Renting an apartment in Italy short or long term.

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For all of you new moms to the group, or moms looking for friends to stay, check it out!

Natural Italy Blog

Those of you who are staying in Italy for a long stay or maybe want to get a native experience living in an apartment should know the laws and rights of living in an apartment in Italy.  I worked for an apartment rental agency in Florence.    Since I was dealing with the customers, and ran the company most of July and August by myself while the owners were on vacation, I wanted to share my knowledge about what I learned from the agency and tenants themselves.

1. A large majority of apartment agencies are run illegally.  Apartments can legally be rented by the owner or a certified real estate agent.   If you get an e-mail asking you to bring ‘cash’ it means that they most likely don’t want to pay taxes on the apartment and it is an illegal renting.  They may try and get you to sign a…

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“Can’t You Just Stay?” | il bel centro

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Yes it seems these are the posts of expat returning to their homes lately, but that is because there are a lot of expat leaving Italy to go home.  They are leaving for many reason.  Read this blog post about a family moving back and why.

“And so I am frequently asked, can’t you just stay? The short answer is “no.” Actually, that’s the long answer, too. Staying isn’t financially possible. But even if it were, we wouldn’t stay.”

via “Can’t You Just Stay?” | il bel centro.

Mom’s you should know for Traveling outside Italy

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Mom’s you should know for Traveling outside Italy  If you did not know read this before you travel:

The EU changed rules about a year ago and you are not allowed to travel with your children on the passports anymore.

Make sure that any children travelling with you either have their own passport or ID card or are registered on your passport. However, from 26 June 2012, children will need to have their own passport or ID card to travel (even if they are still mentioned in their parent’s passport, which remains valid).  from: europa.eu- Documents you will need

You must have a passport for the children and/or carta’d’identita if you are resident in Italy.  If you are EU national then you can use the E.U. national ID’s.  If you are traveling from here to the US and back they will definitely stop and question you say in Germany,  if you only have US passports for your children.  So your best is to get the carta’d’identita for your child as well if you are a resident here and if your children are dual an Italian Passport as well.  On the identity card they put both parents name on it.

More Related Articles:

Documents you need-Non-EU family members

Documents you need-EU nationals

Changes to passport services for British nationals | News in Rome | Rome City Guide | Wanted in Rome

The British Government is making important changes to the passport service for British nationals living overseas. From 3 June 2013, the application process will be centralised and British nationals in Italy and San Marino should submit their passport application to Her Majesty’s Passport Office in the UK.

via Changes to passport services for British nationals | News in Rome | Rome City Guide | Wanted in Rome.

Parking and Changed Zones

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Some of you might know and some of you might not know but Firenze has changed their parking Zones.  It is not done by Quartiere any more more on this new system stated here.

Controlled parking zone (ZCS)

We found this out the hard way by getting a ticket while parking by our kids school.  We parked in Q4 area because we take our children to school there and live there, but we have been reassigned to ZCS 1 area.  Great if I want to park on all the outskirts of the center city.  This is not practical for us since we use the Q4 area to park for our children.  All is not totally lost if you do have to use the area you are living in you can pay 30 euros and get it added to your parking permit.  But it would have been nice if they told us this.

The territory of the Municipality of Florence – ZTL excluded – was organized in 5 Controlled Parking Zone (Zone a Controllo di Sosta – ZCS) parted  in parking spaces reserved for residents (white lines) for disabled person with specific pass  or specifically  reserved (yellow line) and paid parking (blu lines).

The blue spaces are paying all weekdays from 8.00 to 20.00 except public holidays. The types of stops are indicated by traffic signs on site.

