We will always have Paris
As long as we have a beating heart allowing us to feel emotions, we will always have Paris.
The first time I landed my foot on French ground was in high school. A few months later, for new Year’s Eve I swore to my fiancé “eternal love” under the Arc of Triumph,in Paris, thinking that I would go there to live.. I wanted to become a part of that. Paris was magnificent, immense, mesmerizing, baroque, decadent and modern at the same time.
Many years later as a grown up woman, I was running away from Rome and from my broken heart , I could not resist in the eternal city without my love, it was a one way one of course…well Paris came to me as the perfect solution. I had some spared money and a degree in Fashion, I was 26..The world was at my feet. Well, yes, in Godspeed everything seemed possible…
Concerning the language, the first weeks were terrible. I did not speak a word of French. What I learned in high school( a little grammar and few sentences) was not of great use. In Paris they speak the “Argot” a very ancient dialect…and the accent, holy moly, killed me… I went to school in the morning, I picked up a very interesting class in fashion , a year long, but in the afternoon I walked the city up and down, with no map, I used the get off the subway far from home and walk back…I was in love with the poignant beauty of the surface. I could not believe my eyes.
I could say here and forever that Paris is a city for all seasons. There is no way that you can avoid falling in love with it. You love Paris in May when the light is so bright and vivid, the colors of spring come back with new life, and the air is warm again…you want to be out, along the banks of the Seine, resting your weary head in the Jardins de Tuileries, sipping a café in one of the thousands bistrot in Saint Germain des Prés…you would not have the impression of wasting your time, you are now beginning to think in the French way. They say flaner which means “taking your time to enjoy not doing anything at all”…isnt’ that great?
You love Paris as well in winter, with the snow or with the pouring rain…it is so romantic. What was that movie again? Two lovers having a fight, she runs away in the rain, he follows her and kisses her .The magic of the black and white, and the magic of Paris…
You love Paris because it is the city of Culture and Arts, you get tired of visiting Museums , so, so many with such an exhaustive display in paintings, sculpture, visual arts.. Past and present mingle in a very singular way. Take the bold beauty of thr Pyramide du Louvre, where else did you enjoy such a perfection of symbiotic Architecture? Modern glass surface facing baroque stone walls.
Paris is history. Everything happened there, starting from the French Revolution. On July 14th the city wears the colors of it in historical made costumes, the people dance and sing in the streets “la Marseillaise”…that patriotism, fierce and proud, it is just amazing.. The French act like they are really living like that, proud to be a Nation. Well for me that was a great lesson. Learning to be part of the One.
And then my journey into Fashion brought me to Luxury itself…Paris is the city of glamour and wealth. Chanel, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gaulthier just to mention some. With my Master in fashion I entered Azzedine Alaia for a six months stage. At that time I finally was able to make myself understood, French had no more secrets for me, I currently spoke and read, so I was able to work side by side with Azzedine..well close to. I will talk about that in a later post, as well as my 4 year-experience at Chanel.. it will take a lot more than a page for that.
Paris made me a woman. Self- confident and independent.
Paris gave me the knowledge of food. What a pleasure to shop in the open air markets full of aromas, flavors and colors. I discovered the million varieties of cheeses, wines, spices and how to combine all ingredients. I was lucky to know people coming from all over the world, their recipes became mine. I cooked for my friends in my empty, white parquet- flat, near Montmartre.. I remember those evening with such joy and gratitude.
I am deeply attached to Paris. In my bones and in my soul. Can I say that? I am more French in my way of thinking and acting that sometimes life in Italy is for me very stressful.
I need to return there very often. I decided to live in Italy but after so many years, I could not endure if I didn’t escape there from time to time. My breath of fresh air, my moment of pleasure. It is an intimate, private relationship, I do not feel like sharing it too often. I am a lone traveler.
But I do not want to leave you there, with the feeling of being selfish and rude. Let ‘s share one last moment : you and I sitting (once again) on that bench at the Jardins des Tuileries, few steps away from Leonardo’s Gioconda and the Louvre. I have my lids closed, and I breathe this spring breeze, this light crispy wind comes around whispering to my ear that “ It is just like those days,you never left Paris “. Leaving a place is not departing for good when you carry it in your heart where ever you go. Don’t you think?
This is why , now and later on, we will always have Paris!