The pair were seen enjoying a touching moment at their hotel where they and their co-stars stay before the live show.
Debbie, 59, and the professional dancer, 27, failed to crack a smile in the snaps, which saw them alongside Janette Manrara and Aljaž Škorjanec.
Paul Daniels’ widow was seen going in for a hug with the Italian, who appeared to give her a kiss on the cheek.
Giovanni seemingly pulled her in tight as she stood out from the group in a baby pink sweatshirt.
“We have a very special friendship,” she explained. “People see us dancing these sexy routines and then we are pictured having lunch together so assume something must be going on.”
Debbie went on to tell Mirror Online: “The truth is we really like each other but it isn’t a love affair.
“We love each other, but we are not in love with each other. It’s just one of those very special friendships. He’s 30 years younger than me!”
Strictly Come Dancing 2017 continues Saturday at 6.45pm on BBC One.