I’ve been a little down on love lately. Quite frankly, if I’m approached or taken out to dinner by one more guy who, SURPRISE, has a girlfriend, I’m going to pack the 100 bags it will take me to fit all of my shit and book the next plane ticket home.

But it’s Valentine’s Day. So I’ll put a lid on it. Nobody likes a Negative Nancy on the day that should be oozing love from every corner. So in that spirit, I’d like to look back at some of the rather romantic gestures I’ve witnessed in this country and remind myself that all is certainly not lost. Not today anyway.

Gestures so creative, in fact, that one may argue they are over the top.

The first, unfortunately did not happen to me:

My friend (in Italy) text me the other day about a guy she sees on and off, and this is what she had to say:


Back it up…


No. I’m still confused…


You can’t make this shit up.


What? You’ve never had a guy fly planes over your office to flirt with you?


We’re talking a whole new ball game here in Italy, another level of flirting. The quintessential floral arrangement just will not do.

Fighter jets takes the cake, but I still find in my own experience that Italians get quite creative. Here are some untraditional ways they say “I like you”  here:

They say it with food.

Food is the glue that holds this crazy country together. Even when Italians are eating, they are still… talking about food. So it would only make sense to say it with food, right? Well I seem to have left quite the impression in several restaurants here in Milan. And now I get the special treatment:

Italian Pizza

The waiter also wanted to make sure I was aware of the Coca Cola can he handpicked from the cooler for me:

coca cola

You could say the pizzaiolo at Solo Pizza has a soft spot for me. Then who could forget my personalized panna cotta at Da Giannino L’angolo d’Abruzzo:

panna cotta

And I’ll be goddamned…..he spelled my name right. Now that is love.

They say it with social media.

I had a long awaited first kiss with a guy I was dating a few years back. Naturally, I text a couple girlfriends. He went home and wrote a poetic Facebook update about the warm summer evening and a kiss under the moonlight.

Years ago my summer fling I met on the beach in Calabria created an entire Facebook album entitled “amore mio,” dedicated to…. yours truly. Just a collection of pictures he stole from my page to show the world his new amore. What every girl wants a week into a summer fling when she’s getting ready to move back to the States.

Oh, I’m sorry, are we going out? I never got the memo. Or maybe the dedicated Facebook album IS the memo.

They say it with unorthodox methods.

And by unorthodox, I mean borderline inappropriate. But of course, how creepy it is is directly proportional to how interested you are.

You may have already read before, but it’s a great example: the police officer who processed my passport and used the information from my application to contact me and ask me out on a date… classic.

Reactions at home were of course, a bit skewed: that’s illegal! Stalker! Creepy! Are you going to report him?

Americans, so sensitive.

The thought hadn’t even crossed my mind. I was too busy picking an outfit for this date and I thought his rather “untraditional” contact methods were romantic. He just had to see me again.

I mean, is this not how you romantic types think?! I’m trying to rationalize like you folks, throw me a freakin bone here! 

I had a similar episode when I went to INPS. What was meant to be an extremely stressful trip to another Italian public office, ended with a phone number exchange. Hey, why not? And it’s always good to know someone in these offices 😉   

 Ok, this is all the romance my cold little heart can handle for today.

So a Happy Valentine’s Day to all the lovers out there, whether they say it with jewelry, a pizza or an F-35 <3 <3 <3