Let me introduce myself : Cristina, 64, a Leo and ( me too, like million others ) a fighter!
I was born in Padova, a wonderful small town north-east of Italy from which , as far as I can remember , I wanted to escape….
I attended a scientific high school and after that a speech – therapy triennial degree ( actually not my cup of tea….)
Meanwhile, I fell in love with this handsome Californian boy named Jerry and this fact really changed my life! We both studied and worked. I gathered enough money and Ta-Daaa!! I flew to Los Angeles! I tell you this because I think it’s the first important chance I took to change my life. This trip, the months I spent by myself (no cellulars at that time…and an overseas call costed a bundle) tested my real will to be independent. At the same time I realized then that I wasn’t made to be a
” Desperate Housewife” only that I wanted more.
I forgot to mention, I’ve always read a lot, cared about women’s lib and people’s rights….and it is still a relevant part of my life.
To make it short : I wanted to travel.I was 21 and in dire straits. I barely knew english. I applied to Alitalia Airlines !! Months of selections, workshops, classes and exams and….Here I was : a perfect Alitalia stewardess !! It was 1981 , life was beautiful, I was pretty and brave and I started my ” real life” in Rome ( Caput Mundi!)I confess my Californian boy was soon followed by a handsome Roman photographer… life of an airborne is something different from any other life in the world…We don’t have seasons, hours, birthdays, holidays,parties like the other human beings.Sometimes – I swear – we barely know if we want to eat, sleep or go to the bathroom!!! Fuses and lost nights slowly transform us in entities talented to resist to almost every stimulus : cold, hot, tireness, sleep, hunger and thirst, sickness and stress.It was My life, so, on I went……….
I think September 11, meant a lot for all of us. It’s been the point of no return. The world had changed forever. It was 2005 when I finally retired. I didn’t want to, I wasn’t ready but my body decided it had enough and collapsed. The love of my husband and friends was the best cure and so here I am, ready for another chapter of my life. Did I mention three years ago I had a devastating rectus cancer? So I maybe am one of the few “old Barbies” you may meet ( if you know what I mean….) I live with a permanent ostomy on my belly and that’s it!I’m alive! This has been the most painful and difficult experience I went through…Nevertheless I can swear I had wonderful moments, I met beautiful people and experienced deeply touching moments even with this. And I’m determined to keep all the beauty life has still in store for me. I use to say and still do say:
“ Happiness is a choice”…….HERE WE GO!
Being 100% ITALIAN how would you describe your style?
Italian Style, I guess, is recognizable as a mix between effortless elegance, measure, perfect cuts but still easily wearable. My grandma Elda taught me :” Before going out take a good look at yourself in the mirror and take something off “ This is a famous Mademoiselles’s statement ( and , in fact, Chanel was half Italian!!)
The truth?I often forget this advice tending to be a bit Baroque…maybe an unuseful attempt to defeat aging ???
Do you have a SIGNATURE piece that you always wear or do you mix it up?
Now I’m a mixer and matcher: thanks to my tailor Natasha and Paola a good fashion designer who’s a good friend of mine, as well ( @still_roma on instagram ) I continuously have the chance to experiment with new styles , new color mixes.
I swear : nothing makes me more happy than a well combined outfit!!
Ladies, it’s not just frivolity.
It’s a cure.
It’s using fantasy, it’s levity against gravity.
Am I making sense??
Have you noticed a change in ITALIAN FASHION over the last decade?
Sure I did! With bloggers and influencers fashion deeply changed. And if, in a certain way, it became more “ democratic” , the other side is that vulgarity and cheapness have a space bigger than ever. Low price retails give everybody the chance to buy hundreds of pieces but they unfortunately don’t teach good taste….Because of this the “Made in Italy” label, the know how Italian Fashion Industry built on decades has a risk of disappearing.
What is your FAVORITE accessory?How many do you own?
