It has happened when we lived in Anzio and still happens here in Ascoli Piceno and it drives Valerie nuts. There have been several occasions where we will be talking to a local and they will comment that I look like an Italian. I the one with the family name of Schneider and a family lineage of Schneiders, Kraushaars, Millers and Elders. Not an Italian name in the whole bunch. I have researched my family tree in the past and it is deeply rooted in Germany and Great Britain as far as I can tell. On the other hand we have visited the home towns of Valerie’s great-grandparents in Basilicata.
In Anzio a man who told us I looked like a Romani said it was because of my eyes, they have a greenish brown tint. Others haven’t been specific why, just that I look like an Italian. A friend here in Ascoli who we were talking to the other day said I looked like an Ascolani, for Valerie he couldn’t give a specific nationality.
What makes it ironic that some people think I look Italian is that we also have had people over the 20 years we have been married comment that we look like blood relatives. If we look alike, wouldn’t both of us look Italian?!
Of course any possibility that I might look like a local dissipates once I open my mouth and my broken Italian stumbles out. Maybe if I just keep quite I can blend into the crowd.