Who are these fashion mannequins touring Florence, Venice, Rome, Milan, Perugia? Why am I the only one looking like I should be hiking around a state park back in the US? My golden rules for travel packing were clearly not their guides. White jeans? High heels? Lacy tops? Gorgeous tailored dresses? Seriously? These are not practical. These are not functional. Right? Wrong!
When did the world shift? I didn’t know there was going to be a fashion show in the lines for the Uffizi and the Vatican. In Florence and Rome you could almost understand it, but I even saw platform shoes and skin-tight mini skirts on the Cinque Terre trails. I am not exaggerating!
I had to “love the one I was with” and somehow maintain self esteem. There was no changing my practical REI zipper-happy, quick-dry cargo pants and plain t-shirts that match everything. The best I could do was mix it up with a colorful scarf some days. And there is no way, ever, that I would embark on a hike in anything other than my grungy backpacker clothing. It’s just not a high-heeled, mini-skirt kind of adventure for me.
This was a whole new dimension of travel that opened up to me on the streets of Italy this summer. I was able to do all the research I needed to in advance on hotels, museums, top sites, tickets, weather, etc. It never occurred to me to also research the dress code. I wonder what I would have found? Next time … maybe …
I loved looking at the pretty and fashionable parade, but truthfully it would have been hard to take the practical and functional out of me and make the switch!