Debi Mazar and her husband, Gabriele Corcos, have been together for nearly two decades. But it all started as a whirlwind romance — one that completely swept them off their feet and into a marriage and a new home with their first baby, all in under one year.
A mutual friend incidentally connected the two in the summer of 2001, when Mazar was visiting a French pianist in Florence, Italy. Corcos happened to be working with the musician and was asked to do a favor by picking Mazar up from the airport when she arrived. However, when her flight got delayed multiple times, the pair became even more intrigued to meet.
The following day, Corcos was obliged to take Mazar sightseeing through the city. The Italian chef tells Yahoo Lifestyle that meeting the actress “was worth waiting.” Mazar explains that the feelings were mutual.
“He walks in the door, and it was like Jesus walked in,” she jokes. “He had this great smile, he spoke English, and we had like the greatest day together.”
The pair spent three hours sitting on the steps of a 12th century church before Corcos came to a bold conclusion. “You’re fantastic. We should have kids together,” he told her — before they had even had their first kiss.
A romantic relationship quickly blossomed between the two, who shared a kiss against the magical backdrop of the Ponte Vecchio on their third night of knowing each other. They spent the entire next month by each other’s side.
“We knew then that we couldn’t be apart,” Mazar says.
The actress returned to Los Angeles after the summer, with plans for Corcos to visit in September. During his trip to the U.S., Mazar ended up getting pregnant with the couple’s first child, putting their relationship on the fast track.
“We were married, pregnant, bought a house, and had a baby in all under a year,” Mazar says.
Now, 17 years later, they have two children. They also have two cookbooks together, a show on the Cooking Channel called “Extra Virgin,” and are hosting “Apertivo!” at the New York City Wine and Food Festival — an event where all proceeds are donated to No Kid Hungry and the Food Bank For New York City.
Corcos says that the work he and Mazar do together is a result of their unfiltered relationship. Still, the actress from Queens, N.Y., and the chef from Florence, Italy, seem like an unlikely pair to some.
“He said that he wanted to marry tall and quiet, and I’m short and loud,” Mazar says. “Well, it worked out, so far.”
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
• How ‘Queer Eye’ co-star Karamo Brown literally swept fiancé Ian Jordan off his feet
• Gabby Reece and Laird Hamilton on when they first met: ‘It was no love at first sight. It was infatuation after first conversation’
• ‘If you like him so much, why don’t you date him?’ How former Cheetah Girl Adrienne Houghton finally got together with her husband, Israel