I love Rome. But I couldn’t stay there long – the calorific diet would have got me in a week. So how come they’re all so slim? - it’s the only place in the world where I look at guys’ suits. And ties! I was almost tempted to buy one – which would have been stupid as I wear them only for weddings (the last was three years ago) and funerals. It would make more sense to use rent-a-tie.
We were sitting outside a café when a guy wearing dirty overalls and white gloves leaned out of a window across the street and shouted to someone near us. Because of the traffic noise, no one seemed to notice, so he tried again. Then, with a shrug that if you saw it in a film you'd call it over-acting, he pulled a mobile out of his pocket – and the lady at the next table said, ‘Pronto’.
In all the years (44) I’ve been coming to Rome I’ve never seen a Roman nose. Oh yes, marble ones, thousands of them – the ancient Greco-Roman sculptures are equipped with hooters like ski-jumps. Yet in this city of three million people, not one of them seemed to have a living, breathing, exponential nasal organ. I’ve seen more curvaceous conks at Everton home games. What happened to the nose gene? Do they get plastic surgery on the Social Security?
And then, as we're having dinner on our last night in Rome, there it is at the next table! Excited at my discovery, I kick wife under the table. Or to be precise I kick her foot which is under the table, and by subtle signalling manage to draw her attention to the adjacent perfectly profiled proboscis. Nero would have been proud to have it.
There were only two things were wrong with it. First, it didn’t look right on a woman. Secondly, she was Irish.
Nose Quest continues.