One look at the front and there were idle passport checkers just biding their time. Basically, they had instituted that day a new (non) system of line greeters, who were a bit slow on the uptake. These guys would usher in one at a time when 6 counters stood empty. Once again, I'm convinced that transport authorities harbor a sincere disdain for passengers. Let the throngs decide the line to go in - it's a fairly efficient system, rewarding the ones without jet lag for keeping an eye on the 'about to open' counter. Note to self: bring American passport to London in future.
Meanwhile, taking a refrigerator-cattle coach RyanAir flight - under duress, believe me - to Torino, I arrived to discover a spanking clean new airport, looking a lot like Stansted did back in the day: like landing in a tidy shopping mall. Testing my luck with a 1 hr. layover, all went swimmingly well, when I had to check into Alitalia, and was greeted with a smile, with even more in abundance once on board the plane.
Note to self: could you actually give Alitalia another try? Or, is it only awesome service (with a cozy warm on board environment) as compared with the medieval-torture-chamber class of RyanAir? May have to give it a second chance.
Arriving in Rome, I found excellent little luncheon places here & there and a nice little salon, always good to know. They are doing considerable construction works, but laid out and even apologized for the inconvenience - a small miracle that almost sent me straight to pray on the tomb of Pope John Paul II - I was so tickled rosa, that I even liked the utterly casual 'Sorry' versus the "We apologize" string of words.
Sadly, once upon the rail station of course, it was back to reality. The robotic announcer read out the stops in an English which sounded a bit more like she was reading Bangladeshi - backwards. Trains left from different platforms than indicated, and the whole place smelled of excrement -- from onboard toilets which the conductors seem to take delight in emptying regularly at this enclosed platform. Note to self: check and see if the Italian state railway isn't owned & operated by RyanAir.