Milan/Linate Airport: When you need to pray…

IMG_1445Today is Sunday, a perfect day for a post about praying.  Most of us know that airports have chapels, but how many of us have actually stopped in one. I confess that when I have been in an airport, even with a long lay over, I have never sought out a chapel. In fact, never even gave it a thought. My main goal was making sure I made my connecting flight.

IMG_1444So, it was a complete surprise to come across the “Cappella Madonna di Loreto,” chapel in the Milan/Linate airport recently.

It was one of those days where YOU KNOW you were meant to stop in the church and pray.  WHY?  Because when I reached the Aer Lingus counter it was closed. The Italian security guard told me that the counter would be opening in an hour. So, what was I to do, but “wait!”

I thought… OK, might as well sit down. As I went to find a seat, I looked to my right and immediately saw the “Virgin Mary” statue and my mind said, “Wow, you’ve found a chapel, but not any chapel, an Italian airport chapel.”

IMG_1443I say this, because my mother was a born and raised in Florence. So, my next thought was that my Italian grandmother who is in Heaven (well, I am sure she is there and not Hell) was drawing me to the chapel, so we could have a sweet moment together. I admit I got a bit teary-eyed, because I miss my grandmother. She didn’t speak English, but when I visited her we got by. I quickly learned Italian and we sure used our hands a lot to communicate.  She was a TREASURE!

As I lit a candle, I saw this Italian prayer.  There is a similar one in English, see this website for candle lighting and its meaning.

I sat for a few peaceful minutes and began to reminisce about my Nonna. She taught me how to knit. Think about that!! There was the language barrier as she tried to instruct me, but I focused, watched and made my first stitch.

IMG_1448My Nonina LOVED to play the game Bingo. She would go every Wednesday night. We always laughed when she came home, because if she had won, she would have either some olive oil or a big roll of salami under her arm.

Food, she made the BEST bolognese sauce, OF COURSE, she was my grandmother. It was a treat when she would fry small artichokes and we always had biscotti at breakfast, dipping it in our coffee.

Oh, when I would arrive, if I went on the balcony, she would proudly brag to her neighbors that her Italian grandchild was visiting from America!  Then the neighbors would say how I looked like my mother. We all smiled.

IMG_1449For once, I was not irritated for the delay with flight check in. My little Guardian Angel had a surprise for me, the message was “slow down,” take a moment to appreciate my Italian heritage, sit, give thanks and send LOVE up to my Nonina! WHICH I DID!

TODAY is Father’s Day!  I wish all Father’s and Grandfather’s a special day!

 

Milan / Linate Airport: Book Fly Zone

IMG_1440For those of you who travel, you know it is hectic and after a long flight ALL we want to do is get our luggage and head to the hotel. When I landed in Milan//Linate Airport I went to Baggage Claim. It seemed like we were waiting forever for luggage to come out. That is when I thought, maybe I should find a place to sit. As I looked over to the bench area I saw what appeared to be a “book shelf.”

IMG_1441Suddenly, I wasn’t in a rush for the luggage, because I was in “exploring mode.” I love books and was pleasantly surprised to see that this airport had a “book sharing” post.

What a “brilliant idea!” I had just finished a book on the plane and was wondering who I could give it to. My plan was to leave it at the hotel, but THIS was even better! I started browsing through the books. Unfortunately, the selection was disappointing. The books were ALL in Italian (of course), but they were high level academia type books, which I found interesting. Not one novel to read or any children’s books.

IMG_1478Sadly, this meant two things. First, the airport has not promoted the “Book Fly Zone” area enough. Second, maybe with most of us being able to read ebooks, people are not traveling with hard cover books anymore, so there is nothing to share or donate (hard to believe). What a shame!  I would have LOVED a book from a different country/author to read while on my trip.

I did add my one book. I hope someone snatched it up.

Let’s make this work. If you travel through Milan/Linate airport, plan to donate a book. I know I will again!

 

Taiwan – Airport

imageI was traveling to Singapore and had a layover in Taiwan this week. I was pleasantly surprised to come across Gate C7 the “imagePostal Waiting Room.”

Walking in the gated area I found a nice story on the history of their postal system.

Here is the motorcycle they use to deliver mail.image

They displayed the Present Day mailbox and the one from 1906.  Interesting!

imageimage

Oh, and they had a “current mailbox” for daily mail collection, so you could send a postcard or letter if you wanted from Taiwan. Yeah, you guessed it, I headed to the nearest newsstand to find some postcards to mail! They made it so easy.

AND you know what, people still like receiving “snail mail!” So, check your mailboxes and surprise someone with a postcard.