A primer on citizenship

My inner country mouse had the upper hand yesterday evening. We took our nightly walk over a route recommended by Giorgio, our host here. It began on a classic quite lane framed by tall trees, and then hugged the forested hill for two or three kilometers, looking out over fields of freshly cut hay and little farms.

I tried to think why agricultural land is so much more attractive here than in my native country. Partially, it’s because everything is Lilliputian by comparison. Small farmers are the rule, perhaps because the land has been in the same families for generations. Looking out over the gently rolling plain, one can see quite a few yellow houses, each surrounded by a little collection of fields with various crops, and perhaps a quaint old wooden fence enclosing a donkey or some chickens.… Read more

Consider the lilies of the field

This verse came up in my scripture reading this morning. 3 Nephi 13:28-30 (and Matthew 6:28-30). “Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, . . . even so will he clothe you, if ye are not of little faith.” He has clothed us and fed us and taken care of us in a multitude of ways here in Italy, as we are learning to do it ourselves.… Read more

Curiouser and Curiouser

Wonderful Alicia called Bruna at the Centro Migrante yesterday. Bruna confirmed that there does not exist a Permesso di Soggiorno that I can get, but that it’s not a problem, since in a few months Tony will be a citizen, and then I’ll be able to apply as the wife of an Italian. She even called the Capo di Polizia (Head of Police) at the Questura, and he said I should just stay without Permesso di Soggiorno and apply when Tony’s citizenship is recognized. He said there’s no way I will have any problems because Tony’s applying for citizenship.

So this is weird.… Read more


I dreamed last night that my friend Peter sent me a little kit to fill out for French citizenship. It was very easy, and I just sent it off. Then I found myself wandering with my family through the streets of an old city like Saluzzo. We were trying to make our way back down into the modern world, but we kept running into dead ends. Whenever we asked people for directions, they would tell us it was very far and we were going in the wrong direction. We ended up in front of a tiny house as Giorgio explained to us how he was going to make it into our house by adding three more floors.… Read more

The road to true love never did run smooth

I think our feelings, both of excitement at good news and horror at bad news may be permanently numbed by this experience. Monday bright and early we rode the bus down to our new little town. We hadn’t heard from Carla and Giorgio since Thursday, and they hadn’t been at Church on Sunday. We hoped they weren’t all deathly ill, or else too stressed out about dealing with this whole process to do it any more. But we decided to go down on Monday anyway, to pick up the famous letter from Gianfranco saying that we are indeed applying for citizenship jure sanguinis.… Read more

Housing Contract

Axa hasn’t been feeling too well, and she was still sleeping when it was time to go this morning, so Tony went alone. When he arrived at Carla and Giorgio’s house, Giorgio was concerned that we hadn’t done a housing contract yet. Also, he pointed out that the Vigili (city police) would be coming by to check our presence within the next few days after we were officially inscribed in the Anagrafe.

He didn’t want them coming around when we weren’t there, so it was decided to delay the inscription in the Anagrafe until we return from London on Monday. He and Tony spent the morning writing the housing contract, which will need to be signed upon our return.… Read more

Centro Migrante

Today we met Alicia at the train station in Cuneo. She took us to the Centro Migrante, where she works. They were the ones the Post Office said to visit for help filling out the Permesso di Soggiorno forms. And she was amazing. They said to come back next Tuesday, since they were in a meeting. But she kept going in and asking questions.

As usual, even when we have a specific question, people always want to start by trying to decide whether what we want to do is even possible. The people at the Centro Migrante had doubts about whether two generations of maternal line would work.… Read more

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).… Read more

It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Our heads are still spinning from yesterday. Having written the fateful letter to Teresa (still no reply from her and Silvia), we moved forward with the plan of trying our luck in the little town south of Cuneo where our friends Carla and Giorgio live. We got to know them a few weeks ago when they invited us for dinner after Church. Carla confessed that we were the first guest to whom she had ever served quinoa. We found that we are kindred spirits. Organic food, homeopathy, attachment parenting, etc. They also live in a tiny town (some 2500 people), and Giorgio’s father is good friends with the Sindaco (Mayor).… Read more

A Surprise Visit to the Comune

Tony had a sudden inspiration this morning. He sat down and wrote a two-page letter to Teresa at the Comune. It was, shall we say, very direct. When he was finished writing it, I put it into Babelfish and translated it. I did some tweaking, but I speak fairly incomplete Italian, so I hope it came across well. Particularly, I don’t know verbal conjugations well enough to fix the fact that it persisted in addressing her in the informal plural. I no longer have the English version, since I saved the Italian version over it as I was doing the transation.… Read more