Here is where you can find all the information.  http://www.serviziallastrada.it

Residency in Florence as a non EU citizen

duomoTo apply for residency in Florence as a non EU citizen you must first have your Permesso di Soggiorno.

by Amy Mancino
Once you have your Permesso di Soggiorno you must bring it to the Anagrafe office to have them register it. Bring your original passport(s) and registered contract if you are renting.
There is also the possibility of registering your documents by fax or by mail. The fax is sometimes hard to get through so you may want to send by registered letter that sends you the receipt(A/R). After 2 days you should get a letter that they are processing and usually within 15 days they approve the residency with the right to revoke if they send someone to the house and you are not living there or if there is some problem with your permesso. I strongly suggest the by mail or fax method as its proven to be faster and easier then trying to make an appointment at the anagrafe or waiting in line.

Permesso di Soggiorno for non EU citizens

Permesso di SoggiornoBefore applying for residency for non EU citizens you must first take care of your Permesso di Soggiorno

by Amy Mancino

The Permesso di Soggiorno (PdiS) is your most important document if you are a non-EU citizen in Italy. It can be translated to Permit to Stay.  Many places (online and in books) translate this as a residency permit which gets very confusing as there is also residency through the comune(city hall) but this is something else.  The PdiS is not just for those who are planning on moving to Italy but for anyone who will be in Italy for more than 90 days.  For stays less than 90 days you only need only a passport entry stamp from the Italian airport.  If you entered via another European country, within 8 days you must visit the local questura  (state police headquarters) and request a stamped Dichiarazione di Presenza http://www.interno.it/mininterno/export/sites/default/it/assets/files/14/0798_2007_07_27_Dichiarazione_di_presenza.pdf>  (declaration of presence).

It is best to always refer to the Italian government’s http://www.portaleimmigrazione.it   website for information and access to official resources.For most permessi types start with a visit to a local post office where you will pick up a “kit”. The kits are free.. The kit contains two modules (forms). The kit contains instructions for completing the forms (only in Italian); English instructions can be found on the http://www.portaleimmigrazione.it  website. Instructions are also provided on which additional documents are to be included to support your application.The forms are machine readable so completing them requires care.Once you have completed your kit you must go to a specified post office (only post offices that have sportello amico, you can find a list of them on the pt website). DO NOT SIGN or DATE your kit beforehand; this must be done in the presence of the postal employee. The employee will review your kit and if everything is in order you will be permitted to mail it. The cost (in Euro) per kit is: prices of your postal kit for pdis are the following..

for up to 1 year 14,62(marca da bollo) 30,00 assicurata..28,60 for bollettino plus 80 euro
for 1 year to 2 years 14,62 plus 30,00 plus 28,60 plus 100 euro

for over 2 years 14,62 plus 30,00 plus 28,60 plus 200 euro The marca da bollo should be acquired before you go to the post office; you can pay for the permesso and postage at the post office. You must pay in cash. The post office in Florence only requires photocopies of you passport pages with writing on them and of course the visa page if you have one.

You will be given a receipt for the kit. It’s very important that you save this as it provides proof you’ve applied. It includes a user id and password that enable you to check the status of your kit at http://www.portaleimmigrazione.it .

Once your kit has been mailed it will be processed, you will receive a letter indicating date/time of your convocazione appointment at the questurato submit 4 photographs and be fingerprinted; or, if there are any open questions to answer them. Subsequently, you can check online at http://questure.poliziadistato.it/stranieri/  to find out when to pickup your new permesso, which is a digitized card.

You must go to the questura in Via della Fortezza number 17 arrive about 15 minutes before your appointment time and show your paper that the post office gave you, you will then be given a number and must wait until it is called. Bring the copy of your letter, your passport and a copy of the pages with writing or stamps or visas on them and all the documents you have pertaining to your immigration to Italy, (lease, work papers, pay slips etc) bring 4 pictures, you can get them done at any photo booth that does id pictures or at the photographer. Remember not to cover your eyes or face too much with hair. Here are examples http://www.fotografi.org/fototessera/default.htm.

Once you have submitted all the necessary forms to the questura window, you will fingerprinted and then asked for a cell phone number as the notifications of pdis ready to be picked up are sent by sms.

