Wednesday 23 December 2020

We can breathe

It felt awful this morning setting off to the health board for a second attempt to register for medical care.    We had twice emailed asking if everything was ok without response but nothing ventured off we went.  The building was even busier than last time with quite a queue but we went up to the directors office, she was out again and we spoke to the secretary Emanuela.  We hoped to retrieve our papers to re-present them at the desk manned by miserable people but she said the director had them with her and they were being processed.  We didn’t give up, we said come 01 January we would have no cover we needed it now.  We showed her the new document from the commune, she said it was not necessary.  She spoke on the phone to the director.  This time she didn’t allow us into her office, we had to stand at the door but then she called us in and said we could speak English with someone she had on the phone.  It transpired this person Mara was the wife of Stefano at our comune.  Stefano does not deal with residency but back in October did his best to help and at that time got Mara on his phone to explain more clearly.  We told the secretary that we had spoken before with Mara and knew Stefano, who it transpired is Emanuela’s brother.  Suddenly she was smiling and able to speak some English, we were practically family.  Mara said our papers were fine and being processed but there was delay because of the holidays.  We thanked her, Emanuela said once we can we should all get together for a drink or something to eat in our village, where they all live.

Then she took us down stairs to the public office, told us wait, came and asked for our passports, tax codes, everything we had presented last week, except our S1 forms which were with the director.  Whilst we were waiting the nasty man who last week had shouted at us came past, I gave him a cheery buon giorno, he didn’t respond and when he walked back again looked the other way.  

After a while Emanuela reappeared and said unfortunately we couldn’t have our certificate or our health card as the computer had gone down, doesn’t it always.  We came home feeling better than when we left to find there was an email waiting with copies of everything we need.   Emanuela phoned to check it had arrived.  We provided nothing different to the documents we presented last week when we were refused, it was the same with the residency registration, documents that were wrong suddenly after a lot of argument become right, it defies logic.

Actually the expiry date on the certificate and on the card do not agree, the card is valid for 6 years, I shall be 78 by then.  If there is much more stress here I may expire before the card.

I forgot about going to the yarn shop in my elation that we might be getting somewhere but we did stop at our favourite vineyard for 20 litres of wine, this victory deserves a celebration and unlike the Italian authorities we do know how to organise one at a brewery, or in this case a vineyard.  Cin cin 


  1. Congratulations! I shall raise a glass in your honour to celebrate your success! Any excuse - the other excuse is that Nick is finally putting the icing on the Christmas cake, yours is better methinks. Let this be the icing on your cake!
    As you say, the bureaucracy defies all logic and it's worrying to know that one's future is in the hands of such fickleness - but now that you're practically "family" it should be plain sailing!! Happy Christmas!!

  2. I've been following your trials and tribulations silently, and am so glad to hear you've got your permits sorted out. When I first visited Italy as an 8 year old girl I was told their officials and government were corrupt and the country's worst enemy and even the little bits I witnessed as a tourist made me wonder how people whose ancestors ran the Roman empire could have ended up in such dire straights. You would hope things might have improved but it sounds like very little has changed in the intervening 50 years, sadly. But it is so beautiful and the people are, in general, so lovely that it's worth fighting to remain. Buon Natale!

  3. They might not be much good at processing forma but they are pretty good at making wine.

  4. Glad things worked out for you. Thank you for your blog which I really enjoy. Merry Christmas!

  5. I enjoyed that read Jenny. I have been reading the saga quietly for a while coming over from Weaver's blog. Having studied some Italian History from the 1300s onwards I think it must be something in the Italian psyche to make things difficult.