Stati Uniti

28 Jul
28 July 2015. Here we are in our first visit to the United States, more than 3 years after our move in May 2012. It is both familiar and foreign to be here. How wide the sidewalks! How clean the streets (compared to Roma anyway)! Customer service that is almost too friendly. It’s nice to understand most of what is going on around me.
Indulged in omelets since we had not eaten much in about 18 hours. Still too big to eat alone. We each ate only half of our portions.

Indulged in omelets since we had not eaten much in about 18 hours. Still too big to eat alone. We each ate only half of our portions.

I had forgotten how big the portions are in restaurants! We each ordered an omelet as we had not had a proper meal since lunch on Monday, and we could only eat half!  We are going to have to do more sharing like we do in Roma. 
We are starting this journey in San Francisco where the forecast high temperature is not much higher than the forecast low in Roma. Our travel was long, made longer by delays and slow customs in San Francisco that caused us to miss a connection. So we arrived at our apartment in San Francisco 26 hours after leaving our apartment in Roma. 
American style at the Bean Bag Cafe, San Francisco.

American style at the Bean Bag Cafe, San Francisco.

Tomorrow we have our visa appointment at the Italian Consulate General. We each carried along about 6 pounds of forms and documents — in triplicate — for our applications.
Will post updates!

20 Responses to “Stati Uniti”

  1. John Henderson August 18, 2015 at 15:49 #

    Hi, Laurel. Great blog. Are you missing Rome yet? It’s half empty now, the perfect time to be here.

    I’m curious. What Permesso are you seeking to get? I just reapplied for mine. Getting my first one a year ago was easy. In fact, I blogged about the joy of acquiring one:

    I’ve been here 19 months and my current Permesso expires Sept. 15. However, they and the Chicago consulate told me I must return to the U.S. in order to acquire a work visa. I can’t get one from Italy. Thus, I can’t work in Italy. That’s crazy. I can’t get work without a work visa; I can’t get a work visa without work and the requisite letter from the prospective employer. Do you have any advice?

    How long are you spending in Rome every year and how long in the States?


    Dog-Eared Passport:


    • gooddayrome August 18, 2015 at 16:17 #

      Hi John! We are missing Roma a little. I loved the 3 Augusts we spent there in the empty city. Despite the heat, it is fun when everyone disappears.

      I am trying to get my head around comparing two places I love so much and that are so different from each other: Roma and Portland. There is no doubt a future stream-of-consciousness blog ahead. Wine and coffee will be featured prominently.

      We have Elective Residence Visas, like you. I just read your visa post and it gives me hope! So far the bureaucracy has been minimal. We had one hiccup at the Consulate (which I will write about eventually) but I believe the consulate officer focused on the fact we have significant financial resources and were formerly on diplomatic visas to streamline the issuance of the visa. Maybe I should bone up on soccer so I can chat up the polizia. I also have Rick Zullo’s Permesso book as my guide. He is a terrific resource. I was fortunate to secure my permesso packets in a single visit to one post office about 3 months ago. I have had great Poste Italiane experiences so far. Hope it continues!

      Can you get an “employer” in Roma to issue you a letter of intention to employ you? Seems you might work only occasionally in Italy, on a contract basis I would guess. Maybe an immigration lawyer can advise you on possible routes. We consulted one to ensure we were on the right track. His advice made us more confident in the steps we needed to take.


  2. Nigel July 29, 2015 at 08:40 #

    All this talk of you definitely moving back to the States is so depressing. We only have you and Ric for 2 years or less and you will be gone!!! Serious sadness, when will we ever see you again?


    • gooddayrome July 29, 2015 at 12:35 #

      Caro Nigel,
      Please do not mourn our passing until it is time. We must hurdle the visa and permesso di soggiorno process first! And given the horrible experience of flying is enough to make one stay on the continent indefinitely. 🙂 Plus, “the plan” is to spend considerable time each year in Europe even once we do move back.
      Un abbraccio molto forte a te e Carol!


  3. Toni July 29, 2015 at 04:24 #

    Good luck with your visas!!!


  4. mvaden1948 July 29, 2015 at 02:41 #

    If you are coming to the Northwest (Portland/Seattle) we are in for another spate of hot weather with temps in the 90’s this weekend. It will make you feel like you are back in Rome.
    Good luck with your visas!


    • gooddayrome July 29, 2015 at 02:56 #

      Not too happy about those temps! But at least we will have A/C most of the places we are staying, unlike at home.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ckleonard July 29, 2015 at 01:15 #

    I can’t wait to see you! I have your US phone numbers. Take care and enjoy every minute!


  6. Cynthia Thompson July 29, 2015 at 00:44 #

    Hi Ric and Laurel,

    Dennis and I just moved back to Portland two weeks ago after living and working in Australia just shy of three years (Dennis moved down there in August 2012 and I arrived 8 weeks later). The adjustment back to the states is going to take quite awhile and we are noticing the same things you mention in your post. In some regards it was like a long dream and things are right back where they were three years ago. But I also now look at my country with a new lens. Best of luck during your visit. When (or if) you move back, it would be fun to catch up and share stories about our expat experiences.



    • gooddayrome July 29, 2015 at 02:54 #

      Hi Cynthia! It will be fun to reconnect when we move back! It is definitely a “when” so we will see you in a couple of years.


  7. Marcia Kakiuchi July 29, 2015 at 00:40 #

    Can’t wait to hear of your Italian embassy interviews/outcomes.


    • gooddayrome July 29, 2015 at 02:53 #

      Funny thing is, the appointment is only for 15 minutes. I think basically we drop off our paperwork and they decide if it is complete enough. No doubt more stories ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mvaden1948 July 29, 2015 at 03:00 #

        It will be very interesting to hear your experience since I will be dealing with the same office in about three years to apply for my “Elective Residence” visa so I can move to Venice. Please, keep me posted!


  8. gayleseely July 29, 2015 at 00:13 #

    Good luck with all the bureaucracy. 6 pounds of papers. Would be fun to work out all the metrics that would accompany those: how many salary hours is required to review them, how many hours you spent preparing, how many databases they will go into, how many others will review them later, just to check. Maybe even how many others, like yourselves, are doing this at this exact time.
    It is a big old US welcome.


    • gooddayrome July 29, 2015 at 02:52 #

      That thought crossed my mind…. Another interesting factor is that there is ONE appointment PER WEEK for the type of visa we need. That must serve to keep applications down.


  9. Moritz July 29, 2015 at 00:03 #

    That must have been a really interesting experience. Coming back to your country of origin after such a long time must have been very special!


    • gooddayrome July 29, 2015 at 02:51 #

      And I think we have only just begun….Went to Safeway and was almost embarrassed by the choices we have in America. Land of plenty!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mvaden1948 July 29, 2015 at 03:03 #

        In 1986 I lived on the island of Grenada in the Caribbean (not as the moving company though Granada in Spain) and although only there for seven months the abundance in the supermarkets here threw me into a deep depression. Who would have thought I would have culture shock coming back “home”.
        Just give yourselves plenty of time to adjust. And remember….you still have Italy.

        Liked by 1 person

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