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  • Love, Italian Style
    Part 5: Why I Fell in Love with an Italian Man
    Continued from part 4
    Our Paesani

    by Francesca Di Meglio

    This is the fifth in a series of stories called "Love, Italian Style." Occasionally, as part of this column, I will write articles to help you understand how Italian beliefs about dating, marriage and sex influence your life -- even if you live abroad and even as Italian attitudes about love evolve.

    I've taken my own advice - and fallen head-over-heels in love with an Italian man. Antonio Gerenini, 33, is a native of Ischia, an island in the Gulf of Naples where my own family roots lie. The time has come for me to share my reasons for loving Antonio. The women who have been writing to me for advice about snagging one of Italy's finest will be able to gain some insight into the Italian male psyche. And, perhaps, Mr. Antonio will finally believe that he truly has won my heart. These are just some of the reasons why I'm sure he's the one:

    He is persistent. Although I happily noticed when he left his hand on my lower back as he led me out of a busy bar in Ischia Porto the first time we met, I never gave “us” a second thought. First, I thought he was too beautiful to ever want me. Second, we live on different continents. But he wrote to me every day - and then started calling - after I returned home from my Ischia vacation last April. He kept this up even though he knew I had a tough battle ahead of me because I had to recover - and am still recovering - from a very serious knee injury that I incurred on my vacation. Then, he came and spent a month with me and see America for the first time. I was broken and he pursued me anyway - and went so far as making me feel unbroken.

    He makes me laugh. This may sound like a cliché. But from the first time I met him Antonio had everyone around him rolling in the aisles. He says that he feels like it's his duty to make people near him happy. He certainly succeeds with me - from his bawdy jokes to his charming second personality as the tickle monster. Smiling is good for your health, so I think I should keep him around.

    He makes me cry. Tears rarely fell pre-Antonio. But I cried when he returned to Italy after his month with me. I cried for an entire day when we had our first fight - and for every subsequent one. The thought that he's away from me - literally or figuratively - makes me sick inside and the tears just come out.

    He dreams with me and about me - and that's all I should have to say.

    Part 1: Does Your Love Life Make You More Italian?
    Part 2: Old-Fashioned Romance Lives in Italy
    Part 3: 5 Ways to Win Over an Italian Man
    Part 4: What Italian Women Want In Their Men
    Part 6: How to Keep in Touch with Your Long Distance Love

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