Fun at the Comune

Last week the appointed day finally came when the English-speaking person would be at the comune to discuss jure sanguinis with us. We went in with the impression we had received the previous week that they had never heard of jure sanguinis. Charmingly enough, the person who sent us away the previous week is the person in charge of jure sanguinis applications, and she has done several. I think she just hoped we’d go away. However, Silvia, the English-speaker (who does speak perfect English and is very nice also) is a definite ally. I handed our precious green binder to her, and she and the other employee began flipping through it. She couldn’t resist a little snicker when she translated “great-great grandfather,” but she was very helpful. And she rolled her eyes several times as she and her superior went through our papers, and the superior pronounced half of them un-usable (for various reasons).

In a way, for me, it was like a nightmare come true. Everything I had hoped would be alright, but worried wouldn’t be, she pointed out. There were also some new things. For instance, she didn’t really like Domenico’s birth certificate from the parish in Lagnasco. Tony asked Luca to see what he can do about getting one that looks more like a certificate. Of course, the letters from LDS Church Archives she shook her head over. She was most concerned about the death certificates for Domenico and Louis, which are really difficult to read. Tony’s and my marriage certificate didn’t look legitimate to her either, and I really have no idea what is wrong with it.

But she really had a fit when she got to the section where we have the documents swearing before a notary that neither Tony nor his ancestors ever renounced Italian citizenship. The reason is that she needs to contact the consulates with jurisdiction over every place where Tony and any of his ancestors lived since the age of 18. Louis lived in Logan and spent two years in Belgium. But Tony and his mother have been lots of places. That she would have to contact the Italian embassy in Indonesia seemed especially insulting to her. She kept muttering it over and over. Indonesia. Indonesia.

Silvia’s main concern was that we needed to get a Permesso di Soggiorno. She was convinced that the one for citizenship was only good for three months, and further convinced that our case would take far longer. Her favorite idea was for Tony to enroll in an Italian course and get a study visa, “and then you would learn Italian AND be able to stay in Italy,” she said. So in the end, we never even got inscribed at the anagrafe.

We had to go get gelato afterwards, even though it was not a gelato day, just because we were all so stressed out. Luckily, I’m not the one with Italian blood. Tony feels confident that it will all work out, and that he will win over Silvia’s superior. We decided in the future it would be best for him to go alone to the comune. And I’ll work on fixing the documents. They didn’t care about the non-Italian line (including me), so that’s quite a few we don’t have to worry about. I’m also going to make an easy-to-follow list of exactly what consulates need to be contacted about whom. And I’m making sure the translations are perfectly laid out so they look exactly like the originals.