Whenever I attend ‘Cheese,’ the biennial cheese festival in Bra, Italy – or the VinItaly wine festival in Verona – I always marvel at the ability of the Italian women to walk in high heels on ancient cobblestone streets. At ‘Cheese’ two years ago, I was so tired by the end of the week that I sat on the curb and started taking pictures of the high heels passing me by. This year, I decided to again chronicle a few of these heeled beauties. To my surprise, however, the majority of this year’s footwear was not high heels, but was instead flat, sensible shoes. That’s not to say they weren’t fashionable – but they were practical at the same time. The leader of the fashion pack was probably the brand Hogan followed by Superga, Nike, Adidas and DG in all manner of styles – slouchy flat boots, biker boots and flat knee–high boots. By late Saturday evening, the heels were beginning to appear in greater numbers. I may be dating myself here, but I must say, I was pleasantly surprised with the practical choices made by Italian women in footwear this year!
Valerie Gurdal is the owner of Formaggio Kitchen South End in Boston, MA.