by Melinda Gallo

Citizenship appointment

I scheduled my appuntamento (appointment) to file all of my paperwork at the Prefettura (Prefecture) a month ago. When I went to meet Sig. C. (Mr. C.) , I was optimistic because it seemed as if all my paperwork was in order. Sig. C. told me that I needed to get my two translations stamped by the Italian consulate in the US, and I did that.

I rode my bicicletta (bicycle) this morning to the Prefettura and my eyes stung from riding quickly in the cold air. I locked up my bicicletta in front of the building and walked up to the poliziotto (policeman) who was standing at the reception desk. I told him that I had an appointment with Sig. C. and he looked for the room number on a piece of paper, and gave it to me.

I walked up to the first floor and saw a group of people plus two poliziotti standing outside of Sig. C.'s door. They all looked at me as I walked toward them. I figured we were all waiting for the same person, so I sat down. Eventually one of the other girls who was standing there sat down next to me.

I found out that she was from Somalia and that she just needed to drop off a photocopy of her permesso di soggiorno (permit to stay), but she didn't have an appuntamento. She asked me if I was tunisina (Tunisian) or marocchina (Moroccan), and was surprised when I told her that I was americana (American).

I stood back up and waited in front of Sig. C.'s door after the two poliziotti walked inside to see him. I asked the other people waiting if they had an appuntamento, but they didn't.

Another guy, whom I walked past outside, had an appuntamento at the same time, but since I arrived before him, I went in to see Sig. C. first when it was my turn.

I sat down in Sig. C.'s office and the first thing he told me was that I had the wrong modulo (form). I told him that I got it off of their website, but he said I needed to fill out another one. He couldn't find the right one for me to fill out, so he made me fill out the same, but a little different modulo.

While I was filling it out, he took care of another woman who came to drop off something for her cittadinanza (citizenship). After she left, he helped me fill out the rest of the modulo as some of it didn't apply to me.

For each document that he requested, I handed it to him. He made a comment that I was fairly organized, but that I shouldn't be so stressed out. I was a little stressed because the people who had an appointment at the same time as me were pacing in front of the door and tried to get in in front of me, so I felt I had to hurry up. "Non c' fretta. (There's no rush.)" he said with a smile as he eased back in his chair.

After I gave him all of the documents he requested and the marca da bollo (official stamp) for 14.62 euros, he asked me to take the modulo and one other document to the cartoleria (stationery store) to get fotocopie (photocopies).

Before I left to run that errand, he gave me a ricevuta (receipt) stating that I have officially filed for cittadinanza italiana. He said that I can expect a response in two years. Although on the phone when I talked to him the first time, he said three years.

I ran to the cartoleria to get the fotocopie and on my way back, Sig. C. was walking toward me. "Mi sono scordato! (I forgot!)" he said to me. He escorted me back into the Prefettura and into his office where he took my fotocopie. Before I left his office and shook his hand, he said that I should hear back from them in about a year and a half because it has to be sent to Rome first.

I'm hopeful about obtaining my cittadinanza italiana, but I have to be patient and still get my expired permesso di soggiorno sorted out first.

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