The Theatrical Journalist

Improv, Comedy, Women, Melbourne and everything in between.

(Another) Idiot Abroad: Rome, the land of strappy sandals and camouflage print


When I arrived in Roma, I felt a little out of place. Perhaps it’s common when you travel to a place with a foreign language for the first time. I’m quite used to it now, the traffic, the language, the people. There was still something about myself that seemed to stick out, though. Sure, not many locals in Rome have blonde, wavy hair, but I knew that wasn’t the primary reason. Walking around the busy night markets and along the river, observing the locals and tourists and travellers, I worked it out. I finally understood why people often stared at me a little strangely. It’s the fashion.


My orange flat-forms and my trippy shift-dress gave me away. Damn you, Gorman!



You can tell who’s a local and who’s a tourist by what they’re wearing. Tourists will be prepared, wearing cargo shorts and ugly-yet-safe-and-versatile-travel bags. They will also most likely be sporting one of the fedoras that are sold on the side of every street for I’m-not-sure-how-much. Who doesn’t come to Europe in the Summer without a hat? When I was buying sunscreen at the local farmacia, the kind Italian man serving me asked where I was from. “Australia,” I said, and he cast me a knowing look. “Ah, si. Australia you need lots of protection because of the hole in the ozono!” he said. “Si,” I nodded. Yep. I like my hats brimmed and my sunscreen 30 – 50+. I’m the type of person who burns pretty easily, especially if I intentionally try to tan. If I’m strolling around in the sun and shade all day with some sunscreen, I’ll work up a nice tan though. The best thing to wear in Rome during the Summer months is a white tee-shirt and a cool, long, cotton skirt.

It was 35 degrees in Rome today, and strangely enough, I was quite fine walking around in the heat all day. In Australia when it’s 35 degrees, I can barely cope. That old Italian man at the pharmacy was correct about Australia’s “hole in the ozono”.

Dammit, ozono!


Trastevere, Roma.

I’m staying in Trastevere, a very old and traditional part of Rome, across the river from the CBD and Fontaine de Trevi. There aren’t many tourists or travellers in this area, which is why I stick out like a sore thumb. Roman locals dress very late 90s-early 2000s-Carrie Bradshaw-like.


This, Rome, plus camouflage print.

Everything is strappy sandals or kitten heels with diamante studs, halter neck tops, camouflage, boob-tubes, and the patterns are very colourful and busy like Missoni. There are also a lot of men and women with blonde tips in their hair. You can imagine I’d look pretty out of place with my Gorman shift dress and Winsdor Smith platform jellies.

Strappy sandal store, right next to my apartment. One of many.

Strappy sandal store, right next to my apartment. One of many.

White pants are also extremely popular here – a look I don’t intend to master anytime soon because I don’t think my ass has the courage. I have noticed a lot of locals wearing full-length jeans (usually boot-cut or with a small flare) in the heat with strappy singlets or tube tops. This makes no sense to me. It’s 35 degrees, the sun is beating down on your shoulders which are technically doing no work, while your legs are pumping away inside tight, dark denim. I don’t get it. In Summer, my ideal outfit for exploring in the sunshine is: shorts with a nice tee shirt to cover the shoulders – but I’m lazy, and I don’t like wearing complicated cut-out tops because who has the patience to apply little blobs of sunscreen in weird, intricate places. I like wearing things that cover my back and shoulders because they’re the first things to get hit by the sun. Our legs do most of the work anyway by walking and standing so they’re bound to get hot first – thus, the idea of a tube-top with full-length denim jeans in 35 degree heat is illogical to me.

However, flat-forms on cobblestone roads are also illogical, which is my mistake. Touché, European hotties. Touché.


Unrelated, Colosseo!


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This entry was posted on July 18, 2013 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .
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