Vacanze Romane (Roman Holiday) with Stacey and Wendy

My oldest friend Wendy from L.A. showed up in Cortona last week. Our mothers were best friends, and introduced us to each other when I was two years old and she was one. We were the best of friends all through our childhood and saved each others’ asses in our respective dysfunctional households.  Our sleepovers were a torrent of constant giggling until our mothers would scream at us and threaten to separate us if we didn’t “settle down.” That just fueled the fire and hours of hysterical giggling would continue.


Modern Day Slumber Party in Cortona July 2013

So Wendy, after doing the European vacation of a lifetime with her husband and two grown sons, shipped them home, and came to me. We have not seen each other in 10 years, but we picked right back up from where we left off and regressed to our childhood selves immediately.  We have been laughing non stop.  IMG_8730


We decide it might be a good idea to go have a Roman Holiday for 24 hours. I was just there a minute ago, but why not? It will be a FUN adventure.


We arrive at our lovely Navona Palace Residenze di Charme, in the heart of Piazza Navona. It was fantastic, luxurious B and B,  great room, all was perfect.


Off to see the town. First stop: some incredible random Baroque church.


Madonna painting in a gilded frame. Looks like one of my books. Or my books look like a church. The lines are pretty blurry there, which came first: books or church. Who cares.


I am not a “religious” person, but I do enjoy getting into the catholic swing of things, crossing myself upon entering a church, and usually offering up a candle to whomever or whatever moves me in the moment.

Next stop: another form of worship, a chic Roman clothing boutique.



Beautiful clothes, beautiful store.  Another prayer entirely.

Since the previous clothing boutique was way out of both of our budgets, we head into ZARA, where if you pick and choose wisely, no one knows the difference.


We find matching striped linen jackets, and continue our mothers’ obsession: dressing us like twins. We each buy a matching striped linen jacket for 39,50 euro. Not bad.



Kind of Audrey Heburn-ish if one squints and ignores the current day autos and motorcycles.


We ran across these same stupidine tourists several times in various parts of town, Americans unfortunately, what an atrocity. How anyone could behave like such an idiot in an Italian city or anywhere else in Europe is an embarrassment beyond belief.


Wendy’s idea of high fashion. Just kidding.

15One more incredible ancient building.


The ladies are headed out for the evening.


The next morning with not nearly enough sleep, we hit the streets of Rome again, first stop, Piazza della Rotonda, home to the Pantheon.


Lunch at Di Rienzo, wonderfully elegant restaurant next to the Pantheon.


Antique souvenir spoons from Rome, one of my many obsessions and weaknesses. A true pleasure however, to come across.



Modern day Roman Holiday Vespa action.


The last few hours of our Vacanze Romane, an adventure in some obscure clothing boutique on the way to the train station.  We find countless wonderful dresses, entertaining the delightful Roman saleswoman while her stronzo boss stood up front, reading the newspaper, with a grumpy pout on his face the whole time.

We made her day with our antics. Wendy takes a pair of 1960’s mod pants in the dressing room while Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” is simultaneously playing. The dressing room curtain whips open and Wendy flies out doing a John Travolta Saturday Nite Fever Disco, whirling and twirling around the store.  The two Iranian customers’ jaws drop (they warmed up later and started giggling) the saleswoman had the best day working for the shithead/stronzo ever, and I am dying on the floor in hysterical laughter.


<p><a href=”″>MVI 3398</a> from <a href=”″>stacey mattraw</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a>.</p>

This had to be one of the funnier experiences of my life.

We spend some money, tell the asshole boss that he has an employee that is made of gold and we race out of there, catch our train home to Cortona.

A long and twenty fours hours later, we arrive at Casa San Marco late Thursday night crawling up the steps to the front door.

FUN Mission Accomplished.

<p><a href=”″>MVI 3403</a> from <a href=”″>stacey mattraw</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

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3 Responses to Vacanze Romane (Roman Holiday) with Stacey and Wendy

  1. Jennifer Carlisle says:

    Fabulous. LOVE that you’ve haf such a romp with a treasured friend, and burdt out laughing over your assessment of the profoundly embarrasing idioti touristi americani.. How deeply do I concur and feel your pain? Love you anf feel terribly homesick for our antics Italiani of a quite similar flavor! Muah! Jen fren

  2. Genevieve Anderson says:

    Hi my friend! I love your images and your story in Roma. Too fun!
    Love, Genevieve (from Montana)

  3. Pingback: Missing Rome. And All the Rest. | I Heard Myself

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