Travel Log 9: “ Exploring Stereotypes” by Jill Berlant; Perugia Italy

Italy has a many stereotypes, I never feed into them because I am Italian so I knew before coming that what most people thought of Italians was not true. When most Americans think of Italy they think of American-Italian foods. They think of chicken parmesan, penne alla vodka, and spaghetti with meatballs. Well now that I have been living here for two months I can safely say that these foods do not exist in Italy and that it was the Italians that came to America that started these traditions. Perhaps in tourist city you can possibly find these items. Pizza is Italian, but real pizza comes from Naples, if you have a Neapolitan making your pizza it can be consider being a high quality pizza. Pizza in the rest of Italy is still amazing however to people in Naples it is not the real thing. In New Jersey and New York pizza go back further in history than some pizza places in central and northern Italy.023124dd307a696d5b7f7a89c5334a84 I think another stereotype is that people think of Guido’s as an Italian stereotype, but Italians are short and do not lift heavy weights to try to get big. The old television shows all about Guido’s are not a representation of Italy or New Jersey. There is a stereotype that everyone is connected to the mafia, this is also not true. The mafia does exist but most people are not involved and stay away from it. Italy is so big and in different regions within it they have certain stereotypes. It seems that everyone has stereotypes, but in the end they are not always true.

There are some stereotypes that are good and true for example Italians like to dress nice and look good. This is true for most Italians; they always look well put together because appearances are very important. Milan is also considered the fashion capital of the world. Another stereotype is that Italian families are very close. The children tend to live at home for a while after graduating because it is very difficult for young people to find jobs. Which then makes it seem like they choose to not want to move out. Another positive stereotype is that Italians love strong coffee; they usual do not even eat a breakfast and just have there coffee in the mornings. I think that Italian coffee is the best I have ever had.

As I live in Italy none of the Italians I have talked to judge me for being American, most of the time they think I am from Europe and think I could speak Dutch or Swedish. I think I dress and blend in better than the other Americans. The odd thing is when I talk to other abroad students is when I get stereotyped. I am from New Jersey and when I tell people that they get very surprised and wondering why I do not have an accent. I then have to explain that most people from New Jersey do not have an accent, it is really more of a New York accent if anything, but even most people from New York do not even have it. Then they ask about the jersey shore, and I explain how there are many different parts of the shore then just seaside and that once again that those stereotypes are not all true. We do have a lot of malls and highways, but there is more to New Jersey then most people think.

I think that in the states we have more stereotypes about other states than the countries in Europe. In Europe many people travel and explore the different countries, so they can gain a better understanding. In the America, it seems more people are quick to judge and have much more to say about a stereotypes especially about the different states.

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