< SWITCH ME >

There is a Greek saying: "great loves don’t wear wedding dresses," meaning that most people don’t usually result in marrying the person for whom they experienced the deepest and most passionate feelings. Why? Exactly because passion and extreme feelings are not always considered to be the most suitable consultant in a marriage, which needs  patience and calmness in order to succeed throughout the years. But Freddy Falla and Francesca Fiori proved the Greeks wrong.

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Image: Freddy Falla
Freddy and Francesca on their wedding day in Paris.

 

Francesca and Freddy are the exception to that rule. He was born in Bogotá (Colombia). She was born in Fermo (Italy). He studied industrial engineering. She, philosophy. He likes electronics, the opera, surfing on the internet, traveling and cooking. She is mostly into reading books about philosophy and astronomy. Their paths would have probably never met if they hadn’t both decided to live the exchange experience in Metz, France.

 It all started in October 2007. “Bar Latino”. Freddy was with his fellow students and Francesca was with her best Italian friend, Sara. When the bar was about to close, Freddy approached the two girls and asked them if they were going to the University guesthouse. Since they were both walking there, they started talking about themselves, although the communication was problematic, as they were both trying to discuss in French.

“I thought she was great, funny and so sweet but also a very interesting person despite the difficulties in communication because of the language, but the most important thing was that she was Italian, one of cultures that I love for both its history and gastronomy”, Freddy says. Francesca was also impressed by his behaviour: “I was intrigued by his kindness and his smile. I was also very attracted to his culture, his origins and his habits”.

The invitation for the first date came from Freddy with the aid of… technology. They were both sitting in front of their PCs, when Freddy started to write Francesca to invite her to a romantic walk, which they did with a kebap and French fries in their hands. “It felt like we were under a sky full of stars drinking champagne”, they both recall.

However, things were still far from clear. Freddy had to deal with a mixture of feelings. One part of himself kept telling him “she’s just a friend”, while another was asking him “why not something more?”. So he decided to leave the time do its work and himself dive into her beautiful dark eyes.

However, Francesca’s feelings were conflicting as well. The enormous happiness she felt was struggling with the fear that their connection was an illusion, that it would end as soon as their common experience abroad would be over. Her curiosity about what the future would bring them was stronger, though.

Freddy invited Francesca to have a romantic walk, which they did with a kebap and French fries in their hands. “It felt like we were under a sky full of stars drinking champagne”, they both recall.

They officially became a couple some months later, during a trip to London. It seems like the Big Ben forced Freddy to finally dare to take the… “Big Step”, because the moment they found themselves in front of it, they shared their deepest feelings and they started kissing as if it were the last day of their lives.

Spring 2008 and they both had to leave Metz for good. Freddy went to Paris for an internship at a multinational company and Francesca back to Italy in order to finish her studies. The thought of breaking up was in their minds but never managed to prevail towards their need to be “together”, even if thousands of kilometres kept them apart. Balancing between France and Italy was difficult and painful for both of them. Furthermore, the difficulties in communicating with each other were the sources of many doubts and perplexities.

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Image: Francesca Fiori
Fraddy and Francesca during their Erasmus in Metz.

Life kept going and Freddy was still working in Paris, but his student visa would expire soon. He had some problems to renew it, with the risk of having to go back to Colombia. However, their decision to get married depended less on the existence of these bureaucratic problems than on their common desire to live together. “We discussed it and we decided to get married soon in Paris, with the presence of our local friends and our relatives and continue our common life in Italy. We wanted to live our love story freely, with our own rules and not with some bureaucratic ones”, Freddy and Francesca describe. Freddy expected a tough process through the immigration department to let them get married, but it actually went smoothly, with almost no questions.

They got married on the 23rd of December 2009, with the ceremony taking place at the Mayoralty of the 20th arrondissement of Paris, in front of  relatives and some Colombian and Italian friends. Happiness, anxiety and a bit of stress were the feelings of the couple, who didn’t have much time to realize what was happening neither to psychologically prepare themselves for the wedding. However, even more unprepared than them, were their families. They did think that their decision to get married was not logical and they kept telling them that it was a crazy thing to do. Fortunately, time worked for Freddy and Francesca, since they managed to persuade their relatives that this was the only way to take their story one step further. At last their families had no other option but to respect their decision, attend the ceremony and feel happy for them.

Their families thought that their decision to get married was not logical and they kept telling them it was a crazy thing to do. At last they had no other option but to respect their decision, attend the ceremony and feel happy for them.

Where are Freddy and Francesca now and what are they doing? They live together in the heart of Macerata, a city in central Italy, where Freddy works as an engineer and Francesca works as an enterprise philosopher. As both admit, their love is still alive but more mature. They are now able to enjoy each other’s company –to cook, wake up, watch the stars and welcome every morning together.

“Vigorous”, “entertaining”, “practical” and “comprehensive”, are some of the words that Freddy uses to describe Francesca, on the other hand, she characterizes him as “prudent”, “caring” and “talented in making people around him happy”.

What do they hate about each other? Freddy doesn’t like it when Francesca shouts at him (Give us a break, Freddy! We are women; nagging is what we are supposed to do!) and when she falls asleep while they are watching a movie (Have you tried to watch a different kind of movie?).

Francesca, on the other hand, doesn’t like Freddy’s rigidity in organizing practical matters and his “excessive slowness” (By the way, Francesca, have you ever thought that the problem is not that he is that slow but that you are too quick?).

Fortunately, they completely agree on one thing: how important is the one for the other.

 

 

 

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