In Italian, mental and emotional states in the past are expressed in the imperfect tense or imperfetto. Often, using the passato prossimo or passato remoto will yield a grammatical sentence but with a different meaning.
imperfetto: Lei non voleva andare. = She did not want to go.
passato remoto: Lei non volle andare. = She refused to go.
English is more flexible about the tenses (or aspects) of verbs expressing feelings or states of mind. The simple past is more common with such verbs, but the past continuous is also possible.
Lei era triste. = She was sad. = She felt sad. = She was feeling sad.
In the case of the topic sentence of this page, "I wanted" is more natural because "I was wanting" is rarely used.
Note: Prescriptivists will sometimes claim that so-called stative verbs should not or cannot be used in the progressive. That is mostly oversimplification. The stative/active distinction is not so clear-cut in English, and most such verbs are often used in the active aspect by native speakers.
I suppose that it is because want here is a modal helpverb, and therefore not an 'action-verb' in the same way, needing continuous tense. Want can also mean 'to lack' (a shortage of sth). When I hear I was wanting I start wondering 'what was missing', rather than what I was wishing for.