Devon on July 3rd, 2016

Grand Hotel de La Minerve

I know this is out of the blue. After a lot of deliberation with Jay, we have decided to pack up our belongings, sell the Dallas house, and move to Italy. I know what you are thinking. “WHAT!?” Yes, we are moving to right outside of Rome. And, yes, I have never been to Italy. I lived in Germany for 6 months, traveled all over northern Europe, but never made it to South Europe.

I whole lot of things happened to help make our decision. The job offer was good, we needed a change in our living situation (surroundings), we had an amazing offer on our Dallas house (way, way above asking price), and we wanted to travel. TRAVEL! This was the main drive. So much to see in Europe and the surroundings; Monico (French Rivera), Venice, Florance, Siana, Rome, Pompeii, Almafi Coast, Athans, the list goes on. Itlay is a good “home base” for traveling Europe. Then some places on my wish list and revisiting list: Africa, Scottland/Ireland, Prague, Viena, Netherlands, and of course All of Germany!

Grand Hotel de La Minerve Lobby Skylight

Anyways, so, here it is. We officially moved to Italy on July 3, 2016. The first hotel we stayed at was the Grand Hotel de La Minerve. It’s a stunningly beautiful hotel just a few steps from the Roman Pantheon (27 BC). The city is oversaturated and dripping with art, architecture, fashion, food, prestige, and passion.

After a few days of sightseeing (Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and Piazza Navona) it came down to business. The legality of moving to Italy was no easy feat. In fact, I would not do it again. If you have ever seen the movie Under the Tuscan Sun (wonderful movie, BTW), but it’s total BS. It was almost a year of preparation in Dallas with Italian Visas, Italian Codice Fiscale cards, International Health Insurance policies, bank records, criminal records, birth certificates, High School and University education transcripts, etc. To add on top of that, everything has to be notarized (by a USA notary). If it is a government document, it needs to be sent to the relative issuing State’s Department of State to receive both an Authentication Certificate and Apostille. All documents (ALL DOCUMENTS!) need to be translated into Italian by an Italian Consulate certified translator. After you receive the original documents back (Notarized, Apostille, and Translated), you then provide to the Italian Consulate of your district (ours happened to be in Houston) and they verify the documents with the Italian Consulate stamp of Authentication. This makes the documents legally valid in Italy. Without the Italian Consulate stamp, it’s all just a stack of useless paper.

Once you arrive in Italy, you have 8 days to apply for your Permesso di Soggiorno (Permission to Stay) card. This is another barrel of worms. You need to collect the Permesso di Soggiorno application package form an authorized Poste Italiane (Italian Post Office), fill out the complicated government application form (all in Italian), and then mail it to the police station all in 8 days. The document took Jay and me about 7 days to figure out, mailing it on day 8 at 9am. Once you mail it, the post office gives you a receipt for an appointment meeting with the local Police Immigration office. This appointment is in the future sometimes a week away or months away. Ours was two weeks because our villa is located in rural Italy. What? Yes, I said villa. More on the Villa in a later post. Anyways, at the police appointment, you need to bring copies of all the documents you mailed in the Permesso di Soggiorno package as well as 2 passport photos of you. They ask you questions, verify the documents, and then make another appointment for you in another two weeks for your physical and fingerprints. Then, you wait, wait, and wait. You will receive a text message when your Permesso di Soggiorno is ready for pickup at the police station. Remember you need to do all of this with people that speak little to no English.

Once you receive your Permesso di Soggiorno, you can now visit your Comune’s Ufficio Anagrafe to apply for official Resident Status and Carta D’Identita. This card is done instantly at your visit. It gives you access to a lot of perks. It basically makes you an EU resident. One of my favorite perks is I can use the Airport’s customs EU passport line (saves hours of waiting in line). Other benefits include opening an Italian bank account (without paying ridiculously high fees), register in the Italian health system, import your furniture and household goods dutyfree (that have been in storage in the USA for three months), and stand in line for many other bureaucratic processes.

So, that’s how we moved to Italy. Saluti!

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