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My sympathies went out to him because his plight is a common one.

American men just don’t have the skills or the experience to successfully play the game in Rome.

Meanwhile our competition—the smooth-talking, Prada-wearing Italiano—has all the advantages when it comes to both the local girls and female expats.

He’s been practicing his art in situ since he was old enough to shout “ciao, bella!

But their homegrown women are becoming much too modern for their tastes and so they might be happier eventually marrying a nice Russian girl who looks good in her high heels and short skirt and behaves herself properly (read: submissively) as long as the Gucci handbags are gifted with regular frequency. devastated by the Latin Lover, but now spoiled by his doting affections, making her compatriots seem, well, boring by comparison. My central idea for the article was to explore how difficult it can be to discern something as unwritten and subtle as courtship protocols in another country.

American girls are overwhelmed by the attention given to them by all the Romeos on Vespas, but then are heartbroken when they realize the true (read: temporary/sexual) nature of the boy’s interest. And what’s to become of the poor Italian girl who’s much too sophisticated to be attracted to an American and much too intolerant to betroth herself to an Italian? It took me more than four decades to figure out my own culture’s accepted norms and then all of a sudden I had to question everything and start from scratch. In fact, my Italian wife and I are doing our part to populate the next generation of Italians. So now it’s more important than ever for me to figure out what those mischievous little boys are up to so that I can…kill them all no matter where the hell they come from!

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asked me to write an article for an Italian website about my experience in Italy.

The truth is, we don’t have the slightest clue of what’s going on right in front of us.

Case in point: last summer I met your typical Italian-American goombah at an aperitivo on the Isola one night.

I’ve watched the most intelligent, savvy women fall for the same blatant bullshit again and again, and then still end up dejected when they realize the plain truth. If these cultural mistranslations occur between Americans and Italians, the situation among two Italians is no less tricky these days.

How can she possibly believe that: she’s the only one who’s ever made him feel so overwhelmed with emotion; that he had never seen such beauty before; he had never even dared to talk to someone so classy, but his heart speaks for him and he can’t withhold the feelings… The traditional roles are gradually being abandoned—and it’s happening too fast according to the men, and not fast enough for the women.

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