Italian men are hot and sexy. They are romantic, great lovers, and they treat a lady like a princess. At least that’s what I thought when I was 13 and read teenage novels with titles such as “Ciao, Bella”. Now, traveling around Italy, I am seriously considering writing some angry letters to the writers of these books. How dare them deceive me like that? Have they even been to Italy??? How dare them paint the image of the perfect southern European lover when it is all lies, lies, lies? Yes, I have a boyfriend and I am not looking for a love affair. I am of course speaking only out of pure anthropological interest. But still. Which girl doesn’t like to look at handsome men? Especially if she has been sold the story of the Italian Adonis for so long. Well, if you ever believed the fairy tale of il bello italiano, let me tell ya girls (and boys), forget it! If these men exist, they must be hiding in a very special place because I have not seen them so far. I am not saying Italian men are ugly, but … well … they are just not real men. And no, this is not the blog entry where I am talking about cultural prejudices of gender roles nor the blog entry where I am trying to be as scientifically objective as possible, nor the blog entry where I mention all the exceptions to the rule (that I am sure exist!). This is the blog entry where I will be as straight forward, basic and honest as a simple pizza Margherita. I think any man in the world can be, do and wear whatever he wants if it makes him happy. BUT don’t ever try to convince me again that the Italian man is the man. In two weeks of intensive watching and observing, this is what I found:
- I have seen Italian men with unbuttoned shirts, showing their hairy chests and their beer bellies – wearing a pink shirt with a floral print.
- I have seen Italian men wear shirts that say: Mamma, Mamma e solo Mamma (translation: I am 35 years old, and I am still living with my parents).
- I have seen Italian stare intently into their Vespa mirrors while styling their hair.
- I have seen Italian men run frantically to the bathroom to make sure their make-up is still perfect.
- I have heard Italian men talk to their mothers on the phone for hours (!!!) at parties / in buses / on the street / in restaurants / while looking into a Vespa mirror and fixing their hair.
- I have seen Italian men care more about a broken finger nail than about holding hands with their girlfriend.
- I have heard Italian men talk without shame about their last pedicure appointment.
And last but no least:
- I have seen 4 out of 5 Italian men wear a Justin Bieber haircut with pride.
So you tell me: Where have all the real Italian men gone????