Slowly we get things done on my to-do list. Eye checkups, dental checkups…check. We visited our Commercialista to get our taxes started. This is the other item on the list of things the Questura asked us to get before they will consider giving us the EU Permesso Lungo Periodo. We hope to have this by the first week in June so we can go to the questura before our trip.
I can see ears perking up out there! Yes! we have a Big Trip planned. June 14 to 28. A cruise around Spain and Portugal with a stop in Casablanca with the Windstar line. This time on a yacht called the Star Breeze that holds 300. My sister and her husband are coming too. This will be the first time I have seen my sister in THREE years! The longest we have ever been apart. This trip is the same trip we had planned for July pf 2020. Of course that one never sailed due to the shut down of all cruising because of Covid. We are both super excited. Luther and I have some dear friends coming from Toronto to house and cat sit at our apartment while we are gone. They love our boys and I won’t have to worry about them while we are gone.
Anyway, we have just two weeks and a couple days before we leave. We really want to get the documents requested by the Questura done and turned in before we go. You all know how badly I want this Permisso Illimitato.
One of the things I see most discussed among people who aspire to move to Italy, is Visas. I showcase the different types in my page So You’ve Decided to Move to Italy. The latest news is about Italy’s recent adoption of the Digital Nomad Visa. The final requirements aren’t ironed out but this is my updated write-up of what’s known now.
Digital Nomad: (DNV) At the end of March 2022 Italy passed a bill allowing Digital Nomad visas. This is for highly skilled professionals who will work in Italy for themselves or remotely for a non-Italian company. The Visa will be good for one year with the possibility of extending for one more. As of this writing the requirements have not been firmed up. What I read though, is that the individual consulates will have major discretionary powers, as to whether they issue or don’t issue a DNV. The applications will need to be completely bulletproof like those for the Elective Residency Visa. It may require the official recognition of one’s professional qualifications. An applicant may need to show an advanced degree, proof of operating in the field (probably for several years) for which they want to apply for the DNV, a tax return from their home country, and health insurance. It has already been announced that they will need to be completely tax compliant in Italy, so applicants are advised they should consult a tax expert in Italy, if they want to apply for this visa.
I will update this as I learn more. It seems many people think they can move anywhere with no real limitations. But people should ask themselves, would the US let just anyone in with no limitations or requirements? I think not. And it works the same for all countries. You need to get the proper permissions.
Even after nearly eight years here we also have to continue our responsibility to update/renew our permissions to continue living here. As some of you know, we are working to get our permanent residence permit. We have two new, required documents to obtain that the Questura has asked for. The first one is the Certificato d’abilita’. We had already gotten our apartment assessed by our Geometra last year. We mistakenly thought this was what was needed for the long term permit, but it was not. Turns out the steps to get the certificato were many. First we had to buy a Marca da bollo at the Tabaccharia for €16.00. Then we had to make an appointment at the bank in the Piazza (not our bank) and pay a fee at the teller. Then the form had to be returned to the Comune this time to the Protocol office. They told us we had to get ANOTHER Marca da Bollo, then return to the very first guy who would issue the certificato. I am happy to say, last Friday, we got it! Who says things are hard to get done in Italy! 😁
We are now halfway there! We must wait until June so we can file our taxes for this year. Then we can provide the requested tax form. I sure hope after all this we get the cards! Piano, piano…
As a reward we treated ourselves to the seasons first Spritz!
In Italy, there is a word they use often, ”Lo stress”. Yes, it means exactly what it sounds like – The Stress. Today, we are dealing with lo stress of dealing with the Italian bureaucracy once again.
If you’ve been reading this journal for a while you know of what I speak. For those who don’t know — a short recap. When you move to Italy, after you get your Visa, the first thing you need to do is apply for your Permesso di Soggiorno (Permit to Stay – PdS). It should be done within eight days of your arrival. I won’t go into details of how you get one but suffice it to say it takes time, several appointments, and money. In Umbria, one must apply to renew it every year before it expires. The process can take a year and then you begin again. The light at the end of the tunnel is the possibility, after five years continual residence, of getting the Permesso di soggiorno UE per soggiornanti di lungo periodo (ex carta di soggiorno) – elective residence. This is a permanent long term permit to stay. Need I say this is a coveted thing?
