Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Roman Holiday

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~

A st 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~

rome mom

Gloves, scarf & a pretty handbag, check (click to see the whole photo, above San Pietro, with accessory husband on the far right)~

Rome san pietro

Fodor’s Guide & oversized sunglasses for Paris (Tuilleries facing Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe), check~

Paris Mom tuill

Cute little Austin Healy Bug-eye Sprite, perfect for the Amalfi Coast and touring the rest of Europe, check~

amalfi coast

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~

rome colleseum

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~

Paris Dad ND

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’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....


  1. Are you kidding I can't wait to enjoy it all through you so I'm certain you are about to burst. Before I had scrolled down and was just noticing the first shot of you around the fringes of my eyesight, I thought it was Sophia Coppola, funny. You look so much like your beautiful and fashionable mother. How lovely to have these fantastic images.

  2. Have a wonderful time and do take lots of pictures to show us! Both you and your mother are both beautiful in your photos. You look so Parisian.

  3. The sweet photos of your parents are making me melt! So special. Have a great time. Wish it was me!

  4. Such enchanting photographs!
    You are going to have a glorious time.

  5. I found this post to be so interesting and thought provoking. Loved seeing the photos of your parents. Have a wonderful time on your trip. We went to Firenze in October. It was wonderful and I took tons of photos with my Canon Rebel. So glad I did. Looking forward to your photos.

  6. I'm so excited for you. I can't wait to see all your wonderful photos. Your mother is just lovely ~ I see where you get it from.

    There is a chance I'll be in your area late June. I'll keep you posted.


  7. Andrea, how wonderful to see the images from when you lived in Paris, you re so beaautiful & tres chic!! Your mother, she is so fresh and you look so much like her!

    I know you will have a fabulous time! More photos please!!

    Art by Karena

  8. What amazing photos of your parents! They were so chic! In all of our photos, we're in jeans or khakis and t-shirts!
    I can't wait to see the photos of your trip. I'm sure you'll look chic as well. Have a FABULOUS time.

  9. Gosh! I LOVE seeing these photos. How beautiful! How dapper!

  10. Dear one,
    I want to be a bug in your suitcase~ Awwww just to be unplugged in France & Italy. A dream come true! Have the BEST time ever!!!

  11. Very nice pictures, but it does not look like anyone had little here.

  12. Oh, I am so jealous! I wish you a beautiful holiday!
    I was captivated by this post. First, your picture is gorgeous! And I love the pictures of your stunning mother and your darling story that went along with it.
    What a great way to start my day!

  13. I dearly love the images of your parents on holiday! A true treasure! You look spendid in your shot~ as always.

    I need to send you an email about advertising and my upcoming Friday event.

    Alas it will wait until your return. I am so very excited for you!

  14. Sounds like so much wonderful fun!!! I just popped over from Metis Linens which was linked up to my party this weekend. I would so LOVE to travel to Italy and France!!! I can't wait to hear all about your trip!! New follower here- Stop by and say hello sometime! :)

  15. It would be best if you stuck to France. It is all getting a little thin here.