by Melinda Gallo

One missing document

In our quest to getting our certificato di matrimonio (marriage certificate) trascritto (transcribed) at the comune (town hall) here in Florence, we have to file the certificato di matrimonio with an Apostille at the Italian Consulate. Besides the certificato di matrimonio, we had to also give them a photocopy of Alessandro's passport and a modulo (form), which we picked up at the Italian Consulate when we were in California last month. The man at the front desk explained everything and was kind enough to help me out when I had questions about the modulo while I was waiting for my traduzioni (translations) to be verified.

My sister called me last night to tell me that there was a missing document. She first took our certificato di matrimonio to a special office to get the Apostille on it and then drove to the Italian Consulate on the other side of L.A. to file everything for us. When she arrived, she was told that because Alessandro wasn't dropping off the documents himself, we needed a certificato di cittadinanza (citizenship certificate) for him.

I was surprised because when I had talked to the man at the desk who gave me the modulo, I remember telling him that we lived in Florence. I guess he didn't know that we weren't going to file the papers personally since we were in the Italian Consulate for another matter.

I quickly called the woman at the Consulate and spoke to her in Italian to find out if my sister could leave everything else there so that I could send Alessandro's certificato di cittadinanza to her directly at the Consulate. The woman replied that she didn't take applications unless they were complete.

Because I wanted to make sure of the name of the document that we had to ask for at the anagrafe (registry office), I asked the woman if it was really called a certificato di cittadinanza. She told me that it was written on the formulario (form), but I told her that I didn't have it in front of me. I tried to explain to her that I thought the photocopy of the passport would be proof that he's Italian, but she insisted that she needed the certificato di cittadinanza because Alessandro wasn't filing these papers himself.

I told the woman that we'd get the document as soon as possible and my sister will file everything with her. She told me, "Se riuscite a darmi tutto prima della fine del mese, ce la posso fare subito. Altrimenti, dovete aspettare febbraio. (If you can give me everything before the end of the month, I can do it immediately. Otherwise, you will have to wait until February.)"

When I whispered to Alessandro what she said, he couldn't believe it. "Febbraio?" he said to me as I covered the phone so the woman couldn't hear him. I thanked the woman because even though I wasn't happy with the delay, she was nice enough to try to be as helpful as she could possibly be.

Early this morning Alessandro went to the anagrafe to get the certificato di cittadinanza. I forgot that the anagrafe is open on Saturdays until about noon, but he somehow remembered. The print-out cost him about 15 Euros and it says that he was born in Florence and is Italian.

Unfortunately, I now have to wait until Monday to send it to my sister by FedEx because the FedEx office near my house isn't open on Saturdays. I'm just hoping that we can file everything before the end of the month so that the woman can squeeze in our certificato di matrimonio before she takes off on what I believe are her ferie (holidays).

Share your comments for this blog post on the Living in Florence's Facebook page. Grazie!