A rebel without a clue

Gap jeans, J.Crew Jackie cardigans, Tory Burch flats and Longchamp bags. I’m a southern girl from Virginia. Seeing me hop out of my Volvo sedan, wearing a leather jacket is probably the last thing you’d expect…too bad it’s going to happen.

The salesmen in Florence did their job well and I went for it: I bought an Italian leather jacket. The mocha colored fine leather is accented with an asymmetrical zipper and large lapels. A couple of snaps here and there and zippers on the sleeves. I’m not too sure you’d find this in the centerfold of a J.Crew catalog.

But, here I go. Serena always says, “you can wear anything with confidence”. I believe her; so, let’s do it. A rush of adrenaline hit me as soon as the credit card was swiped. Was this daring decision that big of a deal? Nah, it’s a whole lot of fun!

Courtesy of Serena D’Agostino

My new purchase made its debut in Serena’s and my fourth stop on our recent trip throughout Italy, Naples! Sure enough in the south of Italy and in a city like Naples, the number of tourists diminishes and they are much more easily recognizable. But throw a leather jacket on and suddenly, you’re a native and everyone speaks to you in Italian. Mi dispiace, non parlo italiano.

My pale skin, blonde hair, and dark blues eyes are a drastic contrast to the olive skin, dark hair, and brown eyes, stereotypical of southern Italians. I stick out. Even a quarter of my blood is Italian. Northern Italian. The people from Padua do not look like those of Naples. Ask Serena; her family’s from Sicily and Casino. Next to her, in Naples, I stick out like a sore thumb…without the leather jacket. Both of us in each a jacket of our own, we’re treated as two Neapolitan friends, not American students. We were feeling the love in Napoli.

Not feeling like a tourist is welcomed feeling, after living in one of the world’s largest tourist traps, Venice. But even upon returning home to Casa Artom, the jacket continues to do its thing. As I walk around Venice now, I feel much less a harassed tourist and the people of Venice seem to respect me more as a resident. It’s kind of weird. What a difference a leather jacket can make.

But, what do you call a blonde in a leather jacket?