Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Vicarious Travel Journal, Part 3:
Cindy's Field Notes on Italian Men

'Men: Until a taller single female member of our group pointed it out to me, I hadn’t noticed that they were on the shorter side. What I did notice is that they were clean-shaven. Perhaps it is because it is hot in the summer. Whatever the reason, I liked it. Enough already with the little beard and mustache look in the States. And they had nice haircuts. One of the older Aussie gents got a haircut in Florence and he indeed looked more handsome. At least I thought so and I suspect his lovely wife did too. The men were thin. In fact, only the tourists were at all overweight. If you aren’t fit, you can’t do all of the walking required in this sort of travel. The men wore clothing that fit. In other words they didn’t wear baggy clothes or horrible, long, wrinkled shorts, basketball, football or baseball jerseys. The only men in shorts were bicyclists in tight bike shorts. And the men looked at the women in a very appreciative way. Another woman on the tour commented that “they look right through you.” Whatever they were doing, I liked it. They were polite, friendly, helpful, sometimes flirtatious (the waiters were, for sure) and they treated women like women. They talked to you while looking straight at your face, not at your breasts or any other part of your anatomy. Not that they didn’t notice. They did, but it wasn’t in an obvious way. An older man helped me off the gondola and didn’t call me “ma’am.” He called me “amore mio.” Yeah. I liked that.'
--From my friend Cindy P's notes about her recent trip to Italy. You can read more of her impressions here. You can also review earlier vicarious travel journal entries here.


At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Mike Q said...

I'm sure she'd experience the same sort of gallantry disembarking from a cigarette boat at Shooter's in the Flats.

At 3:06 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Except that they might be staring at her cleavage. There's just something about the music of the Italian language that causes American women to swoon, and to idealize Italian men. That seems to be eternal.

But the reverse is also true: Italian men are also quite taken with American women. You've probably seen that immortal black & white photo from the '50s of the young American girl walking down the sidewalk in Italy, and every male eye is absolutely focused on her, as if she were about to become their next meal. It's an unforgettable photo.

At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Mike Q said...

Multo bene!

At 4:17 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

I never knew you were fluent, Mike.


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