I am half Italian. But I missed out on the beautiful half. Having been in Rome in December, I can honestly say that there were some astonishingly handsome men there. Sexy, dark, sculpted, swarthy, alive with youth or wizened with smug self-knowledge and worldliness. They did seem self-absorbed, but then who wouldn't be with their dark and curly hair, black-brown eyes ringed with luscious, thick eyelashes; lips full and Latin, the whites of their eyes and teeth made whiter by Mediterranean dark skin? And cheekbones. God, the cheekbones. No wait. Check out the tight, telling jeans.
On their arms, or in a clutch of young people, there stood the equally striking women -- long, straight silky how-do-they-do-that-all-day-long? hair with complexions from magazine ads, rouged just right, full of lips, dark perfect eyebrows with just the right arch and no stray hairs, because it would detract from their oval-esque, dreamy, green-brown eyes, perfectly shadowed and lined. Complete with natural beauty marks, dressed in short fur jackets, no-scratch boots, designer jeans, and tight, full tops, they laugh perfect-teeth laughs, not working-class London grins, but affected, Italian grist-for-paparazzi laughs. And they probably spend way too much time in front of mirrors to look that way, say I, middle aged, and with hugely different values, a lot less free time, and thank-you-very-much wrinkles.
In short, men and women of any age can enjoy the eye-candy on the streets of Rome, in a country that struts lust-for-life with its head tilted back laughing. Or at least I'd like to think so.