Meeting Davide’s family
After 3 whole days of dating, Davide brought me home to meet his family.
His dad was the first to greet me. We had met on the ferry that very first day. He was this older man with salt and pepper hair but still really handsome, with the same kind eyes as Davide. He spoke fluent English, as did everyone in his family- except for his mom. She spoke broken English, but could understand English well though.
Somehow between her broken English, my super broken Italian, and the help of everyone in the family- translating for us, we managed. She was rightfully protective over her son, but this was something we had in common and was a non-issue for me. I immediately joined her in the kitchen, and helped. At first she protested, but I insisted. We fell into a quiet rhythm of me chopping and her pointing to what she needed next.
Davide’s sisters joined us and started peppering me with questions. Most of the questions were about California, Hollywood, and famous people. I instantly loved his sisters. They were full of laughter and kind. Not to mention stunningly gorgeous.
His younger brother was shy and reserved. He wouldn’t even look me in the eye. But I happened to sit next to him at dinner, which helped. I found out he loooooved soccer, so we ended up quietly chatting about that. Eventually I was able to make him chuckle, which I considered a HUGE feat.
The person that I instantly hit it off with was Davide’s dad. He was talkative and positive. I found his jokes funny. He found my work interesting. I had a million questions about how he started his business. Once we started, it was hard to stop talking and we ended up strategizing ideas there at the dinner table.
Dinner itself was ridiculously good and lasted for hours. Even though I had just met his family, I felt like I belonged there. I couldn’t help but be a little bit jealous of his amazing family.
Eventually Davide cleared his throat and told his family he was taking off some time to go with me to Venice. The table got instantly quiet. He reached for my hand and intertwined our fingers.
The language instantly switched to rapid fire Italian and I did my best to keep up. From what I could tell his mother wasn’t happy and his father was annoyed, somewhat amused, but not thrilled about the idea. His siblings were involved and loud, but I couldn’t get a good read on their opinions and they talked too fast for me to even pick up a word.
I did my best to stay out of the family politics of it all. Davide squeezed my hand tight… and somehow it already felt like us against the world. In the end, I told them it’d just be for a few days and how appreciative I was that he offered to be my tour guide.
Months later Davide told me that they gave him a hard time because he had told them he loved me and wasn’t going to let me get away. He had never said anything like that before… so they were clearly worried.
Last Party of the Summer
After the big family dinner he came back with me to my hotel. There was this really big party that all the locals were going to, since it was the last Saturday of their summer (which was a super big deal to everyone) so we went back down to Music on the Rocks. It was packed and he pulled me close and we danced.
Davide introduced me to so many people my head started spinning. Mostly we focused on dancing the night away. I taught Davide how to do the Bachata and he was a natural.
We spent my last day in Positano exploring… we jumped on a moped and he expertly navigated the steep cliff and hairpin turns while I did my best not to look. He took me a few lesser known beaches and we ended up having happy hour at this gorgeous bar with the perfect view of the sunset.
As we toasted to an amazing day and a incredible trip ahead of us… I felt like I was taking a huge step, taking this trip with him… it was a huge leap of faith for me. But mostly, I just felt the happiest I had been in a really long time.
The morning we left, his dad gave us a ride to the train station, where we were going to start our adventure to Venice. As he dropped us off, I couldn’t help it- I gave his dad the BIGGEST hug. I thanked him for letting me borrow Davide. He kissed my forehead and told me that he’s glad his son met me. I remember thinking how incredibly lucky Davide is for having such awesome parents.
The train ride was long, and our train car was moooostly empty. But I was thankful that Davide was there. I no longer was getting harassed by other Italian men. It was like if I was by Davides side I became invisible to them. Something I welcomed.
We shared my AirPods again, listening to music. We talked a lot. Learning about each other’s goals. I told him about how hard I had been struggling over the past few months. How bruised my heart was.
I knew then, that we were moving fast. I just wanted to be as open with him as possible. That even though I look like I had my shit together, I don’t always. I fell asleep on his shoulder and when I woke up, he quietly read my book to me and we cuddled.
Out of all of the cities on my trip, the one I was least excited about was Venice. Mostly because going to one of the most romantic cities in the world by yourself… kinda feels like a special kind of torture. But now that Davide was here… I was cautiously optimistic.
