by Melinda Gallo

One step closer

On my first full day back to Florence yesterday, I went to the Prefettura (Prefecture) for an appointment regarding my Italian citizenship. In the letter that I received last month, they asked me to bring a few documents as well as my American passport, carta d’identità (identity card), and permesso di soggiorno (permit to stay). Before taking off for the States last month, I went to the comune (city hall) to obtain the ones requested.

I arrived 15 minutes early, but the man wasn’t bothered by my eagerness when he let me into his office. I handed him everything that was requested, and was happy that I didn’t forget anything. Within only a couple of minutes, he handed me the official document from the office of the “Presidente de la Repubblica (President of the Republic)” stating that I was given Italian citizenship. I held it in both hands and couldn’t believe it was really happening.

The next step, he said, was to go to the comune to request an appointment for the giuramento (oath). After that, I’ll be an Italian citizen and can obtain an Italian passport and new carta d’identità.

I was so thrilled when I left the Prefettura that I walked quickly back to town to go to the Palazzo Vecchio to make my request. I filled out the document, ran to via dei Magazzini to make a few photocopies, and returned to hand everything to the woman in the Citizenship office before it closed at 1pm. She handed me a receipt and said that I’d be contacted soon. I asked her how soon that might be, but she wouldn’t be more specific.

It’s quite exciting to be finalizing my Italian citizenship. I’ll be even happier when I can turn in my permesso di soggiorno at the questura (police headquarters). It expires November 2012, but I am so happy that I don’t have to worry about renewing it. I used to feel stressed out about six months before it expired.

It’ll be odd to be recognized in Italy as Italian instead of American. I wish they could put both on my carta d’identità, but they will write that my citizenship is only Italian.

When I got the letter about my Italian citizenship, I was quite happy but after seeing the man in the Prefettura, I felt almost giddy. I’m not sure why, but I guess it’s starting to feel more real to me now. Now, I have only one last step and it’ll be official.

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