Some day you WILL return to the Eternal City and chances are you will land at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport aka Fiumicino (FCO) The grand lady of airports turned 60 two days ago and there was a great story in the online edition of Wanted in Rome (see below)
VATICAN INSIDER EXPLORES BELLS, FLAGS, BASILICA FLOOR MARKINGS AND MORE!
Welcome to Vatican Insider as we come close to the end of summer, a time when you’re possibly on vacation or, if not vacation, spending a tranquil weekend, hopefully relaxing and enjoying family and friends and some down time. If you’ve decided to spend a brief moment with me on this weekend, I think I have a fun offering for you in what is normally the interview segment. I’ve called this segment “Inquiring minds want to know” because I’m going to bring you some trivia – some little known, and often unusual facts about the Vatican – some fun stories about bells and flags and basilica floors. But remember this might be trivia but it is not trivial!
IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)
EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VATICAN BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK
If there is something you wanted to know about the Vatican, Vatican City State, and the Roman Curia, there is one site that will take you to 83 websites for Vatican congregations, dicasteries, tribunals, councils, offices linked to the Vatican, the health care center, museums, Swiss Guards, synods, Pontifical Musical Chorus of the Sistine Chapel: Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, Campo Santo Teutonic (Teutonic cemetery), Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation, Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, and a ton more!
I started to explore this link and realized I needed some hours to do a good job of exploring each website individually. I did click on a fair number and found, as you will, that there is a great variety in the sites, especially with regard to languages. Some sites have 5 or 6 languages, some only Italian and others only Italian and English. The website about the Teutonic cemetery has, for example only German (unfortunately, I think). A site I would have thought would have 5 or 6 languages but only had Italian and English was the Dicastery for Communication.
ROME’S FIUMICINO AIRPORT TURNS 60
From the joy of the Olympic Games to the trials of covid-19, the story of Rome’s main airport.
(wantedinrome.com) Rome’s Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport, better known as Fiumicino, celebrates its 60th birthday on 20 August 2020.
The airport, which was a symbol of restart during Italy’s post-war economic boom, opened to air traffic on 20 August 1960, five days before the start of Rome’s Olympic Games.
Designed to cope with increasing demand for flights to the capital, the new airport came about after two designs were merged: plans by Riccardo Morandi and Andrea Zavitteri were combined with those by Amedeo Luccichenti and Vincenzo Monaco.
The final project was approved in August 1958 and the construction works lasted 21 months, during which the remains of five ancient Roman ships were discovered.
During the Olympics, Fiumicino was used to help alleviate Rome’s other airport, Ciampino. Fiumicino did not become fully operational however until 15 January 1961, with the landing of the first airliner: the Twa Lockheed Constellation, from New York.
Located about 35 km southwest of the centre of Rome, Fiumicino consisted of just two runways in the 1960s, with a third one added in 1973 along with a new hangar to accommodate Boeing 747s.
In recent years the airport has won a string of awards, however its level of organisation and customer service was not always at the high level it enjoys today.
Over the past six decades the airport has also been affected by tragic events such as the terrorist attacks in 1973 (32 dead) and the second in 1985 (13 dead).
Fiumicino suffered a setback too with a fire on 7 May 2015, which spread to Terminal 3, causing major disruption but no serious injuries.
Fiumicino has recently undergone an extensive modernisation programme and has also been to the forefront in technological development, becoming the first Italian airport to install e-gates.
The airport has also achieved much success with awards, including among passengers, and in 2019 it welcomed around 44 million passengers.
2020 is perhaps Fiumicino’s most difficult year to date, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, however the airport has risen to the challenge by operating to strict regulations and carrying out covid-19 tests on passengers from ‘at risk’ countries.
Most recently the airport was recognised by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for its commitment to sustainability.