There`s no denying that Romans have style. Women, men, young and old have an air of confidence in their appearance. Their clothing choices lean towards black; a fashion tip that I embraced many years ago. Black is easy to mix and match. It moves gracefully from casual to dress-up. And, it is impervious to the ever-present street grime of this ancient city. (Travel tip – leave your white pants at home!)
I am in awe of Italian women. They navigate cobble-stone streets in stiletto heels and maneuver motor-cycles and scooters through the crazy maze of narrow streets that is Rome. And, they are gorgeous. Not in the American, blonde Barbie kind of way. Few have perky little button noses. Having been blessed rather generously in the proboscis department, I`m heartened to see women who are not only comfortable in their natural looks, but who allow their beauty to glow. Three cheers for the Roman nose!
Style is apparently important in ecclesiastical circles, also. Window shopping in the vicinity of St. Peter`s provides an interesting diversity of wares. Souvenir shops filled with plastic Pietàs and glow in the dark rosaries share street space with high-end clerical fashion stores. There seems to be a market for these duds. Young priests and seminarians decked out in cassocks and impeccably tailored black suits abound. Hollywood casting directors wouldn`t have to look far for Bing Crosby or Spencer Tracey look-a-likes.
Also spotted were young women in full religious habits. These were no shrinking violets of humility. They, too, had an air of confidence. Their veiled heads held high and long skirts swooshed with their brisk steps. It made me wonder about the upcoming generation of religious sisters and priests. I also wondered where the high-end nun shops were.