The Rimini Romeo calls it a day at 6,000 lovers

ANDREW GUMBEL

Rimini

There comes a time when even the most indefatigable Latin lover has to admit he's past it. After what he claimed to be more than 6,000 sexual partners, the heart-throb known along the Rimini beach front as Zanza or Tarzan has announced his retirement from the life of non-stop seduction.

"Up to now my life has been one of continuous enjoyment. Now I've decided it's time to start working. It all still works perfectly well," he says, gesticulating towards the area below his belt, "It's just that I find it tiring to go to bed with two or three girls a day like I used to."

At the ripe old age of 39, Zanza has been haunting the discos of Rimini for the past quarter-century, fulfilling the erotic fantasies of foreign tourists looking for holiday romance at a pace other men probably couldn't manage.

His catalogue of conquests is a veritable united nations, including Swedes, Brazilians, Japanese, even Eskimos - the whole caboodle, he says, except Mongolians and Albanians.

"Sometimes it takes no more than a look, and within five minutes we are making love," Zanza said, at the disco he part-owns in the trendy Rimini satellite of Marebello. "Once I had built up a reputation, I didn't even need to try. The women would come to me."

What did they see in him? He is undeniably good-looking, a less craggy version of Rod Stewart, with blow-dried blond hair and a perfectly groomed carpet of chest and stomach hair.

Zanza is not exactly politically correct. His nickname is an abbreviation for Zanzara, Italian for mosquito, as his technique is to strike and then fly away. Heshows little concern for his discarded conquests: "Sometimes they cry, but no more than that because I treat them nicely."

His ambition, strangely, is to marry, although he admits it'll be a rare women who puts up with him for keeps. After all, he hasn't given up the Casanova life style completely.

"The most beautiful things in the world are sunshine, women and football," he says. "I don't care for anything else."

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