My pal Steve Kenny has just been in Rome, walking in, or at least among, the ruins, and also doing a fair amount of walking on cobbles, which he reminds me can be very hard work indeed. And he sent me this picture (mild shades of Garry Winogrand) and an accompanying email:
“For the benefit of your readers, here's a pic of a girl showing how you shouldn't dress when exploring ruins and walking on cobbles and uneven ground. It was in the Forum - she gave up after 50 yards and went back to the car. She looked nice but everyone was laughing at her.”
I’m not sure that I’d have laughed at her. I think I might well have cheered.
Anyway, while trying to find some supplementary information about walking in Rome, I came across an item saying that a new law has been passed in Rome forbidding tourists (and I don’t suppose it only applied to tourists, but I think the idea is that the citizens of Rome have more class) from eating pizza, ice cream and whatnot as they walk the streets of the ‘centro storico’ of the Eternal City.
An activist named Viviana Di Capua says, “This is a way to re-educate people, especially tourists visiting Rome in awe about how to behave in this city. We’ve let standards fall. At the moment tourists can do anything they like in this city. We need to restore respect. It’s just a first step – a lot more needs to be done.” Who could argue with a woman named Viviana? And actually I suspect that if you looked like Audrey Hepburn you might still get away with it today.