We will have lived here eight years in June. We are past due for this card. Covid interfered with us pursuing this. We tried last year but two documents were expired. So this year, we try again. Today was our appointment at the Questura. We expected to find out if we would be getting the Card. I bet, no matter how thorough you try to be when you apply, they will find something that you missed. Today, we found out the two things that we are missing.
One item is a document from our Comune which attests to the fact that our house meets the standards for two people to live here. We had our Geometra do the assessment and we included this in the packet, apparently, they need this other form. We visited the Ufficio Technico where we found out what to bring to get this document. Fifteen minutes later we returned with said papers and the office was locked. We checked the hours. They were supposed to be open. Sigh. Happens all the time. We will try again tomorrow. Comically, I can look right into this office from my Living Room window!
The second item is a 2022 tax form certifying our income from 2021. We contacted our commercialista – she said the form does not exist until June. And that the 2021 form is in force. Sigh. I think we should just take the email we got and the form for last year back to the Questura. Luther says he will call them.
To be honest, I think this is not too bad. It looks like we will, eventually, have these two items. The only issue is when…and whether, in the meantime, those two time sensitive forms will expire — again. It is always something! ~~~~~~ Let’s talk about something more fun. I am a notoriously poor baker. But I threw caution to the wind and decided to make a quiche for dinner last night. First hurdle was making the crust. I tried a recipe I had and miracle of miracles, it came out perfect! Then I used another recipe for quiche I but substituted the vegetables, using some things I got at the market yesterday. I used leeks, mushrooms and broccoli rabe. It called for cheddar cheese but that’s very hard to come by around here. So I used the cheese most common here, pecorino fresca. I added an extra egg and a little more cream because the eggs here are not graded by size. No such thing as extra large eggs. These were fresh eggs from local chickens. Anyway, the quiche came out perfect and it tasted great. I served it with a green salad…a perfect dinner.
We are having beautiful weather. Yesterday, Luther and I went for a walk. It was the first day of warmish weather after a long cold spell. It seemed like everyone in town was out for the evening passeggiata. We chose the river walk. The Tiber river and Umbertide, behind its walls.
Today, we finally turned in our paperwork for the Permesso di soggiorno UE per soggiornanti di lungo periodo – elective residence…second try. We will see if we’re missing anything this time. Last time 2 of our documents were expired. Our Questura appointments are April 14. Once, in the past this first appointment was six months out. That meant it took almost a year to get our new Permessi from application to receiving the card. By then we had to start the renewal process for the next one! We are glad that was a one time thing. We have no idea why. 75 pages of documentation…And €176 each in stamps and fees…EACH.
UPCOMING TRIP REPORT!! Tomorrow we are going on our first trip since last summer. Long time. Short time and distance. We will take the train to Milano for three nights and explore the city.
A little catching up is in order I think. We have been working once again to get our long term permissions to stay (Permesso di soggiorno UE per soggiornanti di lungo periodo (ex carta di soggiorno)). Much paper to gather. You may remember we tried for it last year. Two of our documents were time sensitive (we didn’t realize) and had expired. So my new hobby is copying all our myriad cards, IDs, passports, tax returns, financial statements, house certifications, and compliance with the language proficiency certification and other requirements to live here. Whew! I think I am almost there. We are still waiting for our police reports, and the Certificato Contestuale. When I’m done killing trees I will take a photo.
The month of February is more than half gone. It is that time of year when the temperatures are all over the place, but more warm than cold now. Today it was mid 60s but cloudy. We are having sunlight until six PM now which is nice. I have been walking so I notice the buds on the trees.
Along the city walls next to the river. We have a brand new fence. The fishers where out this morning in force.
After my walk I stopped to shop in the local Saturday market. I got a big bunch of rapini, called broccoli rabe in english. I will post on Monday the way I love to have it with pasta. Super good and super easy. But meanwhile I’m have a salad tonight among other things, look at this. So pretty! Like a flower. Salad-to-be. It is much like radicchio.
