Step 1 – The Codice Fiscale
I arrived at Luigi's office in Bologna at 9am this morning, having left Venice on a 6:43 train. I had very little sleep and this was going to be a long day. Little did I know just how long. The day's events unfolded, one horror after another.
Luigi had asked me on the phone last week if I already had my Codice Fiscale. I had tried to get it in Venice. When I went to the office and applied for it, they told me I needed a declaration of stay, which is issued by the police, in order to get the Codice. I had been to the police for that, but they told me that only the one they issued to my husband was needed, they weren't going to give me my own paper. So, without the declaration of stay, I wasn't getting a Codice. When I told Luigi this story, he said,"Oh Karen, I am sorry for the Italian bureaucracy and what they have done to you!" If he only knew what was yet to unfold!!!!
First, when Luigi saw the incorrect stamps in my passport, I thought that would be the end of the road right there. We printed out my plane ticket from my email just in case we needed some additional documentation. We made a first stop just outside of Bologna to get a Codice Fiscale issued for me. This is equivalent to a tax id. You go into the office, take a number and wait until you are called. Now I have 2 girls from Luigi's office with me, who do all this paperwork for others like me trying to get Italian citizenship all the time, so I was confident this would be easy. HA! When our number was called, the agent at the desk told us the stamp was incorrect. One of the girls tried to explain, but we were told to go to a supervisor and they would make a determination. All I could think of was this was now the end of the road for me. We waited for the supervisor. Finally the supervisor called us into the office. She didn't like the stamps on my passport either. We showed her my plane ticket, and one of the girls from Luigi's office also read her some code ( Italian legal stuff). We actually walked out of there with a Codice Fiscale!!! I was doing a silent happy dance.