In Italy, young summer love is a rite of passage. It’s the romance that blossoms once school is out, possibly with the person you’ve had a crush on for the entire year, but didn’t really speak to until the end of the term. It’s the sweet teenage fling you start during your villeggiatura with the new kid next door, only to end it once September comes around and you both have to return to your respective cities or far-apart neighbourhoods.
It’s the short-lived meet-cute that takes place on a hot evening by the seaside as old people sit cooling themselves on benches by a pretty marina and children cluster around the ice cream shop. The details change, but the story is pretty much the same. And while not necessarily deep or lasting–quite the contrary: teenage summer love is known for being ephemeral, full of major highs and heartbreaking lows–it’s something that can be life-changing. Or at least very, very memorable.