In this lounge review, we will check out the Casa Alitalia business lounge ‘Piazza di Spagna’ in Terminal 3 (non-Schengen) of Rome Fiumicino Airport.
Rome Fiumicino Airport
After a fun half-day wandering around Rome, it was time to continue my trip and to fly to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.
As I still had some work to finish before my flight, I decided to check out early, head to the airport and work from the lounge. I hopped into a metro to Termini station, where I bought a ticket for the overcrowded Leonardo Express to Rome Fiumicino Airport.
Currently, there are two open terminals at Rome Fiumicino Airport. Terminal 1 (T1) is your port of call for domestic and Schengen flights, while non-Schengen flights depart from Terminal 3 (T3).
There were some massive crowds in the check-in area which made me quite happy that I did not had to check in a bag and could move straight to security control with my online boarding pass in hand.
To my surprise, the queue at security was actually quite short. There was a dedicated priority line which I used, but I realised halfway that it would have been slightly faster if I would have taken the normal queue due to the fact that the priority security queue had only one working security check point while the normal queue had a dozen and seemed to be moving much faster.
Alas, given that I had plenty of time on my hands it was all rather trivial. Once airside, I made my way to the large premises of Terminal 3 towards the Alitalia business lounge.
Terminal 3 feels like a giant shopping centre and has dozens of shops, cafés and restaurants, making it a rather pleasant place to await your flight departure if you do not benefit from complementary lounge access.
Casa Alitalia lounge
In recent years Alitalia has completely revamped its business lounges at its Rome Fiumicino and Milan Malpensa hubs, giving them a fresh new interior and even a brand new name: Casa Alitalia.
In Terminal 3 of Rome Fiumicino Airport, there are two different Casa Alitalia lounges. There is the ‘Casa Alitalia Piazza del Popolo’ and the flagship lounge ‘Casa Alitalia Piazza di Spagna’, named after Rome’s famous square below the Spanish Steps.
Some five months earlier I made the mistake of not doing any research and I ended up in the much smaller, less appealing Piazza del Popolo lounge. Make sure you go to the right lounge – the Casa Alitalia Piazza di Spagna – as it is much larger, has the full set of amenities and perhaps most important of all is a much more pleasant place to linger.
The lounge is rather poorly signposted, so it’s easiest to walk towards Gate E11, as the Casa Alitalia Piazza di Spagna is located just before it on your left-hand side.
Alitalia lounge entry requirements
To access the Casa Alitalia lounge, you need a same-day business class ticket on Alitalia or another SkyTeam airline.
Of course, frequent flyers who hold SkyTeam Elite Plus status also gain access when flying in economy class on a SkyTeam airline. This includes for example ‘Freccia Alata’ members (and higher) of Alitalia’s own frequent flyer programme or Air France/KLM Flying Blue gold and platinum members.
You cannot access the lounge with Priority Pass or another lounge membership programme. However, if you fly Alitalia in economy class and do not have status you can pay for one-time access.
This costs 35 euro if you do it online on the Alitalia website by accessing your booking, otherwise it will cost you 45 euro if you pay at the lounge reception desk.
Upon entering the Casa Alitalia lounge, I was immediately impressed with the surroundings. The lounge felt modern, bright and welcoming.
Alitalia has teamed up with some major Italian brands such as the reputable furniture maker Poltrona Frau for the leather seats and furnishings of the lounge.
At the entrance to the lounge proper just after the reception is a large glass cabinet with some magazines, photo books and vases in it. You can walk around either side to enter the main lounge area.
The main lounge area is centred around a large food buffet in the middle. To your right you have the bar, while on the left you will find the restrooms and showers.
There are plenty of dining tables in the immediate around the buffet counter. Further to the back in the lounge are some high top tables as well as some comfortable couches and sofas, which seemed to be the most sought-after seats.
I however wished there were some more private areas to escape the crowds and sounds from the vast open area of the lounge, for example by creating several smaller seating areas which are partitioned off from the main lounge area. Another small negative is that there are no tarmac views, although the Casa Alitalia did feel bright and had a cheerful vibe.
Overall, the Casa Alitalia lounge certainly felt like a nice place and the epitome of modern Italian design.
At the time I entered the Casa Alitalia, the food at the buffet was just being replaced from breakfast to lunch and dinner dishes. The food, which is prepared in an open kitchen, looked appetising and fresh.
True to the style of the lounge it featured plenty of Italian culinary delights. For breakfast, some croissants, donuts and pastries are available, as well as bread, cold cuts, cereals, beans and bacon and omelettes.
At lunch and dinnertime, the pizzas are by far the most popular. It is prepared in real pizza ovens in the open kitchen and I can certainly say they are indeed tasty.
There is also a salad bar with a large choice of fresh fruits and veggies. Some hot dishes, such as different pastas, are also available.
The Casa Alitalia also has a large assortment of canapés, sweets and cakes – which all looked particularly classy (and were indeed tasty as well).
Casa Alitalia bar
There are a some self-service fridges at the buffet counter from where you can grab bottled water and soft drinks. All other drinks you however need to get from the manned bar.
This bar is another great aspect of the Casa Alitalia lounge. It being Italy, you can of course expect proper barista coffee. In fact, Alitalia has even partnered with Lavazza and reportedly gets some exclusive coffee blends especially made for the Italian flagship carrier.
Indeed, the espresso and cappuccino which I tested were both of excellent quality.
