When I saw that our layover was in Rome, I couldn’t have been more excited! Even though I know we would be stuck in the airport for 2 hours it’s still Rome right? Our first layover was in Miami and we flew Alitalia and I guess I didn’t realize that we were flying an Italian airline so I was shocked when a majority of the flight was not in English. It was so weird to not have my native language be the primary language but I know a little Italian so I could tell what was going on for the most part. It was nice (and refreshing) to be reminded that not everyone in the world values English over everything else.
Of course, I had a middle seat right between two older men. They spoke very little English but they were super kind! One of the men was more talkative than the other and he asked me if I was moving to Rome. I told him that I was only going to Rome for a layover and that Serbia was my final destination. He looked so concerned and a little confused when I told and immediately asked “Do you parents feel safe with you going to Serbia?” I tried to explain to him that I was going with a group from my school (we weren’t sitting together so I looked like a lone traveler) but something got lost in translation and he was convinced that I was going to Serbia to meet up with a foreign lover. The flight itself wasn’t bad and the 9 hours went by quickly. It was a mixture of watching movies, trying to sleep sandwiched between two men, and feeling really fancy that I was able to order wine on the plane with no ID.
We landed at Fiumicino Airport and I immediately started saying “Ahhh, it feels so good to be in the city of Rome!” Of course I was saying it a bit sarcastically since we couldn’t actually leave the airport. Fiumicino was literally like a high-end mall so it was easy to forget that we were in an airport. We found a nice coffee shop to give us somewhat of an authentic Italian experience and the cappuccino was AMAZING (and cheap). Unfortunately, the airplane food filled us up and we didn’t have the stomach space for any pizza. I can’t wait to visit Italy one day and actually visit something other than the airport. Until then, I can say that I had Italian coffee in Rome!