by Melinda Gallo

One step closer to getting my passport

Ever since I returned from the US a few weeks ago, I’ve been wanting to go to the questura (police station) to get my Italian passport. When I took my giuramento (oath) for my Italian citizenship, the man told me that once I got a letter from them that everything has been transcribed, I could go to the questura and get my passport. I have learned than to take anyone’s word for anything and checked on-line what the procedure is to get a passport. When I viewed the website of the Florence questura, it gave clear instructions and a downloadable form to fill out.

Because many people were taking today off since tomorrow is a holiday, I called the office to make sure it was open. The number was busy the three times I tried, so I called the main questura on via Zara. The poliziotto (policeman) who answered told me that if the phone is busy, that means that they’re there.

Since my suoceri (in-laws) wanted to get their passports too, we met at the questura this morning. I wanted to make things simple for them, so I filled out and printed the passport moduli (forms) and prepared the bollettino (pay slip) to pay the Italian treasury at the poste (post office). I paid mine last week, but they wanted to go to the poste themselves. I also bought each of us a marca da bollo (official stamp) that we were asked to bring for our passports. All my suoceri needed to do was bring photos of themselves for their passports.

We walked straight up to the sportello (window) when we arrived. I had never been to the questura without waiting in line. I saw lines of stranieri (foreigners) outside as well as inside the sala d’attesa (waiting room) to get their permessi di soggiorno (permits to stay). I had been in those lines before and I know how frustrating and stressful it can be.

My suoceri stood next to me and wanted me to go first. I was so nervous that when the poliziotto asked me to sign my name on the modulo, my hand was shaking. For the passaporto elettronico (electronic passport), I was asked me to place my index fingers, one at a time, on a machine to scan my impronte digitali (fingerprints).

After the poliziotto created files for each of us, he handed me the three ricevute (receipts) so I could pick up the passports for us all. He told me that it will take ten days, and I can’t wait to get it. To celebrate, I’d love to take a trip with my suoceri to a place where we can use our new passports. Obviously we’ll have to travel outside of Europe since we only need to show our carte d’identità (identity cards) here.

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