Review: Alitalia Business Class Lounge Rome Airport

Introduction
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse New York JFK Airport
Virgin Atlantic A330 Upper Class New York to London
Sheraton Edinburgh Grand Hotel & Spa
Exploring Edinburgh
British Airways Galleries Club Lounge Edinburgh Airport
Sheraton Prague Charles Square Hotel
Exploring Prague
ERSTE Premier Lounge Prague Airport
Czech Airlines Business Class Prague to Rome
Alitalia Business Class Lounge Rome Airport
Le Anfore Lounge Rome Airport
Alitalia A330 Magnifica Class (Business Class) Rome to Boston


Upon landing we began the trek towards the “G” concourse, where Alitalia’s US-bound flights depart from. Believe it or not I had never transited Rome Airport before, so was quite looking forward to the “experience.”

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Rome Airport transit

After walking through a seemingly endless series of hallways we arrived at the immigration checkpoint. I had an EU passport so could use the EU line, while my friend only had a US passport, so had to use the non-EU line.

In typical Italian fashion the queues were long and disorganized, and really the most shocking part was the number of people cutting the line. They’d just walk to the front of the line as if they didn’t notice all the people waiting, and when they were told there was a queue they’d just merge into the very front of it. Unbelievable.

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Rome Airport immigration

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Rome Airport terminal

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Rome Airport terminal

Once through immigration I followed the signage to the “G” concourse, which required taking a train.

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Rome Airport train to “G” concourse

Once in the “G” concourse I followed the signage to the lounge, which was in the middle of the concourse on the lower level.

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Rome Airport terminal

The Alitalia Giotto Lounge and Le Anfore Priority Pass/contract lounge shared an entrance and were both on the lower level.

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Alitalia Giotto Lounge Rome Airport entrance

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Alitalia Giotto Lounge Rome Airport entrance

I found the signage to be rather hilarious, I don’t quite know why.

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Alitalia Giotto Lounge Rome Airport signage

Once inside the lounge I presented my boarding pass and was promptly admitted.

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Alitalia Giotto Lounge Rome Airport entrance

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Alitalia Giotto Lounge Rome Airport entrance

I had somewhat high expectations for what I figured would be Alitalia’s “flagship” lounge, though was sorely disappointed. The lounge was fairly small and crowded, the decor was ridiculously kitschy, and the food selection sucked.

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Alitalia Giotto Lounge Rome Airport

There were several seating areas separated from one another byĀ transparent orange panels.

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Alitalia Giotto Lounge Rome Airport seating

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Alitalia Giotto Lounge Rome Airport seating

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Alitalia Giotto Lounge Rome Airport seating

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Alitalia Giotto Lounge Rome Airport seating

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Alitalia Giotto Lounge Rome Airport seating

Just about all the seats were taken, so we ended up having to sit in the business center, which were the only empty seats we could find.

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Alitalia Giotto Lounge Rome Airport business center

The buffet area was in the center of the lounge.

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Alitalia Giotto Lounge Rome Airport buffet

There was an espresso bar, and next to it some booze on a plate.

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Alitalia Giotto Lounge Rome Airport booze

Then there was a fridge with a ton of bottled water, both still and sparkling.

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Alitalia Giotto Lounge Rome Airport buffet

And then there were some small snacks in white plastic containers.

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Alitalia Giotto Lounge Rome Airport snacks

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Alitalia Giotto Lounge Rome Airport snacks

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Alitalia Giotto Lounge Rome Airport snacks

There were also some finger sandwiches which didn’t look especially tasty.

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Alitalia Giotto Lounge Rome Airport snacks

While I wasn’t hungry I decided to try the “small plates.” While they looked decent, they tasted like cardboard.

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Alitalia Giotto Lounge Rome Airport snacks

As I took pictures of the lounge the espresso attendant started yelling at me in Italian. I don’t speak Italian, so just stood there as he yelled at me. When he was done I walked off. Not sure if they don’t allow pictures or what, but I’m happy he wasn’t able to effectively communicate that to me, or else I wouldn’t have any pictures to share. šŸ˜‰

After being in the lounge for about 30 minutes we decided to check out the Le Anfore Lounge, which I’ll cover in the next installment.

At around 2:30PM we headed up to our departure gate, G11, for our flight to Boston.

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Alitalia departure gate G11

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Alitalia departure gate G11

At around 2:40PM they started boarding passengers that needed extra time to board, and at around 2:50PM they began business class boarding.

