LAST TIME I WAS IN ROME
It is quite strange that with all the traveling I have done and do somehow I have not been in Rome for over twenty five years. And I was only there once before that when I was 14 . I only remember a few things about that first trip.. My mother and I stayed at the Hilton on the hill. All I cared about was getting a Gucci bag. I remember that like it was yesterday. I’m just being honest here. I had saved my money and my grandmother had given me extra and the second we checked in I went zooming down to the shops at the bottom of the hotel where there was a tiny Gucci outlet. I didn’t buy the bag for a week, I looked at everything in my price range, which was very little. And I hit all the other Gucci shops in Rome. I remember the Collisieum and I have only one photo of that trip it’s of me standing by the Collesium with a friend of my mother’s son. He was in his twenties and I think I had sexual fantasies about. Or whatever you think at that age. I do remember having a crush on him, in fact every story I have with Italy somehow there is a man or two attached. I remember this guy lived in a tiny place near the Piazza Navona and he was there studying. We spent a lot of time with him. My mother was always good about finding people who lived in places to show us around. Of course there would have been tons of museums as my mother dragged the reluctant 14 year old who would have preferred sitting in the Piazza Navona making goo-goo eyes at this guy whose name I can’t remember.
And since we all or most of us do grow up and much of what was planted takes root, I now drag my kids to museums and mosques and all sorts of places, when they would rather be shopping or in Taylor’s case shopping-flirting.
And the bag, I remember the bag. It cost forty US dollars a lot of money back then. It looked like dopp kit with straps. I couldn’t afford a real purse, but I thought I would pretend this was the latest thing. Isn’t every one carrying dopp kits with straps these days, I told myself.
That Gucci bag was more than a Gucci bag it was my first step into stylish- albeit dopp kit adulthood and started my lifelong obsession with handbags.
And then last night both girls said, our main Christmas gift is a purse in Italy right???? The apple and all that…..
The last trip was in 1985. I had a sort of boyfriend who was at that point not really a boyfriend any longer. It was during my Italian men old enough to be my father period… Which included people like the furniture designer Willy Rizzo and a few actors I can’t mention as they were married and one was well known.
But I had this on again, off again, sort of relationship with a screenwriter named Luciano Vincenzonni who I had not seen in years. He as quite glam, but much older, he was very quirky. . He called me one day, and said come to Rome and Venice, I send you a ticket and you don’t have to sleep with me. I want to clarify I was not in the habit of taking tickets for favor, it’s just I think he was saying you are not coming as my girlfriend.
Plus one of my best friends Natasha worked for him.
So I went – Rome and Venice. The Venice story I must save for my book. Rome I only remember my luggage did not arrive for 24 hours. We only ate at The Grand Hotel as he was very odd about restaurants, in LA he would only eat at Trader Vics, in NY a place called Pearls, in Rome the Grand Hotel and Venice Harry’s Bar. So I was in Rome for only two days that trip. I ate all my meals at the Grand Hotel. He lived in Parioli a very chic part of Rome. I did not have to sleep with him, for some reason he just wanted me around. And he bought me a Bulgari watch.
The four days in Venice I remember every detail.
So those are my Rome memories and I’m off to make some new ones.
The first thing I will remember is getting to the airport this morning whole family ready to go – only to be told at check-in Taylor’s passport had expired three days ago. I plan things to the nano second. The arrangements for this trip have been in operation for months.
We had a few choices, bag the whole thing, head home and regroup. We did not want to do that. We could all go home and wait while she got a new one, but they would not change our tickets so it would have cost a fortune. Not an option. She told me she could take care of it. There is one glitch, when they gave her her last one they typed my birthday as hers, we are one week off. She has no access to her birth certificate, it’s in the safety deposit box to which only I have the key. But we think, are convinced she will be here Wed morning. Keep your fingers crossed today, all her other documents are enough. If they are not we will cross that bridge when we come to it.
But now we are in Rome. Just landed. I’m going to go look up Luciano.