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Citizen/ship pt. 2 Posted by on Jul 23, 2019 in Culture, History, Italian Language


Se tu avessi letto il mio ultimo blog, avresti capito che è mia intenzione trasferirmi in Europa. Forse hai indovinato in quale paese vorrei essere, sei pronto a sapere la risposta? Vorrei trasferirmi nel paese dove si mangia meglio, dove la gente è calorosa, la patria dell’arte… in Italia, il Bel paese!

Devo solo scegliere la città!

If you have read my last blog, you would have understood that it is my intention to move to Europe. Maybe you guessed in which country I would like to be, are you ready to know the response? I want to move to the country where one eats the best, where the people are warm, the birthplace of art… in Italy, “the Bel paese”!

I have to only choose the city!

Il “Bel paese,” parola che adesso è iconica, è diventata famosa grazie a Dante Alighieri, che è considerato da molti il padre della lingua italiana, conosciuto anche come “Il Sommo Poeta.”

Il Bel paese rappresenta una vista simbolica e poetica dell’Italia come il paese della bellezza artistica e culturale.

The “Bel paese,” an expression that is now iconic, was made famous thanks to Dante Alighieri, who was considered as the father of the Italian language as well as known as the “Supreme Poet.”

Il Bel paese represents a symbolic and poetic view of Italy as the land of artistic and cultural beauty.

La Divina Commedia, la più grande opera di Dante, è un capolavoro riconosciuto in tutto il mondo. Ecco l’inizio della poema:

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita

Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,

ché la diritta via era smarrita.

His greatest work, The Divine Comedy, is a work of art known all over the world. Here is the beginning of the poem:

Midway upon the journey of life

I found myself in a dark forest

For the straightforward path had been lost.

Questi versi parlano un po’ di questo periodo della mia vita; anche se posso dire di aver trovato nel Bel paese che lui descrive la mia luce!

This verse speaks to me a bit about this period of my life; although I can say that I have found my light in what was previously described as the Bel paese!

Dante Alighieri


Now for something pragmatic for those of you who also may want to move abroad. To become an Irish citizen (and thus European!) I had to prove descent and register through the foreign birth registry. Their laws state that anyone born to an Irish citizen, even if born outside the Island, is an automatic citizen. Therefore, my father was always considered an Irish citizen, and I am able to claim citizenship through him. Irish citizenship cannot go back farther than grandparents, and the process was not that hard. Here is the link if you would like to know more, or apply yourself:

For Italian citizenship, although the process is a bit more complex (which is why I elected to get my Irish), many of you may be surprised to know that you can go back multiple generations in order to claim “Jus Sanguinis,” or right of blood in Latin. This means that a large amount of Americans are eligible for Italian citizenship through descent! However, it all depends upon the date of the last Italian born ancestor’s naturalization date and the date of the birth of the next in line. To know more, your closest Italian embassy would be the best place to turn. Here is the link to the NY consulate:

In bocca al lupo!

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  1. Nancy Devincenzi:

    We lived in Lake Como for almost a year and returned in January 2019. Our hope was to stay two years but my brother became very ill and we returned home sooner than expected. We got the Elective Residency VISA that is good for 12 months. You can renew it while you live in Italy. I have much more to share for anyone who wants to live in Northern Italy. To live in the South is completely different, and I don’t know the laws there. It was a great adventure for two retired people and we have no regrets. We do however caution you about their very different laws when it comes to renting a property. Please reach out to me if you need answers. Nancy
    Buona fortuna.

  2. helen m donnellan:

    Many thanks for all of this and good luck, helen

    • Leila Carlyle:

      @helen m donnellan Also, from place to place it can vary: who knows why? I had no trouble getting my ‘residency card’ in my town – renewable after 10 years – while my friend in a town 10 km away has to renew hers every six months. I’m not going to ask any questions!

  3. Rosalind:

    Grazie per gli articoli.
    Nel testo di Dante, mi interessa l’uso della parola “ché” nel senso di “since” o “for”. In Corsica la parola “chì” s’impiega della stessa maniera. Secondo il mio dizionario la parola italiana sarebbe (lett.) (literary?). Vorrei sapere se non si usa mai nella lingua di ogni giorno?

  4. Leila Carlyle:

    Great posts. I find them very useful indeed, thanks.
    I thought it worth pointing out to people that (at least here in the south where I am) people tend to use the term ‘paese’ to refer to towns or areas. So, for example, when someone asks me ‘Di quale paese sei?’ I would respond ‘di Galatina’ (which is the town I live in) unless I knew from context that they were really asking me which country (in my case the UK). I don’t know if this is a local thing or true in all of Italy.

  5. Rosalind:

    Leggendo di nuovo l’articolo mi dico : “che dilemma piacevole, avere a scegliere una città italiana per vivere!”. Penso subito a Bolzano, forse Parma o Bologna. O anche meglio un piccolo paese non troppo lontano da una città più grande, per esempio intorno a Lucca.

  6. Ellen Purssord:

    I am learning Italian as a hobby and enjoy reading your blog. I have a small holiday home in Calabria and it is essential to speak some Italian down there. Calabria is a great place for holidays but not much work there. Good luck with your move to Italy. Ellen

  7. Bahia:

    Buona sera,
    2nd para: perché non ti ha scritto: “è conosciuto” rather than just ‘conosciuto.
    Grazie per l’articolo. B

    • Bridgette:

      @Bahia Bahia,

      Because earlier in the paragraph I had already written the e’ and if I wrote it again, it would be redundant. 🙂

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