Once you receive your sms that the pdis is ready. Get all the same docs you brought to the first appointment and go to the questura on the date in the SMS, do not worry if you cannot make it. Just makes sure you don’t go early in the morning as pickups are only in the afternoon. I suggest going around 12 noon and asking if they are giving out numbers for afternoon pickups which usually start around 1:30 pm but ask the Policeman at the door as things often change. On Friday they are closed in the afternoon so pickups are done in the morning.

If you have minor children they will only need to be brought to your first appointment. There is no need to bring them to pick-ups but remember to bring their original passports with you.

Once you have your permesso I suggest you make a fotocopy or scan of it.

Residency in Florence as a non EU citizen

Once you have your Permesso di Soggiorno you have to register it.

To apply for residency in Florence as a non EU citizen you must first have your permesso di soggiorno.

Once you have this you must bring it to the Anagrafe office to have them register it. Bring your original passport(s) and registered contract if you are renting.

There is also the possibility of registering your documents by fax or by mail. The fax is sometimes hard to get through so you may want to send by registered letter that sends you the receipt(A/R). After 2 days you should get a letter that they are processing and usually within 15 days they approve the residency with the right to revoke if they send someone to the house and you are not living there or if there is some problem with your permesso. I strongly suggest the by mail or fax method as its proven to be faster and easier then trying to make an appointment at the anagrafe or waiting in line.

Important Change in Italy

Have two different writings of your place of birth on your Italian Documents?  You are going to have some difficulties getting things done around here.

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New Italian bureaucracy warning for the other unfortunate people who have to get an Italian driver’s license: I was supposed to take my final driving exam yesterday but (of course, at the last minute) was told I could not take the exam because of a document discrepancy–my birthplace is named differently on my carta soggiorno than on my carta d’identita (longish story, but essentially the Canadian version of having one document saying I was born in Manhattan and the other saying New York City). Until February 1, the motorizzazione accepted self-declarations saying that these two birthplaces were the same. But now they will only let me take the exam once all of my documents say the same thing. Another woman had the same problem. . .carta soggiorno said she was born in the Ukraine, c. id. also listed the city in the Ukraine where she was born. So make sure all of your Italian documents have exactly the same name, birthplace, etc. before you apply to take an Italian driving exam!- Mom Member

Seems that they are now being strict with your documents and having the right city posted and the same on all your documents. Maybe this has to do with the new Electronic Identity Card that will soon come out.    I know when I would get mine done they would have ‘North America’ on one and then ‘USA’ on another.  One mom has issues where they put ‘Dublin’ and on another the Irish name ‘Eire’.  I can see it now all the immigrants filing in to the offices to get their documents corrected. I do not see why they did not do this the first time around.  All my documents are the same in the US so they would have just been able to copy the information, would have made things easier.  My thoughts are this did  happen because the offices over here had many different computer systems or was done by hand and if the name was not on the list they went with the next best choice.  Now we all will have to go and make sure our documents all match up and probably better now than later.

Related Articles:

How to swap a UK driving licence to an Italian one in 340 difficult steps englishmaninitaly.wordpress.com

Part 2: How to swap a UK driving licence to an Italian one in 340 difficult steps  englishmaninitaly.wordpress.com

My Road to Italian Citizenship!

My Road to Italian Citizenship!

Many of you moms may be interested in citizenship here in Italy…or have maybe thought of it.  The benefits are not having to travel everywhere with your passport while your out and about in Europe and the whole voting thing…if you think it’s worth it.  A common misconception…which I had too…is that you have to give up your U.S. citizenship…this is wrong and hasn’t been the case since 1989.  You can have dual.  I thought I would share with all of you my experience, even though this is just one story and the process may have changed already.

Step 1: I married an Italian—

Step 2: I had to obtain a permesso di soggiorno, which I had previously as a student, but had to get a new one when I married.  This was quite complicated as they had just changed to the application at the post office! They lost my papers and I spend at least 3 days camped out at the new Questura trying to get my permesso.  Finally my husband lost it and he got my permesso that day.