I think my “ piece de resistance “ is something I have in common with many of us : EARRINGS. I buy them everywhere from Zara ( yesss!!!) to jewelry stores to flea markets. I can state I have the right pair of earrings for every outfit! Even the simplest dress is ennobled ( dignified?) with the right earring.
Did you have a STYLE ICON growing up?
Today do you look to other women for inspiration?
Or do you dress to PLEASE yourself?
Like most of us I surely had my icons . They helped me growing up gave me the taste you hardly have when you’re a teenager. Mine were Coco Chanel above all and Anna Magnani for charisma , Lucia Bosè and Grace Kelly for their elegance, Alida Valli ( cause somebody once told me we look alike), Virna Lisi for her eyes.. I know, these are all Italian actresses you may have never heard of before but they were elegant, chic, ladylike and….beautiful in my eyes.
Will you share your BEAUTY TIPS & SKINCARE with us.
Would you walk out the door with ZERO make up on?
Mmmmh….Beauty tips?? Not really! I’m a food and wine lover and, certainly, I take care of myself but absolutely without stress. There’s a pharmacy in Padova where I buy almost all the creams I use . They are called Farmacia Centrale Dott. Bonazzi creams. Made with natural ingredients, not expensive at all, very good. I stopped believing in miracles many years ago…So eat well, drink water, keep your skin clean, smile a lot and you’ll have happy wrinkles ….
I had blepharoplasty 14 years ago and I’m thinking to do something for my awful neck
(You know Nora Ephron’s “ I feel bad about my neck”??) and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
I’m a suntan lover and so I have age spots, but I learned to focus on my personality
instead of pursuing youth which I don’t have anymore…
Something I want to tell you , anyway, is that I prefer 1000 times a good lifting than those pathetic plastic faces we see on tv sometimes….
And yes : I’m still brave enough to show myself with no makeup on ( but it’s an ordeal,hum!!)
Is it important to you to have a manicure/pedicure?Favorite color for toes and hands?
Mani/pedicure are highly important though sometimes I neglect my hands
( gardening a lot I happen to apply on my nails just a transparent base)
My “must have” color is Chanel rouge-noir. No french manicure, no hyper-long nails ( I know in US long nails are in fashion and also in Italy they are…) no cuticles. That’s it!
How far do you walk in a day?
I used to go to the gym at least 3 times a week. After cancer ( and, now, with covid) this is not easy anymore. So I use to walk as soon as I can . I do “ fast walk” that’s 6/7 kilometers per hour ( 4 miles) and I try to do this at least 3 times a week. Then stretch and some weights for my arms .
How much water a day do you drink?
How much time do you spend on the telephone per day?
Concerning water I’ve been drinking lots of it all my life. As a stewardess they taught me to drink a glass of water every hour . In the aircrafts there’s almost no humidity and you dehydrate very easily. A good habit I maintained . As for my sleeping habits : me and Stefano, my husband, use to have dinner pretty soon ( 8pm, even earlier…) This , I know, doesn’t sound very Southern Italian. Here people have dinner at 9pm, usually. But doing this we have plenty of time to watch tv and read our books. I’m definitely a night owl so I can go on reading till 2am …7 hours is the right amount of sleep for me , then I’ll be ready for ( almost!) everything!! I misuse the cellular phone, alas. Not to call friends ( I much prefer to chat “vis a vis” face to face with people) but interacting with Social MEDIA. But this is the way I have met so many interesting people and, last but not least, our beautiful HOST Elizabeth-La Contessa !!! I think Social MEDIA is a great chance if you avoid mistakes and learn how to use them wisely and with the right etiquette.
Italian women of a certain age are seldom over weight!
How is that possible with all the good food & wine?
I guess, as I already told you, that the quality of food makes all the difference. In Italy we really have a religion for food and wine. And we enjoy it often. Quality and quantity are the key. A french friend of mine once told me : “ Yes, fois-gras is fattening but not if you eat only that with only a glass of wine and a small slice of tarte-tatin!!” Voilà!
