One week from today, I will happily find myself on an Air France jet bound for Paris, and after a short hop, I will arrive in Firenze, the birthplace of the Renaissance and the heart of Tuscany. Early the next morning I will take the high speed train to Rome.
Before I can settle into that airline seat and breathe a satisfied sigh of relief that the journey is actually underway, it seems there are a million and one little details which need attention.
My sister is coming with me on part of this trip, and we will meet in Florence after I spend several days in Rome. It’s interesting that once we get past our primary shoes (something sensible) and outerwear (trench coats), we are spending much of our pre-departure time debating which electronics to bring: I-Pads, cell phones, big cameras, little camera, telephoto lens, spare camera chips, various cords and chargers etc etc.
I wasn’t always this way, no, not at all. When I lived in Paris I didn’t even own a camera, let alone a cell phone! Can that be? Though every trip and every image du jour is neatly stored in my grey matter and ready for instant recall. Technology has definitely accelerated. Thankfully, a few visitors took photos of me in Paris; here by the way is that photo I said I was hunting for, my sister says she took it on the Ile Saint Louis~
No cell phone, no camera, no gadgets, no stress. I wore that navy pea coat in winter, and my usual accessories with my pared-down wardrobe were YSL sunglasses and a Kelly-style Gucci handbag you can barely see in my left hand.
How I wish I could have my Mother’s “packing list” from the late 1950’s: Audrey Hepburn flats & a cardigan, check~
Gloves, scarf & a pretty handbag, check (click to see the whole photo, above San Pietro, with accessory husband on the far right)~
Fodor’s Guide & oversized sunglasses for Paris (Tuilleries facing Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe), check~
Cute little Austin Healy Bug-eye Sprite, perfect for the Amalfi Coast and touring the rest of Europe, check~
Mom said yes, post-War, everyone had very little, and she wore this pretty dress that she brought from home in Canada lots of times when they went traveling. I said "what's with all the posing in the photos?" "Oh we watched a lot of movies, and Audrey Hepburn and stuff," Mom says. Well, the film Roman Holiday came out just a few years earlier, and she cut her hair short to match, so perhaps they were chanelling Hepburn & Gregory Peck during this visit to Rome~
Dad was equally dashing, I mean who travels in a suit and tie today? Well, it was how a proper man dressed, in the late 50’s~
My Father spent two years in the U.S. Army medical corps in Germany just after the War; they say this was their “two year honeymoon.” Interestingly, they took hundreds and hundreds of photos, which they had made into slides. They are today still neatly organized in the slide racks, and several years ago I had a selection of slides printed and made into a book for them, for Christmas. These are just a few photos from their little European Honeymoon.
It’s so much fun for me to see pics of them in Rome and Paris, to remind me of a gentler time. They are glad, and I am glad, that they took these photos. And it makes me wonder, should I have taken tons of pics when I lived in Paris? Well, I don’t know. The Parisians don’t run around with cameras....it’s just not done. And it was fun to be young and of-the-moment and just enjoy it, you know what I mean? To enjoy it without chasing it....
I am now, of course, making up for lost time by being a total shutterbug the last few years. And being a tourist in Italy gives me full license, I believe, to photograph all that I find interesting, which will be a LOT.
I leave next Tuesday, and did I mention, I can not wait!? My own "Roman Holiday" of sorts, however brief....