Most airports I’ve met recently are soulless travel malls … apart from one – the Aeroporto Internazionale di Napoli.
Naples International Airport, changing by the second, is glass-fronted and growing, but still full of character. I had to drop off passengers twice today.
One lot flew out first thing in the morning. The brusque, ground-floor bar was shut but its smiling cousin upstairs, lined with pastries, had been open since dawn.
The second drop-off was later in the day. The queues for the cut-price airlines, mid-morning on the Sunday at the end of the Christmas break, were long and delayed. The limited space was overwhelmed but the lines were moving and the mood calm.
Why calm? Perhaps something to do with the character of Naples, a city so used to problems that to panic about time would seem a little precious.
You may think that familiarity has clouded my vision … of course there were a few stressed passengers this morning but there were many more who weren’t. Plus: outside birds sang in the trees and inside, just before security, there was young man who actually knew how to play the resident piano.
And finally, in case you’ve any doubts left, I know there are stylish bars by the departure gates and that, once in the air, with clear skies and a seat on the lucky side, you’ll get a last view of Vesuvius and its bay as you leave.
Not bad for a farewell banner.
Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2016