The End of My First Italian Summer

 

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Glorious Lake Como, where I passed the last day of August.

So September is here and Rome is in full swing, which means that I made it through my first Italian summer! It was definitely a learning experience during which I got to see  traditional Italian summer protocol first hand. Now that I know the Italian summer ropes, there are a couple of aspects that I can’t wait to implement into my own routine next summer. The first: I’m determined to do I can so as not to pass August 2014 in Rome, or any major Italian city for that matter. I have no problem working in August, but I would just prefer to do so from a WiFi-equipped beach,  lake or country house.The second: I’m determined to return from my summer 2014 vacanza with tanned legs. Now, I know the sun is bad for you, but let’s just face it…everyone looks better with a tan.

I returned from Milan on Monday so I had the privilege of experiencing the last weekend of August  in that illustriously vibrant city in person. The Milanese return from their holidays looking relaxed, and then head out with their friends and loved ones to paint the town prior to returning to the office on Monday. Everywhere I looked, women and men alike were showing off their deeply tanned, caramel-hued complexions.

From my friend’s birthday soiree to a Lake Como beach to a morning run at Idroscola to aperitvo time near Arca della Pace, I was surrounded by women with bronzed gams and each time a pair sauntered past me, I grew increasingly jealous and more painfully aware of my ghostly white stems, as well as a little subconscious, too!  Anyone who knows me and my legs, knows they are beyond pallid and that it’s hard for them to acquire and keep a tan. I have to apply some kind of sunscreen so they don’t burn and when they do get some semblance of “color,” you really can’t tell…it looks like they went from pale-as-death to just pale. Also, I think the fact that I need to shave my legs like three times a day doesn’t help because shaving removes some of the skin’s layers, which scales back the tanning progress thus rendering it more challenging to build and maintain a sturdy base. (Yes, three times a day. I get 1pm and 6pm shadow and yes, I am well aware that it’s time for some laser intervention.)

It’s always motivating to set goals for yourself—personal or professional—so I have added the aforementioned two to my list. I’ve got just short of a year to make them happen and I can’t wait to get cracking on the first steps. My super cool Milanese giornalista friend suggested that beginning next April, I take the train to Ostia once a week to get started, which isn’t a bad idea. Then, when I feel like I have a decent enough base, I can hit up the beach two times a week and–when I’m feeling brazen–acclimate to thrice weekly visits.  At least the sun is natural and it’s possible to smartly soak up some its rays without doing too much damage. It’s not like it I’m yearning for that gross fake orange tanning bed color that screams, “I’m a slave to the fake sun!”

So on that note, here’s to me hopefully having my own pair of le gambe abbronzate at this time next year…after spending August out of the city, of course!

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