Trip to Philadelphia

Many have asked, “what’s next?” While my dream to one day live in Italy is still alive, I recognize it will take several steps and much paperwork to make it a reality and so I will need to be patient and hopefully visit often, in the meantime. You are probably wondering what any of that has to do with Philadelphia…

It was recommended that the first thing I do towards moving to Italy is get a codice fiscale which is a tax code…somewhat paralleled to our social security number. I will need it if I want to rent, or buy real estate, or open a bank account, etc. I was told to go to the Italian Consulate in Philadelphia to get it. I found their website confusing but printed and filled out what I thought I needed and off I went. I was eager to talk to a live person. I went to my friend’s new home in Manayunk which is on the outskirts of Philadelphia. Coolest area. My friend’s home is high on a hill and driving up the winding streets lined with old homes, shops, and churches, you get a European feel. I decided to take a bus from there so I didn’t have to worry about parking. Even though the Consulate didn’t have a sign anywhere or any Italian flags flying, I found it pretty easily, I just had to ask the security guard outside if I was at the right place. He said I was, took me inside, checked my ID, signed me in and sent me to the ninth floor. At the end of a long hallway, there it was! There were several other people there and only two people working the windows. I waited for over an hour to talk to someone and when I did, they were kind and informative. They told me where to go on the website, what to fill out and what to send in.(The form I had filled out and brought along was no longer used.)

While I was waiting, others were talking about their trips to Italy and how good the food is, etc. One couple was from Pittsburgh and had to come to Philadelphia because they said Pittsburgh doesn’t have an Italian Consulate. One woman told them about the Italian Market in Philadelphia or what locals just call 9th street, I’m told. So when I was finished, I walked to 9th street and treated myself to a panini. While it was delicious, it wasn’t as good as any I had in Italy…and it was more expensive. However, I was able to eat at a table outside and Bocelli was playing over a loud speaker…I felt happy!

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