At this point Davide and I had spent pretty much every single hour with each other since our first date. We were completely inseparable.
To me, this was the ultimate test. I was fully expecting to be sick of him within a day or two. But a day or two came and went many times over… and I still couldn’t get enough.
Every day was just as magical as the one before it. We laughed a lot. I loved how in the middle of strolling down some random street, he’d grab my hand and twirl me around then pull me in for a kiss. After he’d look at me like I was his whole world and he’d drape his arm over my shoulders and we’d continue strolling.
It was the little things about him that made him so romantic. How he’d pick a flower and then put it in my hair. Or how he’d leave me little notes everywhere, usually hidden in the book that I was reading. Or how in the middle of dinner he’d get this big silly grin on his face- he’d stand up and ask me to dance… even though the music was faintly playing and no one else was dancing. Or in the middle of the night he’d grab my hips and drag me onto his side of the bed, wrap his arms around me and do this little sigh like how he was only completely happy when we were wrapped up in each other.
These were the little things that I loved about Davide, that made me feel so damn special. Those little moments meant everything to me. The electricity between us just intense. Not to mention he was incredible in bed.
He would proudly declare how much he was in love with me at every opporunity. I felt a little guilty that I couldn’t say it back just yet. I wanted to be sure before I said those 3 words…. but I knew I was definitely falling.
Lake Como was a major turning point in our relationship for me. I have so many vivid memories from the day we traveled to Lake Como. The day that everything went ALLLL wrong.
Looking back, I feel like it was a major test in our relationship, if what was happening between us was real. If we really were capable of a partnership.
The train ride was packed and we didn’t get to sit next to each other. In fact the train car was sooo packed that there wasn’t even room for our luggage. We both had to put it on our laps. Either way, I settled in with my music and my book, while I scribbled away in my notebook. We both must’ve dozed off, because I woke up to Davide shaking my shoulder telling me we were the next stop.
Usually we planned ahead and a few stops ahead, would start to gather our things and make our way to the doors. But the train was already starting to stop. We both made a bolt for the doors and pushed through the crowd of people. We made it to the door just in time…. but then it wouldn’t open. It was jammed! And just like that we missed our stop and the train was headed to Switzerland.
Davide was stressed and frustrated. I smiled at him and he frowned. So I poked him and told him that maybe next time he should let the grandma behind him open up the door- she seemed stronger. Then I winked at him and grinned. We both knew it had nothing to do with his strength, the door was jammed- it was outside of our control.
He glared at me for a quick second but then I made a funny face at him crossing my eyes and sticking out my tongue. That broke the tension and he chuckled. We moved to another train door and when the next stop came, I jumped off that train all extra dramatic pretending like I was fleeing the country (because we were) and Davide chased after me laughing.
We got extra turned around in the train station. I managed to get some help from the train conductor, who didn’t like Davide but who happily helped me. Then of course we somehow managed to walk right past customs. So a few minutes later they chased us down. But the officers were nice and once they figured out I was just a dumb American, they let us go with a smile. Thankfully I didn’t get deported (yay!).
Finally we catch the right train and we got off on the right stop. Now all we had to do was walk to the ferry to go to Bellagio. That’s when the thunder started followed closely by buckets of rain, with no taxi in sight. So we ran as fast we could down the cobble stone streets. This reminded me of our second date, running through the rain together. We were soaked all the way through within seconds, but laughed anyways. Then made a point to splash each other with the puddles.
We somehow managed to make it JUST IN TIME to walk onto the last ferry of the day. At this point I realize- not only are we soaked alllll the way through, but we haven’t had lunch or dinner and I’m legit hangry.
How I fell in Love
The ferry dropped us off in Bellagio and we stood there looking up at the maze of steep cobblestone steps we had to climb, trying to figure out how to get to our hotel.
The pouring rain started in again and we each started dragging our luggage up and up. Then we realized we went up the wrong stairs. We had to go allll the way back down and then up an even STEEPER flight of stairs.
It was pretty safe to say we were FRUSTRATED at this point and exhausted. Neither of us was feeling chipper. Not to mention I am EXTRA hangry. It had been a REALLY long day and I would’ve killed someone for an apple at this point.
We both grunted as we dragged our luggage up the stairs. In an attempt to gain some momentum I remember blurting out “Your body is capable of 10x more than what your brain thinks it is!” then I did this Hulk like grunt and leaped up 5 more stairs.
I only had a split second to be proud of myself, before I landed on a cobblestone wrong, slipped, and then fell down a few steps, on my ass. HARD. For a moment of stunned silence our eyes met and then we both started howling with laughter. We laughed so hard we cried.
Davide told me he’s never met anyone so full of shit. Then he leaned down and kissed me hard, then helped me up, and we finished climbing up the stairs, luggage in tow.
We got to the hotel in one piece, soaked from the rain, sore from the steps, but with big grins plastered on our faces. That was the moment I knew I was in love with him.
It wasn’t the gondola ride in Venice. The time he took me on his boat to Capri. Or even the romantic candlelit dinners. It was on those steep cobblestone steps in Bellagio, surrounded by our luggage, when we were hangry, soaked from the rain, lost, and exhausted. Yet we were laughing and smiling, because we were together… that’s when I knew I was in love with him.
When you travel with someone… you REALLY get to know them. There is no hiding you bed head, or when you get hangry. When you’re frustrated from getting lost. Tired from having to drag your luggage in the rain through cobblestone streets while running to catch the last ferry of the day.
