumicino’s €2.4”.In 2008, ADR opened a new terminal, and then re-named its alphabetically-identified terminal buildings the following year so that they now all numbers: 1 to 5.
Fiumicino’s rise to prominence and investment spending has meant a steady development of its retail facilities • and given Italy’s pre-eminence in the fashion world, this sector is very well represented in its main shopping terminals of T1,T2 and T3.Prestige Italian names such as Boggi, Bulgari, LIU-JO, Loro Piano, Trussardi, Valleverde and Armani sit alongside more international ones such as Hermès, Nike and Timberland in T1 and T2, while Italian leather goods houses such as Bric’s and Piquadro also have prominence, as do one or two popular intimate apparel brands: Gallo and Yamamay.If chocolates and gelato is more your scene, Venchi is a good bet in all terminals, while the Canestro stores will give you a good choice of Italian wines as will the Frescobaldi wine bars for quaffing before you fly. There are also two standard duty free units, called Good Buy Roma in T1 and T2, that offer the usual range of perfumes, tobacco, liquor and confectionery that you can find in other airports.
If you are flying out of T3 you will see a skew to luxury stores. Among them are Bulgari, Burberry, Emporio Armani, Etro, a Ferrari shop (one for the boys), Gucci, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo and Valentino. Five Good Buy Roma shops and two Tutto a 12€ (All at €12) are also in T3 in case the luxury brands are a bit too pricey. But there are also one or two unusual retailers to be found: Sermoneta sells a nice line in gloves, the Tumi store has an excellent range of travel bags and luggage and there is a Be Relax spa to unwind. A Dolce & Gabanna store is also in T3 selling just underwear, while sartorial elegance from Ermenegildo Zegna can be found close by. Modigliani for Italian-designed ceramics and glass is also an essential stop.
Rome Airport factfile.
- Main international airlines: Air Italy, Alitalia, Blue Panorama Airlines, Blu-express, EasyJet, Meridiana Fly, Vueling, Wizz Air.
- New developments: The construction of Pier C (for international flights) will provide 16 additional loading bridges.
- By 2018 the airport predicts it will handle 55 million passengers.
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