Friday, June 13, 2008

Atto Notorio

Friday, June 13th

Friday morning. Our first official business of the trip is meeting with Nadia to do the Atto Notorio at the magistrate's office as well as the Nulla Osta at the US Consulate.

We're exhausted. Awake at 7:30am so we have time to shower, drive into Florence (we think we remember the way) and get to the Magistrate's Office by 9:00am. We're not entirely sure where it is, but something in the directions alludes to Dante, so we go to the square where his house is located and Ecco! there it is.

Now, we just need to figure out who in the world is Nadia. This entire planning process from afar has been interesting to say the least. We have a wedding planner, but we really don't have a full grasp of how this is all going to go down, or who is doing what. What we know at this point is that we are supposed to meet a woman named Nadia. We wait for a minute or two and I call the cell phone number we have. "Pronto?" It is Nadia, she tells me she is just a minute or two away.

The next thing we know we meet Nadia, a short, blond, wonderful Italian woman. She has so much energy that I know she will be able to just drag us along with her. She explains, that in addition to assisting us with all of the paperwork, she will also be serving as the interpreter at the wedding!

Into the magistrate's office we go. Up a flight of stairs and down a hallway into one of the weirdest offices I've ever seen. Nadia has some pull and we were allowed in before the general public it seems. The room has two desks, one computer and posters. Strange bizarre 3-D cat posters. We are so jet lagged that it really took us each a few minutes to realize that yes, in fact, the weird cat heads are coming out of the wall and it was not just our eyes playing tricks on us.

Strange as well, the woman stationed in the office is filling in for someone else (or so it seems) and has no idea how to enter our information into whatever database it needs to go to. I mean no idea. So she and Nadia start conferring, huddled over the computer. Then another woman shows up. Then someone pulls out what appears to be some sort of instruction manual. Not a glossy, properly bound printed type of manual, but a battered notebook with hand written notes in it.

Nadia keeps coming over to give us updates and reassure us that everything will be taken care of. Meanwhile, a line of Italians all hoping and needing to file some paperwork or another is forming at the door. Italians are funny about lines. They will get in them, and abide by them, but if they decide that their problem might be more important than someone else's they will just walk right up to the front.

Eventually, they figure it out and we're on our way downstairs with Nadia and one of the other two women from the office. Apparently she will serve as out second witness for the affidavit we need to sign.

We're running, I'm not really sure why. We get to a closed door on the first floor and wait. A woman appears, enters the office outside which we are waiting and shuts the door behind her. Nadia runs in after her. After some finagling we bust our way in, sign some piece of paper and now we are registered with the city of Florence.

At least, I think that's what we've done.

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