That's amore!

I just got back from a 2-week vacation in Tuscany and Rome,for the wedding of my friends Sofia and Alessandro.But it turned into a research trip in that I met so many wonderful Italians,went on a few dates,and picked up some Facebook friends along the way.Shout out to Marco,Benedetto,Stefano,Roberto,Giovanni,Giulio,Giorgio,Matteo,and Maurizio.Ah,Italia!Here's what I learned:

1.Making out in public is cool.See photo above.I saw couples like this every 10 meters.In America,people would have been heckling,"Get a room!" But Romans aren't ashamed of affection like we repressed,puritanical Yankees are.Very sweet and refreshing!

Tuscan vineyards,with San Gimignano in background.

2.Romantic places don't have to be off-limits.My single friend Jen has been around the world,from Africa to Estonia to the Philippines,all the while putting off Tuscany because it was too romantic.And okay,I've been to Maui with my grandma,and it kinda sucked to be on an island with 100% honeymooners,but I can't wait around for some guy to take me to Tuscany.I've got landscapes to shoot!

3.Age is but a number.Some of Sofia's friends were Roman girls in their mid-30s and they could care less about age,timelines,etc.One girl made eye contact with a hot stranger on the street and he came over and got her number.Game on.

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4.You can always recruit a buffer on a bad date.I spent a day on my own in a Tuscan town called Montalcino.Stefano the waiter asked me to go out with him after his waitering shift was done.We took a walk to the town fort (which was 1,000 years old,WOW).We sat on some ancient boulders,looked at the stars,and drankbirre.On the hike there,a kitten joined us.Once I was able to ask in my pidgin Italian and Stefano had convinced me in his pidgin English that the cat wasn't stray and was okay to get near,I turned my attention toil gattino.I'd call to her constantly and pet her as she purred in my lap.Stefano was 39 and bald and he talked too fast,so I was more interested in the kitten than Stefano.And I'm not even a cat person.

Stay tuned for partdue,in about an hour and a half!

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What have you learned about love from other cultures?Are you an Italophile like me?Anyone else enjoying someEat,Pray,Loveaction?__

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