Tomorrow we celebrate a friend’s birthday at Calagrana. I will try to post pictures. Buona domenica everyone!
This has been a very productive week so far. The first good thing was we both managed to download our Green Passes onto our IPhones and now we should be able to show them if needed to prove we have both been vaccinated. Here is what it looks like. I blurred the QR code and personal information.
Among other things, we also managed to pick up our new Permessi di Soggiorno. As I posted earlier, it was the fastest we have ever gotten them and mine is actually good for eleven months! Amazing.
The other things I mentioned…We got our Italian taxes filed. We visited the Poste Italiene to pay a bill for a friend. Yesterday we got our hairs cut. Did you ever notice only English uses the word “hair” for plural. The word hair can mean a single hair, or all your hair. Not so in Italian, French and German. Those are the only other languages I know. So I’ve taken to saying, I am going to get my hairs cut. 😁
A special thing you can get only at this time of year is friggatelli (pronounced frig with a soft G like George) Little green peppers. They are prepared by frying in olive oil for a couple of minutes then adding minced garlic for a few seconds. Then you add a bit of water and close the pan to let the peppers steam for about ten minutes. You can eat the whole thing to include the seeds. A nice side dish with steak or chicken. I love them and eat them a lot while they are in season..
I’m not sure anyone wants to know the end of the pigeon story. But quickly I will say it wasn’t a happy ending and actually at this time, a full week and a half after the window got shut, there remain live pigeons inside. They will die eventually. I wish it would be soon. A man did come with the cherry picker truck on Monday and opened the window and retrieved 3 dead pigeons from near the window. The live pigeons, naturally wouldn’t try to fly out while he was in the window. So he closed it back up and left. I am glad that window is nailed shut now and I don’t have to go through this again. And neither do the pigeons. There are plenty pigeons left and they will find other nesting places. ~~~~~~~ Tonight I made a seared steak that was marinated in mango purée with habanero pepper and lime juice. I made a salsa of seared tomatoes, jalapeños, garlic and cilantro. I served with corn tortillas and sliced avocado. Most of the more “exotic” ingredients (mango, cilantro, avocado) I got from the “Egyptian” fruttivendolo. Truth be told only the cilantro must be bought there. The regular Coop carries avocado and mango. But almost nobody carries coriandolo…cilantro. I also think his avocado is way better than any other source. Every now and then I must break away from Italian food…I love it..but my taste buds need a boost now and then! 😎
After the last couple days of confusion, I’ve decided to leave all the travel news alone for awhile. I’m sure everyone is capable of doing their own investigating. ~~~~~~~~ You all may recall, about a month ago we went to submit all the myriad documents we had gathered to apply for the Permesso di soggiorno UE per soggiornanti di lungo periodo (ex carta di soggiorno) – elective residence. Link to the post.
Today was our appointment at the Questura. I was prepared to be turned down. I even had rehearsed what I would say if they did. I have been through so many hoops here that I wasn’t nervous or worried at all. I actually like our Questura. I’ve only ever used the one in Citta di Castello. It’s a medium sized city north of us. I’ve heard all kinds of horror stories of the Questure in the larger cities. They sound like Dante’s third ring of hell. Our police officers all are friendly and, after seven years they know us well. And there is seldom a crowd.
We were each called in to a window. We had all our receipts, documents, passports, old Permessi, and our photos. They said, you’re applying for the permesso lungo periodo? We said yes. Two of our documents had expired since we’d gotten them last year before Covid. So we weren’t getting the permit. They said they would give us another year of our Permesso and while waiting we can re-apply for the long term one. Even though we failed this time, the good news is, we CAN get this permit. We will not be turned down if we get the new documents. I’m pretty pumped about this. If we get it, then we won’t have to worry about having an expired Permesso and not being able to travel. And we will be able get our health coverage for the ENTIRE year instead of having to go back again and again to extend. It will be amazing…I shouldn’t get too sure though, it is, after all, Italy. Anything can happen. 😳 ~~~~~~~ The weather has turned nice. It’s finally warming up. We’ve had a very cold spring. I bought my pepper plants yesterday for this year. I am still missing some flowers but I will find them eventually.
