L'amore è Bello

by Briana Biancolin (Canada)

I didn't expect to find Italy


Sun field. This is the way that my Italian boyfriend pronounces my favourite show Seinfeld . I’ll be honest, I didn’t correct it at first. I love the way he can take something so common and make it endearing without even knowing it. When we first met in 2014, it was one of those stories you hear about that only seems to happen in Italy. My eager Scottish travel friend and I were up for a night on the town in Rimini and whisky cocktails seemed (by her accord) the only way forward. Challenge accepted. We got a 6 euro bottle of ‘Old Country’ whiskey from the local shop and pretended not to notice each other wincing with each sip. It was May and warm enough to rock a tank top and flip flops, my unofficial travel uniform which gave me away as a foreigner from across the room Dami would later share. To say that Italians don’t take the nightclub scene lightly, would be an understatement. For a moment we forgot that we weren’t on the runway of Milan but rather a moderately sized beachside club called Coconuts. If I’m honest, at the start of my 5-month trip I never thought I would end up with an Italian Stallion. I had impressive illusions of being swept up and carried through the Highlands, Gerard Butler style- kilt and all! I digress... In saying that, meeting someone who doesn’t speak your language but understands you on a deeper level is the aphrodisiac of all aphrodisiacs. It was on a midnight beach walk when I realized that Dami could not only understand me but was patiently listening without any expectations. I made the first move (clumsily) as I fell into the sand and pulled him on top of me for our first kiss. As you would expect, he was making exclamations in Italian that (at the time) I could not understand but appreciated just the same. Waking up in the home of a truly Catholic family is never complete without your new beau’s Italian mama awkwardly waving to you from the window in her apron donning a facial expression that could only be described as pure bewilderment. Admittedly, it wasn’t a great first impression. Our first date was spent on the seaside of his town followed by a road trip to an entirely new country. It was in San Marino where I made a wish in the fountain that Dami liked me as much as I liked him. When I look at a photo of this moment I see only love. Dami dropped me off at the hostel and posed against his car in an attempt at ‘cool guy fashion’ with his elbow grazing the hood and sliding right off in a perfectly apropos nerdy fashion. Swoon. We spent 3 weeks following each other around Italy squeezing in visits wherever we could: Rimini, Fano, La Spezia, Perugia, and back to Fano. When it came time to continue my journey via a 13-hour ferry ride to Greece, Dami picked red and white roses from his father’s garden “for Canada” and I left him with a photo of us with the places we had already been together listed on the back with '....Toronto?' strategically left at the very bottom. We were mostly silent on the drive to the ferry docks and when it came time to part, I wanted to stay. Our separation was visibly emotional which was made evident to us as an older Italian man screamed 'l'amore è bello' from the window of his Range Rover as it boarded the ferry.