As far as I’m concerned Rome Airport is in the same category as London Heathrow or Paris Charles de Gaulle when it comes to clusterf*&$ery, and unlike those airports, there don’t seem to be any decent lounges either.

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Comments

  1. Haven’t been through FCO for a few years. It looks like the Alitalia lounge has been renovated and actually appears a little plush compared to the previous version (and that is saying a lot about how bad the old lounge was – private bus terminal comes to mind).

  2. Not to be a pain, but the orange panels are transparent, not translucent. If they were translucent, you wouldn’t be able to see what’s happening on the other side.

  3. Too bad that Alitalia is the airline most people associate Italy the most with. Air Dolomiti is a first rate experience, although only regional – Northern Italy (and they’ve been like this before becoming part of the Lufty group).

  4. The comment about the lines made me chuckle. One of the things I remember reading about Italy before we visited was that Italians ignore lines, they just walk up to the front. My wife and I decided to act like the locals when we visited the Vatican museum, saved us about an hour and a half of standing in line in the hot sun.

  5. If the way Italians behave in line isn’t appropriate to you, then don’t visit.

    Cheers,
    An Italian

  6. “In typical Italian fashion the queues were long and disorganized, and really the most shocking part was the number of people cutting the line. Theyā€™d just walk to the front of the line as if they didnā€™t notice all the people waiting, and when they were told there was a queue theyā€™d just merge into the very front of it.”

    And here I thought Italy was part of the civilized world.

  7. Ben, as an Italian, I’m sorry for the way some of us always cut lines.
    Fortunately I found we, as a people, are (slowly) improving on that.

  8. After 2 trips to Italy, I have stopped spending money there because of how rude, dramatic, and disorganized they are. Just not worth it… Thanks for pointing out some of the problems you had there, Lucky.

  9. The lounge looks sad. Not that most US lounges are anything to brag about.

    With regards to line-cutting, can any Italian elaborate on why this happens and whether it’s really accepted/tolerated? Cutting a line in some other cultures is a good way to get beat up.

  10. I was in both lounges and the Alitalia was a trip, what a dump!!! We were on USA flt 718, 767 service, that was a trip back in time. What a poor representation of our country. Transferred to Thai flt 944 to BKK, very nice

  11. Check this one:
    https://www.facebook.com/AlitaliaAirlines

    I agree with the headline … simply a bunch of unorganized lazybones who care a dam. Approving all the worst stereotypes one might have about italian service…. If they don’t prepare food, they are most likely creating another mess! Stay out !!

  12. Thanks for having made some many pictures for us. I have been visiting these lounges many times and I can only add that there were some improvements, but still much can be done. I do not find useful to address what the worst habits of somebody are. Vast majority of Italians do not cut any queue. I live in Rome and sometimes remind those cutting the queues to stay in line, without any violence in return. Coming back to lounges, those in Middle and Far East are outstanding, but I cannot see how the Giotto lounge is so bad if compared to most of the US ones. I agree that from a country as Italy, expectations for quality and good lifestyle are high. Thanks.

  13. What a catastrophe that airline lounge is! It matches the revolting service. Being coeliac there was not a single thing in the place I could eat but when I saw what my partner had I thought I was spared another insult from this dreadful airline.

    I wished I had taken a ship home to Australia after the flight to Abu Dhabi on the AlItalia flight. What a junk airline this is. I can’t imagine how bad the service was in economy class. The airline offered me a 100 Euro credit for future use acknowledging the poor quality of the food after the flight crew lodged a complaint on my behalf (even they thought the special meal was an insult) but I refused it on the grounds that neither I nor anyone I knew would ever be stupid enough to ever use it.

  14. I mostly agree with Fabrizio.

    It’s not true that everywhere in Italy people just cut lines, rude people exist everywhere in the World with no exeptions. I won’t mention any nationality or country, as is up to each person to behave in a proper way according to the situation, in which they are in.

    I am rather surprised that a travel consultant writes a review like this, based on stereotypes which aren’t true and representative of a whole country.

    By the way Italy is a civilized country.

  15. Just flown into New York on AZ610 in Business. The flight was great, staff, food, seat, entertainment system, cleanliness, but the lounges at Rome are a disgrace. The AZ lounge was packed and noisy without any office facilities, i.e. no computer or printer. I was told that the commercial lounge next door had both. I dashed in there using my Priority Pass only to find that they also don’t have any business facilities. The lounge was much quieter but with hardly anything to offer by way of food and very shabby furnishings.

  16. I was just at the lounge at the E Gate. Is there an extra charge to not have flies with your food? The place is in sad shape.

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