Julie is the author of a number of guidebooks, including 'Melbourne's Best Bush Bay and City Walks' & 'Melbourne for Dogs' (with RSPCA). Read more of her adventures at her walks blog: walksmelbourne.com
One of the first things that springs to mind when I think of Italy is the delicious, fresh food. Imagine what a treat it was to find that even while in transit at Rome's main airport, this national commitment to all things fresh and yummy is maintained. Not for Rome's Fiumicino Terminals the bland, pre-packaged meals of cardboard and plastic I normally associate with airport food.
At Terminal 3, while waiting for a flight to Sicily, we arrived early and before checking in, headed up to the 2nd floor and found the 'Ciao Ristorante', which really takes the concept of a food court to a new level.
Different areas serve up all sorts of help-yourself fresh food: a selection of delicious al dente pasta is fresh cooked and sizzled in the pan with its sauces in front of you; pizzas are freshly made to order; and a plate of cured meats and whole fresh buffalo mozzarella is accompanied by juicy beefsteak tomatoes and toasted herbed bread.
There is an Asian section, salads, roasts and other hot meals served to order, fresh cut fruit, semi-freddo and a delectable chocolate tart for desert among a good selection of cakes and tarts. There is a choice of 5 or 6 different types of freshly made bread rolls, a good selection of single serve wines. Most main meals are between 7 and 10 Euros, so won't break the bank.
Honestly, what more could you want? Did I mention a separate (very nice, clean and bright) seating section for those with children (if they wished it). The large plate glass windows of the main seating area look out over the planes, so there is plenty of entertainment. There is also room to take in your luggage trolleys, though that might be harder in peal lunch/dinner times. A great place to stop and refresh prior to tackling the hurdy-gurdy of Terminal 3 security (gird your loins for that scrimmage!)
Heaven in a chocolate tart, Ciao Ristorante, Rome Airport