This week we have a few excursions planned. We plan to visit a new (to us) Asian market tomorrow. We are very low on our Asian ingredients. As most of you know, we love ethnic foods which are a rare thing in Italy. So I cook meals myself. Since being locked down we couldn’t leave our Comune so we couldn’t shop in Perugia where there are a couple of stores.
Then on Saturday or Sunday we plan to meet friends for lunch in Montefalco at one of our all time favorite restaurants, L’Alchemista. It’s been a couple of years since we’ve been.
We are also just starting the beginnings of plans for a few short trips here and there. A day trip to Rome to see the Torlonia Marbles. They are amazing. Here is a great link from BBC about the Marbles. And probably in June a trip for our anniversary to Via Reggio on the Mediterranean. Got our eye on a nice hotel and restaurant.
Stay tuned! ~~~~~~~ Italian phrase for today…”La speranza non muore mai” literally “hope never dies” but equivalent to our saying “hope springs eternal”. Pronounced — Lah spare-an-zah non moo-or-ee my.
Today, we ventured out of our Comune. First time since January. I was sure to fill out the required autocertificazione. We had all our identification. Our reason for leaving was to go to Città di Castello to the Questura and try to retrieve our Permessi di Soggiorno. You may recall, we had appointments in February so we knew the cards were there. But at that time the Questura was closed for a Covid outbreak. Once you’ve missed your appointment they won’t send another message with a new time. So you go and wait.
When we arrived, there looked to be around three groups of people waiting outside the door and inside two sets of people at the two windows. We waited until our turn and by then there were another five people or families. One of the women tried to push ahead of us when our turn came but we elbowed her out of the way. Latezia, a police woman who has been there since our very first Permessi seven years ago greeted us. I can’t believe it’s our seventh Permesso. There was a problem with her computer so we swapped windows and got our finger prints taken. This is the first time I had no issues with my prints. Normally they have a very hard time. I think maybe their machine is new. At least it worked and we walked out with our new Permessi…which expire in 4 months. Sigh. Next month we apply for new ones. This time we will try for the Long Term Permit. I am waiting for one more document and we should have everything we need. ~~~~~~~ On the Covid front the rumors are flying. First they said we would register on-line or in the pharmacy. Now they say our doctor will call us to come in for the dose. There was an article today in Umbria24 that was pretty good. But I won’t hold my breath that it all will happen. I reached out to our doctor and she will be calling us she said. Here is an abbreviated version of the article, translated from the Italian so it’s a little stilted.
“Vaccinations for seventy-year-olds will begin within the first week of April and they will not have to book an appointment to receive the drug, but will be summoned directly. And by the end of the month, about 60,000 doses of the vaccine will arrive in Umbria…”
There are “three categories for the over 70 range: the first is that of non-ambulatory people who will be vaccinated at home and with Moderna; the second is that of the vulnerable who will receive Pfizer; and the third will collect the seventy-year-olds in perfect health for whom AstraZeneca is intended and who will be administered in vaccination centers…. to proceed with the administration to the 80,000 Umbrians aged between 70 and 79…”
“The start of vaccination for seventy-year-olds within a couple of weeks will obviously go hand in hand with the delivery of vaccines, which for Umbria in the space of a week should be worth about 60 thousand doses. In fact, 5,800 doses of Moderna arrived on Monday, while 2,000 doses of AstraZeneca and above all 11,700 of Pfizer are on the way. The Region also explains that by the end of the month, probably around 29 March, another 18,200 doses of AstraZeneca, 8,400 of Moderna, 18,720 of Pfizer will arrive.
So, I guess this is all good news…cautiously optimistic. ~~~~~~~ Manuele Martinelli posted this photo of our sweet town as seen from above.
