By Mary N. DiZazzo

Beauty is truth, truth beauty.

--John Keats (died in Rome, 1821)

Ciao bella,

As I exited the Keats-Shelley House Museum in Rome's Piazza di Spagna, I looked up to my right and there, in the Spanish Steps, --ah, che bella Roma! Not only the magnanimous beauty of Rome's monuments and antiquities, but the beauty of her women and men.

Well-made naturally, they are composed of well-kept hairdos, skin-care, and make-up. And all of that clothed in the finest fashions of textured fabrics to out-do the next gal or guy. Unique jewelry and fine European perfumes, fabulous shoes, and trendy eyeglasses also compliment these stunning people. Even the nonas, as we strolled through the nearby town of Frascati, after its siesta, looked fresh and well-tended!

And then there were the American tourists who mostly resembled Raggedy Ann and Andy. Purtroppo -- our country lost its style years ago. Too many reasons to even conjure up a solution.

So ladies and gentlemen, get out some Sunday duds on Monday and look and feel terrific. Maybe others might follow suit.

While roaming through Rome I couldn't help noticing the many different perfumeries. One chain of stores Roberto on Via Barberini carried everything from exquisite costume jewelry, unique hair ornaments, full lines of make-up, and European perfumes (the French ones were divine).

One line of make-up and skin care in all my travels I hadn't seen in years was Helena Rubenstein. The logo used to be a sculptured head of a 1930s woman with a cropped finger wave. Quite Vogue, anyway for then.

I noticed all the regular brand names from home, but also other lines of body and skincare for men and women call Collistar. Pupa make-up (which happened to be a gift) came in all sorts of shapes and neatly folded up its mini shelves of lip, eye, face color, and eye pencil. It is great quality for the price. I adore mine -- shaped into a round little devil. Hope you follow me on that one!

Where I stayed on Via Nazionale the clothing stores of fashion were mostly quite reasonable. The pocketbook and wallet vendors on the street had some great deals.

Another quality shopping district is near the Piazza di Spagna. On Via Frattina is a wonderful store called Luisa Spagnoli. Just ask for my friend Monica and she will help you choose an outfit just for you.

The passion of these people and their culture fine-tuned my senses. Upon leaving Rome to the airport we even drove under a beautiful rainbow. For more info you know where to find me -- just under the rainbow.

Buona giornata.


[Mary DiZazzo is a third-generation cosmetologist and owner/operator of Mary for Nails, etc. natural nailcare salon in Andover, Mass.and may be contacted at (978) 470-8183. She also sees select clients by appointment in Boston at (617) 742-6881.]