If you've gotta turn the big three-oh, a dose of la dolce vita helps. So does having friends with an $8 million estate in Tuscany, where couturier Valentino threw Gwyneth Paltrow
a birthday bash Sept. 27. At 7:30 p.m. a marching band serenaded her and 20 pals with "Happy Birthday." Glum at first, Paltrow "started smiling as the band came past," says an observer. "She looked relaxed."
Apparently jet-setting agrees with her. Paltrow's if-it's-Tuesday-this-must-be-a-yacht-off-the-coast-of-Croatia lifestyle has lately sent the New Yorker bouncing from Venice to Paris to Madrid to Milan, with jaunts back to Manhattan and L.A. squeezed in. Meanwhile, the single star's encounters with eligible A-list men—including rockers and a royal—have gossips abuzz. Why the wanderlust? "I like the European life," Paltrow said in France last month. "There is something that is very civilized about it." After a stage gig in London last spring, "I went home," Paltrow said, "and one of the first things someone said to me was, 'Oh, goodness, those jeans are so cute! Who made them?' And I was like, 'I have to get back to Europe!'" Relax, patriots: "I love America too," she added. "It is just a more adolescent culture." Ah, the wisdom of the aged.
International Date Line: A Romance Rumor in Every Port
•London, May 4
•Ex-lovers meet but remain pals.
•London, June 25
•After dating she called the actor "charming."
•New York City, Aug. 12
•Coldplay rocker dedicates a song to her.
•London, Aug. 15
•"They're just hanging out," said the singer's rep.
•Reports persist of a romance with Spain's heir.
Have Gown, Will Travel: The Gwyneth Tour 2002
AUG. 14, NEW YORK CITY
Taking in a concert by rockers The Strokes with a bunch of friends
AUG, 15, LONDON
Drinks at the Wellington Club near her newly purchased flat in Chelsea
AUG. 23, HVAR, CROATIA
A nip up the Croatian coast on the yacht of designer Valentino, whom she befriended in London
AUG. 29, VENICE
With (and wearing) Valentino at the opening night of the Venice Film Festival
SEPT. 3, DEAUVILLE, FRANCE
Over to the Deauville Film Festival (after a stop in Paris for swanky shopping with friend Elsa Zylberstein, a French actress)
SEPT. 6, MADRID
Lunch with model Esther Cañadas, then a visit with old friends
SEPT. 9, LONDON
Can't miss N.Y.C. Fashion Week! Off to Heathrow Airport to catch the Concorde
SEPT. 17, NEW YORK CITY
Boogying with designer Oscar de la Renta at a Big Apple gala
SEPT. 24, MILAN
On to Milan to mingle with Gucci designer Tom Ford at a charity party
SEPT. 28, SIENA, ITALY
A post-birthday Tuscan lunch with pals Stella McCartney and Stella's boyfriend Alasdhair Willis
SEPT. 30, FLORENCE
A scenic smooch for dad Bruce at Piazzale Michelangelo while shopping and touring with friends