What’s the connection between finding a pair of leather shoes and finding love? I found it in Rome, Italy.

11:32 PM

I met Theo, my LocalYoo tour guide. He seemed like a nice guy and even better he said he was a shoe expert and that he knew the in’s and out’s of Rome’s shoe stores. I was skeptical but the thought made me too curious to pass up the opportunity. I was in.

Met Theo at half past 11 near Piazza Navona. At first I thought, “This is going to be weird,” but after only a few steps Theo told me I look “lovely,” in his deep Italian accent and that just made me laugh.

We hit our first stop, a small boutique shoe store with an old couple waiting at the register. As I entered, my eyes instantly went to the Loubotin stilettos I had to have. I asked the couple if they had it in 7.5, the husband went to check but came back with a “no-can-do” look. They didn’t have my size. With a heavy heart we left to the next shop.

We arrived at “Di San Giacomo Gioielli”. It looked like the perfect place to find the shoe I couldn’t find anywhere. This place was located not far from the Tiber river, at the bottom of a stairway, in the middle of a tiny street, so right away I knew it was special. Theo kept opening the door for me and I really liked it. I found it. It was staring right at me… only on another foot. I ran to the salesman(he probably thought I was foreign and crazy) and pointed at the lady’s shoe. “Do you have this one,” I asked him but he didn’t understand. I pointed harder but he still didn’t get it. Theo chimed in and asked the salesman for me in Italian (only he sounded like he was speaking poetry). And all the sudden the worst thing that could of happened, happened. It was in slow motion. The salesman turned his head to the left and then to right and then back to the left. And then I realized he was saying there are none left. Theo looked at me with a disappointed look but all I could do in response to his reaction was laugh. It was no big deal and I was really starting to dig the whole experience…even if I was still shoe-less.

We walked for a little bit until we got to the next store. Theo didn’t even have to tell me this was the store. As we approached the window I could already tell I found it. I wanted to walk in but this time Theo didn’t open the door. Confused I looked at him for a second but realized he was staring at a sign on the door. “A PRANZO. Tornare presto.” What? The sign read, “Out to lunch. Be back soon.”

On that note,Theo and I took a lunch break at a nice little café with an amazing view of Castel Sant'Angelo. I had a glass of wine with pasta and he had fish. A bit tipsy we ordered the check and made our way back to the store. Ahh, joy the store was open. The salesman brought me a 7.5. I opened the box slowly, making sure not to damage an inch. And then something unexpected happened. Theo slipped on my shoe. I asked him if he does this for everyone and he laughed. I guess that was a no. I ended up purchasing two pairs, one in black and one in red.

As I was packing both pairs into my luggage I thought about Theo. Maybe I couldn’t take him back with me like my shoes but he made me think of how one minute someone can be a complete stranger and the next he can be completely familiar. It all depends on that click… and not the kind my heels make.

Want to meet Theo as well? Check his profile page at LocalYoo.

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