When In Rome

More of Italy from our very own Mary Braun. And have you seen our new line of romantic--and Rome-inspired-- summer dresses? Give it a look and let us know which dresses you would take on your own Roamin' Holiday!

Ah, Roma! City of dreaming wishes and romantic street lights; city of stolen love and stolen wallets.

Of all the places I have loved, I have loved Rome best.

I used to be quite adorable, you know. I lived in Italy in the prime of my youth-- fresh faced and spry. A young American doll. (Well, sort of.) I had the best name in Italy at least. "MARIA!" the natives would yell and I would respond (in my head) "la chiave!" (as anyone naturally would who has watched the darling Roberto Benigni from La Vita e' Bella no less than 23 times).

Look at my here! See? Adorable!

Rome was amazing. Unforgettable. Divine. Breathtaking. I’m not talking about taking-the-stairs-instead-of-the-elevator breathtaking (that happens to me more than I’d care to admit), but cosi meravigliosa (so marvelous) that I could honestly cry from both astonishment and pure joy of what was unfolded and presented to me every day:

Fountains bubbling with fresh water around every street corner? Check!
Italian Opera floating out the windows in small alleys? Check!
Me eating my third hazelnut and banana gelato that day? Double check!!

I mean, does it get any sweeter than this? Obviously not.

This is me visiting several years later with a baby in tow. Still hooked on gelato…hmmm….

Since I had the opportunity to gallivant around this beloved city for several months, I thought I would share a few of my favorite pictures and locales and give you little hint of what I should have worn had Shabby Apple been around:

La Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain): Is it terrible that I loved this fountain so much because just across the street was a pizzeria with the most amazing potato pizza? (Don’t judge me.) When the sun was high this fountain was magical! Bright white against a clear blue sky – no wonder it is famous for secret wishes. (i.e. I wish I had more potato pizza….) This fountain is tucked neatly away behind streets and buildings and no cars are allowed in this area. On your way here, you see plenty of Rome’s famous sites, so I would recommend wearing something breezy and comfortable, like Da Vinci. Throw on a pair of flats and swing a camera over your shoulder and you are good for sightseeing all day.

La Basilica di San Pietro (St. Peter’s Cathedral): The first time I saw this building I was stunned! Why I shouldn’t have expected it to be the most massive piece of work I’d ever see in my life, I know not. From the impressive piazza and towering columns to the delicate Pieta’ (my favorite) and reverent Sistine chapel, this site is a must-see for everyone. Since it’s a cathedral, I think it deserves Sunday best – and cotton, please, since you will probably be smooshed next to a very large group of sweaty tourists. I would recommend Veni Vidi Vici (because conquering the Vatican in one day is in and of itself an impressive feat!)

If you are feeling adventurous and want to hop on a train for a day trip, let me suggest two alternate routes to the North and South:

Firenze (Florence): By far the most popular city in Italy! I couldn’t get enough of the open markets, leather goods, Pinocchio paraphernalia…. Not to mention The Uffizi and Academia house some of the most famous art and sculptures in the world. If I had my way, I would traipse around the city all day in Rosso: Start in the Piazza di Michelangelo to watch the sunrise, spend the day in studious observation in the museums and end it at the Florence Opera House for a showing of La Boheme or Carmen. Please. Best day ever.

Costa d’Amalfi (Amalfi Coast): From the pastel homes piled on top of each other to the sprawling coast line, this locale screams Italian dream!! Enjoy the beach and fresh salt air and then take a drive to the other coastal cities like Napoli (try their famous spaghetti and pizza!) or swing over to Sorrento and pick up a collectible music box. Do it in style in the new Gondola dress and before long you’ll be saying, “Cosi si fa a Napoli!”


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