Postcard From Rome


Slim Paley photo……………………………….

So I don’t wish to over-romanticise this beautiful city, but our guide’s name is HEATHCLIFF.  I’m NOT  joking…and yes, he is Italian.  It’s really quite something to enter a city via a road first built in 312 BC (The Via Appia antica)  but don’t worry- this won’t be a history lesson. If I retain even a fraction of all the information Heathcliff imparted to us over the last few days it will be a miracle.  Instead, I’ll share what I have learned in Rome;

I) Never pack for a long trip with the assumption you will be purchasing some things to wear there. Murphy’s Law states you’ll only find great things to buy if you have viciously overpacked. If, on the other hand, you seem to have only brought eight belts, 0 sweaters, and wildly inappropriate black heels, you won’t find anything.

What I somehow pictured finding…the outfit and the weather

Chanel Cruise 2011

.…and didn’t.

 I did manage to find the most disturbing child mannequins ever

Slim Paley Photo……….

. Really??!

II) Don’t assume, just because you’re traveling in the latter part of May, that the weather is sure to be good.  As I agonized over packing my bags for these two weeks in Europe, never did I visualize myself sprinting through the streets of Rome during a massive thunder & lightening storm debating whether to abandon my silver cross necklace and underpinnings in a darkened doorway. Death by metal underwire bra? I could never live that down.


A storm brews over the streets of Rome before things get biblical and the skies finally crack.

III) Do count on it to rain on the days you get up early to straighten your hair in a pathetic attempt to look more Italian, even though you’ve stayed up ’til all hours of the night (morning) drinking wine…in another pathetic attempt to look more Italian.

Slim Paley ………..

IV) Rome definitely has Paris beat in the “Sorry, this was built when??” dept.,  but I’m afraid I still have to go with Paris on the food. I realize this might not be received well,  however, Anticapesa on via Garibaldi is great, with a fun atmosphere and a very attractive clientele.

V) It doesn’t matter how well you casually twist a scarf or how big your sunglasses are, you still don’t look Italian.

VI) Italian gardens are GORGEOUS.  If you find yourself there in Spring or Summer, even if you aren’t really the “gardening type”, please take a few hours and visit at least one of the famous gardens here- they truly are spectacular.

Slim Paley photo …………………Coming upon the most ethereal Pegasus in a woody glade at Bomarzo , Italy

VII)  Cobblestones and heels are Satan’s work.  


VIII) Usually when visiting castles and stately homes, as much as I adore looking at them I almost always think ‘but I could never live here’  but, I’ve gotta confess ( especially as I’m in Rome)  if push came to shove, I could live in a few of these Palazzos. Wow.  Other than a distaste for chamber pots and drafts I could go full “Il Gattopardo” like nobody’s business.

Slim Paley photo………….Palazzo Farnese

.IX) I wouldn’t want to be Pope though.  The wealth, the fame, the pomp and circumstance…the responsibility…  Just visiting the Vatican exhausted me. I wonder if popes ever have one second to themselves??  I guess that’s not a very Pope-like thought but it really took this visit for me to comprehend, on probably only the minutest of scales, what it must be like. Thank Goodness I’m not in there with even the vaguest chance of being elected. Phew.


.X) Homeopathic ANTI-JET-LAG pills don’t work.


Slim Paley Photo ……..

The Church in front of the Hassler Hotel  at the Spanish Steps, Rome

I will post again soon about the amazing gardens we visited. I’m excited to share them with you, but for now, I must rest this weary sinner’s head and awaken to the church bells next door to the hotel.

The Caravaggio exhibition and St. Peter’s beckon bright and early!

A Very Happy Friday to Everyone 🙂.

Slim Paley photo

PS. Heathcliff Luchetti Zucca is the driver/guide; available through The Hassler Roma– he’s fantastic.

0039 329 220 44 76


  1. Children of the corn dressed as brats dolls.
    My little daughter wore little long dresses, mary janes and bows in her hair everyday til she was in third grade. She could have been in a 90’s photo or 40’s photo….She never knew it was not the norm, its adults making children adults.
    Anyway love the beautiful pics especially that garden.

    • that’s funny, “Children of The Corn” was the first thing that crossed my mind when I saw those mannequins

  2. On a totally unrelated note. Wanted to buy Nouvelle Vague Chanel Polish – Icy blue. Thought it would be pretty with tan feet in the summer. Decided it wasn’t a throwback to 70’s blue eyeshadow. It’s sold out everywhere and on ebay for 40.00. Is it in Europe? Thanks, Anne

    • I’m not familiar with that colour but I will keep an eye out for it Anne. Meanwhile, my nails look like they haven’t been manicured since the 70’s.

  3. Each picture, each word chosen for this post: simply incredible.
    And the Roman numerals, oh the Roman numerals! Bravo!
    Thank you for sharing your life and travels with us. So excited for the gardens.

