The average American adult is in possession of an essential and revolutionary weapon unknown in Italy.
It is an imaginary shield, but for all intents and purposes very real, that surrounds the individual giving him, or her, instant isolation and protection.
You just need to broach the subject of "personal space"and immediately you activate a barrier that nobody can or will trespass.
One of the first things that children are thought is to believe in the existence of such a barrier and never to cross it.
For the Italian kid "personal space" is not real. It is easier for him to believe in Santa that in the fact that something might come between his body and yours.
The Italian kid and the concept of "personal space" are two opposed and adverse entities: the one will nullify the other. The Italian kid is to "personal space" what kriptonite is to Superman.
Having said that, let me give you an idea of an Italian kid visiting. You never know you might find yourself with one of these around.
The Italian kid does not destroy your house: not even when he plays soccer on roller skates and the goal post is the cabinet with your Swarovski collection.
The Italian kid is therefore magic.
He does not EVER open your refrigerator and never asks for food; he, on the other hand, expects a six course meal three times a day.
He is constantly asking questions, he is extremely curious, he touches you and kisses you at every opportunity (never mind he barely met you).
He wants to know your age, your shoe size and insists in showing you all of his shoes.
He tells you about his classmates: past, present, and future ones; he also tells you about their parents and their cousins.
He always has a word in an adult conversation and his comments are often spot on.
He has political opinions,historical perspective, ethical conscience.
He is very knowledgeable about America. He knows everything about soccer. He knows his timetables.
He is very fond of bracelets.
He is used to grown ups listening to him, explaining him things, talking to him and peeling his fruits for him.
He never gives up and he knows sooner or later you will.
He develops an obsession over one of your daughters and starts making wedding plans even if he is only eight.
Even in this case, you cannot convince him otherwise.