So here's the beginning of the not-so-glamorous part about moving to Italy. One must always be aware that, well, it's Italy which might just be synonymous with red tape. Today I had to go to the Questura (kind of a headquarters for police and other official stuff like passports, as well as immigration). According to the document given by the consulate in Canada, it seemed too easy and that should have been my first clue. It says, and I quote- "Every foreign national who enters Italy legally must report to provincial law enforcement authorities at the Questura within 8 days of her entry into the country to request a permesso di soggiorno. The permesso di soggiorno is issued by the Questura...". Sounds almost as if you go there and they give you your permesso (the legal document to stay and work in Italy). Sounds simple right? WRONG!
Anyways there I am in the immigration office with probably a hundred other people and it's total chaos. The funny part is that when I mention that to the fellow helping me, he tells me that today it's tranquillo (tranquil, very quiet). I'm thinking that I'll be getting all the documents I need within an hour and be on my way. Instead now I'm laughing at myself. First off, no one had the slightest clue what to do with a vacanze lavoro (working holiday) visa. I guess they don't see them very often and this required someone calling someone to call someone who would come and help me instead. So I wait patiently off to the side for 5 minutes, then 10, then 15, and I keep giving the information man the stink eye so he'll know I'm still waiting. Finally the someone I'm waiting for arrives and he is very cordial and nice in truth. I'm going to list now in point form the many, many steps that turns out, I have to complete BEFORE even stepping foot in the Questura:
- photocopy passport and all pages with stamps
- photocopy all documents given by the consulate
- go to comune and get an official document stating where I am living in Italy
- take all above documents to another office to attain a kit with more documents
- complete the kit
- take the sealed kit to the post office to pay the tariff to send it
- wait to receive a letter with an appointment date for the Questura
- go to Questura again
Can't expressed how enthused I am about this process. To say the least it's un po' complicato, a little bit complicated and there's a long road ahead...but first, let's eat.