Re-acquisition of Italian citizenship - Part 5: I got it!

AnagrafeAfter leaving the office, I emailed signora Graziella in Vancouver letting her know that it seemed some documents were never received by the authorities in Rome (see previous post).  She immediately replied assuring me that she would look into it and, if needed, personally call signora Antonietta.  So, all I had to do is wait.

Three weeks later, on October 16,  I went to the Municipal Police office in Trastevere to check where things were at.  That was quite an experience.  It would seem their computers are just glorified typewriters (do you remember that time long, long ago) and not connected to the main city system.  The implications are that any document they handle is a paper version received by snail-mail from the main municipal office.   When you think about the size of the Trastevere neighbourhood, and the sheer number of people that inhabit the area (legal and illegal)... I would say there is lots of room for improvements and increase efficiency.  The officer in charge of verifying my address understood my predicament, and showed me an office with piles and piles of file folders, 3-4 feet tall, stacked on desks.  I kind of shuddered.  He looked in a binder and checked whether there was any reference to something pertinent to me.  No luck. 

Italian+FlagI waited two more weeks then went back to the main Municipal building (the Anagrafe).  No, no despair yet, as I had given myself lots of time.  I checked with the signora Antonietta, in the citizenship office. She  assured me that all my papers were now in order, also thanks to the efforts by signora Graziella in Vancouver.  However, she could not proceed with my citizenship until she heard from the other offices.  So, I immediately went to see the signora Flaminia upstairs.  As you will see later, she is the third "angel" that helped me in my quest.  In this case, she called the municipal police, explained the situation, i.e. the citizenship requirements, faxed the residence info (to hell with snail-mail I would say) and asked for some urgency.  That was on a Friday.  On Monday, November 7th, an officer showed up, confirmed I lived where I said I lived, filled up a form and then left. WOW!

I was not in any rush, so I figured let's give them lots of time to process the address verification and "snail-mail" it to the main municipal building.  I also understood that, before getting to the pertinent office, the documents would have to "pass" through various other offices, "protocol office", etc. etc. for what I can only call "bureaucratic checks."  On November 28, I went back to to the municipal police in Trastevere.  I spoke to a lady which was very dismissive, and essentially said, I paraphrase " .. what is your problem? wait at least a month, may be two from the day (November 7th) the officer checked your address..." , and she listed the many places the "verification" will have to go through ....sigh ......  So, patiently I waited .... but just for a few more days.......

On December 13, one month and one week since the officer showed up, I went straight to the office of signora Flaminia on the third floor.  She had not received anything yet and was somewhat peeved off about the delay.  Well, to make the story short...... she called the municipal police office, spoke to someone, who somehow knew of my file (I think I was getting to be known at the Municipal Police in Trastevere!), and asked for the police verification to be faxed back directly to her.  I did not need to wait, but just sat and waited, watching while she scrambled to get the fax (they were not really rushing it), and then filled up the form of residency .... around 11:30, I was finally a confirmed citizen of Rome.  It took two and a half months.  I then went downstairs and spoke to the signora Antonietta in citizenship who assured me everything was now in order.  Two days later, I went to pick up my citizenship certificate and very quickly, after a short wait in the main hallway where everything started (see previous post), I had my Italian ID issued on the spot (things can work even in Rome!)  No snail mailing.....  Though I am sure there are two sets of documents floating somewhere in the very antiquated "system".

I have now re-acquired my Italian citizenship and my quest is over.   The number of documents that are required are not that cumbersome, and in my case all available and straightforward, but the process can be lengthy.  If one was born in Rome,  then the process may be very slow due to the bureaucracy involved and the way the system is set up.  Had I not been lucky to meet the two ladies in the Municipal Office in Rome (Antonietta and Flaminia), I would have likely given up.  Despite the impression, I did NOT press them ..... there was little I could do, as I was at the mercy of the system ... and, I believe, more one "yells" more it clams up.  Rather, these ladies were simply doing their job DESPITE the absurd bureaucracy they are caught in and of which they were fully aware.  They took up my cause and showed that the entire system can easily work without the paralyzing centuries-old roman bureaucracy.  And, had it not been for the patience of Graziella at the Consulate in Vancouver, who guided me through the mind-numbing steps of paper work (never been good at it), I would not be writing this blog.

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