Teetering on High

Pink Heels worn by a fashionable Italian woman taking a Sunday walk in Nettuno, Italy. Photo by Trisha Thomas

I’ve been writing for nearly a year now about how hard it is for an American Mamma to reach the looks standards of the Italian women.   Women in Italy are style-conscious and impose high standards on themselves in terms of physical looks and dressing.  I have written about my desperate attempts to have luscious legs, my frustation at not being able to wear sweatpants at the supermarket in Rome, and my need to buy a push up bra to make the grade of bustiness common in Roman society.

I have the feeling some of you don’t believe me. You don’t think that Italian women really do dress up that much, you believe I am exaggerating.  Well, I am on a mini-mission to prove my point with some blogs posts with less writing but some visual proof.

Today I took my daughter to a friend’s house in a coastal town called Nettuno about an hour south of Rome.  The beaches of Nettuno and the neighboring town of Anzio are where the allies did an amphibious landing on January 22, 1944 as they began the attack that would take them up to liberate Rome. But there certainly weren’t any marines in boots in Nettuno today, there were women teetering in heels.

Today I was in my Sunday clothing – jeans, t-shirt, flat-shoes (not sneakers), and a scarf.

After lunch with our friends, we took a walk in search of a gelateria (ice cream shop) along the promenade in Nettuno past the yacht-packed port and the old medieval town with its fort.  As often happens to me in Italy, I realized I was noticeably under-dressed.  My eyes kept catching on women in extraordinarily high heels.  I stepped in behind one and tried to discretely snap a few photos of her feet, but I couldn’t manage to get a decent shot. Finally, I stopped her, explained that I am an American journalist and asked her if I could take a picture of her “super-chic” Italian shoes for my blog.  Without hesitation, she proudly posed for me as I crouched at her feet to take the above picture.

If I wore shoes like that for a walk on a Sunday afternoon anywhere in the United States, I believe I would be taken for a hooker.  This woman was not a hooker, she was a fashionable Italian lady enjoying a Sunday stroll.

 

Trisha Thomas
Trisha is a TV journalist working for AP TV News in Rome. She is married to an Italian and is a Mamma of three.

9 Comments

  1. dario
    2012/04/23

    look at the success of TODS factory !

    Dario

    Reply
    • Trisha Thomas
      Trisha Thomas
      2012/04/23

      Dario — You are absolutely right — for anyone who is not familiar with Tod’s — it is an Italian company that makes very stylish, high-fashion flat shoes women (and men too)
      If I could afford them, I would definitely buy myself some Tod’s!

      Reply
  2. dario
    2012/04/23

    The first part of my message was lost :
    Mi advice is : keep wearing low shoes on your walks on Sundays : It is more safe and more chic also for Italian standards !

    Reply
  3. Alan
    2012/04/23

    . . this ‘high fashion’ thing has me open-mouthed with astonishment! Same here in Turkey with the fashionable ladies of the big cities like Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya and Izmir and just about any TV channel – I’m agog – and think that most of them look like utter trollops! It’s either my age, or I need to get out more!

    Reply
    • Trisha Thomas
      Trisha Thomas
      2012/04/23

      Trollops!! I love that word. No, you don’t need to get out more Alan, you need to keep enjoying your walks, woods and backroads explorations and continue taking pictures of beautiful flowers for us all. Leave the trollops in the high-heels for the big-city boys.

      Reply
  4. Kathleen Botsford
    2012/04/23

    I tried to pack a pair of heels on our trip in Feb. Good thing they didn’t fit in the luggage. All I needed were boots….not cute and chic boots but snow and cold boots! Those were left on the floor of my closet also.
    Ahhh! Italian women and their shoes! I could maybe do a pair for dinner. As long as dinner was in the hotel restaurant!

    Reply
    • Trisha Thomas
      Trisha Thomas
      2012/04/23

      You’re right about that Kathleen. It is impossible to walk around the center Rome in skyscraper heels because there are cobblestones everywhere, so every other step a nice spike heel sinks down between two cobblestones and you get trapped and nearly trip and fall. I know this from personal experience. So, if any blog readers are bringing their spike heels to Rome, go to the hotel restaurant!

      Reply
  5. Kathy
    2012/04/24

    I was told this was the case! I’m visiting Rome for five days in September. There is no way I’m walking around Rome in my New Balance trainers – so,….any advice is welcome. Preferably something I can buy on line as I’m in Australia. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Trisha Thomas
      Trisha Thomas
      2012/04/24

      Well, Tod’s shoes are flat and considered very stylish in Rome, but they cost too much for me. September is still hot in Rome so you can where sandals or espadrilles, also multi-color ballerina flats seem to be in this year. So, you have a few options. I am not a fashion expert, but that’s my advice. And avoid the spike heels, no point in trying to compete with the Italian fashionistas

      Reply

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