Uncanny in Italy

Like many students in this class, I experienced unheimlichkeit or uncanniness while studying abroad in Italy. When first in Europe, I found myself feeling out of place and judged based on the clothing I wore. I remember packing for the semester and looking up outfits on pinterest that typical italian women would wear. Even with this research, there was never one moment where I was viewed as anything other than an american student. It felt like a clique that no matter how hard I tried to fit in, there was still a special secret that I would never be able to find out. This was really the only form of culture shock that I experienced while abroad. It was one of the first times that I was obviously judged immediately for my appearance. This was more prevalent in some cities that I visited compare to others. Especially, in cities like Prague, natives told us how much they hated americans. They told us this before we even spoke. The citizens could tell by our mannerisms and outfits, that we were American. Even when we were trying to fit in. Many students studying abroad would buy “authentic” italian leather jackets, shoes and bags to better blend into the city and its people. Italians, however, were still able to automatically label the women who were trying to look italian wearing their leather goods bought at the central market vs. real italians wearing actual authentic leather.


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