Signing papers at a public office

One example of Italian bureaucracy

I have recently embarked upon a journey, a quest. The goal I seek is a simple one: dual citizenship.

This blog is an attempt to record this experience. I am a US citizen living in Italy and I’ve been married to an Italian national for over two years, making me eligible to request Italian citizenship. I expect this to be a lengthy process full of pitfalls and setbacks and I would like to document the various steps so that other people may be able to use my experience to help them in a similar struggle.

Why is Italian bureaucracy like playing a role playing game?
Because attempting to get something done at a public office is like being on a quest, one that may seem simple at first. You have one goal, let’s say to slay a dragon and save the kingdom. But before you can slay the dragon, you need to find the proper sword. And to get the sword, you need to first find the right potion that the sword-keeper wants for a barter. And the adventure goes on and on. In the end, however, you’ve had quite an experience and you can be pleased with the fact that you’ve worked hard for what you have accomplished.


20 thoughts on “About

  1. I would like to follow this blog. How can I become a follower of this blog? Thank you in advance!

    • JL Walker says:

      I think you can simply log-in to your WordPress account and click the “Follow” button in the black bar at the top of your browser. Email me if you have any other questions! Ciao!

  2. Monika says:

    What a great idea you had with this blog. I lived in Italy myself for a bit and I had few ‘wonderful’ memories with their public system… Good luck!

    • JL Walker says:

      Thank you for the kind words! I do think I’ll need all the luck I can get with my application…. and it’s fun to delve into the other aspects of life in Italy in the meantime

  3. […] Seeking Italian Citizenship Why Italian bureaucracy is like being the hero in your very own role playing game Documents for applicationHelpful linksAbout […]

  4. Good on you, documenting this unnerving and frustrating experience! I’ve been through it myself, and let me tell you that I know how absurd it all can be! Buona fortuna!

  5. I feel your sorrow!! I have been through the entire process, and I can assure you have a wisdom tooth pulled is more fun!! Good luck and stop by anytime!! Grace.

  6. Dounia says:

    I had lots of fun with the French system while living there (10-11 years, renewing paperwork every year) so I can imagine how much fun it must be! And, I’m also married to an Italian, but living in the U.S. currently, and pretty soon I’ll be starting the paperwork to become a dual citizen too. I’ll definitely be following this closely to see how things go, and we’ll see how things work trying to do the same process overseas!

    Buona fortuna and looking forward to reading more!

  7. lovelymilano says:

    Ah, pleasures of italian bureaucracy.. Nice blog, nice point of view.
    I wish you good luck!

  8. M says:

    Excellent. Thank you for doing this first. You shall be my guide! I start next year.

  9. Hi JL,

    I’m not sure if we have been in touch before but I am a Producer on the US travel show House Hunters International. I found your website when looking for expats who might be interested in being a part of the show, I hope you don’t mind me contacting you?

    I thought I would reach out to see if you or anyone you know might be interested in taking part in House Hunters International?! Ideally they should be outgoing and fun, aged under 45 and have bought a property within the last few years or are renting a property.

    House Hunters International is a half-hour TV show currently airing on the Home and Garden Television Network (HGTV) in America. The series is designed to de-mystify the international home-buying / renting process, by going behind the scenes of a house hunt where expats and their real estate agents tour 3 homes. At its core, House Hunters International is a travel show concentrating on the idiosyncrasies of the locales and what makes them special and different.

    Here are some examples of the show that you can watch on Youtube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reYI3L3lC-c – Barcelona from LA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOiump3__Mo – Vienna from California

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tblIVLw0coE – Panama from Pennsylvania

    Please do get in touch if you or anyone you know may be interested in the show.

    Best wishes,


    Michelle James
    1-3 St Peter’s Street, London N1 8JD – +44 20 7704 3300

  10. Tony says:

    Do you like gastronomy? Do you do any cooking? I love your writing and would love to have you guest blog on our Italian food blog at http://www.balsamicsauce.com. That is… if you like food!

    If this sounds interesting to you, please shoot me an email!

  11. Thnks for following our blog..You have some fascinating and perceptive articles on your blog. I knew Italian bureaucracy was bad, but as Britain is in the EU I’ve fortunately escaped the processes you describe here… good luck with everything.

  12. Joyce says:

    Dear JL,

    My name is Joyce and I work for ExpatFinder.com.
    ExpatFinder.com is a free one stop website for people preparing to move or working and living overseas. We provide a myriad of services for expatriates and we have over 2,000 articles to help and support the people moving around the world and we are now creating an interview section to help the expats with real life experiences!
    We quite enjoy your blog about living in Italy, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to interview you to further share some of your tips and feature some of your first hand experience as an Expat and your interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers. The questions are mainly about the day to day lifestyle of an expat. If it would be possible, could you also send some photographs that we can use?
    Of course, if you accept, we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.
    The questions are enclosed, feel free to respond freely. You can return the doc with your answers if you accept this invitation.
    Thanks in advance and do let me know if you prefer other means to conduct this interview and we would be happy to accommodate your terms.

    Best regards,

  13. Gina says:

    Hi JL, I love love love your site. I’m an Ohioan as well living in Milan (as well?) and I haven’t started the dual citizenship process yet just because of sheer exhaustion when I think about battling the bureaucracy. When I do, though, I’ll be sure to use your site!

    • JL Walker says:

      Glad to “meet” you, another Ohioan in Milano! Since I’m on my second try for dual citizenship at this point and the process seems to be relatively streamlined compared to 2 years ago, I have faith! You really need a healthy dose of it for this sort of thing… Anyway, I’m sure you’ll succeed when you do make your attempt and I’ll be here if you have any questions!

  14. Joyce says:


    My name is Joyce, I am a marketing executive at expatfinder.com which is a leading expat information and services website.

    I saw on your blog that you are and expat. I wish to interview you to further share some of your tips. The questions are mainly about the housing, the daily life etc.

    It just takes 5 minutes (or more depending if you have lots to say 🙂

    Of course, if you accept we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.

    If you are interested to participate at this project, please send me an email at interview@expatfinder.com.

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Date to submit applicationSeptember 10th, 2015
Time to submit my application for dual citizenship!
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