Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Jason Robards Helps Me Smuggle - Italy III

As the cab raced across Rome to get to company headquarters, it passed various tourist sights:

The coliseum

The forum

The war memorial.

We also saw an atractive young couple on a bright red vespa, who when they had to stop at a red light, began to make out as if it were their last day on earth. Rome, a city of passion and romance!

Finally we arrived at headquarters and met our colleagues, Alfonso and Valeria. Alfonso was Valeria’s manager, but Valeria was most important to us, because she was going to show us where to shop monitor the study. We did manage to find some time for her to look at our maps and show us where we could find bed and table linens, men’s ties, women’s bags and jewelry, etc. She was very sweet and beautiful.

Alfonso called a cab to take us to lunch across the street from the American Embassy.

What is it with Italian men? He was a flirtatious bastard and married to boot. Not bad looking though. After lunch, we went to the hospital and met with the potential investigator and sealed the deal. Alfonso dropped Dr. D and me back at our hotel and we arranged to meet him for dinner later that evening. Dr. D wanted to make the most of the afternoon of shopping, since he was leaving first thing in the morning on Saturday. So we hurried to our respective rooms to freshen up, changed into our shopping togs and met up in the lobby with wallets at the ready.

Off we went. Just a half a block from our hotel, I saw them. They called to me, “Sue, Sue. Come buy us. You know you must have us on your ears…”

Dr. D spotted them too. In the window of the jewelry store there was a pair of exquisite 18 k gold chalcedony drop earrings. They were topped by a bow, then a link of a heavy chain, and finally a drop of a spiral fluted ball of carved chalcedony for a bottom. The full length was a wee bit over 2 inches (5.1 cm), the diameter of the ball is half an inch (1.3 cm), and entire piece was very heavy; thank goodness they had a clip post. They were very opulent and feminine. Of course we went in. Dr. D and I were both in love with them, but I had seen them first and had dibs. His wife never really wore gold that much; she was more into modern jewelry anyhow. But he really liked them. In any event, we had only just begun to shop and were just out of the gate, so to speak, so I had the nice lady set them aside for us and told her that I would be back tomorrow.

We charged ahead for the Via Condotti and made it to the Spanish Steps. They were closed for repairs. Bummer! We couldn’t even go on them.

We then went into shoppaholic overdrive. We bought ties at Missoni. I bought two for Sean, and Dr. D bought one for himself.

Dr. D bought an embroidered table linen for his dining room.

Dr. D and I bought three wallets, one for me, one for his wife, and one for our assistant at work.

I bought a Piero Guidi handbag.

Then we found earrings for Dr. D’s wife. They were more of a modern affair, but still very Roman and opulent. There was a large amethyst at the post and a huge drop oval mabe pearl on its side at the bottom. They were 18 k gold. He needed lots of encouragement to buy it. But, what are colleagues for?

We then found ourselves at the Piazza Novona, quite worn out. We took a quick breather and a couple of photos sitting on the side of the fountain and it was back to our hotel to get ready for dinner with Alfonso.

We met him at an out door fancy schmancy place surrounded by hedges. He was there with his tall and shockingly beautiful wife. She was wearing a gorgeous sleeveless shift dress with long pendent amber earrings. Simple and elegant. I should say something here about Roman women’s style. They wear lots of heavy gold jewelry with everything. Even with jeans and a tee shirt. You will see a woman wearing a heavy gold chain necklace, or ring you could choke on, or earrings big enough that if you fell into the water they would carry you straight to the bottom. Yet, no one looks overdone. They all have the dark and exotic looks to carry it off. I found myself eyeing all of the women’s jewelry all over town. You just know it is all real. It was embarrassing. Anyway, back to dinner.

We started off with a cold baby squid salad which was delicious. Then we had some angel hair pasta with shrimp and I was quite full. Then we ordered the meat. MEAT! I deferred, but Alfonso would not allow it. He worried that I would waste away to nothing. So I had some filet minion. They all ordered heavy desserts, but I ordered the three flavors of gelato: coconut, melon, and kiwi. They were so refreshing.

By the time Dr. D and I got back to the Grand Hotel, we were thoroughly exhausted. He was flying back in the morning, and I had the day to myself to wander Rome and pick up those earrings I had seen the day before.


Ryan said...

cool post! i have been 2 Italy i remember some of those places very cool. i was wonderin how come u never stop in and visit me anymore? did i do somethin wrong?

savante said...

Can I be jealous again! How about some pics of cute Italians?


Sue said...

Thanks Ryan. I come to your site all the time. Nothing is wrong. :)

Yes, Paul, you can be jealous. I have told you that you should visit Rome for the "shopping". The boys were very sexy. Will try to hunt up some pics.