Officially Italian

This morning I took my giuramento (oath) in Palazzo Vecchio and became an official Italian citizen. After playing phone tag for a few weeks with the woman at the comune (city hall), we finally set the date for me to take my giuramento today. I was so happy when my suocera (mother-in-law) asked me if she could accompany me. I didnít ask anyone to come with me, but I was happy my suocera was the person who was there when I became Italian.

My suocera and I arrived early to my appointment and walked together to Palazzo Vecchio. Once I was called into an office, I gave the man all the paperwork he requested. I also pulled out my passport and permesso di soggiorno (permit to stay). He explained that even though I take the giuramento today, it will take one day before Iím officially Italian. As of tomorrow, I can get a new carta díidentitŗ (identity card) that will say that Iím Italian and turn in my permesso di soggiorno at the questura (police station).

Before taking my giuramento, I had to first go to another office to get my birth certificate filed. The same man called me into a nondescript office with a large oval table. He told me to sit down while he stood next to me with a red, white, and green fascia (sash) hung over one shoulder. He asked me to repeat two sentences after him and then sign two documents on both sides. Once we finished, he handed me a copy of the Costituzione della Repubblica Italiana (Constitution of the Italian Republic). I was hoping that Iíd get to keep a copy of the letter from the Presidente della Repubblica, but he kept it in my file.

I was a little commossa (moved) during the giuramento and felt quite joyful when I walked out of Palazzo Vecchio. My suocera and I celebrated by getting a caffť (coffee) because it was so early in the morning.

I am honored to have both Italian and American citizenships. I donít think one takes away from the other one, but rather compliment each other. I am especially grateful to my nonni (grandparents), Angelo and Giuseppina, whom I never had the opportunity to meet. It is thanks to them that I am now Italian. They both left Italy when they were children and lost their Italian citizenship. I am happy I was able to reinstate my Italian citizenship, not just for me, but also for them.

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