You know, the last thing I expected when I came to Italy was to hear American music almost everywhere. I kid you not, Italians are slightly infatuated with American songs. Every store plays American tunes, not translated out of English, over their sound system. According to some of my friends who have television in their apartment, even Italy’s version of MTV plays ninety percent American music.

At first I found this rather baffling. I expected Andrea Bocelli and Europop when I came to Italy, not Cee Lo Green or AC/DC. But sure enough, the first store I walked in to was proudly blaring “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen over their speakers. This was a little confusing to say the least. Eventually you realize that the majority of Italians have no idea what is being said in the songs, but this only makes the occurrence funnier. Why, if they can’t even understand it, are they so obsessed with it?

And obsessed is not an overstatement. I think I have yet to hear a legitimate Italian song being played as I walk around. This fondness for American culture doesn’t just stop at music, but has also worked its way into the dress code. From the fat, middle aged man in a Jets hoodie to the kid in a matching “ultimate street fighter 76” sweat suit; apparently anything that looks American or has English on it is automatically stylish. Even books have been affected. In the same store that was playing the Boss I found an Italian translation of Lady Gaga’s biography. Though I don’t know how I feel about the Lady Gaga novel, I’m definitely humored by the fondness for American pop-culture.