I’m making a prediction: this podcast episode will become my most downloaded track on iTunes within a short time. What makes me think this? Well, two things. First, because the title is certain to attract people’s attention when it pops up in a search. From my Google stats, I know that “dating Italian women,” “sex in Italy,” and “Roman orgies” are among the most common terms directing people to my website, for some reason. So I can only assume that “The Erotic History of Italy,” will be a favorite among podcast listeners.
But the second reason–and more importantly–is that my guest, Cinzia Giorgio, is a true academic authority on this subject. She shares some astute explanations on the changing roles of women in Italy, relationship protocols, mammoni, and yes, the bawdy tales from the annals of Italian history and literature. Suffice to say that she knows her subject well, and I’m sure that you all will be very interested to hear what she has to say on these titillating topics.
Cinzia Giorgio was born in Venosa in 1975. She has degrees in Literature and Modern Languages, with specializations in Women’s Studies and History, and she also has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature. She lives in Rome and writes articles on history and art for specialized publications. She also writes essays, novels, plays and reviews, and is the director of the Scuola Romana di Scrittura (Creative Writing School of Rome), organizing salon littéraire for the Associazione Leussô in Roma. She is the Art Director of Pink Magazine Italia.
In fact, it is her role with Pink Magazine that led to our initial collaboration. A couple of months ago she contacted me to be interviewed for their inaugural issue. I get the occasional request for this sort of thing, so at first I didn’t think too much about it. But as I learned more about Cinzia and the many literary projects that she’s involved with, the more I realized just what an honor it was to be asked to participate. What’s more, she’s invited me to have a regular column in their magazine, and I’m thrilled to be a part of such a high-quality publication.
The Erotic History of Italy
In case you’re wondering, the title for this blog post is taken from the title of one of her essays. “The Erotic History of Italy” was published in November of 2014, with the subtitles La storia d’Italia è stata scritta a letto (The history of Italy was written in bed) and L’Italia è una Repubblica fondata sul piacere (Italy is republic founded on pleasure); this last one her “interpretation” on the first article of Italy’s constitution.
If those footnotes don’t warm you up, have a look at some of these steamy chapter titles.
- Pompei: la città più lussuriosa dell’Impero (Pompeii: the most lustful city of the Empire)
- Boccaccio e il sesso (Boccaccio and sex)
- Le amanti dei papi: i Borgia (The Popes’ Lovers: The Borgia)
- Le cortigiane honeste: Veronica Franco e Tullia d’Aragona (The “honest” escorts: Veronica Franco and Tullia d’Aragona)
- Sesso nelle corti italiane (Sex in the Italian courts)
And of course, the mythical Latin lover is given his due, from Giacomo Casanova to Silvio Berlusconi. No scandal goes uncovered in this overview of sex throughout the history of Italy.
Unfortunately, it’s only available in Italian right now, but Cinzia says it will be translated into English later this year, and I’ll certainly let everyone know when you can read it for yourselves.
I would like to give a big “GRAZIE” once again to Cinzia Giorgio for injecting some sizzle into my sometimes pedantic blog/podcast. This topic is ripe for conversation, so please leave some feedback in the comments section below if you’re a foreigner who has had an amorous affair with an Italian, or if you’re an Italian and you’d like to either confirm or amend the common stereotypes concerning sex, passion, and all things erotic in Italy.
Then please check out Cinzia’s sites around the web where you can engage with Cinzia on these topics. Oh, and her magazine also has a YouTube Channel for those of you who just like to watch. 😉
Click the link to check out other episodes and see my list of the best podcasts about Italy.