American Living in Italy – Fitting In (Jure Sanguinis Italian Dual Citizenship)

hey hey what’s up I’m Rafael Di Furia aka Rafi D is me and I’m back at it again on another beautiful Friday night
I’m always getting a lot of private messages from people who are not only
thinking about moving abroad but are also going through the Italian dual
citizenship process or even a dual citizenship process from another country
like Ireland and a number of you have asked questions about integrating and
fitting in questions like how do you fit in with the locals? do you seem to fit in
with Italians in Italy or do you stand out? and is it obvious you’re from
someplace else? to answer the question it really all depends on the person but
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you can go to or you can go down to the more
info section below and click on the link there there where I live in Italy you have
three main groups of people that are from this area you have German speakers
Ladin speakers and Italian speakers but in general where I live people will
assume that I’m a native German speaker just based on the way that I look but if
I go to other parts of the country they’ll generally assume that I am
Italian but just from the north somewhere which to me is actually kind
of funny because my family is actually from Puglia and Campania we’re pretty
southern I mean I guess you could even call me a good ol southern boy but
people either assume that I’m either a northern Italian or a German speaker
mainly because of the color of my skin and my height I’m not that tall but
especially when I’m in a place where I’m towering over everybody they would tend
to think that I would come from another area I mean I’m only 6 feet 1inch or 185
centimeters so I’m tall-ish but also these assumptions go usually up until
the point that I open my mouth so they generally don’t think that it’s my
native language however what does happen is that a lot of people think that my
Italian is a lot better than it is because I actually do have a decent
accent in Italian although some people do seem to get confused if you’re like
me and you have an Italian last name and you go to a public office or someplace
where they will know your name before they’ll know you so it
could be that Signore Di Furia gets called up to the counter but doesn’t
parla Italiano molto bene it’s led to a few awkward interactions even if you
don’t speak very well you will find that people do speak Italian and a normal
rhythm at a normal cadence with you or like what I’ve seen people do in America
that they also do here is start shouting thinking that the issue of not
understanding is coming from a hearing problem rather than a linguistic problem
and that actually can lead to some funny situations I was actually out one time
with my mother and we were just doing some grocery shopping together and the
person behind the counter said something that neither one of us understood and we
asked them to repeat it and so they said it louder and then we said one more time
because this person was speaking in dialect very quickly and the person by
the end was just shouting at us thinking that would help us understand and my
mother and I just looked at each other and we just started laughing but we
didn’t want to be rude and make this person feel bad that just made us laugh
more and then the person behind the counter ended up starting laughing and
then the manager came over and nobody knew why anybody was laughing and then
the manager started laughing so the whole deli counter at this supermarket
everybody that within a minute or two was just roaring so you’ll get these
situations where it may not be a negative interaction it’s just confusing
and everybody just doesn’t know how to handle it and it’s kind of a strange
situation being the foreigner and you just have the feeling like I’m not deaf
I just can’t understand you it can get frustrating at times but you have to
learn to laugh at it but as far as the question goes am I italian? am i accepted
as italian? that’s a little bit different it also all depends but it’s very
important to remember that there is a difference in being Italian American
versus Italian from the motherland we’ve discussed this a little bit in past
videos like where one might actually come from the other there are
differences between the two and am I personally accepted as Italian? I would
say yes and no it all depends on the person there’s going to be people who
accept you and people who don’t accept you it’s just all based on who you are
and how you are with other people and maybe if you have an Italian last
and if you have the citizenship that might help a little bit from what I’ve
noticed it almost seems to solidify things more if you do have those things
going for you I realized maybe not everybody will but there are two sides
to the coin where on one level you might be expected to speak more Italian or be
more Italian if you have those things going for you whereas if you don’t then
you might have a little bit of an easier time and even if you don’t have those
things going for you you still might get people saying hey this guy he’s one of
us but there are even situations where there are people that are telling me I’m
Italian not asking but telling me I’m Italian and that could come in
situations where it’s a little bit more serious or joking like I’m not the
biggest fan of drinking coffee it’s fine it’s just it’s just not my thing
like I’ve had a friend say to me “well I’m not here asking if you like coffee
or not you’re Italian… you drink coffee this is just how it
works” so there will be times when you might have interactions with people and
they’ll start joking around with you in a very friendly way about that hey
you’re Italian but when people ask me what I am I would generally be more
likely to use the term “Italian descent” or “italian-american” from what I’ve seen
that seems to be a little bit more digestible and even relatable for many
people using that terminology does make a difference in a person’s interaction
like I’ve seen people who are italian-american with Italians here in
Italy claiming oh I’m Italian and people starting to roll their eyes this does
happen again because there is a difference between Italian American and
Italian Italian and not saying that one is necessarily better than the other
just that there is a difference and I think when it comes to being accepted
something else that can really help is how you carry yourself and how you treat
others and there are even people that I interact with that I tell them I’m
American and they end up becoming surprised especially when they have
certain expectations and there are a lot of American stereotypes that I just seem
to not fit into for example the show that we all love to
hate which misrepresents Italian Americans left and right the Jersey
Shore a lot of people expect that Italian Americans are all like that or
that I’m not from Brooklyn and that I don’t have a Brooklyn
accent or that I don’t behave in what would be considered to be
stereotypically American like talking loudly or the way that you interact with
other people and even I myself am starting to see what they might be
talking about because even I can spot the typical American walking down the
street and they don’t even have to open up their mouth and one thing that can
help you also integrate a little bit more is if you can maybe lose or
downplay some of those characteristics that might make you stand out more such
as behavior body language the way that you speak or even the way that you dress
for example if you’re walking around in socks and sandals with some baggy cargo
shorts and Hawaiian print shirt that would be pretty unusual in Italy and
would start making you stand out and maybe you don’t care if you stand out
that’s totally fine too but being able to blend in a little bit more might help
you integrate a little bit better and if you just observe the locals where you
are that might help you accomplish this and there’s absolutely no accident that
we have the expression “When in Rome… do as the Romans do there’s a reason why
this expression is known worldwide anyway as always this is an open
conversation and if you’ve been living abroad for a while and you want to share
some tips with others feel free to leave them down in the comment section below
or if you have any questions feel free to leave them down there as well or you
can always reach out to me over social media and if you’d like to see more
content like this please be sure to subscribe with that notification bell
turned on and if you could also give this video like I would really
appreciate that and also if you’d like to help make more content like this
possible please visit or there’ll be a
link down below and as always I’m Rafael Di Furia AKA Rafi Di is me thank you for
joining me on another beautiful Friday night have a great weekend and I’ll see
y’all next Friday later

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