Ahh, the Italian lover - fabled to be one of the best in the world. Rome: fabled to be one of the most romantic cities in the world. Venice, Florence, and Pisa all have great reputations and since receiving them, they've become stale. The same thing happened with Italian men. Back in the day Italian men might have been something to write home about, but now they're so in love with their language and trendy fashions that they're just one big cliche'.
If you insist on finding an Italian boyfriend, let us warn you that living at home well into adulthood stunts a man's growth. Regardless of age, an unmarried Italian man lives at home with mama and papa and he's very short. Living at home also makes him very adamant about PDA. Public is the only place he can make out with you and abandoned parking lots are popular choices for "kids."
Potential Boyfriend Names
Four Insights into Italian Culture
Most Italian dogs are friendly, abandoned strays and thinking of them breaks our hearts. This is supposed to be a fun book, so we don't want to get into it.
Italy is home to the deadliest road on earth: the Autostrade (highway) between Rome and Naples. Traffic lanes are undivided and hookers line the shoulders waiting for customers. Collisions result from a lack of respect for basic traffic laws and perhaps gawking at the women. Driving Schools in the country have to be mafia fronts because everyone on the road drives like a 16-year-old boy who got his license last week. Merging is a race, not a cooperative effort; signs and lights are merely suggestions. Moped drivers maneuver in ways we wouldn't even attempt in a video game.
If you happen to be in Italy during summer, get ready for the masses of people on strike. Truckers jump out at toll booths and abandon their vehicles in the middle of the road. Flying is unlikely to get you there any quicker because sometimes airline workers hop on the strike bandwagon as well. We haven't figured out if the strikers have a reason or if it's just a seasonal thing.
Italian Time Telling Abilities
The way Italians drive may lead you to believe they're always in a hurry. They'll tailgate you, wildly waving their hands as if to signify an emergency. Then they'll speed past in the left lane just to pop in front of you again with barely enough time to catch the next exit. After this happens a few dozen times, you may believe Italians are fearful of being late. Don't be fooled. They simply enjoy toiling with death. They never show up on time for anything.
Italians leave no stone unturned when it comes to theft... and there's no shortage of creativity either. The examples we're going to give aren't secondhand stories about a friend of a friend of a friend. We have plenty of those, but we're sticking to theft stories that happened to us or to people close to us.
The most popular type of theft in Italy is the "is-it-really-worth-it?" theft. It's theft so petty you'll think it was just an accident. It was just five cents. He couldn't have ripped me off. Sorry, he did. If fact, when you buy something from an Italian store, in addition to being shortchanged, it's likely you'll be overcharged and pickpocketed as well.
Next in line for theft popularity is "help-me-I'm-severely-pathetic" theft. Gypsies wander the streets, often with a young baby (or a doll dressed like a baby), begging for money. These ladies look so hopeless you'll instinctively reach for your wallet to sooth your big, bleeding heart. You really shouldn't encourage the scam, though. It's not uncommon for babies to be kidnapped, used to get pity money then tossed somewhere. Plus these woman's looks of desperation have been fine tuned with years of practice.
We saw a beautiful, pathetic child cupping her hands and extending them to cars stopping at a tollbooth. She was so adorable that we leaned out the window and handed her half of a sandwich. Apparently sandwiches aren't a common donation. The little girl looked puzzled for a second. Then her desperate plea vanished and she turned to a sleek BMW parked behind the tollbooth, raised the sandwich, and shrugged. A hand from the BMW waved her over. Apparently a family was proudly watching their six year old rake in the bucks and Daddy got hungry.
Third, is traffic light theft. When you pull up to a stoplight, some guy with a squeegee and a bucket of dirty water will start washing your windshield. You can tell him to stop, you can turn your windshield wipers on, you can even rev your engine threatening to run him over, but if he can find a way to continue cleaning your windshield, he will. After he's done, he'll come to your car window and hold out his hand for money. If you pay him, you were suckered out of $.50. If you don't pay him, he'll key your car and you'll be an even bigger sucker.
Italy is full of high risk burglars too. Meg's mom lived in an apartment in southern Italy for two years. During that time she was robbed over a half dozen times. The apartment was on the top floor of a gated community. The doors were heavy and the locks were firm. Someone must have had a key. Was it the landlord? A member of the landlord's family? An old tenant or an old maid? She had the locks changed and the burglaries stopped, but not before they stripped her of her fine china, several household accessories (such as the ironing board), and Thanksgiving leftovers.
Our favorite high risk story is from a girl whose family moved into a house in northern Italy. The day the movers brought their boxes to their home, the family was tired and went to bed early. When they woke up in the morning, everything was gone - even the blanket her little had been sleeping with. Apparently the burglars pumped sleeping gas through the vents before stealing everything the family owned.
