by Carmen Lyman
Women all over the world agree that Italian men are hot. Perhaps it’s the faultless grooming of Italian men or their carefree nonchalance that’s so appealing. Then again maybe it’s their innate elegance or their sophisticated clothing that makes them so alluring, but there’s no doubt — Italian men are hot!
Women from all corners of the world are flocking to Italy. Of course they say they are coming to enjoy Italian art, history, and cuisine. But what they don’t tell their husbands and boyfriends is that willingly falling for the charms of of an Italian man is a wonderful thing indeed.
My Mother’s Trip To Italy
Several years ago I was strolling through the streets of Rome near the Trevi Fountain with my mother. We had just finished gobbling up some olive ascolane and spaghetti alle vongole chased with a languid soave, and we needed a walk to chase away the creeping sleepiness that can follow a large Italian lunch.
The streets were quiet, except for a few tourists by the fountain. There was a chill in the autumn air and the sky was sparkling and clear. My mother quickly grabbed a coin and tossed it good baseball style into the fountain, her eyes tightly pressed as she made a wish. It plunked into some secret cave never to be seen again. Satisfied, she turned to resume our stroll.
“No, That’s not how you do it,” said a striking middle-aged Italian man with a lovely accent.
His expression was serious, but his rhythmic Italian accent made him seem approachable and, well, appealing. Now finding an Italian man who speaks English is very unusual. Usually if you want to communicate with Italian men you have to learn Italian.
My mother and I stopped and looked at him. His temples were thickly salted with white, but his otherwise dark hair and skin gave him an air of casual elegance that branded him instantly as Italian. He said something like this.
The Proper Way to Make a Wish at the Trevi Fountain
“Forgive me for intruding, but madam isn’t following the proper tradition,” he explained.
“You must do it this way,” he said, reaching into his leather coin purse and retrieving three coins. The man gently took my mother’s right hand and pressed the coins into it, closing her fingers around them. She looked down at her hand and back up at him, sizing him up, as it were. Still holding her hand, he led her back to the fountain. I trailed behind them.
He lightly spun her around with the grace of a dancer so that she came face to face with him, back to the fountain. His intense eyes wouldn’t let hers go.
“With this hand you toss these three coins over your left shoulder into the fountain,” he said, his eyes searching her face.
“But first you must close your eyes. Close your eyes and think about what you want. Think long and hard. This is very serious. Make your dreams come true.”
He released her hand and whispered some magical enchantment under his breath and for the second time that afternoon, my mother tossed coins into Trevi Fountain.
She stood there, a small smile marking the dimples of her cheeks and giving her a youthful air. Finally he, too, smiled and said, “Yes, that’s exactly how you do it, brava.” They both suddenly looked ten years younger and were laughing, as if some unsaid joke had passed between them.
The Classic Italian Date
“Now you will let me buy you some gelato,” he said with the calm confidence of a man who knows what he wants and knows he’s going to get it.
Now you probably want to know what happened next? Well he did buy her some gelato and . . .
For several years after our trip to Italy, my mother would speak glowingly of the time we had spent there. She would recite wonderfully detailed accounts of the places she saw and the monuments she visited. But some stories she only smiled about and never retold.
Sometimes I would see her alone, looking out the window on a dreary day, and she get a wistful look in her eye and then say something that she had learned in Italian. Then suddenly she would remember something, and she would smile and laugh and look ten years younger.
Carmen Lyman is an American woman who is happily married to an Italian man.