Sunday, June 05, 2005

Roman Men

The first time I traveled on my own in Italy, I was 19. I had spent the summer in Holland as an exchange student, and at the end of my stay, I took an overnight train to Milan. I woke up in the early morning as the loadspeaker announced the train changes in the Swiss border crossing. I got up and went out to the train’s balcony, and in the early dawn, watched stunned as we passed by Lake Como. I had never seen any place so beautiful. As I was standing there, a truly older man – at least 40 – came out and saw me. In a heavy Italian accent he told me how beautiful I was. He was charming. I was in heaven. I felt like a queen. I decided I liked Italian men.

Over the next 10 days I traveled through Italy, gradually making my way south by train, stopping along the way. As I got further south, the men changed. The charming romance of the north gave way to aggressive pushiness. By the time I got to Rome, I’d had enough. I wanted to shake off the leeches.

A few years later I opened Lonely Planet, planning a trip to Italy, and found a list of the ten worst things in Italy. Top on their list – Roman men. Yes! I thought.

But now I’m in Rome, and the Roman men aren’t bothering me at all. Have they stopped hitting on women, or have they just stopped hitting on me? I’m assuming the former.


At 12:24 AM, Anonymous Jameel said...

If you are a premium member of The Onion, here's an article to explain it all:

Point-Counterpoint: Travel
European Men Are So Much More Romantic Than American Men vs. American Women Studying In Europe Are Unbelievably...
3510 | 17 March 1999 | Point-Counterpoint


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