|Fendi Runway Mules $925.|
|Prada Silver Stiletto Sandals $700.|
|Prada Gladiator Sandal $950.|
|Capri-Girl Embellished Sandal $250.|
|Dolce e Gabbana poppy print dress $1315.|
Of course, not many people there wear designer shoes or clothes. Nevertheless, there is pride in the way a scarf is tied around a neck or in a chunky necklace or in a pocketbook, no matter how tiny, that matches the shoes. As a guest in their country, I try to dress with respect for their customs and a nod to affordable fashion. I don't pack sweatsuits.
However, I cannot acquiesce to the Italian women's custom of wearing stilettos or any kind of heels throughout the day. All I can walk in these days are sneakers with cushiony inserts, having spent my teen years in pointed Cappezio flats, with resulting bunions. When I taught high school classes I stood in three-inch heels for years. I wore heels up and down the inclined cobblestones of Hong Kong as a guest of Charley's bank, while our host tried not to smirk. Four months before visiting Italy this year I tore the Plantar Fascia ligament on the bottom of my foot, necessitating a soft boot for six weeks, followed by six weeks of therapy.
In southern Italy, where the weather is warm, sandals predominate...the higher the better.
Capri is famous for its jeweled designs, but flip-flops are everywhere...even on women who ride their bikes home after a weekly trip to the grocer's.
Eighty-year-old women walk up and down steep, often crumbling steps in sandals, carrying their satchels. Steps are a way of life, leading from village to village.
|Steps to the sea at our hotel on Ischia|
|Up to our room, Mezzatorre Hotel, Ischia|
However, women in five-inch heels also parade their baby strollers over cobblestone streets. Fashion is always on display.