Italiano sentence. “La primavera è arrivata e il clima più caldo sta arrivando.” In English – “Spring has arrived and warmer weather is coming.” Pronounced…lah pree-mah-vara eh are-ree-vah-tah eh eel clee-mah pew call-doh stah are-ree-van-doh. ~~~~~~~ Stay safe everyone! 🌈
So, you probably read that I found out our Permessi di Soggiorno were ready in a previous post? And I said we would have to wait, with the Zone Red. The story was not finished…
For some reason, this morning I asked Luther to check his phone for an SMS. The Questura is supposed to send us one when the PdS is ready. Sure enough, he had been sent one last Wednesday. Our appointment was February 10…February 10th!!? That was today. I looked outside at the wind driven rain and sighed. With the appointment on the phone we could leave our Comune. So we decided to “man up” and go.
We drove the 20 kilometers to Città di Castello. The rain, thankfully, let up on the way. I admired all the brilliant green fields and mountainsides. The winter wheat is so welcome about now when everything is gray. But the wheat! It is neon!
Arriving at the Questura we saw no one standing outside the door. This was odd. Usually there is a crowd. We parked and walked to the gate where there was a sign. It said it was closed until February 21 for the Permesso di Soggiorno. Oh well. No matter. The sun came out on the way home but black clouds loomed ahead. We visited the Wednesday market for some produce and retreated before the rain. Piano, piano as they say here. Slowly, slowly. In due time we will get the Permessi 🙂 ~~~~~~~~ Now it is late afternoon and there is an ENORMOUS thunderstorm looming from the north. I took some pictures. It is pretty impressive. The sun is shining in the foreground and on the hills. The storm is a very black cloud behind. It sets off the sun very well. I love the contrast. And the thunder rumbles….
~~~~~~~~ A friend of mine and I were discussing food…it is an obsession in Italy…and after sharing the recipes we had been trying he said…”we have to keep our strength up for whatever”. And I laughed and laughed…yes we DO! Eating well is our best defense. And it gives us something to do.
Singapore Teochew Braised Duck is the next meal. Luther is a huge duck fan. Always pestering me to cook a duck. I like duck. I just don’t like COOKING duck. I had duck parts. About half a duck chopped up. We bought it in the super mercato here in town. I decided roasting was not the way to go with parts. So I searched on braised duck and picked this one.
It was good. Had a nice broth from the braising. It included soy sauce, orange peel, cloves, cinnamon sticks, peppercorns, ginger root, garlic, onion. I made basmati rice. I put some of the broth over it. It was very tasty. I would make it again. I even have left over broth for another use. ~~~~~~~~ Italian sentence. “Domani è un altro giorno, proprio come oggi.“ in English, “Tomorrow is another day, just like today”. Doh-mah-nee A un al-tro gee-or-no, pro-pree-oh coh-may ohg-gee. 🙂 ~~~~~~~~ Stay safe! 🌈
As of today we are again Zona Rossa, or Red Zone. All of the province of Perugia went Red today from the previous Orange. This is nothing like the full lockdown we had last year. We have freedom to walk or run alone and we can both go shopping for food together. Last year we could not.
We will be Red for two weeks. Then they will re-assess. In reading the restrictions I don’t really see a whole lot different from the Orange restrictions. It doesn’t matter much for us since we routinely stay home except for essentials. The only thing is I just checked to see if our new Permessi di Soggiorno cards are ready – I check every week – and yep, now they are ready. The problem is we can’t travel to pick them up. I don’t think it would be deemed an emergency. ~~~~~~~ If you’ve been following this blog awhile you may remember back in our first lockdown, last spring, I did a post about my little, sad lemon tree. (Read original post) It is a very crooked little tree with a twisted trunk. I outlined how I was going to restrict its growth to one side then keep the new branches and any fruit over the base of the crooked trunk to help balance it over the center of gravity and keep it from tipping over. 😁 I had my share of Doubting Thomas’ last year…I am happy to report my plan worked. Take a look at it now and at how the fruit is over the pot. I am enjoying the fresh lemons!
And just playing around with my other new lens…yes, I bought two new lenses.
Well time for my Italian sentence. “il mio albero di limone ha sette limoni” in English, “my lemon tree has seven lemons”. Pronounced…eel meo al-bear-oh dee lee-moan-ay ah set-tay lee-moan-ee.
Hang in everyone…we are hunkered down in Umbria. Andrà tutto bene 🌈