Step 3: Registering at the comune.  I had to go to my local Quartiere and register as a legal alien living in Florence. I also got my carta d’identita at this point in time, which wasn’t really valid for anything other than proving that I was living in Florence.

Step 4:  Registering for residence.  I had to wait 6 months after my registration and then I applied to be a resident of Florence.

Step 5:  Wait 2 years.  After I had been a resident in Italy for 2 years, well a little bit before, I started collecting all of my necessary documents from the USA. I even had a fingerprint card made up so the FBI could do a background check.  Most of the documents were time sensitive, so I had to be punctual.  I also started collecting documents from Italy that I needed.

Step 6: Make an appointment with the Prefettura:  I made an appointment with the prefettura, on the phone—but I had to go to the actual office to get the phone number.  He was pretty efficient.  I was super pregnant and he took pity on me so the interview was fairly short. I don’t think he wanted to see me go into labor in his office anyway :D  He stamped my paperwork and gave me an electronic tracking sheet that I could track online…it always said processing.

Step 7: Wait another 2-2.5 years:  Just after Matteo turned 2 they called me and said my appointment would be in August at the prefettura …

Step 8: Make sure all of your documents are valid.  While waiting I forgot to renew my Permesso.  So I had to go through that nightmare yet again!

Step 9:Go to your appointment at the Prefettura.  You will have to bring your approved paperwork to the comune.

Step 10: Go to the commune and give themImage your paperwork.  This was one of the more difficult things as they were quite unfriendly. I had to have my husband rush me some paperwork there just so I could turn in my paperwork that day.

Step 11: Wait again for your letter from the comune.  I waited a little over a month for the letter calling me into the commune for my swearing in.

Step 12: Go the appointment.  They will ask you again for repeated paperwork which you will have to bring in…including your carta d’identità…which was useful only in this instance!  They will put on a sash with the tricolors…and read you some things to which you will have to swear…and then you sign.

Step 13: Wait a couple of days and then go and get your new carta d’identità:  So, after a couple of days I went and got my new Italian identity card that said I was an Italian citizen…which now I can actually use for something!

Step 14:  Turn in your old permesso di soggiorno at the Questura.

I AM NOW A CITIZEN!!!

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Gas bill through the roof

A Mom so nicely decided to share an experience she had with the Gas company.  You should read it so you will not be caught off guard.  She is not the only mom that have had this problem.  When you first move in you should check all your utilities, know how they check and charge you, know where your meters are and periodically check and write down the numbers so in the future you can questions some shady bills.

I’m not posting this to gripe, only to give you a warning if you are not aware of this.

I learned the hard way when we 1st came to Italy, that it is the hot water and long showers that run the gas bill through the roof. I also knew that the utilities in Italy don’t do regular meter checks and guess on most of the months.
Soooo, last winter was our first winter in a new house that was much bigger and we had 3 more adults in the house than usual. I was very cautious about our usage, and watched the bills closely to guage how big the bills would be. It was bigger, but not outrageous and we continued to be careful. I also had people checking meters quite often for our first year, but didn’t pay attention to which ones were which.

I was gone all summer and came back to a bill that was 1,500 euro. When I called on it, they said that they were guessing the whole time and that when they did a meter reading in July, they realised how much we were using and the 1,500 was the difference!!! ouch! They also had a notice to shut off the gas, and I am current on all of the other bills that I have recieved. They said that they would work with me, and allow me to pay that extra part in segments. I did learn that there is a way to either send SMS or email (I don’t remember which) that you can send them your meter readings each month so it will be accurate. I thought you all might like to know that if you didn’t already.

School advice

I just received an email from a mum looking to move to Florence.  She has an 8 and 14 year old and would like some advice on schools in Florence and Siena.  She is interested in having her children learn Italian.  Any advice would be great!

Thanks

Jill