My Italian continues to be a struggle. A note of success for me is when I call to make a dinner reservation over the phone and they don't switch to English. I am making improvements. I can tell because I am now being corrected by the Italians. They used to just smile at me at give me encouragement to continue. Now I get corrections. I was told the puppy was "contento" not "contenta". I said, oh are all dogs masculine? She looked at me like I was a nut and said of course not, this one is a male. (FYI, my Italian teacher told me all dogs were masculine grammatically...just in case you thought the heat had gotten to me). Anyway, it is a Maltese puppy that showed up in town yesterday afternoon, and he looks happy no matter the sex. His name is "foofoo" god knows how they spell it. Everyone on the piazza admitted he was "carino" very cute. He is 8 weeks old and was ordered over the internet. He came on a train from Ancona. Everyone on the piazza thought he must be very tired to make such a trip especially in the heat. His little black eyes did look tired and a little shell shocked. The town was very excited to see him. Welcome to Umbertide little dog. He is the first Maltese in the town. In a year, he will be a good play mate for Luca.
Speaking of Luca, our adorable golden doodle dog, we now have a date when we will move to Italy permanently. I have been worried about the long flight for Luca from California to here. We decided to drive our car from California to Philadelphia, stay with our good friends Donna and Michael and then take the Queen Mary 2 over. They have 12 kennels for dogs. We called one year ahead and were told all of the kennels were booked. Apparently moving dogs across the ocean on a boat is big business! Anyway, we finally got ourselves, my sister and her husband, and Luca booked for Sept. 22, 2013. The boat leaves New York and docks in England. Then we have to find a way to get Luca from there to Italy. Plenty of time for me to obsess about that.
Good news. I received my letter confirming my Italian citizenship. Gary can now make an appointment to apply for a family visa to come to Italy. He then can apply for Italian citizenship...we'll see. The process of getting Italian citizenship was arduous. I applied for it under Juris Sanguinis...this is the rationale that is used to attain this type of citizenship. My father's father was an Italian citizen. My grandfather came to the U.S., married and had my father before my grandfather became an American citizen. My father never renounced his Italian citizenship. He probably would have, but he was never asked. I never renounced my Italian citizenship, so voila' I am an Italian citizen. It isn't that you apply for citizenship, it is that you apply for the documentation that verifies the citizenship you never renounced. Oh, these clever Italians.
Proving this took me four years of documentation. I had to document my grandfather's birth from Italy (the easiest part), his marriage to my grandmother (fairly easy), his American citizenship (very easy since I had my grandfather's American citizenship papers), my father's birth certificate (very difficult). My dad was born in Detroit, and I couldn't get a copy of birth certificate. Since he wasn't alive to request it, they said I couldn't get it...lots of people in Detroit seem to want birth certificates for nefarious means. Anyway, after a big struggle, and the intervention of a government state representative, I got the birth certificate. Then I got my mother's birth certificate, their marriage certificate, my birth certificate, my marriage certificate, (3 of them!) my divorce papers, (2 of them) and then had them apostilled. Don't even ask about that. If you think it was amusing to talk to people in Tennessee about an apostille, you would be mistaken. After all of that, I received a letter from the Italian consulate saying I was an Italian citizen. Now I need to make an appointment and get my Italian passport, while keeping my American passport, and I am fully documented and don't have to worry about this type of Italian paper work again. What a process. It took me 4 years. I thought it would take 6 months. I did it without the aid of an attorney...
So when we retire to Italy next year, we should have all of the paperwork we need. Now if we will only have the apartment next door so I don't have to have my clothes stored in boxes under the bed, I will be happy.
Here is a photo of last night's dinner. When you cut into the noodles, the whipped egg, and parmesan cheese, oozes out. There is pancetta and asparagus that is on top of the noodles. Sublime dish! We are off this morning for another food adventure. There is a place in Cortona I have been wanting to visit.