When we finally arrived in Venice, we quickly figured out the transportation system and hopped on a boat ferry. The ferry was pretty empty and he slow danced with me and spun me around as the boat expertly navigated the canals. I couldn’t help but think that Davide was straight out of a dream. Then the ferry dropped us off right next to the Rialto Bridge (the most famous bridge in Venice) and I had to pinch myself. How was any of this real?
We settled into our Airbnb which mostly consisted of me blasting music and dancing around as I unpacked. Davide laid on the bed and watched me, clearly amused. Every now and then he’d pull me into him and kiss me all over my face. He’d tell me over and over was that I’m just this ball of pure sunshine. Always smiling and dancing and how much he loves to see me happy. After that we took a shower and a few hours later ventured out in search of food.
Date Night in Venice
We ventured out and Davide expertly navigated the narrow pathways. We found this restaurant with tables overlooking one of the canals. We settled in for a romantic candlelit dinner. Our conversation flowed easily, as gave him a brief overview of my bio dad. My biological father was Italian and his mom and siblings still live in Italy. I was determined to see them… because I wasn’t sure when I’d ever get this chance again. I was also kinda hoping it’d give me closure about his death.
Gondolas breezed past us, singing loudly and music played lightly in the background. It hit me, I was in one of the most romantic cities in the world with someone I really liked.
After dinner we strolled down to San Marco square. Where musicians played, the music echoing across the whole square. He pulled me in close and we slow danced. Easily swaying and spinning me. He kissed me hard and passionately. Looking into his eyes there, I felt myself starting to fall.
He pulled me closer and whispered in my ear “I think I’m falling in love with you.” And it was pure magic.
After that we found this bar that I had heard Hemingway used to frequent called Harry’s Bar. We scored a nice corner table. Cuddled and sipped dry martinis until I felt light headed. Drunk off of him and the gin. We couldn’t stop grinning at each other and giggling.
On the way back to our Airbnb we stopped for Gelato and in true Monica fashion, I was unable to make a decision. So I got two cones and double fisted it. Which made Davide double over with laughter while he watched me attempt to make sure both cones don’t melt, despite my brain freezes. At least he was amused by my antics instead of annoyed by them.
We went back to our Airbnb and had a long night together. I felt so incredibly loved and content, drifting off to sleep in his arms.
The next morning we woke up early but wouldn’t get out of bed, something about being in Venice felt so damn romantic and it was nice to be just tangled up in him. By the time we left the Airbnb it was almost noon. I insisted on pizza for breakfast. So we grabbed a few slices of some of the best pizza I had IN MY LIIIIIFE and sat in the street eating. I was so giddy I couldn’t stop dancing around (nothing makes me happier than some solid pizza).
We saw a few of the basic sights in Venice, but the crowds were overwhelming and some random grabbed my ass. I started to feel… annoyed. I hate crowds of tourists. Davide could tell I was annoyed so he spun me around and declared he knew exactly where to take me. After consulting a map, we jumped on this ferry. It ended up being a loooong ferry ride, like 45 minutes. We popped in my AirPods again and he laughed at me while I rapped to him. Or rather did my best to. I’m such a dork.
The ferry took us to one of the most magical places I have ever been. A city called Burano, that I’m convinced was made especially just for me.
It was a small fishing town with the most bright colorful houses I’ve ever seen. Instead of doors, they had curtains- which swayed in the afternoon breeze.
There were no crowds. Just tons of lace shops, where old nonas smiled at me and gushed at me in Italian. They were some of the sweetest women I’ve ever met. I bought a ton of gifts for everyone back home. Lace handkerchiefs, bookmarks, earrings, and even a few cute skirts.
Davide couldnt help but laugh at me. I was in pure heaven surrounded by old Italian grandmas, who I couldn’t understand but I completely adored anyways.
We explored the city together for HOURS. Davide would constantly find a quiet corner and push me up against the wall and kiss me so hard I felt lightheaded. At this point, I was fairly sure I was starting to fall for him and we couldn’t keep our hands off of each other.
As we waited for the ferry ride home, we laid in the green grass at the park and got lost kissing each other.That’s where he looked me in the eye and told me that he was in love with me. And I could tell that even though we’d known each other less than a week. He meant it.
We went home and spent the remainder of our time in Venice in bed. It was incredible.
Venice is the city where I found myself starting to fall in love.