The Best English Speaking Salon in Rome
The best English speaking salon in Rome is undoubtedly the Noi Salon, located in the posh Piazza del Popolo, and is considered by all as ‘the place to be’ while visiting Rome. Founded by Californian Rick Breco and Italian brothers, Massimo and Giuseppi Topo, Noi became another chapter in my journey of happenstance during a recent trip to Rome. First of all, I don’t believe in coincidences, but I do think we meet the people we are suppose to meet along our journey of life. The Noi Boys, as I like to call them, are now a part of my journey.
How I found the Noi Boys
I love to get my hair done when I travel and since I had a few extra days in Italy, I decided to spend them in the Eternal City of Rome. By chance, @NapoliUnplugged tweeted an announcement of the opening of the new Noi Salon in Naples. I read the article and found out that the owners and I have many things in common. Rick Breco is from Los Angeles, I live in Los Angeles. He worked in Hawaii, my daughters lived in Hawaii. He trained with Paul Brown, my husband is Jeffrey Paul Brown. Rick is an American, so am I!
In addition to these similarities (oh yes there are more) Massimo Topo, one of the Noi brothers, is a native of Naples, my grandmother was born in Naples. He has a brother, I have a brother! Massimo is Italian, I am Italian! You see where I’m going here!
So, doing a little snooping around, I found out that the Noi Boys have a shop in Rome. Not to say that I am a superstitious person but sometimes things can make me go “BASTA!” (enough already)! So, I sent off an email and made an appointment. When preparing to arrive, a colleague of mine had suggested I stay at the Locarno Hotel while I was in Rome. Guess where Noi Salon is located? That’s right, literally 400 feet from my hotel. You can’t make this stuff up. It was the day before Thanksgiving and I was in Rome wondering what the universe had in store for me on my favorite American holiday. Now, I certainly knew it had something to do with the Noi boys.
My hair has experienced Florence, Bari, Milan, and now, Rome.
It’s the same all over the world, hair stylists know what’s going on. Whether it’s the new hotspot, a private party, a sale, or someone is having an affair, clients tell their hair stylists everything. And this time, I want to know what is going on in Rome. Noi Salon is hidden in the Piazza del Popolo at the back of a courtyard between Da Bolognese restaurant and Café Rosati. This relaxing, intimate, boutique salon was beautifully decorated for Christmas as in true Californian style, where Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season.
My brief introductory conversation with Massimo went like this: “Make me look like Sophia Loren!” “Baby, you do look like Sophia Loren!” I think I’m going to like these guys. I complained about my teeth being blue from all the wine I tasted while researching the enogastronomy of Arezzo and Catania, and what did Rick do? He popped open a bottle of Prosecco and said “That’s what the bubbles are for my dear!”
The Noi Boys’ concept is simple: bring an English speaking salon to Rome that caters to American women. There is a vibrant community of Americans living in Rome, in fact Santa Susanna Parish is a home away from home for many Americans. And guess who knows our good friend Fr. Greg, rector of Santa Susanna and guest writer for Escape-Artists.com? Rick and Massimo! Coincidence? I think not my friend!
It only gets better!
Sitting in the chair next to me was a woman from Austin, Texas. It turns out she is married to a Prince, making her a Princess. That’s right, a Texan Princess. Seems Princess Rita has a Caravaggio on her ceiling. Boy, I’d love to see that, I thought. We struck up a conversation about living in Rome and the difference between the two countries. It was so nice to talk to Americans, I had been away for nearly three weeks and I did not speak Italian very well at the time. English was music to my ears. Even Rick told me that after 6 years in Italy he still couldn’t speak Italian. Now, he takes Skype lessons with Marco in Salerno.
Later on, Princess Rita asked me what I was doing for Thanksgiving. I told her I had nothing planned. She suggested I come to her villa, she was having a Thanksgiving cocktail party for Americans in Rome! And that Caravaggio on her ceiling!!!! After she left, as we sipped on Prosecco, Rick and Massimo started planning what I was going to wear to the home of a princess. They informed me of all the divine shops and boutiques in the thriving Roman metropolis that would arm me with an outfit fit for a Regal Italian Thanksgiving. But that’s for another story…
On my next escape, I must go to Naples to meet Giuseppe Topo, the third Noi Boy!