Mar 10, 2008


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.


  1. we would have made it into THAT hall of fame, had we ditched the stilettos for 1980s chavette footwear, non? Next time!

  2. Were many of the tarts Russian? I have found them to be the most shockingly inappropriately dressed tourists in the world. Hot pants at the Vatican? That may be even better (worse?) than hot pants at the Pyramids, at high noon on a 95-degree day.

  3. I have to admit to having a similar attitude regarding the Vatican. But now that I know of the fun that can be had, I promise to change my ways.

  4. S, darling, you and your 60s minidress can be the cover, footwear be damned!

    Zora: we were so busy snarking and giggling and zoom-lensing, I'm afraid I didn't stalk my prey close enough to determine accents. Several of them certainly looked like post-Soviet mail-order brides...

    Marie: forget Colombia. You should head off to the Vatican for some REAL adventure.

  5. The Catholic Church ... we've made some changes!

  6. Do you think you would get escorted out of Vatican City for dressing too slutty? I think that science needs to know the answer to that question.

  7. DB: So you these are decoy tarts, eh? Some kinda PR spin to detract from altar-boy molestations, perhaps?

    Louche: The Church chucks out folks showing too much flesh, certainly. But I'm not sure about sheer vampiness. Maybe priests simply turn the other cheek?