Got a stopover in Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO)? Well, you’re in luck, because the opening of its new Gate E at Terminal 3 (T3) means very good things for your time in the airport.
T3 is certainly an upgrade from most airport terminals; the gorgeous, glass-domed section is a two-level dining, shopping and lounge area — in other words, a 90,000-square-foot playground for all in-transit travelers.
The uber-modern T3 is also the hub for non-Schengen Area flights — Rome to London, Cairo, Dubai and more. Long-haul travelers will now have easy access to the quality food and top-notch shopping in T3 before setting off for their final destinations.
To stave off boredom (or score last-minute made-in-Italy goodies), there are tons of well-stocked shops. The ground-level area is a centralized, duty-free shopping piazza (yes, that means you’ll save the 22 percent VAT) with a luxury lineup straight from Rome’s Via dei Condotti.
Expect to find high-end stalwarts like Bottega Veneta, Moncler, Hermès, Versace, Fendi, Bulgari, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo and Dolce and Gabbana. There are also plenty of more affordable brands like Yamamay, Swatch, Furla, Sunglass Hut, Unieuro and Benetton. From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., you can even take advantage of the terminal’s personal shopper service.
The atrium’s duty-free shop stocks the usual — makeup, liquors and, of course, delicious Italian treats like olive oils, liqueurs, candies and chocolate. To make it easier, T3 has a large, dedicated checkout with multiple cashiers and free gift wrapping.
Airports notoriously have poor food options. Luckily, T3 has you covered on this front as well. The upper level is essentially a next-generation food court with an open-atrium lounge and dining area with self-service Italian delicacy shops, Italian sit-down restaurants, wine bars, cafés, an Ajisen ramen bar and a beer-and-burger spot.
Taking center stage are noted chefs who aim to upturn fast food into high-quality, between-stops cuisine. Chef Cristina Bowerman’s Assaggio, the ground-level wine bar, pairs her signature fish and vegetable dishes with regional pours.
On the mezzanine level, chef Heinz Beck helms Attimi, a haute-cuisine “fast food” concept with a temporal tasting menu (with 30-, 45- and 60-minute options) made of “moments” — in other words, smaller dishes that highlight Beck’s elemental style and fusion background.
All food shops are open from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and all restaurants, even Attimi, will pack your meal for takeout, if you need to hurry to your flight.
On the relaxation front, you probably won’t clock in much of a quality nap here. But even though T3 doesn’t quite reach the sleepy heights of Singapore Changi Airport, you’ll find more free and comfortable seating areas on the mezzanine level than in any of the other FCO departure gates.