WHEN in Rome, do as the Romans do . . . Paul McCartney and his girlfriend Heather Mills followed the lead of countless Latin lovers by openly embracing and kissing while on a visit to the Italian capital.
Even a downpour of rain couldn't dampen their romantic mood as they walked the streets, arm in arm under an umbrella, until finally pausing for a hug and a kiss.
The Italians, of course, are used to lovers showing a little passion as they stroll the piazzas, and it seems even one of the most high-profile couples in the world were largely ignored.
But then Sir Paul and Heather were both dressed casually - the former Beatle in his customary trainers and Heather looking relaxed in cream trousers and light pink jacket - and could well have passed for just another pair of end-of-season tourists.
Sir Paul, 58, was devastated when his wife Linda died from cancer in 1998 after their 30 years together. But he recently admitted he was coming to terms with her death and had found happiness again with model and TV presenter Heather, 32, who also campaigns for disability rights after losing a leg when hit by a police motorcycle in 1992.
The couple spent the weekend sightseeing, also paying a visit to the small nearby town of Rieti. But the main reason for their trip was to attend the first public viewing of a film featuring music by Linda. Shadow Cycle, directed by Oscar Grillo, was showing at a local film festival and Sir Paul was anxious to pay tribute to Linda by being there. After the event, he and Heather declined to take up the offer of a driver and bodyguard, preferring to drive themselves to the little-known hotel where they were staying.
The singer and Heather first made their relationship public in March, after they were photographed kissing in a London park. In an interview last month he said Linda would approve of the relationship because she wanted him to be happy. "I know they'd like each other because they have a lot in common," he said. "Not on the surface so much. A spirit, a toughness of spirit." Asked if he might marry again, he replied: "You never know. I have no qualms.Heather recently bought a £250,000 house in Hove, Sussex, close to Sir Paul's farmhouse near Rye.
© Express Newspapers, 2000
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