When I first arrived in Italy, I was overwhelmed with the number of friendly people (men in particular) I encountered while acquainting myself with the beautiful city of Florence. Their usual comments including “ciao bella” (hello beautiful girl) and “bellissima” (very beautiful girl) were definite self-esteem boosters for an average American girl with limited Italian experience. For me, this type of behavior was extremely unusual to see because in my own experience, most American men (excluding my wonderful boyfriend) are very introverted and have problems initiating conversation…so expressing a compliment would be completly out of the question. I have come to understand that most American men are terrified of rejection which sets them apart from Italian men.It is safe to say that an Italian man will almost never pass up an opportunity to compliment an attractive woman even if she will not give him the time of day. So, for those American men looking for love or even just to meet a nice woman; listen up guys. Get over your fear and boldly express your feelings without any regrets. I promise we don’t bite. I think it wouldn’t hurt to take some pointers from the Italians.
Overall, they seem to have it figured out with the exception of some. Unfortunately, there have been a few instances where the compliments have become closer to harassments which is never appreciated by anyone. A happy medium must be reached in order for men and women everywhere to peacefully coexist and build potentially meaningful relationships. So don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and find the person of your dreams…Happy Hunting!

By Ashley Lee Mott