17 July 2019
The Musical Director of the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Antonio Pappano, and Luigi Piovano, the Orchestra’s first cello, performed an exceptional concert in one of the airport’s most symbolic locations. Many passengers were drawn in and enchanted by the performance at the piano set up just a few metres from the check-in desks.

Fiumicino, 17 July 2019 – This morning saw a surprise performance at Leonardo da Vinci Airport, where Italian and international passengers alike departing from Terminal 3 were involved in an extraordinary and unexpected cultural entertainment initiative organised by Aeroporti di Roma, in collaboration with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.


Travellers from all over the world at the check-in desks for international flights had the opportunity to witness an exceptional performance with Maestro Antonio Pappano on the piano accompanied by Luigi Piovano on the cello. Sir Antonio Pappano played a splendid grand piano set up for the occasion by ADR in the middle of the departures hall of Terminal 3.


The passengers present were very enthusiastic indeed, being given the chance to hear three beautiful pieces written for the piano and cello, as performed by an exceptional duo. Pappano and Piovano combined the Sonata in fa maggiore n.1 op.2 by Baroque composer Benedetto Marcello with two pieces by the Romantic French composer Camille Saint-Saëns, who was a lover of travel and very fond of Rome.   The first was Le cygne, a piece from Le carnaval des animaux, perhaps Saint-Saëns’ most popular work. The other piece they performed, also by the French composer, was the Allegro Appassionato Op.43, a composition born as an enco

re but which has become an established cello standard thanks to its singular brilliance.


The CEO of Aeroporti di Roma, Ugo de Carolis, welcomed Pappano and Piovano and commented: “We are pleased to be next to the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia which has reserved us a unique show in an unusual location, namely the airport. With this cultural initiative, ADR confirms its commitment to offering quality entertainment to passengers at Leonardo da Vinci Airport, now an increasingly important showcase for the major shows on offer in the capital and recently given, for the second year running, the award for best airport in Europe by ACI International, especially for the quality of the services it provides to passengers, its technological innovation and the functionality of its infrastructure”.


“For an institution like the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Fiumicino airport is a physical place but also a metaphor; every time our Orchestra and our Choir, on their numerous international tours, transport the values and soul of this city to the most remote corners of the globe,” commented the President-Superintendent of the Accademia Michele dall’Ongaro. “Renewing this long and fruitful collaboration with one of the finest European structures and bringing great music to this apparently unusual place, with a witness par excellence such as Sir Antonio Pappano and the splendid sound of our first cello Luigi Piovano, is a source of great pride and satisfaction for all of us”.

Many travellers filmed the performance and took selfies with the two artists following their impressive finale.


Aeroporti di Roma, an Atlantia Group Company, manages and develops Rome Fiumicino and Ciampino airports and carries out other activities connected with and complementary to airport management. Fiumicino has two passenger terminals and is dedicated to business and leisure customers on domestic, international and intercontinental routes; Ciampino is mainly used by low-cost airlines, express couriers and General Aviation companies. In 2018, ADR recorded, as an airport system, 48.8 million passengers with over 230 destinations worldwide reachable from Rome, thanks to the approximately 100 airlines operating out of the two airports. In 2019, the Airports Council International Europe awarded Leonardo da Vinci the “Best Airport 2018” award. For the second year in a row, Fiumicino was confirmed as top of the list of 20 European airports with over 25 million passengers in terms of quality of service, technological innovation and efficiency of infrastructure. The award comes in addition to a prize from Airports Council International World which, also in 2019, for the second year running, awarded Leonardo da Vinci the “Airport Service Quality” award as the best-loved airport in Europe amongst the hubs with more than 40 million passengers. ADR’s management capacity is also confirmed by the awards it has received in 2019 from Skytrax, the leading international rating and evaluation company in the airport sector, which confirmed the 4-star Skytrax rating obtained by Fiumicino in 2017.