Red Italian Blouse

Italian blouse bought in Tuscany. Missed my Wednesday post because of a power outage. Huge tree down. We went out for a rare mid-week margharita.

Now, about the blouse. It was bought in Italy under duress. Mother and I were touring, 7 days in Tuscany, then 3 in Rome. We arrived. Our luggage didn’t. In this instance the stereotype I carry of the Italian domani (tomorrow) played out perfectly. Our luggage came from Rome the day we returned.

Meanwhile, we had just what was in our carry-ons. Neither of us a clothes-horse, but as the days passed, we needed a change. We were in a small town, not a lot of English spoken, and my Italian is limited to what I’ve heard in opera. O Mio babino caro doesn’t cut it when you want clothes. Eventually I found a nice shop where the prices weren’t too high and they were adept at pantomime. There I found the blouse which I have loved and not just because the airline paid for it.

After the third day of washing out at night, it rained and we needed clean underwear. My dictionary wasn’t much help. Bus – autobus. Rain – pioggia. Underwear? Um, no. At the shop I pulled a bit of fabric from under my jeans belt and asked “Dove?” (Learned from a kooky choreographer who made us say “Dove sta amore, where lies love” while we danced.) After the laughter died, I was sent to a shop to buy the most expensive undies I’ve ever owned. Penney’s it was not.

I also needed a pair of shoes. Now, my feet are wide, high-arched – perfect for ballet and impossible to fit. Mother used to say, “Just sell her the box.” I found an empty shop – important when you think you are going to embarrass yourself – where a nice salesman brought out the ugliest sandals I’ve ever seen. Sadly, they fit like a dream. I hesitated, frowned, shuffled. All the while he was extolling how good the leather, how comfortable the shoe. Even with my limited Italian, I got it. Finally I burst out “Ma non e bella.” which I think meant “but they aren’t pretty.” He laughed, extolled some more and I bought them, wore them everywhere, and they were great. In fact, I still have them.

I’d like to point out that other folks write about charming men and love in Tuscany. My story is about lost luggage and ugly sandals. Seems apt…


  1. Jeri Eaton says:

    A great travel story – particularly the dove, underwear and laughter. I can just see it! And of course love the final comment – while love in Tuscany sounds wonderful there have been plenty of times when I’d prefer comfortable sandals!

Speak Your Mind