Monday, October 22, 2012

The Princess in a Muu-Muu

That night, we were to have dinner with a Principessa at her Palazzo. Total old money. We were directed to dress dressy, because, you know, Princess. So, we all dutifully cleaned up nice and put on our jackets and cocktail dresses.

The bus could not drop us at the front door of the palazzo. It couldn’t even get close, as the way from the main road to the palazzo involved little alley-like streets you could pretty much only traverse on a Vespa. (I subsequently commented that I would like to see the principessa tooling down there on a Vespa. In retrospect, I think the same effect would be achieved were she on a Segway.)

I can’t tell you exactly how old she is – my guess is somewhere safely on the other side of 70 – but she came off as a kindly grandmother. In a muu-muu. And sandals. Sandals rather amusingly decorated with seashells. So here’s us: 32ish folks in all our finery, meeting a Principessa in an unimpressive muu-nuu and shoes which might have gotten her kicked out of most public buildings in America.

Food was nice (gelato!), Principessa was nice; house was nice, but didn’t ooze money in the way I’d expected. I mean, she said it had 7 or 8 bedrooms. And while, yes, 7 or 8 bedrooms is rather more than I have (and it was a bit disconcerting that she didn’t have an exact count), the bedrooms were all pretty small (as was the fashion) and, honestly, it couldn’t compete with some high end homes I’ve seen in Bel Air. Still, the new Hollywood money can’t compete with the old money for decoration. I mean, none of the snooty private homes I’ve seen contained huge portraits of the previous owners. (One of whom was an extremely large woman, whom the Principessa politely called the Portly Princess.)

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