Love Knows No Borders: A Transatlantic Tale of Passion and Perseverance in Trieste’s Cultural Melting Pot

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Marcus and Rosario. Photo credits Giulia Zingone
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Interview: Valentina Salcedo

In the picturesque city of Trieste, love defies geographical divides for Rosario Zoccano of Campania, Italy, and Marcus Hutcheson from Alabama, United States. Their love story, woven through seven years of transatlantic trials, stands as a testament to the enduring power of love, overcoming linguistic, cultural, and national boundaries.

How did you guys meet?

Marcus: I met this incredible Italian guy in Milan during a work assignment. Our professional connection led to numerous shared journeys, and during one of those trips, we decided to take the plunge and get married.

What has been the most challenging part of the relationship?

Marcus: The hardest part is being apart. The anticipation of our reunion is always exciting, but the last day together before we separate is undeniably sad.

Rosario: Maintaining a long-distance relationship is never easy. However, despite the challenges, we believe it’s worth it. Marcus is moving to Trieste next year, marking the end of our geographic separation.

How did you fall in love with Trieste, Marcus?

Marcus: My love for Italy blossomed from the very first moment. Trieste, unlike Rome, Florence, or Milan, captured my heart gradually as we explored its enchanting corners. It allows us to focus on building a life here, free from distractions.

Is language a barrier between you two?

Marcus: No, because we both speak perfect English. An amusing quirk is that, while I often converse with him in Italian, if he’s in a hurry, he responds in English to save time—my Italian tends to be a bit slow.

You had a 7-year long-distance relationship, what made you stay?

Rosario: Love. Marcus has a calming effect on me, and that’s something I truly appreciate.

Marcus: It’s worth it. I don’t want to be with the closest person; I want to be with the person I want to be with. Love, after all, is irrational.

What kind of couple are you? Are you completely opposites or do you have similar tastes in life?

Marcus: It’s been remarkably easy because we share similar tastes. Both of us love interior design, and my work as a furniture seller aligns well with our interests.

Rosario: We also share a passion for travel.

Marcus: At the beginning, he was my excuse to visit Italy, but truth be told, you never need an excuse to come here. Sorry, Ross, I was moving to Italy anyway. Trips are always more enjoyable with Ross.

Do you think that Italians are attached to their moms? Does it make a difference in the relationship?

Rosario: Yes, I am, and Marcus loves that about me. Perhaps, for him, having a strong connection with family was challenging, especially considering his experience as a gay individual.

What are your future plans beyond moving together? And what about Christmas?

Rosario: Marcus will join us for Christmas, spending time with my family, which has now become our family. Later, we’ll fly to New York to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Marcus: In Italy, we’re planning to go snow skiing in the Dolomites—a prospect that excites me. While Marcus always has a myriad of activities in mind for his brief stays, time constraints often limit our ability to do everything.

In the enchanting narrative of Rosario and Marcus, love triumphs over temporal and geographical distances. Their story, set against the backdrop of Trieste’s charm, showcases the resilience of a relationship that has weathered the storm of a global pandemic and the challenges of a long-distance journey spanning seven years.

As Marcus recounts their initial meeting in Milan, a connection forged in the crucible of work laid the foundation for a bond that transcended borders. The decision to get married during their shared travels reflects a commitment to a future together, despite the uncertainties that life, especially in the era of a pandemic, may bring.

The couple’s move to Trieste, a city that Marcus fell in love with gradually, symbolizes a new chapter in their lives. Unlike the bustling metropolises of Rome, Florence, or Milan, Trieste offers them a serene space to concentrate on building a life together, away from the hustle and bustle.

Language, often a potential barrier in international relationships, proves to be a minor challenge for Rosario and Marcus. Their fluency in English, complemented by Marcus’s efforts to learn Italian, showcases their commitment to effective communication. A humorous touch emerges as Marcus navigates the intricacies of Italian, occasionally opting for English to expedite exchanges.

The couple’s long-distance journey, spanning seven years, is a testament to their unwavering love. Despite the geographical separation, the anticipation of reunions becomes a source of excitement, underscoring the emotional resilience that sustains their relationship. Rosario’s revelation that Marcus has a calming effect on him highlights the emotional support they provide for each other.

Their shared interests, from a love for interior design to a passion for travel, contribute to the ease with which they navigate life as a couple. Marcus, a furniture seller, and Rosario, an architect, find common ground in their mutual appreciation for aesthetics and design. Their shared experiences, whether exploring the charming streets of Trieste or embarking on international journeys, solidify the foundation of their relationship.

The cultural nuances between Italy and the United States add another layer to their story. Marcus acknowledges the stark contrast between the Italian emphasis on togetherness, relationships, and communal gatherings and the fast-paced, career-centric lifestyle of New York. Trieste’s close-knit social fabric, where impromptu meet-ups are the norm, stands in contrast to the more structured social planning in the United States.

The couple’s plans beyond finally moving in together include a mix of family time, travel, and shared experiences. Christmas celebrations in Trieste with Rosario’s family, followed by a trip to New York for New Year’s Eve, showcase their commitment to maintaining connections with both sides of their lives. The prospect of skiing in the Dolomites adds an element of adventure to their future plans.

As the love story of Rosario and Marcus unfolds, it becomes evident that their journey is a celebration of love’s ability to transcend boundaries. Through the twists and turns of a long-distance relationship, cultural differences, and the uncertainties of a pandemic, their commitment to each other remains unwavering. Trieste, with its timeless charm, becomes the backdrop for a love that knows no borders—a love that has weathered the storms and is poised for a new beginning.

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Valentina Salcedo
Born in Sogamoso, Colombia Valentina is a journalist with multiple articles in “Conexión Externado” and winner of the José Recassens recognition for the best chronicle the last edition. She is currently living in Trieste, inspired by the charm of the city. A Senior year Communication and Journalism student at the University Externado of Colombia. Storyteller by heart and a future author. Valentina is a full-time intern at InTrieste.

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