Do you have ANY ADVISE for my READERS who are over 50?
Advice? This is a difficult question….My heart always told me “Take it easy” but I know it’s not good for everything , neither for everyone….I seem to have a pinch of thoughtlessness or unconsciousness that helped me throughout my life and it’s part of my personality….Anyway, when in doubt, smile and grab a glass of wine!!
P.S.: I also do mosaics…a great anti-stress.
An easy pasta recipe, expecially suitable for the incoming summer lunches.
Can you share a pasta sauce recipe with us that is simple and quick and delicious?
Here’s all you need:
Pasta ( short shape like “mezze maniche” or “calamarata” or “rigatoni)
A good handful of basil and mint roughly chopped
Roughly grated Ricotta Salata cheese
Pitted black olives , sliced
“Confit” cherry tomatoes ( go on reading for recipe)
Cook the pasta very “ al dente” and make sure you stop the cooking showering it with cold water after draining
Add all the ingredients together ending with some good olive oil and a fresh pepper grind. Take the sauce out of the fridge at least half an hour before serving.
Tomate confit :
Cut in halves as many cherry tomatoes as your oven plate can contain. Place them cut part up. Sprinkle them with the same amount of salt and white sugar . Add dry thyme ( a good handful) and a good amount of olive oil. Put the tray in hot oven 250°f ( or 120°c) and leave it there for, at least 2 and a half hours. Tomatoes have to caramelize without getting too dry but loosing almost all their water. You can store them in the fridge for weeks covered wiith some oil. They’re good with pasta, salads, cheese….let me know!
– See New York again
– A trip to India in the Maharaja mansions in Rajastan
– Be invited to the “ Dancing with the stars” show
– Become a personal stylist
– Talk to Papa Francesco ( and I’m not religious)
– Own a Valentino, a Dior and a Chanel gown
– Play in the new Sex and the City
– Learn french
– Meet our nice HOSTESS Contessa Elizabeth , naturally!!!!
And a thousand other things but I’ll become boring 🙂
Where can WE find you on Social Media?
Cristina Massaro on Facebook ( but lately I don’t use it so much…too many fights on it!!)
@cristina_livingwithstoma on Instagram ( my favourite, at the moment!!)
One last thought.Nowadays everyone pretends to be happy, healthy, rich and beautiful. I think it’s insane. Yes, we all aspire to a better life and this is rightful. We usually are normal people trying to do our best too reach some sort of serenity. Pretend less, be more sincere with ourselves. It’s easier and much more comfy. And, again, remember that Happiness is a choice!!
NOW head over to CINDY HATTERSLEY’s BLOG to see who she is FEATURING!
I would IMAGINE you will be as SMITTEN with her PICK this month as you were with CHRISTNA!
Cindy and I do these POSTS in TANDEM for YOUR ENJOYMENT!
HERE YOU GO JUST CLICK ON THE LINK RIGHT HERE!
IF you have TIME leave a comment for CHRISTINA so she can practice her ENGLISH!
IT’s fun for MY VICTIMS to ANSWER any questions you may have or just THANK YOU for the nice comment!
If you have been an AGELESS STYLE VICTIM in the PAST
I would appreciate you commenting as YOU KNOW WHAT IT’s LIKE putting yourself OUT INTO THE WORLD LIKE THIS!
LADIES, LET’s SUPPORT EACH OTHER!
FROM YOUR ONE
AND MOST LIKELY ONLY CONTESSA IN YOUR LIFE!
I THANK YOU!
PS.Cindy and I have been doing these POSTS for FOUR YEARS NOW!We take December off due to SO MUCH GOING ON so that means there are 88 of YOU PAST AGELESS STYLE WOMEN OUT THERE HOPEFULLY, STILL READING OUR BLOGS!
WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!
EVERYONE WELCOME TO COMMENT!
KEEP SCROLLING TO COMMENT & KEEP THE CONVERSATION ROLLING!