Sean\’s Sicily

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Getting Married in Italy!

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So anyone who hasn’t realised, Sonia and I are getting married.  🙂

That’s the good news.  The bad news is now I have to deal with Italian bureaucracy.  After two years of successfully (largely) avoiding the organs of State, this is anything but a pleasant experience.  For the most part.  Yes, there are exceptions, generally speaking the actual clerks and officials are quite nice, but it’s the process that’s long, painful, tedious, and stressful.  Especially for Sonia, as she’s having to take care of most of it.  Oh the pleasures of being a non-citizen!

Firstly there’s the issue with the Nulla Osta.  Italy requires this for non-citizens.  Just to make sure I’m not already married in 18 different places.  I’m not sure why they care, but they do. 

Getting the Nulla Osta isn’t particularly hard, one just downloads the form, sends it off with €20, and the lovely people at the Department of Foreign Affairs take care of everything.  Thanks Peggy!

I’ve already written about how extremely lucky we were to find a notaio who actually knew what the law was and what he was doing, and didn’t even charge us for it.  It’s Sicilians like him who rescue the reputation of the island, when I’ve had a day full of people blocking paths and behaving badly.  So again, thanks to Notaio Vigneri.

So off went the Nulla Osta application, and off went Sonia to talk to her parish priest, Padre Longitano, who promptly informed her that we were already late and he needed the Nulla Osta immediately.  Bit of a communication lapse there, because the Irish embassy in Rome issue Nulla Osta one month in advance of the wedding, but usually the Italian guys need it 3 months in advance.  I guess most Irish people get married in the Irish collegiate in Rome and thus have an expedited process or something.

Anyway a call to the Embassy soon sorted it out – I sent off the required email, asking them to hurry the process along and send it directly to me (instead of the priest).  We even got a call-back confirming all the details before they printed it out and sent it.  Great stuff – Sonia remains very impressed with the speed and professionalism of Irish bureaucrats!  I said “I told you so!” and left it at that.

Anyway next stop, Padre Longitano again, who took all the forms (my long-form birth certificate, the Nulla Osta, the certificate from the Pre-Marriage course, an inspection of my passport and €10)  and gave us two notices to hand out, one for the local priest where I live, and the other for the Commune.

The local priest was a doddle (the church is in fact a donated villa and very plush too, thank you…) and the Commune wasn’t much harder, despite this bitch who asked Sonia questions and them promptly jumped the queue.  Anyway once I’d satisfied the clerks that I understood Italian, and that Co. Roscommon and Co. Galway were proper places of residence (here they use the city or commune) they where happy to proceed.  And they promptly found that Galway was already registered on their system as a place of residence, as apparently there’s another Irish bloke here in Catania that married a Sicilian girl.  Wow, I’m not all that unique so??

So now we have to go back to both the local church and the Commune on March 10th, get receipts to say that they’ve published the notices for the required two Sundays, and we can go to Padre Longitano and he’ll give us something to take to the Curia.  And then on April 26th we can attend the Commune with witnesses to do the civil ceremony, and that’s that.

Except for the big white wedding of course. 

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Written by seancasaidhe

February 25, 2009 at 2:17 pm

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