I now have under two weeks left in Rome. And at the two week mark, I started to panic. With all my dramas, I have not had much time for anything except going to work (which is very busy let me tell you), dealing with the ankle, the apartment and hosting my Kiwi friend.
A few days after my Kiwi mate left for NZ, Lalida and her father arrived from Bangkok to spend about a week in Rome. This visit coincided with my German colleague arriving from Munich for a frenzied week of work. Then I had to go to Paris, leaving Friday night and flying back Sunday night. So that left only one Saturday really for shopping. Hit the panic button!
I didn’t buy any sparkly sandals last year in Rome. In fact, I bought no shoes at all. I vowed to buy some sandals this time around and Testaccio has great shoes at the markets. Much cheaper than you would find in shops. I bolted out the door at 8.30am – one must start off with a good Italian cappuccino and ciambella – then hit the markets at 9.00am in time to beat the hordes.
Mind you, the hordes were already gathered at the tables of clothing. Since I had been through the markets over a number of weekends on scouting missions and with my Kiwi mate, I basically knew what I wanted. I’d already snagged a bargain with boots so I concentrated on finding some sandals for next summer in New Zealand.
The South Island of NZ is not exactly the fashion capital of the world, so even if I wear these sandals three years from now, I reckon they’ll still be stylish. I really like the Italian style of a zip on the heel of sandals and shoes, so I gravitated towards this and found three pairs of very comfortable and glitzy sandals. Well, one pair is a bit more sedate, whilst the other bejewelled sandals will look great with skirts or jeans. All three have the zipper up the back.
The two jewelled sandals cost Euro 20.00 each but as I bought two, I beat him down to Euro 35.00 (around NZ $56.00: one pair alone in NZ would cost more than $56.00 I reckon and I’ve never seen glitzy sandals like these). The other pair are a soft stone-coloured sandal with silver metal studs and diamontes. These were Euro 45.00 but I offered up 35.00 and we stitched the deal at 40.00 (or around NZ 64.00).
You do have to be cautious with shoes at these markets though. Don’t assume everything is made in Italy. I found shoes that were made in India – soft leather sure but they’re not Italian shoes. Same with the clothes that are sold outside the Testaccio markets in street stalls. Check the clothing label to see they’re made in Italy and not designed in Italy but made elsewhere.
Actually, I caught a stallholder out – the Made In Italy label had been very clearly badly stitched onto the back of the shirt but the label inside the garment said Made in PRC. Why would I go all the way to Italy to buy clothes made in China? I can do that in New Zealand where all clothes seem to have been made in the PRC.