Melanie Sykes stepped out back in the UK for the first time since she was snapped locking lips with a gondolier more than half her age.
The Sunday Mirror revealed the 50-year-old star’s holiday romance with Riccardo Simionato, 23.
Mel headed to Venice with a friend last week and the mum-of-two was pictured planting a kiss on the worker after taking a trip on the city’s famous canals.
Sadly it came to an end on Thursday when Riccardo wheeled Mel’s suitcase onto a water taxi as she headed for home.
He kept his arm around the presenter as they travelled to Marco Polo Airport before waving goodbye.
Now, back in the UK, Mel headed out after she posted a photo of a ride with Riccardo saying she was “just a bit giddy”.
Keeping a low profile in shades and a chunky scarf, the ex-model dashed into her car following the weekend revalations.
A Venice hotel worker said: “They seemed to be completely smitten.
“You could tell she was older than him but she looks incredible and it was no surprise to see a younger man with her.
“They made for a very handsome couple.”
The Mirror tracked down the gondolier – but he refused to kiss and tell.
At first, Riccardo claimed he did not know who Mel was, saying: “I don’t remember. I meet a lot of people in this job.”
But he then added: “I first met her as a client but I can’t talk about it.”
Asked if he prefers English women to locals, he replied: “Every person is different. Nationality doesn’t matter. True, no?”
But when he was asked if it was over between them, he replied: “Over.”
A barista who saw Riccardo and Mel kissing in the Campo dei Frari square said: “I didn’t realise how much older she was.
“Ricky’s father is also a gondolier – she is more the right age for him! All of the second generation gondoliers are like Latin lovers.
“They get a lot of attention from the women tourists, especially Ricky.
“But I’ve never seen him kissing one of them before.
“He’s a good boy. He is very charming and knows how to win the ladies over with his patter.”
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