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What’s So Great About Italian Men?

italian menI took a holiday to northern Italy in January of this year.  My girlfriend Kathleen and I traveled together.  She’s married to a great guy, but loves to “get away” on girls-only trips.  We have a great time together and enjoy admiring guy-candy as well as historical landmarks in the various places we go.  Now, Italian men have a reputation …

… of being hot tickets, big flirts and aggressive towards foreign women.  We were in northern Italy, which apparently breeds a different species of Italian men.  From what I had been told by friends who had been to Italy before, I was expecting to be flirted with at every turn.

Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  Zero.  Not a single flirtatious look or comment.  Well, let me qualify that.  Not a single flirtatious look or comment from a man under the age of 70!  We traveled from Venice to Verona to Milan – two weeks.  Not a single ‘bite.’  Okay, so you’re probably thinking that I’m conceited for saying that.  But come on, what woman hasn’t dreamed of being hit on by a mysterious Italian man.  Come on – let’s face it.  American women dream of being whisked away by a foreign stranger to an exotic new home.  Where was the cute language-partner that Julia Roberts had in “Eat Pray Love”?

We were told that Italian men aren’t interested in Italian women.  But maybe it’s women in general.  More young Italians are living at home with their parents well into their 30s.  They have their mothers to take care of all of their house-keeping needs, so maybe they have not urgency to commit to any particular woman.  If their mothers are taking care of those needs, who is taking care of their “physical” needs?

In Verona we met some other American friends for drinks at the oldest cantina in Europe.  As the four of us – three women and one man – sat down for apparetivi, the elderly gentleman at the next table made no effort to disguise the fact that he was taking peaks at us.  My friend told me that when I took off my coat he practically fell over himself to get a look at me.  The elderly Veronese, Yugo, told my friend’s husband that he was very lucky to have three beautiful women with him.  My friend thanked him in Italian and this was all the invitation that Yugo needed to forsake is similarly-aged mate to join us at our table.

My friends who speak nearly fluent Italian engaged him in conversation to practice their language skills.  I was able to follow a good portion of the conversation even though I only know a few Italian words.  Yugo proceed to follow us on the restaurant, just to make sure we got there okay – even though my friends had been there several times and were friends with the owner.  He finally left us at the restaurant and we had a great diner without interruptions from geriatric Italian men.

But alas, that was the only time we were approached by an Italian man.  Perhaps we looked too much like American tourists, although I thought I could have passed for British or at least Canadian if they hadn’t heard me talking.  Oh well … on to the next foreign vacation.  Anyone know anything about the men in Iceland?

Photo by roevin/Urban Capture, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.

What’s So Great About Italian Men?

Kate Nickerson

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APA Reference
Nickerson, K. (2011). What’s So Great About Italian Men?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2018, from


Last updated: 24 Mar 2011
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 24 Mar 2011
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