Friday, July 23, 2010

Gloriosky! Permesso!

Little Annie Rooney said it best for Doug (I never heard of her). After our last frustrating trip to Cosenza, we were not looking forward to the next step. They said we could check the computer website to find out if our permessos were ready. After the two months were up, we looked daily. No change. We began to think something was wrong so we asked an Italian friend to call for us. She did and was given another number to call. She tried but they didn't answer. I called later and found out that the mythical documents were actually pronto(ready). I was proud that I did it myself. Telephoning an Italian bureaucrat is very scary.  If they don't get what you are saying, they just hang up on you--sometimes after saying goodbye, sometimes not.

We showed up at the police/immigration office today in Paola to pick up our Permesso di Soggiorno cards after a 6 month process. We were a little skeptical that these folks had finally gotten their job done--afraid they would say they weren't ready after all once we got there. We arrived ½ hour before the place opened and had time for a caffe. We were admitted at 0900 and, amazed, walked away at 0930 with two cards that are imbedded with chips and have holographic images on the surface. Very state-of-the-art compared to the process that brought us here.

Anyway, we are extremely relieved. Heady from our success, we stopped at the Comune office in Santa Domenica Talao with our new cards and applied for a Residency ID card (carta d’identica). We were happy that our Italian allowed us to do well enough there, and we will get the identity card soon-–after the local police officer visits us to confirm we have a house in town and are living there. We know the local cop and he’s a nice guy, so we expect no problems. We needed the Permesso to get this card. It will allow us to buy a car (we already did—now we can transfer ownership) and get health insurance here. It was touch and go for a bit as the clerk there was looking for the word “Cosenza” on the Permesso---and it just doesn’t have anything like that since it is a national card.

On the way home, we stopped at the beaches below the hospital in Cetraro and found a cool place with a nearby restaurant to try next week. The beaches there appear a little less crowded than what we have around here this time of year. The Neapolitan tourism influx must have missed Cetraro!! We are all legal now, so we can relax and enjoy the beaches until next year, when we have to reapply (that one will be good for 2 years, then 4, then I guess after 6 you get to be a permanent Italian). Gloriosky. 


  1. Congratulations! We found out today that my husband is eligible for dual (Italian) citizenship because his dad was born before his grandfather became a US citizen, but the document gathering that lies ahead is daunting!

  2. Thanks, Linda.
    Laura, yes it is, but thank your lucky stars that you live in Oregon so will get to work with the Italian Consulate in San Francisco. The only better ones are in Miami (odd) and the one for the Midwest, I think in Chicago. I have heard such terrible stories about the others.

  3. Auguri!!! It is good to hear happy people these days!

  4. Great news, not sure if you read about our similar recent exploits, but all sounded so familiar.

  5. LLM,
    I missed yours, but when I went to your site to find it, it was no trouble. I knew "Finalemente" was it! There are mysterious differences, though. Our Comune doesn't do two processes. She called it the carta d'identica but never asked for pictures. Also, she has me down as Doug's wife (grr) and only asked for his signature. I can't wait to identify myself that way. (?!)

  6. As the Italians say "piano piano". Everything happens with time, but when it is something so important "piano piano" doesn't help does it? It sounds like your Italian is going from strength to strength too. Congratulations on both the permesso and the language skills! We have taken a deep breath and had to go into our comune in Santa Marina to sort some things out in the past and although we have not been looking forward to it beforehand there is always a sense of achievement when we have come out and the task has been satifactorily completed. We are independent people back here in England and want to be when we are in Italy, so the language has to be conquered (piano piano is what we get told with that too). The beach at Cetraro sounds like a welcome relief for this time of year too. Do you think it will be so quiet in a couple of weeks? In the middle of July the one at Policastro starts to get a bit packed. Usually when we go in September it is "our beach" and hardly anyone else is about. That is much nicer. Tanti auguri John e Toni

  7. John and Toni,

    We will look back into the Cetraro beach in Agosto as well. It's our first full summer and if it's as crazy as everyone warns, we can skip the sea for August. It appears that Cetraro does not cater to many tourists or holiday homes compared to the rest of the coast, so maybe just locales.

    Isn't it fun to see Di being referred to as Guido's wife rather than herself?! Feminism never hit Italy too hard. Now, if she'd just take care of all the meals, shopping, the floors and laundry, we'd fit right into this village eh? (I joke, but there are certainly folks here who feel that way still).

    Auguri, Doug

  8. Yes certain things could do with an update, but if Italy changed too much it wouldn't be the same place that we all love so much would it? John & Toni

  9. Oh I've just seen this. Augari.

    Sorry I didn't get to meet you both. Next time I hope.



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