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Sometimes the littlest things can mean the most

[in case you’re wondering, that’s the Ponte Vecchio on the River Arno behind me – went exploring there on Thanksgiving and will send the update on that soon]

I am one of those strange people who actually loves to pay attention to little details, and for whom sometimes the littlest things can mean the most.  I love simply ‘looking up’ when out and about in a new place, and seeing and appreciating things other people who are often glued to their phones or looking at things at eye level (or often at their feet) simply miss.  One can notice in almost all my posts, images of seemingly random small details that go unnoticed by the majority, but that I find fascinating.

For me, it’s the little things that can often bring a wider smile than the more obvious and grand – and I have had a string of such ‘little’ but ever so meaningful instances lately.

Sometimes the littlest things can mean the most

One of the obstacles I face with my particular set of physical challenges, is that packing up and catching planes every few months really messes with my body – and apart from the pain etc, one of the challenges is that both the Lupus and my heart (that thinks it’s an avant-guarde musician and makes up its own beats from time to time – that’s when it’s not deciding to revolt entirely) go screwy, my body puffs up significantly, and it takes me a few weeks to get it all back to playing nicely again.

[Sidebar:  funnily enough, road trips never bother me!]

Although feeling much, much better, I still feel rather bloated and unattractive at present, but just today as I was walking down the corridor to my suite, one of the managers saw me.  They all know I am learning Italian and I have asked them to only speak Italian with me, unless I ask for something in particular to be explained in English.  They have not only done that for me, but they have dumbed-down their language so that I can catch on and understand.  I thought that was so sweet of them.

When she saw me, she smiled, I said (in Italian), “hello, how are you today?” – she replied in Italian that she was good, and then she stopped me, and waving her hand from my head to my feet and back up, she said slowly for me to understand, “sei sempre bella” (you’re always beautiful).

I thanked her very much and continued on to my room – definitely not feeling ‘sempre bella’ but appreciating her saying so.

She wasn’t referring to any ‘beauty’, more what Italians call ‘bella figura’ – essentially meaning to always look and feel elegant, to appreciate beauty, to live and love every moment of every day – even what seems mundane to others – in a beautiful way…


Ms Bella St John - Sometimes the littlest things can mean the most

Sometimes the littlest things can mean the most

It helps that I am one of those strange people who always wears long dresses, and who loves to wear hats, scarves, gloves, etc – I put on eyeliner and a little of my signature scent when I get up and get dressed in the morning, whether going out or not (not for anyone else, but simply because I enjoy it) – and even when at ‘home’ by myself, I am always dressed with a sort of relaxed elegance.  It might be as simple as an inexpensive dress I bought on Amazon, but it is always something in which I feel good – and if I feel like ‘sloppy-comfort’?  I have elegant versions of long dresses and cozy fur-trimmed wraps that do just that as well – or it the world feels too big and I wish I had a fluffy puppy with whom to curl up, I have a gorgeous vintage mink coat (before you shoot me for wearing ‘fur’ – no, I wouldn’t buy a new one, but feel perfectly fine with owning a vintage one – disagree with me if you like) and I curl up with that and watch a girlie movie or some such thing.

A couple of days ago I was out – actually my Thanksgiving day! – and while sitting outside at a restaurant in the piazza, a lady came up to me, introduced herself and said she was from Norway and in Florence for photography course, and said that I apparently looked so beautiful sitting there, could she take my photo for her portfolio to capture the way I looked and my feelings and thoughts at that moment (you will get to ‘meet’ her when I finally get to posting my photos from that day)…

…but, I guarantee it was more for what I was wearing and how I was wearing it, than any physical ‘beauty’ – and it wasn’t that what I was wearing was a several-thousand dollar Chanel suit or similar…

So, what was I wearing? What you see in the image above – basic and simple.  No makeup other than eye-liner and a lip balm.  A simple long black cross-over dress (bought on Amazon for about $30), a beautiful vintage wool and fur hat (that I bought on eBay for about $30), a matching scarf etc, and over-sized Sophia Loren-type sunglasses (these particular sunglasses were my cheapies for about $20 – they weren’t even my expensive Versace sunglasses).

I can pretty much guarantee what Laila (the lovely lady who took my photo) saw, was ‘bella figura’ – the love and care I put into what I was wearing and how I wore it, more than any physical beauty.

It’s probably best summed up in this quote by Audrey Hepburn:

“I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls.”

Lately I have done several outings where I have walked for hours and hours, with a few stops along the way.  This morning I was planning on going for a long-ish walk and had a couple of places in mind that I wanted to visit, however even before I reached the elevator, I knew today my body was not up for that, so decided to simply run a couple of errands, pick up a bite for lunch, and return.

I felt a little deflated, as I was really looking forward to enjoying the beautiful weather – and so hearing, “sei sempre bella” was just the boost I needed to not feel so dejected at not being able to do more today – and actually, it boosted my spirits so much that I came back, wrote this post to share the experience with you, and feel inspired to do something creative this afternoon!

Sometimes the littlest things can mean the most…

Sending love and smiles to all…

~ Bella


PS: two more of the ooooooodles of Audrey Hepburn quotes I love:


“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”


“Elegance is the only beauty that never fades.” 

Heading out this morning, I went wandering to at first explore the Basilica di Santa Croce and the Piazza di Santa Croce. Here is the video - the individual photos are below:
  Piazza di Santa Croce ~ Bella
Piazza di San Firenze Located behind Palazzo Vecchio and close to Bargello, Piazza di San Firenze was named after a building dedicated to St. Florenzo. It was originally designed in the 15th century by Giuliano da San Gallo and expanded in the 19th century. In 1994, during roadworks, a section…

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