Saturday, 11 August 2012

The holy grail

women walking in heels

If you are an Italian chick, you therefore have a unique strand of DNA.

This strand of DNA allows you to specifically walk in heels in Rome. Full stop.

In my 18 days here so far, I have schlepped around in my rose gold flats watching (drooling) as Italian women teeter their way around in the highest of heels.
They negotiate their way with effortless swagger across the cobbled stones.


I remember asking my aunt Kathy (connoisseur of all things footwear/self confessed shoe addict) if i should consider taking a pair of heels with me. Her response?

''Are you a woman?'' she replied sans shoulder shrug.

With all the anticipated walking/exploring (and limited kg allowance for the flight), I played safe and brought 3 pairs of flats instead.

Now I look on with envy and awe...........

So I've been diving into most shoe shops (much to Alessio's amusement and patience) in hopes that a pair will just call to me. 

''Nancy......I am here! pick me! pick me!''

But nothing. Niente. Zilch.

It seems like there is a standard divide between 'whoa!, holy cow!' expensive (albeit rocking shoes) and 'whoa! that's cheap! ( ass nasty)' If i do find a pair i semi like, they don't have my size. It seems that a 39 (size 6) is a little on the large size for womens feet in Italy.

FYI.........GIVE ME those legs

So the search continues.....we've now likened this search to Dante's circles of hell.

  I think i'm stuck between the 1st and 2nd cirlcle. ''Lust'', ''Limbo''

 It's a shoe limbo.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The big 'C'

What is more synonomous with Rome than the first sighting of the 'The Colloseum''?

It's one of those 'big' ones you just have to tick off your list and after you've spent some time in Rome, it becomes more of a map marker.  Of course you want to do everything in your power to avoid looking anything like a tourist, but with this site, you just have to explore and soak up as much of the grandness as possible. At least once.

The Colosseum

 After having made the mistake of walking around Pompeii without a tour guide the first time (there is literally no signage or information as you trapse around) we paid an extra 5euro each to follow an 'english speaking' (worlds worst 'english' speaking guide - i spoke better Italian) tour guide, complete with small radio walkie talkies.

We pretty much dumped the group after 5 minutes, but it was still worth it as you can jump the queue to buy tickets if you are buying them in conjunction with a tour. I did play a slight 'innocent english' card after we bought the tickets, jumping the queue to get through the turnstiles quicker ( I was dying for a wee).

Even though Alessio isn't a native to Rome and the last time he visited 'il colloseo' was on a school trip many a year ago, he knew far more than i would about Buckingham Palace. That's one of the biggest differences about schooling from England to Italy. The Italians learn far more about their cultural history and are rightly proud of it.

We've all seen 'Gladiator' and so have a fair idea of what the 50'000 seat Colosseum is all about (underground chambers, trap doors, fights to the death, animal vs man etc)

Here are a few notable points to remember:

  • It was built in AD 69-79 by Emperor Vespasian (whoa - 10 years?! - doesn't that put alot of building projects to shame?)
  • It wasn't the biggest stadium of it's kind in it's day - not far away is the 'Circo Massimo' which could hold up to 200'000. So the name 'il Colosseum' hasn't nothing to do with its colossal size and everything to do with being named after 'Colosso di Nerone' - a giant statue that resided nearby.

The Colosseum arches

It used to have an awning! not one of those crappy - ''buy an awning and get a parker pen free'' jobbies, but a giant one with 240 masts in place to hold it.

The Colosseum interior

The wooden floor of the arena was covered in stop the combatants from slipping.......and to mop up their blood.
But at the same time the arena could be filled with water for naval battle shows!

The Colosseum interior

The colosseum was abandoned after the fall on the empire in the 6th century and was later used for various things....fortress, quarry etc and now pollution and the metro are having their effects as well.

But it also has fantastic views of the Roman forum and 'Arco di Constantino'

arco di constantino

But here's how Alessio and I made a hot slog through the colosseum a bit more fun....
(minus the tour guide and plus the gladiator poses)

The Colosseum gladiator pose

The Colosseum gladiator pose

The Colosseum statue pose

The Colosseum statue pose

The Colosseum statue pose

The Colosseum statue pose

The Colosseum statue pose

The Colosseum statue pose