by Melinda Gallo

Translations approved and stamped

One of the objectives I had for going to California was to go to the Italian Consulate to get two translations approved and stamped so that I can file for Italian citizenship. I called the Consulate from Florence a week or so before I left for the US and they said that all I had to do was come by during office hours and they could approve my translations.

We hopped on the freeway and arrived within an hour to the Italian Consulate. When we walked in, there was only one other couple. We sat down and waited for our number to be called after talking to the man at the information window.

We didn't wait long for a woman to call my number. I showed her my birth certificate and the FBI report that were translated and told her that I needed them approved and stamped to file for Italian citizenship.

She asked me if I could come back later or tomorrow, but I told her that I couldn't. I explained to her that I live in Florence and that I needed these documents as soon as possible. "Vado a sentire. (I'll go see about it.)," she said and walked away.

While we were talking to her a large group of people arrived. After eavesdropping a little bit, I discovered that two couples just got married and were there to get their marriages recognized in Italy. I suddenly realized that I needed to get more information from them as well since after talking to someone at the comune (town hall) in Florence, I was supposed to send our marriage certificate to the Italian consulate and they'd send it on to the comune.

Within a half an hour, the woman called my name and handed me the translations with the stamp on them. I was so happy that I wanted to hug her. "Grazie, grazie, grazie!" I said to her. She smiled back at me for the first time and that made me even happier.

Now, I have everything I need for my appointment regarding my Italian citizenship through my nonno (grandfather) when I get back to Florence. Of course, now that I'm married, the guy is going to think I'm nuts for doing all this when it'll be easier to just do it through marriage. I'd consider that, but I'd have to wait six months before applying and I prefer obtaining Italian citizenship through my nonno because it would be more meaningful for me. If it doesn't work, I can always try to get my Italian citizenship through marriage. But, I'm hoping things will go smoothly.

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