Our first impression of Rome when we arrived was the shoes. My god, the SHOES here are something else altogether. No matter how casually a woman is dressed, she'll be wearing something incredible on her feet. Think purple patent leather strappy sandals with pearl studs all over them, or 6 inch cork heels with gold lame around the toes. If it doesn't shimmer, it doesn't count. Even sneakers are decorated with metallic purple trim if they aren't already gold, bronze or pearl in colour. Only the men and the lesbians wear sensible shoes. As you can tell, we are in the latter category.
I can't tell you how much relief I felt when we were picked up in Sora by an Austrian girl called Anna, to be taken to the farm we stayed on. She was wearing desert boots and dirty shorts. I knew we'd fit in there afterall. She told me later that when the guy who runs the farm, Antonello, goes to town without wearing shoes, the people in the town are so shocked they offer to BUY him some shoes! This came out when Paula made the terrible faux pas of popping out to get some milk in her bare feet, and was met with stares of horror.