If All Else Fails, Fly to London

There is no end to surprises. We spent Saturday at Carla and Giorgio’s house, with Tony helping to carry furniture upstairs where we will be living if this all works out. Giorgio had been told by one of the many contacts he phoned that jure sanguinis only goes back four generations. He was exceedingly uncomfortable, even though we assured him we had no intention of doing anything illegal. He’s had bad experiences with the Italian police before.

Bright and early today (Monday) he phoned the Prefettura, which is the chief of one of the more important branches of police. They laid to rest his fears about the four generations (there is no generational limit). And they explained how it is all supposed to be done for the Permesso di Soggiorno. First of all (as most everyone says), the whole process can be done at a consulate in the United States, and why hadn’t we taken care of it there? Next, the Prefettura said we should go back to the United States and re-enter Italy, only this time making sure that they stamp our passports. Then we should go within seven days to the Questura, bringing all of our jure sanguinis documents, so that we can declare our intent to have our citizenship recognized. They will give us the famous Atessa Cittadinanza Permesso, and then we’ll be legal in Italy for the indefinite time it will take (anni e anni) to get the process done.

Most fortunately, when we were initially planning our move to Italy, we were told that to enter on a tourist visa as we did, we should be able to show a plane ticket out of Schengen territory within three months. So we dutifully bought the cheapest Ryanair flight to London. Last month we decided we’d use it, so we bought a return ticket and planned a little trip to the London Temple. So just at the perfect time, we’ll be leaving Italy, returning to get that all-important stamp in Milan, and then we’re home free to go to the Questura within seven days and get our Permesso di Soggiorno. Then the man at the Anagrafe will start jure sanguinis, and it will all come off without a hitch. At least we hope. It’s all quite amazing. I guess it’s not surprising for all of our prayers to be answered in unusual and roundabout ways. We have only the vaguest ideas of what we should be praying for.