Holiday Notebook: When in Rome, check out what the Romans do. It’s hard to dispute that a noticeably high percentage of locals carry off that hard to pin down quality we call Style.

Tuesday at Rosati: Espresso at Cafe Rosati in the Piazza del Popolo. (QUite likely the original of the old wannabe Rosati in Flinders Lane.) These women are right in the zone; surprising numbers of Roman women are blonde, and the men often have blue eyes.

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Golden oldies: The better off seniors dress very well. The men mostly in suits (never trackies and trainers) and the ladies are thorough-going in their modishness.

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Men in uniform: The carabinieri have maybe the best uniform among the cops of the world and they know it. The younger members of the force are mostly pretty handsome and I’ll bet that animal beauty counts in their favour during selection.

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Denim and lace: This is the latest thing. Jean tears and holes backed with lace. No more ridiculous than any fashion, but has the extra merit of irony.

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Matte spells luxe: It’ll soon be all the rage — car ducol in matte. This svelte Beemer in matte gunmetal grey. Goes so well with the cobblestones.

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Word pictures: Because I missed the shots.

1) Middle-aged blonde woman in red — red mini dress, red shawl and Alice band, red stilettos. The last was the sign of her dedication — she was walking the cobblestones of Rome in pointy high heels; every crack a pain and potential disaster.

2) Very handsome younger man in perfectly tailored grey suit and black knit tie, talking on his mobile phone — as he rode his bicycle one-handed down the middle of Via del Corso.

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Tutto normale: One aspect of Roman style I really admire is how they sometimes do things without the kind of small-minded official rituals that insist on its dignity.

At the Palazzo Massimo, which houses a mind-blowing collection of ancient sculptures and murals, I watched museum staff wheel in a box, unpack a priceless marble bust and install it into a waiting plinth — all within the space of five minutes, with a deal of joking and hand-waving. They did not seem to mind being watched, were not anxious of mishaps and the need for arse-covering.

(One notes that the lowly museum attendants are as much the little corporals as everywhere else. And that Roman waiters can be superlatively professional but are often also slack and surly.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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