My sympathies went out to him because his plight is a common one.American men just don’t have the skills or the experience to successfully play the game in Rome.Meanwhile our competition—the smooth-talking, Prada-wearing Italiano—has all the advantages when it comes to both the local girls and female expats.

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A few weeks later I ran into him again at a bar where he was telling the employee to pile some more “mutzadell” and “brahjzoot” on his panino.

I asked him how his quest was going and the sound of his bubble bursting must have been audible from across the piazza.

But after talking to him for a few minutes I came to realize that his ideal “Italian” woman bore a striking similarity to Snookie from the Jersey Shore and looked nothing like the Italian women that I knew. He probably would’ve known how to handle Snookie—but I’m quite sure that he had underestimated the mortal danger he would have encountered if, by some random chance, a real Italian woman would have shown some interest.

Recently I was honored when my former Italian professor from F. I asked him what subject I should discuss and he gave me “carta bianca.” Well, the topic must have been on my mind because it came to me right away: The Italian Dating Scene; Italians and Americans (and Italian-Americans) in cross-cultural relationships.

asked me to write an article for an Italian website about my experience in Italy.

In the article, I suggest that in the Italian dating arena, we poor American men are severely handicapped—even totally disqualified—by our post-feminism sensitivities and political-correctness. We open doors, engage in smart conversation, avoid sexual innuendo, and never assume that an invitation for dinner or a drink is any more than just that.

What’s worse, we don’t even realize what we’re doing wrong. Silly us, we thought that our All-American charm and goodwill leftover from World War II would instantly ingratiate us with those belle ragazze.

The truth is, we don’t have the slightest clue of what’s going on right in front of us.

Case in point: last summer I met your typical Italian-American goombah at an aperitivo on the Isola one night.