I never met my Italian nonni (grandparents), but thanks to them I was informed today that I was granted Italian citizenship. I had an inkling of this good news when I received a lettera raccomandata (certified letter) while I was in Paris last week. The possibility that I would get my Italian citizenship prompted my previous post about culture. I wondered if I would somehow be different or feel changed, but I realized that I was already changed because I have been living overseas for many years.
When I filed at the Prefettura (Prefecture), the man told me it would take three years, and he was right. I had previously tried to get my citizenship through my father while I was living in the US, but it was denied after we found out that my nonno (grandfather) was an American citizen before my dad was born. Fortunately after living legally in Italy for three years, I was able to request citizenship through my nonni who were both born in Italy.
Even though I don’t feel any more Italian than I did before I got my citizenship, I do feel a stronger bond with my nonni and am happy to have the same last name as my nonno. I never knew either of them, but a few years back I visited the towns where they were born. I was especially moved by the town where my nonna (grandmother) was born. Her abandoned town in Basilicata ignited a stronger bond between us even though she’s not here.
I’m very happy to have my Italian citizenship, and especially happy that I no longer need a permesso di soggiorno (permit to stay). I don’t consider myself “adopted” by Italy, but more “recognized” by the country where my nonni came from.
Share your comments for this blog post on the Living in Florence's Facebook page. Grazie!