Longing and Disappointment in the Land of Ferragamo


content writing, ferragamo shoes
From the time I was a teen, I had always wanted to visit Italy.  Perhaps it was all those sandal pictures, or the utter glory of Sophia Loren striding down the street in the film, The Gold of Naples. 

When I finally did travel to Italy an odd thing happened. 

My interactions seemed strained and uncomfortable nothing seemed to be clicking.  Then one night while having a good hot soak in my Florence hotel room it dawned on me, I wasn’t in Italy at all.  Sure, my body was there, but my mind was still in a cinema-scope of Italy, reality and fantasy colliding in my own pinhead. 

mens shoes

The next morning armed with my euro rail pass I packed my things and headed for the train station.  I needed a reboot, a place I had never imagined, a place like Switzerland!   Taking the 12:35 p.m. to Lucerne, I checked into a hotel and after a few days tranquil days I was ready to be as present as I could be in Italy.

When I returned to Florence it was a completely different experience.  The sun shone brighter, the food was more delicious. In fact, my interactions with people were now warm and friendly.  I was having a real experience and not the one I’d living off in my head.


Oddly enough, the exact thing happened in my pursuit of the perfect pair of Salvatore Ferragamo shoes.  The dream shoes were brown suede Pioneer Ankle boots and I had resolved to buy a pair the minute the train pulled into the Milano Centrale train station.  The next morning I went to Via Monte Napoleone, the Ferragamo shop but no joy, nothing in my size.  I continue onto Florence, and then Lake Como but no one had the shoes in my size.  London was my last stop before heading home; I would pick them up there.


Now, after years of longing here I am standing, sitting really, in the Ferragamo boutique waiting for the salesmen to present me with a pair of size 45 brown suede Ferragamo shoes.  

The sweet anticipation was interrupted by the thought, am I wearing good socks? Phew, I was.

The salesmen hands me with the box and shoe horn and then walks away.  Normally, I would have been a bit miffed by the lack of service but then I thought, maybe he knows this was a private moment. 

I slipped them on and right away I knew something was wrong, I ignore it, I shake it off.  I take the shoe promenade, you know, the back and forth in front of the mirror. Back and forth I walk and stop and then I knew.  These are not the shoes I dreamed of, I don’t love them. What?

Love them! I don’t even like them.  Too narrow, too pointy.  Just not my style!  Once again, reality and the dream collide again.   

While these events happened years ago, I have never lost the lesson. 

A Ferragamo dream is no substitute for the real experience. 

Or as the hippies used to say, and yes, it applies to shoes and life equally, “Be here now!”