Conquering Italian Bureaucracy: Getting My Carta d’Identità

Ah, Italian bureaucracy. Didn’t take long to get me on this subject, did it? But it’s actually not a criticism! If you’ve got a pen handy, mark this down, as it’s probably the only time you’ll see me happy about something involving a comune and official stamps.

Yesterday I finally got my carta d’identità, the Italian ID card. This marks the end of a long journey to Italian citizenship — dual citizenship actually. So I’m allowed to have two citizenships because of a neat little thing Italian bureaucrats call “jure sanguinis,” or law of the blood.

No, there’s no organized crime involved. Geez, why you always gotta go there when blood and Italian are mentioned together? It just means that when the Italian bloodline is intact, i.e., no one has renounced his/her Italian citizenship before the next in line was born, Italian citizenship carries on down.

For me, it was from my great-grandfather, grandmother, and father–and yes, it required a lot of paperwork. Birth, marriage, death, and divorce certificates, and then a two and a half year wait. But now it’s done, and I’m legal here. Finally.

So, to celebrate, I’ll share my first photo. This is the view of the Ionian Sea from my house in a village of just 300 souls–most of whom remember American soldiers coming into the piazza and handing out chocolate to the children to close out World War II.

17 Beans of Wisdom to “Conquering Italian Bureaucracy: Getting My Carta d’Identità”
  1. Anonymous

    what a great way to start my day…..the photo in your post…..was it only 6 weeks ago?

  2. laxlaw

    Ok, I’m officially signed up as a blogger – whatever.

    Forgot to tell you how much I loved the picture!

  3. Andrea

    Ciao bella! What a great way to follow your adventures in Calabria. I miss it so much, but my sister is going to Thailand to teach English for a year, so I’m afraid that will have to be my next trip…Thanks for sending your blog!
    (Boston) Andrea

  4. Tiffany

    Beautiful view! Oh, did you ever send me that email? Perché se l’hai spedito, non l’ho ricevuto!

  5. sognatrice

    Carol-thanks so much for your comments. Hopefully this will help feel like you’ve never left 🙂

    Laxlaw-took me a second to figure out who you are because all that came to mind was the Duke case 😉

    Andrea-ciao! I have to send you a personal email soon, but thanks for stopping by, and enjoy Thailand!

    Tiffany-Haven’t sent you a message b/c I’m being all stubborn and trying to figure things out. Plus it’s kinda fun…but I’m sure I’ll have a question sooner or later.

    Thanks to all for visiting!

  6. Shan

    What a beautiful view.

    Love the blog, can’t wait to read more.

  7. katerinafiore

    I’m so happy for you!!!!!!! I hope to have that someday too!!! You never emailed me back, we need to chat again soon. Ciao Amica!!!

  8. sognatrice

    Katie, we were leaving comments for each other at the same time! See your blog for my apology regarding the email 🙂

  9. Michellanea

    I’m jealous – that’s the view people imagine when you say you live in Italy. Up here in smog/fog land, my morning view is gridlock on Milan’s tangenziale. Just blogged about it. Must go buy those borlatti beans so I can channel Calabria!

  10. The (Mis)Adventures of a Single City Chick

    I never knew that about the Italian citizenship being passed down through generations. I wonder if my relatives kept theirs. My great grandfather came over on his own first as a twelve year old and stayed with distant cousins here before his brothers joined him. My grandmother’s family came over a bit later. But they all came from Lonate Pozzolo near Milan. Glad to see you’re blogging now! I’ll have to add you to my link list on my blog. 🙂


  11. sognatrice

    Christina, the citizenship thing is actually quite an interesting process. I’ll send you an email, and we can talk more about it. If you qualify, it’s just a matter of collecting documents–tedious but worth it if you’ve ever had aspirations of staying in Europe for more than 3 months.

  12. JT

    Congrats on finally “getting made!” I may actually be in the neighborhood mid-April…on my company’s client incentive trip. (I hope I didn’t just jinx myself…) If things go as planned…we would be staying in Sorrento 4/19-22, taking a flight to Catania and then staying in Taormina 4/22-25. I should know for sure in a week or so…and you know I am going to try and sneak away somewhere during the Naples stop! JT

  13. sognatrice

    Ah, I remember your mentioning the incentive trip–sounds great! Actually from Taormina, you aren’t too far–just a ferry ride away.

  14. JT

    I best get a map right now…as I thought Naples was closer. 🙂

  15. Eileen

    Congrats! I know what a long journey this was for you – I’m so pleased that it all was worth it! have you told Monsieur M yet?

  16. sognatrice

    Eileen, I’m so late in responding to this comment, and yet, no I still haven’t told Monsieur M. I must contact him soon.

  17. Austen

    Finally went back to this old item, as my wife now wants me to start the process for her. Somewhere else you pointed to another blog writer that described the process, so I’ll keep searching. (If since then you found a good website, please post it.)

    Do you mean citizenship or just the carta? The carta isn’t too complicated once you have the citizenship 🙂

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

Calabria Guidebook

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