Useful Italian Phrases
|What You'll Want To Say:||How To Say It:|
|Can I get a small kiss?||Die me oon bah-CHEE-no.|
|Don't follow me.||Ma-MMA!|
|I don't see anyone outside - is today another holiday?||(Shrug, wave your hands around and look confused.)|
|I'll tell your mother if you don't stop it.||Ma-MMA!|
|Is that your car parked in the middle of the street?||Auto yourz-so?|
|Please stop humping my leg.||NO bah-CHEE-no.|
|Where is the closest Catholic church?||(Point in any direction and say): Pope?|
|Wine - red wine - bring lots.||VEE-no ROW-so.|
How to Meet Him
We're not qualified to give advice on meeting Italian guys because we only found good Italianos in Spain. All we came across in Italy were greasy, pathetic street rats. If that's what you're looking for, you'll be in heaven. A walk down any street in Italy will provide several suitors. Even if you're not pale skinned and wearing shorts, men will know you're a foreigner. They'll grab your ass as if it's a baby's cheek and they're allowed. And unfortunately, they are allowed. In 2001, the Italian Supreme Court ruled a man grabbing a woman's ass was not sexual harassment as long as the act was not premeditated. (Does "premeditated" mean the defense team must prove the man sat at home for three weeks and planned exactly how he was going to pinch the buttocks?)
Tips for the Date
Whatever you do - even if you have to pay - get your Italian date to take you to dinner. Authentic Italian food is worlds better than your favorite pizza/pasta place in West Lafayette, Indiana. The typical Italian diet isn't as starchy as you'd think; there's a wide array of fruits and vegetables. The most popular veggie (after the tomato) is eggplant. If you think you've had eggplant before, we guarantee you haven't had it like this. The soil is different in Italy (especially the stuff in volcanic cities) and it makes an incredible difference. Italians aren't into perverted farming, so produce is close to organic. Heaven. Then there are the amazing cheeses, meats, fish, cappuccinos, desserts, wines, etc.
Dinner could last four or five hours, so that may be all you get around to doing on a typical date. If you're one of those girls who chalks being violently drunk up to a good night, don't write off dinner in an Italian restaurant. Restaurants are often more social than bars and they certainly have a competitive liquor stash.
What You Should Know about Italy
As far as geography goes, you can never know too much about Italy. If you meet an Italian in Japan and ask where he's from, he won't say he's from Italy. Instead he'll name some obscure Italian city, assuming you know the ins and outs of his country.
Before you run around Italy telling everyone you're part Italian because one of your great-aunts was a quarter Italian, you should know it may not score you any points. In fact, it may backfire completely because the region your family is from (if you even know what region) has a stigma attached to it. The north and south hate each other. The northerners fancy themselves more civilized, but they have hole-in-the-floor toilets and severely rip off tourists. The southerners think they're family-oriented, but they're extremely sexist and stop talking to daughters if they leave home before they're married.
What You Need To Know About Italian Cities
|Bologna||Small, very touristy, known for beautiful scenery.|
|Calgary||On an island west of the continent. Italy's hottest men can be found here.|
|Florence||The Renaissance, Galileo, ninja turtle artists (Leonardo, Michelangelo, Rafael, etc.).|
|Genoa||Bring your bikini.|
|Milan||Major city, nothing to do.|
|Naples||Mt. Vesuvius, Pompeii, full of lunatics, high crime, dirty.|
|Pisa||Nothing to do except ponder if the tower's designer made it lean on purpose or not.|
|Rome||The capital, broken ruins, full of tourists, bitter employees.|
|Vatican City||Not a part of Italy, but it's in Rome. You need to cover your shoulders to enter.|
|Venice||Gondolas, no cars allowed, too expensive, no nightlife.|
|Verona||International city, home to Romeo and Juliet.|
Impressing His Mother
You need to impress your Italian boyfriend's mother unlike no other boyfriend's mother in the world. Italians have strong family structures and kids are obedient. If mama doesn't like you, you're history.
When meeting his mom, emphasize how close you are to your own mother. In fact, call your mom a few times every hour to flaunt that closeness. When eating pasta at his house (a house he is sure to share with his mother, father, sisters, brothers, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles and cousins), compliment mama on the spectacular food. Ask for the ingredients in the sauce. Choose one in particular and harp on it. For instance, say: "Oh, basil! That's what it is. Mom makes her sauce exactly the same way, except the basil. Hold on a moment while I ring her." Then grab your cell phone, press number one on your speed dial, and have a quick conversation about basil. Be liberal with the phrase "I love you" and don't forget: "I know, Mom. Of course I'm being good." End with a sappy smile and: "Yes, tell the family I love them all. I'll call you soon." After you turn off the phone, hold it by your heart for a moment and gaze into space lovingly.
Italian Girl Competition
Italian girls are typically sweet and non-threatening. They're not as cool as Spanish chicks, but they're up there. If you happen to meet a mean one, we don't advise pulling her hair or slapping her. She's a future Italian mother and they are hardcore women. If you think you can take her, be prepared to run like hell. She's Catholic which means her parents don't believe in birth control which means she has eight brothers ready to hunt you down. She also has a lot of uncles and cousins and the closer her family lives to Sicily, the more likely they are to be mafia.
When You Want Him to Go Away
If you want to get a point across to an Italian man, you must wave your hands frantically. Whether you need to explain that your hostel is on fire or if you're just trying to cross the street, your hands need to be moving around like mad. When you want to get rid of him, it's not just your hands that need to be flailing - it's your entire body. If he doesn't get the point, you may need to flail at him. Use open fists (The same Supreme Court ruling that decided ass grabbing wasn't sexual harassment also decided women are allowed to retaliate with an open fist.), elbows, feet, your head or whatever it takes. The same man you were attracted to for being so aggressive is still just as aggressive when you don't want him around anymore. He's won't be physically aggressive, he'll just attempt to dissuade you from leaving him all night and day and into the next night and next day. End the conversation early with your gestures. Italian men understand body language.