Today we met up with Georgette again to return to the Anagrafe for the residency appointment. We got called back right at noon when our appointment was scheduled. While we've waited a half hour here and there for things, we've actually found the Italian bureaucracy no worse than the U.S., to be honest. Wow, did I just jinx us or what?!
We have really lucked out with our Italian government workers, too. We had another really nice older gentleman helping us today. He wasn't entirely familiar with what we were trying to do, but after some quick explaining from Georgette he was able to get the ball rolling.
I felt SO proud of myself. First, I understood most of what he was saying. Second, I had every document that he asked for. I had copies of everything. You could tell he was definitely impressed that we had our act together so well.
And then, it happened. He asked to see mine and Rob's marriage certificate so that he could register it and get us both in the system. Translated? Check. His eyes lit up. Apostlle? Very good. Certified by the consulate? Perfecto.
I can't tell you how amazing it felt to finally give someone one of those damn records.
I have been collecting, translating, stamping, sealing, paying for and basically bleeding on those records for almost a year. I wanted to kiss the Italian man across the table for being the first person to actually find them useful.
The appointment only lasted about 20 mintues, I signed a few documents and I now have temporary residency here in Florence! At some point in the next month special police will come to the apartment to make sure I actually live here. Once they confirm that I do, I will get a letter in the mail. I then take that letter back to the Palazzo Vecchio's citizenship office and get another letter from them. That letter I take to apply for my permesso di soggiorno (basically a permit of stay). Once I apply for that I'll get an appointment at the Questura (yes, another office) to officially receive my permesso. Then, finally, I'll be able to go back to the citizenship office and apply. Lots of steps, yes, but so very worth it.
Interesting to note...I am now eligible for the Italian health system! I have the option of applying for a temporary health card (and going back again once my residency is official), but I think I will just wait until the residency is official so that I only have to go to the health office once. Also, once I have my residency letter I can get my Carta d'Identita...all Italian citizens and residents carry these at all times. It's the most important thing to have when living in the country.
So, a ton of movement lately on the citizenship front! It will be quiet for a little while. I basically wait until the police show up and then it's lots of activity again.
A quick sidenote: the residency stuff at this point is technically just for me. I will need to go through a few more steps of the process to get "legal," and then Rob will piggy back off of me and do many of the same things.