  4. I wrote you it was going to rain! Loved the garden you showed. DO show lots more please. Re the children mannequins, they look like angels in Rennaisance paintings compared to the most disgusting ad I’ve every seen of a young girl for American Apparal that’s being used now. If it were found on some man’s computer he’d be arrested for watching child porn!
    Whatever happened to little girls wearing lovely little smocked dresses and white Mary Janes???

  5. Yes, my mom has always said “forget about wearing cute shoes while walking through Europe!”. And speaking of shoes. The man in his pink slipper shoes. Too funny, but I fear, sooooo Italian!

  6. Such a great perspective–especially the sunglasses and scarf. Thanks for all of the pointers–glad that you are having a super time. The photos are wonderful–I feel as if I were there.

  7. Etrernally sumptuous, I could LIVE, in a tent! in the Borghese Gardens.
    Did not find the kiddie mannequins at all icky or disturbing for some reason.
    More photos please Slim. There can never be enough images of Roma. (Please, no Vaticano!)

  8. Creepy child mannequins….makes me shudder.
    Love your Roman numerals! Thanks for letting us travel
    with you! Your photos are gorgeous, especially the church
    across from the hotel. We got hit by lightning in a storm Tuesday – be careful!
    Can’t wait to see the garden pictures!

  9. you are hilarious I love Roma .
    The FOOD the history the clothes
    the people the gardens what’s not to
    love about that vacation. oxoxoxBella

  10. very, very cute post, one of my favorites!

    and all great tips:)

    the dolls are super creepy, but don’t you think the one in the back left hand corner wearing the jean hat bears a slight resemblance to you? or to you as a child? should i have kept that to myself?
    that particular mannequin is adorable..

    • “Should I have kept that to myself?”… D’ya think??!
      As if 5 days around Italian women wasn’t enough of an ego crusher…

  11. you’re in rome???!!! i’ve been a long time stalker and if i had known when you posted about you’re europe trip that it meant being in my town then i would have written sooner 🙁 well, antica pesa is one of my most fav rest in town so that was a good stop. if you would like more tips and will be around for the weekend feel free to write me back! have fun…. and sorry about the weather…. it’s been raining since october! not kidding. at least the sun came out this afternoon.

    • Gees Erin- I wish you had “stalked” me earlier! We almost went to Nino’s but were talked out of it- now I wish we had gone.
      I am passing your suggestions and blog on to a friend who is going to Rome again soon though, so thank you on her behalf.
      We actually were very lucky in that both days we chose to visit gardens were the sunniest, so it worked out well.
      Lucky YOU to live in such a beautiful city!!

  12. ps. i just posted some rome suggestions a few days ago for some other friends who are coming to visit soon. have a peek. i highly suggest morning cap and cornetto at la buvette on via vittoria, it’s not far from your hotel if you’re at the hassler. also, my dear dear friend has the linen store across from the hotel called Bellora. great italian linens, fresh and crisp and they have a fantastic signature candle as well!

  13. last thing… in case you walked by and didn’t think to go in: Gente (there is a girly one and a boy one, full of great multi-brands). For flowing kaftan like pictured, did you go into etro? just next to chanel. for simple but well cut and cool in everyday chic kind of way Aspesi, you have to walk all the way to the back, from the front room it looks painfully unimpressive. for something more flashy, eleanora… all on via dei babuino. happy shopping!

  14. I was eagerly awaiting your post from Rome. And you delivered. Such amazing photography.The gardens divine, loved that sweet gentleman with the red shoes, he didn’t care one bit what people thought. Chanel Spring WOW.
    What a wonderful experience for you, every day a feast for the eyes and soul. I kinda like the little girls in the window I was looking for my little friend Ruby!!! Keep on having a fabulous time. Until the next time… Enjoy every second and be safe xo

  15. Is that fringe dangling from the brim of the cap of the gent in the pink seersucker slacks???

  16. Oh…I nearly shed a tear when I read you missed NINO’S…Until I realized it would have dropped into my bag of Fritto’s. GO BELLA!

  17. Does anybody think those mannequins look like The Olsen Twins?
    I LOVE ROME! Can’t wait to see the garden pics.

  18. I’ve become jaded. The mannequins didn’t frighten me. Should I become frightened that they didn’t? Canuck–I went back and I see what you’re saying about Slim. Especially the skinny jeans, scarf and sunglasses. I think it’s cute. The Children of the Corn Mannies dwell in the ‘Baby Gap’ windows.

  19. Great Post! One of my faves…

    Love the beauty of your adventures… Well, besides the creepy little Britney Spears children.

  20. Hi slim, trying to look back at all of your blogs to see if you have ever been to lake Como? If so, any thoughts on the ‘must see”s and do’s?
    Thanks, Liza
    Love your blog!

Would love to hear from you!