‘Ciao, Bella!’ the calls ricocheted off the beautiful Italian buildings as I walked to the local restaurant to meet some friends for dinner. I had never stepped foot in this magnificent country before. I had adored Rome, the nerd in me absolutely salivating over the history around every corner. But now I was exploring the Amalfi Coast. My skin was that golden tan that only full time travellers really achieve, my wrists covered in cheap bracelets purchased from street vendors around most of Europe.
To my 19 year old eyes, the world was expanding before me. My first taste of independence, my first Europe trip, my first time out of Australia. I had left with a one-way ticket in my hand, eyes the size of saucers and absolutely no idea what I was doing.
After more than a few wines with dinner, I realised a very good looking man standing next to me at the bar. Now, this is not the Catt Cheshire we know today. This Catt saw a tall, dark, gorgeous man smiling at her and immediately blushed and turned away. I had only broken up with my Australian boyfriend three months before. Mr Italian sashayed over to me, sensing my awkwardness. ‘Ciao Bella’ he whispered steamily into my ear. I gulped the rest of my wine and let him buy me a new one. He spoke very little English, but he left no illusions as to his intentions for me. After a few more wines, a few more broken conversations, and sweet nothings whispered to me in unfamiliar Italian, I found myself walking back to the hotel with this Italian Stallion on my arm.
We stumbled into the room, all hands and language barriers. As he took his shirt off I swooned….. I’m a girl who loves a hairy chest. I had only ever been with Australian men before. I gave myself a mental high five. This is living!!! Travelling, exploring, being seduced by the locals. I smiled to myself, thinking how envious my friends at home will be of this night.
In hindsight, the sex was not mind blowing. It was as good as can be expected after about 2 litres of Italian red wine. He pummeled away on top of me like some sort of dysfunctional jackhammer, before collapsing in a heap of sweaty, hairy, wet mess on top of me.
But, in all honesty, I didn’t really care. I was still so in love with the idea that I had just shagged this intriguing Italian man, after he seduced me speaking broken English. I fell asleep smiling.
All too soon, the harsh sun was streaming through the open window and I woke with the pounding headache that only a red wine hangover can bring. It felt like a cat had died in my mouth and I was still partly smothered by a ball of hairy, sweaty, snoring Stallion. I wriggled my way from under him, and gazed at this incredibly good looking man. I love Italy. Slowly he awoke, and cast his eyes over to me. ‘G’day’ he said, in an all too familiar accent. ‘Do you still believe I’m a bloody Italian?’