ROME "You can't just ignore the Vatican," my friend Tim protested.
"Oh yes I can. I've been successfully ignoring it for about ten years now, except when a taxi shortcuts through."
"You're a travel writer who specializes in Italy. You lived in Rome," he spluttered.
"And the Vatican is an autonomous state, the world's smallest in both population and size. Who can be bothered?"
"Get on the bus!"
"Fine, but it'll be crap."
Embarrassingly, it wasn't. Rather, the pomp and gilt left me as jaded as ever, but I had a great snarky time with Tim's small son Daniel (we climbed the dome, then made stupid faces) and his girlfriend Tina (we paparazzied provocatively dressed women).
Total fish-in-a-barrel action. Despite the crisp February weather winter-coat-worthy still visitors managed flashy trashy fash at the Vatican. Leopard minis. Lace unitards. And my personal favorite: hot pants, matching boots and black tights. So ... so ... so very Mary Magdalen for that visit to the house of the lord.
Stalking a flounce-haired vixen in vacuum-pack jeans, I giggled at Tina, "this is marvelous. I could make a calendar. Tarts of the Vatican."
The shutter snapped on my prey's indignant mug, as she whirled round.
Guess that tart spoke English.
Mea culpa, bella.