Love and Romance in Italy
Different cultures have their different ways of showing love and affection. Learn more about love and romance in the Italian Culture!
Italy has historically been a culture of arranged marriages, with parents making deals while the chidren were 14 or younger. Children were brought up in an extremely religious atmosphere, with girls being fiercely protected and their virtue being extremely important.
Because of these factors, dating was not really common. Groups of friends would go out together as a group, and spend time together. But one-on-one dating was not encouraged. In fact, in the old days if a young duo wanted to go out, they would often have a chaperone go with them to make sure things stayed quiet.
Even engagements went through the parents. If it wasn't the parents themselves who did the arrangement, a potential suitor would have to talk to the father of the woman first, to get his approval. Then appropriate gifts would have to be presented to all family members, and of course a giant diamond ring to prove his worth.
Still, there is a romantic side to Italy as well. Sometimes people just fell in love! Especially because the 'real world' was so confining, it was sometimes tempting for lovers to run off and get married, without waiting for their parents' approvals. These secret serenades and courtships were often accompanied by music. Italians love music of all types, from folk to opera.
Italy is also the #1 producer of wine. Wine is an integral part of all meals, for all ages. So to celebrate the wilder side of Italian love, play your love a song on the guitar, piano, recorder. Choose a bottle of wine to drink together. You can pick out a favorite song just for you two, and a brand of wine that is your 'house brand'.
An Italian wedding is a full traditional church wedding, with the mass, the white dress, the big cake, the tons of presents. The bride even carries a bag in which to gather up the cash given to her for the honeymoon. The reception tends to have tons of food and lots of music for dancing to.
Ti amo is "I love you".