Even in my grumpiest moment, traveling with Davide was fun. We laughed all the time. He twirled me around and would slow dance with me even though there was no music. He’d laugh with me after I made a complete fool of myself. This was love.
3 Little Words
After dropping off our luggage we ran to the closest restaurant and inhaled as much food as we could. We drank several bottles of DELICIOUS Italian wine and then drunkly started to explore some of the streets.
Davide would pick me up and twirl me around. I would giggle so much my stomach hurt. We found a bench overlooking the lake and I sat on his lap and kissed him so passionately. I knew I was in love…. but I wanted to wait for the perfect moment to say it. So we just cuddled there on the bench, both pretty drunk, and completely in love.
That night when we made love, I finally said it. I told him I loved him and we both just got completely lost in each other and our love.
I woke up hours later to Thunder shaking our window open. Davide was fast asleep. I sat on the windowsill watching the bolts of lightning all across Lake Como in one of the most glorious thunderstorms I had ever seen.
I scribbled in my notebook and realized I wasted 10 years in a relationship with someone that I thought I loved so much. Someone I considered my best friend. Now that I was with Davide… I realized how wrong I had been about love. How many years I had spent just mentally, emotionally, and sexually frustrated from my previous relationship… that was like pushing a rock up a hill.
Now… I was so full of laughter, hope, and positivity. My relationship with Davide was so effortless and easy. It wasn’t always those picture perfect romantic moments, but even in the hardest moments- it was full of laughter and more love than I had felt in years.
Sitting there on the window sill, I realized that I had finally became the version of myself that I had always wanted to be. I knew that my trip to Italy was going to be life changing. But this… was much more than I had ever expected.
Davide woke up and wrapped his arms around me and together we watched the thunderstorm until he picked me up and threw me back onto the bed. We made love until we both passed out.
Meeting the Sister
The next morning was a really big day… my sister and my cousin were also in Europe and had planned to meet up with me in Lake Como before we went to Paris together.
My little sister was my best friend and to say I was nervous about her meeting Davide, was a complete understatement. She hated my ex, and ya know… in the end she had been right about him. So her opinion mattered to me about Davide. But since I had just met Davide less than 2 weeks ago and honestly had thought that after a few days, we’d both be over it and he’d go back to Positano… I hadn’t bothered to tell her about him.
I told Davide that I needed to talk to my sister by myself first. So I woke up early and made plans to grab breakfast with them, first thing in the morning.
I spotted my sister across the street, both of us caught sight of each other for the first time in weeks and squealed and ran across the street, tackling each other laughing. Both of us had picked flowers, an inside joke between us- to make sure we’d be able to recognize each other after all of this time apart- how else were we supposed to recognize each other? 😂
So there in the cafe, over croissants the whole story of Davide spilled out. I told them how I met him and everything that happened.
My sister rolled her eyes at me, “Of course. Of course you would go on your big ‘Solo Trip’ and fall in love with some hunky Italian who followed you to Venice.”
I hid my face in my hands, “I know. I know. It’s a lot sis, but I really think I’m in love with him.”
My sister let out an exasperated sigh. “Is his dick made of gold? What the hell Mon? What are you thinking?” she said.
My cousin finally chimed in, always the voice of positivity and reason. “I think it’s a good thing. He has to be cool, otherwise she would’ve gotten rid of him by now. Besides if she marries this Italian dude, then we have a place to stay when we come back. Summers in Italy!” I smiled at her warmly, she always had my back with my sister which I appreciated.
We changed the subject and my cousin told me all about their adventures so far while my sister quietly ate her breakfast.
I had nothing to worry about though, Davide ended up charming my sister’s socks off. We spent the afternoon at the Beach club. We took turns jumping into the cool water of the lake, drinking too much wine, and snacking. It was one of the best days of my life… lounging lakeside surrounded by my favorite humans. My heart felt so full. Davide pulled me onto his lounge chair and I fell asleep in his arms. He’d kiss my forehead and whisper in my ear how in love he was with me. How lucky he was to have me.
Later as my sister and I floated in Lake Como she said “I’ve never seen you like this before… so happy.” and I smiled, because I couldn’t remember the last time I had been this happy… I just felt so full of life and hope.
Davide took me out on a big date that night to this fancy restaurant overlooking the lake. We watched the sun set over the lake and we had a serious conversation about our future.
He made it pretty clear that this wasn’t going to be some summer fling. That he was positive about us and our future. That he realized because I’m from California and he’s from Italy we had a lot of challenges ahead of us… but it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter to him that we didn’t have a plan or that our future felt uncertain. He knew we’d make it work. He’d make sure of it.
After dinner we strolled along the lake. We found some steps that overlooked the lake and we opened another bottle of wine. Our conversation got even more serious. We talked kids, goals, if we believed in marriage, all the big topics.
And as the waves steadily splashed at our feet… he told me that from our very first date he saw himself marrying me. He saw kids. He already knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.
Those words… scared the hell out of me. I gulped down more wine, trying to wrap my head around all of that. I knew I loved him. But… we had only known each other for a short time and I had only imagined a future like that with my ex. This was moving fast. He reassured me that he just wanted me to know how serious he was about me, that he’d never give up because he knew I was The One for him… then he pulled me into another slow dance along the lake.
We spent a few more days in Belliago… sightseeing and spending our days at the beach club. Each day was just pure blissful. I had never been so confident in a relationship, as I was in what Davide and I were building.
Next stop: Paris