The Year in Review...

One year and 2 days ago, I arrived in Italy and turned a new page in my life - looking back, its been quite a year!   In 2007 I ....

to follow along visually, check out my Flickr photo site .

Buon Capodanno a Tutti !!!!


love and marriage (part 1)

I'm a little late in writing this, but, last week, Federico and I got married!   Don't fret if you weren't invited - no one else was either.  In order for me to stay legally (finally) in this country, and be able to plan my real wedding next summer, we had to do the "courthouse wedding" thing.  And it was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be - I spent hours searching for information about documentation, and reading peoples horror stories on the internet - it made me really nervous...
We began our sojourn in Roma,  which I didn't mind at all because I think it's the greatest city in the world!  First, I had to go to the American Embassy in Roma to fill out a Nulla Osta ( Download NullaOsta.pdf ), which is basically just a sworn statement saying that one is free to marry.  Then the next day (all of this has to be done on 2 different days, because it would be too easy for the offices to coordinate and be open on the same day), we went to the Prefettura in Rome to have the nulla osta legalized.  This means buying the marca da bolla.  I hate buying the marca da bolla - it is a stupid little sticker that one has to buy at the Tabaccheria (cigarette store), costs €14.62, and makes everything "legal."  Then, at the prefeturra, they take the nulla osta, turn it over, stick the marca on it, then scribble something....and presto! you've got yourself a legal document.   Its insane that I had to go all the way to Rome to do this, but, at least I got a 2 day vacation in Rome.
Eating in the Eternal City... somehow this trip turned into the search for innards - and the Romans really know how its done.  We ate nervetti, I think boiled cartiledge from the shanks of the cow; tripa, cow stomach; coda alla vacinara, oxtail, technically not innards, but a little out of the norm; coratella con carciofi, all the innards from a lamb, stewed with artichokes; and animelle in bianco, sweetbreads fried and cooked in white wine.
Back in Foligno, we had to go to the commune , kind of like a town hall, to "announce the intent of marriage."  Before one can get married in Italy, banns have to posted, just in case someone has the legal argument against the wedding.  Here I ran into my only real problems.  Big ones too - the way my name is written.  My last name begins with McI... and this is strange for them here - big C or little c, space or no space between the c and the I...they were really giving me a hard time about this. Also, on my passport (as with most americans) is written my middle initial. This is another problem for them, because it doesn't really exist here.  It took a little while, but we got it all sorted out...
12 Days Later....  we got hitched!  Our friend Joseph performed the ceremony, and Massimo and Alessandro were our witnesses.   Its not so bad having a courthouse wedding in Italy, because like most things here,  its more beautiful - 16th century frescoed walls and ceilings, etc.  The commune of Foligno even gave me a bouquet of white roses.  A few glasses of spumante... and that was it!  I'm finally legal!