Julie Roche, For The Miami Student

(ANNA TURNER I The Miami Student)

So, it finally happened. I met a real Italian boy and it wasn’t Pinocchio.

I had a spring romance … in Italy. Yeah. Be Jealous.

It was more of a more of a forced set-up than anything else, but still, it happened.

A couple of Saturday nights ago, I was expecting to have a fantastic, relaxing pizza dinner at one of my cousin’s favorite restaurants, Il Pepperoncino, with her and her friends.

What actually happened was that upon arriving to Il Pepperoncino, I met her, her boyfriend, five other Italian teen couples and him, the Italian stallion. Luckily, my cousin forewarned me in the car that she had arranged our meeting. Thanks for the warning.

Much to my reluctance, the Italian stallion and I made small talk for 30 minutes before he left to meet up with one of his friends, leaving me alone with my “salsicce” (Italian sausage) pizza. Whether I ordered that consciously or not, I don’t know. I might have had sausage on the mind …

Later that night, I received a Facebook friend request from him, his sister and one of his friends. Interesting. Already I saw that despite having the reputation for being mama’s boys, Italian boys move fast.

To sum things up, the Italian stallion invited me out for my choice of coffee or tiramisu (I opted for tiramisu, of course, and we each brought a friend, also my choice) and the rest is history.

So, although it wasn’t truly a date, I have gathered up my past “dating” experiences from both ends of the spectrum and crafted a truly scientific analysis of the main differences between an American (let’s call him Doug) and Italian guy (I’m going to go with Luigi Mario) and his pimp-juicing techniques.

Before he picks you up, Doug will have his car washed and waxed. He’ll be five minutes early and will bring you flowers. When you finally get to the restaurant, he’ll have valet park his car in a nice, safe parking spot away from oncoming traffic.

On the other hand, if Luigi Mario tells you he’ll pick you up at 4:30 p.m., it’s more likely 5 p.m. His car won’t be washed and waxed, but his Vespa might be. Don’t expect any flowers either, just an extra helmet. Oh, and if he can’t find a parking spot? No problem. He’ll just park his vehicle in the middle of the road and leave a note on the dashboard explaining where he is.

Doug is dressed to impress in his preppy polo and Abercrombie & Fitch khakis while Luigi Mario will be decked out in Ray Ban aviators, a Burberry scarf, Ralph Lauren polo, designer jeans and a real leather jacket. Side note: His Louis Vuitton man-purse will be cuter than your Forever 21 clutch.

For dinner, you can expect the expected from Doug: A nice hamburger and fries, a coke, maybe some ice cream afterwards. It goes without saying there’s no dinner for fast-moving Luigi Mario. He’ll just take you straight to “Pompi,” the bar where they serve the “world’s best tiramisu” and let you have a bite of his.

At the end of the night, Doug will likely walk you to your doorstep and awkwardly decide whether or not to kiss you. Luigi Mario won’t hesitate. He’ll get right in there and confidently fire way that “kiss on both cheeks.”

At the end of the night, it was easy to make my decision. I am perfectly fine with my Doug back to the States, but the real question is, WHO will your spring romance be?