Ahhhh…summer in Italy – lazy days, hot nights, events, pools, fireworks almost nightly, gelato in the piazza. Always something to celebrate. Old men sit in the piazza in their undershirts, women stay inside, the shutters closed tight, and young girls show more skin than half of us wish they would. Summer is filled with surprises, and yesterday, I got an eyeful.
Walking my dog, I happened upon a totally buff guy – with his shirt off. Although Americans think Europeans are totally ‘anything goes’, this is one taboo that has yet to be broken in Europe. You can show off your tattoos, your ‘tramp stamps’, the supposedly sexy but totally revolting way of revealing one’s plumber butt, but shirts off? Europeans save that for the beach – whereby the women take it all off, too.
Coming from America, where nowadays the men (even the ones who don’t look like the Pillsbury Dough-boy) could use bras, this is one tradition I wish they would take on board. Let’s face it, unless you look like Usher – well, keep it under wraps.
So, here I was, face to face with an Olympian swimmer’s back – who needs espresso in the morning? And it wasn’t even that hot out yet! I was certain he could not be Italian. The guy turned around, and there he was, a Chinese market vendor with movie star looks.
I entertained momentarily the thought of telling him that going around bare-chested wasn’t something that was done in Italy, but then I thought of all the Signore who’d be coming to the marketplace soon – and I just passed by with a simple, Buon Giorno!