A month ago some friends of mine from the AZ area joined me and Francesco in Florence for a week. For the first part of our trip we stayed in an Airbnb apartment near Santo Spirito. The apartment was sunny, newly renovated and modern. Well, mostly modern. It didn’t have air conditioning for reasons I’m still trying to work out in my mind. It was July, hot as hades, my boobs were sweaty and my makeup melted down my face the second I put it on so I looked like a whimpering mime most of the time. Since it was so hot in our apartment we mostly avoided it altogether, jetting out in the a.m. and wandering the streets like dried prunes till the evening. On one particular day the heat had become too much for me (since I’m apparently a delicate flower), and I started feeling dizzy. The last thing I wanted to do was faint in the middle of the street, something I’d witnessed a few years prior when a friend of ours from Brescia visited Florence and she dropped like a sack of potatoes on the Ponte Vecchio from heat exhaustion. She spent five hours hooked up to I.V.’s while a drunk man belted out tunes across from her. No thanks. So, not wanting to faint, we beelined it back to our hot ass apartment so I could take a cold shower.
When we walked into the apartment building we were hit by a gust of cool air. Turned out that the floor level was nice and cool, the sun hadn’t managed to work its way through the three meters of cement slabs. The main floor, the hallway, felt air conditioned and glorious so my friend Karen and I took a seat on the steps until my light-headedness passed. Francesco ran upstairs to our apartment on the fourth floor to grab some bottled waters from the fridge. Karen and I talked on the cold cement steps, enjoying a few wonderful minutes away from the hot air outside that felt like a blow-dryer on the nape of your neck. My face returned to its normal tone, my cheeks lost their bright red flush, and I felt fine again.
At about this time, the front door of the apartment building opened and a tall Italian man enters dressed in a navy blue suit. His head is shaved, he’s wearing D&G sunglasses and Italian leather shoes. He shuts the door behind him, pivots, and stops cold when he sees us on the steps in front of him. A smile slowly spreads across his face, a perfect smile, revealing an excellent set of the whitest pearly whites I’ve ever seen in Italy outside of a magazine ad. He pauses there for a moment just smiling, then walks with purpose directly up to Karen and I. Standing only a few inches from our feet he cocks his head to the side, the smile has only spread wider at this point,
“Hello,” he says in Italian, “what are you doing here?”
I respond, in Italian, “It’s hot outside and it’s much cooler here. We are renting an apartment upstairs. I’m just waiting for my husband.”
He nods, “but you’re not Italian. Why do you speak Italian?”
I smile, “because my husband is Italian.”
He bows slightly, “I understand. Well, enjoy your day,” he raises his sunglasses revealing one of the most attractive faces I’ve ever seen (aside from my own husband’s). I’m not easy to impress, neither is Karen, but we were both fucking impressed. “Ciao.” He walked passed us to the apartment located directly behind where we were sitting.
He took out his keys, “I lived in the US for a while,” he put his key into the hole, “it was wonderful.”
Francesco came walking down the stairs. He saw the man talking with us and flashed me a “are you getting hit on?” smile.
“Ciao,” he said to the handsome man going into his apartment.
“Ciao,” the handsome man replied, “I was just telling your friends that I lived in America for a while.”
Francesco stopped to talk with him, “really? Where?”
Turned out, the handsome man had lived in Florida for a while, partied a great deal, worked in a number of bars, had a marvelous time, and returned to his beloved Florence.
“But why do you speak Italian?” he asked Francesco.
Francesco laughed, “Uhm, because I’m Italian?” They both laughed.
The handsome guy said goodbye and disappeared into his apartment. Francesco walked over to me and Karen,
“Wow, that guy is hot.” He noted.
“I can see what all the fuss is about now with Italian men,” Karen laughed, “The confidence! He walked straight up to us with a determination I’ve never seen before.”
“Oh, welcome to Italy. That’s what makes them so damn attractive, the guys, they give zero fucks. That’s exactly how Francesco was when we started dating too. Insanity.”
“I like it.”
“He’s REALLY hot,” Francesco said, again.
“Yeah babe, I noticed. You gonna leave me for him?” I laughed, “Anyway,” I stood up, “I’m going to go change. Be right back.”
“I’m coming too,” Karen followed me upstairs to our sweltering apartment.
I threw on a cooler dress and more comfortable sandals. I was on my way to meet up with Georgette from Girl In Florence and I didn’t know how far I’d be walking. Plus, I didn’t want to show up a disgusting sweaty mess so the least I could do was put on a clean dress for her. I liked her, I didn’t want to knock her out with my potent b.o.
Karen and I ran downstairs to grab Francesco before heading to a bar to meet Georgette. Only, Francesco was nowhere to be found. Karen and I waited outside, and waited, and ten minutes went by and he was nowhere to be found. Suddenly, the door popped open and F stuck his head out,
“Babe, I’m hanging out with Angelo*, that’s the hot guy’s name. Come hang out!”
“Francesco, I’m going to be late!”
“Just two minutes!” Francesco grinned.
Karen and I followed Francesco into Angelo’s apartment and out to his garden where Angelo was seated, practically naked. His six pack glistened in the afternoon sun, his biceps bounced as he stood up to shake our hand.
“This is my apartment,” he said, in English this time, “I amAngelo, I own a bar nearby.” He smiled, again.
“Can I get you guys a drink? Something, else?” He paused and flashed a smile.
Angelo proceeded to roll a special variety of cigarette.
Everyone smoked the cigarette except for me because I prefer vodka.
“You sure?”Angelo asked, flashing a crooked smile.
“Yes. I’m meeting a friend for drinks.”
Angelo made small talk about Florida and his life in Florence. Sweat beads occasionally fell between his well-formed pecs.
A few minutes later we excused ourselves to run towards the bar to meet Georgette. As we exited his apartment, a little old Italian woman entered from the apartment next door.
“Oh, my jesus, his mom lives next door.”
“Of course,” Francesco added, matter-of-factly.
I’m fairly certain that he has a girlfriend because it’s impossible he doesn’t BUT if you’re interested in seeing this majestic creature in the wild visit: LANGOLINO in Santa Spirito. I’ve heard that he can be found here often. Order drinks, and thank mother nature.
*Name changed to protect privacy.