Day One — We leave N.Y.C. Hair-raising departure. Accident on George Washington Bridge and in Lincoln Tunnel. Barely make it to Newark. Board Continental first class. All the ladies except me in spandex and tracksuits — Soprano’s convention! Just as we arrive in Rome — glorious sunshine. Whisked away in a Mercedes to Hotel de Russie and taken straight upstairs to beautiful suite overlooking gardens. Divine bathroom — huge, covered in mosaics and with American electrical outlets. Our clothes are pressed in 10 minutes. Time for bubble bath and then we’re off. It’s 9:30 a.m. and Rome is bustling.
Day 5 — Muffie and I say “Arrivederci, Roma.” Leonard and Allison Stern spirit us off to Ostia, the ancient port’s newly renovated yachting marina. Sweltering heat behind, we sail for Ischia. Drinks on board. Caviar at eight. Dinner on deck with moonlit breeze. A little shriek in the a.m. when Georgette Mosbacher pulls open her porthole to see two fishermen staring as she covers her chest.
Day 6 — Oops, I slept ’til noon. Aston’s Armada: Muffie, Sherrell and Peter clutch dinghy for dear life as Leonard races à la Mario Andretti toward Ischia with difficulty. Discover vine-covered restaurant for lunch. We’re the only Americans! Quick swim. Stop at Sant’Angelo and cruise to Capri. First sight in plaza: Mario d’Urso! First time in years…Streets full of strolling young beauties — long hair, cell phones, Lycra jeans, jeweled sandals — Viva la Dolce Vita!