Handsome and muscular Italian leading man Raoul Bova is also a trained athlete and national swimming champion. He began his acting career on Italian television, joining the cast of the award-winning crime drama La Piovra (shown in France as La Mafia) during its seventh season, which led to starring roles in several subsequent La Piovra TV movies and miniseries. Bova made his European film breakthrough in 1993 with the romantic fantasy Piccolo Grande Amore as a hunky watersports instructor, and he's played romantic leads ever since. He played a handsome plumber in the comedy Comincio Tutto Per Caso and a heroic husband in the thriller Coppia Omicida. In 2001, he appeared with Italian film legends Sophia Loren and Giancarlo Gianinni in Lina Wertmüller's historical drama Francesca e Nunziata. The next year he was in his first American film, Avenging Angelo, starring Anthony Quinn in his final role. After returning to Italy to play opposite Giovanna Mezzogiorno in the romantic drama La Finestra di Fronte, he did another Hollywood project as Diane Lane's love interest in Audrey Wells' romantic comedy Under the Tuscan Sun.