We had an unexpected blessing today.
Julio finished all the translations and we met at the Tribunale. I had heard horror stories about how much it costs to certify translations. Every official document in Italy must be plastered with little holographic stickers known as “marca di bollo.” And yes, they’re expensive. You can buy them at any tobacco shop. There are two kinds that I know of (who knows, there may be more). The only distinction I understand between them is that one costs 1.5 euros and the other costs 14 euros. Guess which one people usually have to put on their translations. There also seems to be some discrepancy about whether each page of the document needs one, or whether one per document suffices.
This distinction becomes important because a typical document, say Tony’s and my marriage certificate, is one page. Add the Apostille, and that makes two. But since it’s so long, the translation turned out to be three, making a total of five. And then the tribunale adds its own paper at the end with the sworn statement of the translator. So our little one page document is six pages long by the time it reaches the end of the odyssey. And of course, it looks sixteen times as official, having been covered in stamps and seals and signatures. Some of the documents started out even longer. I think the longest was Josephine Boudrero’s birth certificate, which had been amended due to numerous errors. It ended up with a grand total of nine pages. We have thirteen documents, and most are between five and seven pages long, so we were prepared for this to be the most expensive step yet (after signing an apartment contract, of course).
The lady at the Tribunale was very nice, and could not imagine that it could possibly turn out to be so expensive for us. She telephoned the Comune to make sure that just one cheap marca di bollo per document would do. I know for a fact that various employees from other Tribunales have made other unfortunate jure sanguinis seekers pay hundreds of euros in marca di bollos. So she made quite the difference for us. It came to only about 25 euros, and she did it right away.
Tomorrow, Tony has his appointment with Teresa, where he will hopefully get our long-awaited Permesso di Soggiorno.