You can of course also get alcoholic drinks from the bar and there is a wide variety of choice. For sparkling wine there is some good-quality Prosecco, while there are also multiple types of quality red and white wines available (of course, all Italian).
The barkeep is happy to give you advise which Italian wines to try depending on your preferred taste profile.
Also when it comes to hard liqueur there is a wide choice of booze. A great perk is that the barkeeps also do cocktails. You can either opt for one of the standard cocktails or long drinks such as an Aperol Spritz or gin tonic, or order your custom-made cocktail based on whatever drinks are available from the bar.
My lounge experience
As I was flying to Saudi Arabia, I figured I should get the best out of my lounge experience given that the next 24 hours or so would be completely dry without any booze available.
Upon entering the lounge I first had a glass of Prosecco from the bar, followed by some breakfast.
After finishing up on work, it was time to truly enjoy the food and drinks from the Casa Alitalia lounge, starting with a handful of hors d’oeuvres, a few pizza slices and an Aperol Spritz or two.
Upon encouragement from the barkeep who found out that I was heading to an alcohol-less Saudi Arabia, I also tasted a few of the Italian reds, as why not?
For a business class lounge, Rome Fiumicino’s Casa Alitalia lounge really left behind a good impression.
When you enter the lounge, the toilets and showers are located on your left hand side. During my entire stay in the lounge, the restrooms were kept immaculately clean.
The Casa Alitalia lounge also has a few shower rooms, inquire with the reception staff whether one is available straight away.
The showers were like the rest of the lounge large, modern and clean – and made for an excellent way to freshen up before my flight. A decent amenity kit and even some flip flops were already placed in the shower, which is a nice touch.
Other lounge facilities
Of course, the Casa Alitalia lounge has complimentary WiFi internet, which was fast and reliable during my entire stay in the lounge. Although there is no dedicated business centre to work, the lounge has some private meeting rooms available for larger groups.
Although I don’t think the Casa Alitalia lounge is the best ever place to get some work done due to the lack of privacy and quietness when the lounge gets fuller at peak hours, it is not a bad place at all.
One great aspect is that nearly every seat in the Casa Alitalia lounge seems to have a power socket close by, an absolute must for any airport business lounge these days.
There are also some newspaper and magazine racks if you want to pick up something to read in the lounge.
The Casa Alitalia lounge also has a dedicated play area for children and teens, which among others features some console games.
The Casa Alitalia at Rome Fiumicino airport is a well-designed, stylish business lounge. Alitalia has partnered up with some big Italian brands such as Poltrona Frau for the interior and Lavazza for the coffee to showcase the best of what Italy has to offer.
That clearly is on show when you look at the food buffet. The Casa Alitalia lounge features an open kitchen where most of the food is freshly prepared.
There is a wide selection of tasty Italian dishes at the buffet, as well as a salad bar and a large amount of sweets and canapés. The highlight is perhaps the pizza, whish is prepared in the pizza ovens of the open kitchen.
Another highlight of the Casa Alitalia lounge at Rome Fiumicino airport is the manned bar, where you can get proper barista coffee and a wide variety of alcoholic drinks and cocktails.
With clean toilets and large shower rooms, the Casa Alitalia lounge also doesn’t disappoint. With a good, reliable internet connection and plenty of power socket, the business lounge also is a decent place to work from, although at times it lacks some privacy and quietness.
Although I don’t think the Casa Alitalia lounge is necessarily Europe’s best airport business lounge, it does rank pretty close in some aspects and is definitely worth a visit.
Trip report index
This article is part of the ‘Journey to Java‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:
1. Review: Wizz Air Bucharest to Rome Ciampino (Airbus A321)
2. Half a Day in Rome: A Walk Around the Eternal City
3. Review: Casa Alitalia Lounge ‘Piazza di Spagna’ Rome Fiumicino Airport (current chapter)
4. Review: Saudia Business Class Rome to Riyadh (Airbus A320)
5. Review: Saudia Alfursan Business Lounge Riyadh Airport
6. Review: Saudia Business Class Riyadh to Jakarta (Boeing 777-300)
7. Review: The Hermitage, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia
8. A Day in Jakarta: Exploring Indonesia’s Bustling Capital City
9. Review: Garuda Indonesia Domestic Business Lounge Jakarta Airport
10. Review: Garuda Indonesia Business Class Jakarta to Yogyakarta (Boeing 737-800)
11. Review: The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta – Mgallery By Sofitel
12. A Magical Sunrise Visit to Borobudur Temple
13. A Visit to the Great Hindu Temple Complex of Prambanan
14. Review: Yogyakarta to Surabaya (Indonesia) by Train
15. Review: Majapahit Hotel, Surabaya
16. Visiting the city of Surabaya
17. Review: Concordia Premier Lounge, Surabaya Airport
18: Review: Singapore Airlines business class Surabaya to Singapore (Airbus A330-300)
19. A quick Singapore stopover
20. Review: Silverkris Lounge Singapore Changi Airport
21. Review: Singapore Airlines business class Singapore to Manila (Boeing 787-10)
22. Review: PAGSS Lounge Manila Airport Terminal 1 Gate 2
23. Review: China Airlines economy class Manila to Taipei (Airbus A330-300)
24. Review: China Airlines Business Lounge Taipei Airport Terminal 1
25. Review: China Airlines Economy Class Taipei to Rome (Airbus A350)
26. Review: TAROM economy class Rome to Bucharest (Boeing 737-700)