Today, I had an incredibly surreal moment. I had a video chat with Prince Lorenzo de'Medici of Italy. He's heir to the famous Medici dynasty with both Polish and Italian bloodlines. I have an art history degree from University of St. Andrews. My entire freshman year was spent studying his family's involvement in Renaissance art. There are incredibly famous paintings where his ancestor's faces are painted into the piece. Some people have photo albums, other people have famous chapels painted by artists that the Ninja Turtles were named after.
He's an Italian prince with four popes in his family. I'm the Lutheran descendent of hillbillies and German farmers. What I'm lacking in pedigree, I don't really make up for in any way. It wasn't really ever going to work out. BUT. I still didn't want to be wearing my glasses when I had the opportunity to skype with the overwhelmingly charming Prince Lorenzo de'Medici. Plus, he told me he likes short women. I'm all kinds of out of the running.
Lorenzo is starring in TLC's Secret Princes with Prince Alexander of Russia (a direct descendent of the Romanoff dynasty...because OMG), Lord James Rennell of Rodd and The Honourable Oliver Plunkett of Dunsany. In the show, the four princes go undercover as "totally normal dudes" in Austin and try to find love. At the end of the season, they will reveal to the lucky lady of their choosing that they are actually princes. That's pretty much "the dream," amiright?
The first and obvious question is: why would a prince want to be on a reality tv dating show? Right. He's a prince. That's all you've got to say. Lorenzo admits that it is much easier for a prince to get women, but he went on the show in genuine hopes to find that missing lady piece in his life. I get that. It's kinda crazy to remember that is something we all want. It doesn't matter your background. And, thank goodness we all want that, because it's made this little blog possible.
I asked the charismatic prince what American men can learn about dating from a sexy Italian such as himself. His biggest piece of advice was to just go for it. He says American men tend to think there is only one approach to attracting women. That's wrong. Each woman has a special key that unlocks her interest. You've just got to find which one that is, be patient and, most importantly, be persistent. He also brought up making a woman laugh is a good method. At which point, I realized I'd been laughing a lot and Lorenzo had totally unlocked me without my even knowing! Yes, yes, this was the exact point in the interview when I realized Lorenzo had totally charmed my pants off. Again. I say things like "charmed my pants off." It really wouldn't ever work out for us.
Lorenzo likes American women. They're spontaneous, independent and sexy, he says. He especially likes how much American women prefer texting over phone calls. I tell him that I hate that about American dating, because Blackberry Balls is far too prevalent. He basically tells me that he loves it, because he doesn't necessarily have to answer it immediately and it's harder to keep tabs on him via text versus a phone call. But he says it with a laugh and handsome face, so I'm pretty much like "that's totally fine by me!" No, we are not noticing a trend in my dating history and having a breakthrough. Shut up.
Lorenzo has only been to Chicago once as a part of a citywide Italian heritage celebration about 15 years ago, which I think needs to change. Fifteen years ago, I didn't live here, therefore, the city is much different now. Lorenzo, if you are reading this, I'd be happy to show you around this town. I'm pretty much known for being on the cusp of all things cool in Chicago. I'll show you a Chicago you'll never want to leave. Come be a Secret Prince over here for a couple of days.
One of Lorenzo's favorite things about American women is that they love to eat just as much as he does. I can get into that. Lorenzo loves to cook for the ladies. His signature dish is a risotto, but, if he needs that extra amorous convincing, he goes with tiramisu. He says that is his secret trick to convincing even the most challenging woman that he is, in fact, a total stud. I love tiramisu. I think he's got a point.
Finally, even a prince can be a late bloomer. Lorenzo had his first "experience" with a woman in Miami at the age of 19. He said while blushing adorably and I imagine eating tiramisu by candlelight. I swear, I didn't ask him about that. This is just the kind of story he shares with you. He's this statuesque man who is an incredibly interesting conversationalist. He shares stories readily, has a very sharp wit and talks with ease and humor. I really want to share a dinner with this man. When you put two storytellers together, only interesting things can happen.
That's when I realized that's what I really like about European men. When I entered this interview, I expected him to have short, quick answers and, honestly, be a little too busy for me. Instead, he gave thoughtful answers, shared stories and expanded upon questions. I got the feeling that the way he talks is the way he eats. He savors it, relaxes into it and is present in each bite. This wasn't the fast food drive-through type of conversation. This was a sit down meal eaten somewhere with tablecloths and real silverware. I actually felt like I was the one who was moving too quickly. When I'd move on too quickly to a new question, he would back me up and slow me down. It was refreshing.
When I was home last week after my dad's accident, my niece and I sat down and watched the first two episodes of Secret Princes. Prince Lorenzo de Medici is hysterical. Sometimes on purpose and sometimes by accident, but he always steals the show. I'm 29 and my niece is 12, but we were both in tears of laughter at Secret Princes. I honestly was sad I didn't have more to watch immediately. I honestly didn't think I'd be that interested in this show. I don't watch The Bachelor. I've kinda had my fill of royalty in university. But Secret Princes on TLC is sooooo entertaining. If you have On-Demand, you can watch the past few episodes right now.
The next episode of Secret Princes airs tonight. According to Lorenzo, it's a really good one.
Did you know Chicago has it's own Secret Prince? While preparing for this interview, my good friend and podcasting trailblazer Jaime Black revealed to me that his real name is Jamie de'Medici! That's right. Jaime Black of Dynasty Podcasts is a member of the royal Medici family. That's a large reason why he is such a patron of Chicago arts, especially developing musicians, he explained to me. Jaime has even included me multiple times on his podcast.
Note: My intention was to share a video of our conversation, but the internet and technology hate me. I have no idea what happened to it! I've seriously looked everywhere. FORTUNATELY, I was taking notes. Unfortunately, you miss out on how charming this man is. Seriously.