For the 1st person to be before amare, you use MI instead of ME because in that case amare would work like a reflexive verb:
Lui MI ama = He loves ME = Él ME ama
Lui ama ME = He loves ME = Él me ama a MÍ
Have in mind that the second sentence makes more emphasis on the fact that HE loves ME
can somebody please explain...? a) why is it "io la amo....." and not "io l'amo...." and/or b) if it said "io l'amo e lei ama me" could that (hypothetically) be translated as "I love HIM and she loves me"? (as in a love triangle) or would that have to be "io lo amo e lei ama me"?
"Me" is used for emphasis. Scroll down here: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/it/Clitic-Pronouns-1