Not quite the same, but your story reminded me of this comedy sketchBeing mistaken for a local in Venice a few years ago.
I was stopped on my way across the Tre Archi bridge by an American couple asking me directions in halting Italian.
I knew enough to give them basic directions for a minute or two, then I put them out their misery and told them I was Canadian and spoke English.
The looks on their faces.
I don't particularly look Italian, but I was carrying a lot of groceries on my way to my apartment.
I went around the rest of the day feeling slightly thrilled at being mistaken for an Italian.
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