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  • 3 Reasons We Still Can't Get Enough of Italian Men

    Our men make women everywhere swoon. But why?
    Our Paesani

    By Francesca Di Meglio

    Italian men seem to enchant women the world over. I first wrote about this phenomenon more than a decade ago, and it is still as true as ever. Of course, the notion of the Latin lover luring women with charm and wit is nothing new. But what is it about our men that is so attractive to women of different races, religions, ethnicities, and backgrounds? Seriously, I receive emails about once a week from women, who live in every corner of the Earth, who want to know more about meeting, dating, bedding, and marrying Italian men.

    I get the attraction. An Italian man raised me. An Italian brother grew beside me. Another one married me. And now, together, we're raising one of our own. The whole idea of the Italian man winning over women is a strong thread sewn into the Italian culture. The idea goes back centuries, and you see it manifest itself in the streets of Italy today.

    Even the compliments Italians will give you offer a window into this Latin lover ideology. When I was in Italy with my then 18-month-old son, we ran into a few elderly women on vacation on the island of Ischia off the coast of Naples in Italy, which is the home of my ancestors and husband. These two women saw my son with his dark hair and light, almost grey eyes, and profound dimples, and said, "He's so handsome. You're going to have grandchildren all over the world."

    Yes, that's right. They considered that a high compliment. I was shocked and speechless. Since they were staying at the hotel at which my husband then worked, I just offered up an awkward laugh and moved on. I also added a nightly prayer to my repertoire that their wish for me should never happen. God forbid.

    Still, their belief that this was an appropriate way to express how cute my son is tells the story of how handsome Italian men are viewed even by their own people. We just find them incredibly sexy and somewhat mysterious. We think of them as expert lovers, and the indoctrination begins practically at birth. Here's why we embrace (or at least want to really badly) Italian men as Latin lovers:

    1. They're hot. Italy is the land of bella figura, which is the idea that you have to make a good impression starting with how you look on the outside. It is the idea that you should judge a book by its cover, which is the exact opposite of what we believe in the United States. This cultural idea is ingrained in the people, and it influences the prettiness of boys and men as well as girls and women. That certainly aids in our continued love of Italian men.

    My own mother has a nude photo of former Italian national team captain Fabio Cannavaro covering his important parts with a soccer ball. It was a gift from me. Indeed, many Italian athletes, actors, and even politicians are revered for their appearance, which they work hard at maintaining. My Italian husband – not to mention most of his male friends – has more products in the bathroom and spends far more time there than I do. He won't walk outside in a plain T-shirt, even in summer. He wears a short-sleeved polo shirt or button-down dress shirt all summer long, even when we're in his native Ischia, where air conditioning is rare. Italians still take great care of their clothing, including ironing regularly. No one would be seen in public with a small stain or a wrinkle in their shirt, which is a far cry from my fellow Americans, who proudly don flip-flops, sweat pants, and even pajamas at the supermarket.

    While God has blessed most Italians with raw sexiness (just look at all those memes on Facebook and Twitter if you don't believe me), they also put in effort. It definitely pays off, people. It definitely pays off. Just look at Paolo Maldini or any photo of the late, great Marcello Mastroianni.

    2. They woo. The very first time I met my husband – at dinner with another couple – he asked me when we would become engaged. When we went dancing after dinner, he put his hand on the small of my back to lead me out the door when it was time to leave. Before we were even officially dating, he sent me a romantic text message every day and a bouquet of roses in my favorite color pink for the Feast of San Francesco on Oct. 4. Mind you, I was living in the States, where the flowers were delivered, and he was back in Italy. Italian men have a way of looking at a woman who appeals to them that makes you feel more than beautiful. It's like they give you super powers with a glance. It's a high that you can never get enough of, and so it becomes an addiction.

    3. They work hard at living up to the hype. Italian men know that women, especially foreign women, have high expectations of them. They do all they can to live up to it. They try hard without trying at all. What I mean is that they pay attention to every detail of you and respond to it. They know how to look at you so you see yourself as that super woman, sex goddess and even the Madonna all at once. And they dole out the compliments and help you live the romance.

    Is it always going to be a dream with an Italian man? After marriage, things are not quite as Roman Holiday as you remember them from courtship. Certainly, some of the men live out Divorce, Italian Style instead. Or are just bad, abusive people, who may betray you. There's good and bad in every group. And their mothers are almost always going to be your worst nightmare. But many of Italian men get sexier, remain generous lovers, and make loving you a top priority. As a result, it's no wonder our adoration of Italian men never seems to go away.

    Di Meglio uses the written word to help families create memories and stick together. You can follow her on Facebook at Francesca's Newlyweds Nest and on Twitter @ItalianMamma10.

    Article Published 1/8/2016


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