How Italians Fall in Love
With the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore.
The international language of amore requires no translation, but how exactly do Italians fall in love?
On Valentine’s Day, many couples will gift each other baci, a chocolate “kiss.” But every other day of the year? Here is how Italians do love- from dating, to meeting the family, and saying “I Do”:
Ask for directions: While you will still hear calls of “ciao bella” down the street, a more popular pickup line is to ask for directions. Online dating has yet to become a popular way to meet future beaus in Italy, so asking for a bit of help gives you an excuse to approach the object of your affection and strike up a conversation. Once you have the directions you probably didn’t need in the first place, you can offer to buy him/her a caffè.
First date: Forget the cinema, most Italian first dates involve a walk and a bit of conversation. Inviting your crush on a passeggiata, and maybe a gelato, means you don’t have to commit to a fancy dinner or drinks up front. If things go well, you will eventually become “fidanzati,” or boyfriend and girlfriend. However, if you want to continue to woo your beloved, you better download Whatsapp. The popular messaging service is how friends AND lovers keep in touch through out the day.
Meeting the parents: If things are getting serious, you will have to take a deep breath and meet the family. When dating, you go to the parents, rather than waiting for them to come to you. While it might be more comfortable to meet on neutral ground like a restaurant, more often than not you will be driving out to mama’s house to eat a home cooked meal. Praise your beloved to his or her parents and clean your plate of all you’re served if you want to make a good impression.
Next come marriage: Italian weddings begin with the civil ceremony, but only after announcements have been made in newspapers and other public forums to allow time for any objections to be aired. For many couples, the city hall wedding is the main service, while others will plan for a large church wedding days or even weeks after. Regardless of the ceremony type, the meal is the real event. Think multi-courses, with food and wine flowing all night. At the end, send the happy couple sends guests home with even more treats – confetti (sugar coated almonds).
Natalie moved from California to Italy in 2010, and is the writer behind the blog, An American in Rome. She provides accessible Italian lifestyle tidbits each month for the Mazzoni Wines blog, Live Like an Italian.