And they'll remind you of this every time you make the mistake of calling them Italian.
Romans believe that if you can you must. If you can eat with friends, you must. If you have the chance to share a bottle of wine, you must. If there is an opportunity for a romantic moment, you must MUST MUST take it.
Basically, they believe that any time is a good time for a good time.
So when we contacted Claudio for a drink but he was already booked, he said, "No problem. I'll make it work. I'll meet you at 11:30 tonight."
Now in my world, my teeth are brushed and I'm in my jammies by 11:30 at night. But when the Pope's bodyguard, a trained killer, is available for a drink, you reapply your lipstick, slip into a skirt and figure out how to use the Metro so you can meet him.
Rome feels safe at night, especially with Claudio. Even so, Claudio apologized when met, saying that in his current condition with his crutches (from a motorcycle accident), he could only take down three men at a time if they attack.
Ah the Romans. So protective of their girls.
After our night out, he texted us to make sure we made it back to the hotel safely with our taxi. He signed off in his usual manner:
Not only are Romans better than Italians. They are better than everyone else. I've never felt so taken care of and so adored. Whenever we were out with friends, we never had an empty glass, we never even saw a bill let alone paid a bill, and we were always asked if we were doing okay and having fun.
Oh, and I was constantly being called la bella donna. A beautiful woman. Nice.
It made me realize how I've put up with crumbs of affection by North American lads.
To my American suitors,I can no longer be cool with not being adored. It's not even worth it to hang out with a guy whose affections pale in comparison to what I've experienced with my Roman friends. I'd rather practice guitar and my Italian language skills.
I am officially disillusioned with your efforts.
The truth is that it is so easy to be adoring to a woman. And Romans are so good at it! Sadly, my daily life is absent of such intense affections.
But it wouldn't be if I lived in Rome...
Now that's an interesting thought.