Posted by: Debra Kolkka | October 10, 2015

Another bit of silliness

I did something very foolish. I misplaced my Permesso di Sorgiorno. It wasn’t with my Carta di Identita, where it usually is, when I was getting my papers in order to leave Australia for Italy. I searched in all likely places and could not find it.

I thought I possible that it may have been left in Italy on the last trip, so I didn’t worry too much…but it did not present itself here in Italy either.

So I went to the Questura in Lucca, cap in hand, shivering in my boots, and admitted what I had done. The woman at the desk, who I now know quite well told me I must obtain a Denuncia from the Polizia or the Carabinieri.

I went first to the Polizia, who told me to go to the Carabinieri, who told me to come back the next day. I did, and the very handsome fellow at the desk wrote the Denuncia for me after admonishing me for not having a photocopy of my Permesso.

I returned to the Questura only to be told by the same woman that I had to reapply from scratch for another Permesso. After this she said with a sly smile “Va bene?” Is that OK?

I wanted to scream at her “No, it is not OK” or words to that effect, but I just slunk out of the Questura and headed for the office where I go to have the necessary forms downloaded and filled out.

The lovely girl who usually helps me was very busy and made an appointment for 2 days later. She thought it completely ridiculous that I should have to reapply. Surely a new copy could be made. I agreed with her, but I have learned not to argue with the Questura.

I will never know if I was given the correct advice at the Questura. My husband found my Permesso while looking for something else and it is now winging its way across the oceans from Australia…I will take a photocopy of it as soon as it arrives…not that I think that will do much good.

Has anyone else had to replace a Permesso di Soggiorno out there?


  1. I remember getting my permesso among a. Sea of applicànts for asylum in Lucca. It was a little hectic. Then at inac in bdl I was told I’d have to renew it with a revenue stamp to pay only to be told later, after I’d paid for the stamp, that it wasn’t necessary as I was covered by an EU agreement!

    • I didn’t think EU residents needed a Permesso.

  2. It all sounds a little too hard for me. Phew thank goodness for Jim

    • Yes, thank goodness he found it.

  3. Never have, knock on wood. And I’ve needed it very recently! Debra you’ll know this, but others might not…I was traveling in and out of Italy via Frankfurt and very nearly was not allowed to leave Frankfurt for the US because I presented my American passport without presenting my permesso di soggiorno. He lectured me severely!!! Coming back in, I had a different problem. My passport expires in November, which I thought was fine, but the law now dictates that your American passport has to be good for 3 months PAST your dates of travel (what good is an expiration date, if that is the case?) I had to get a special dispensation based on the fact that I had an Italian permesso di soggiorno. So my PdS saved my travels going and coming back! Yowza. So glad yours turned up. Curious, now that you’ve already done the denuncia, do you have to go through with getting a new one anyway?

    • I usually travel to Italy via Finland and they are also strict about the Permesso if I am coming for more than 3 months and always ask for the Permesso. I actually thought your passport had to be valid for 6 months when you travel. Perhaps that is just Australia. I went back to the Carabinieri to denounce my denuncia. I waited an hour for the privilege.

      • I love it. Denouncing the denuncia. That is too funny.

  4. After what happened, I am sure that you will keep lots of photocopies of all important documents. Even if they are not certified, they are very handy to have.

    • Photocopies are a good idea, but I don’t know if it would have made any difference this time. I will certainly keep copies of everything.

  5. Deb, you are usually a stickler for paper work and getting it right in Italy. You know how pedantic they can be. Naughty you. Make copies and have them just in case . Anyway glad it all worked out. That’s the only negative in being a Italio/Aussie Looking forward to you coming back soon.

    • Yes, it will teach me to lose things, but a copy would have done no good at all in this case, despite the Carabinieri fellow suggesting it.

  6. Out of fear of the lady at the Questura we guarded our Permesso with our life…she was pretty scary. Thanks goodness it has suefaced….lets hope it does get lost in the post!

    • Sorry Deb…should say “does not get lost in the post”!

      • It has now arrived, but you may be surprised to learn that that was difficult too…more to follow.

  7. No, but it has made sure when I get my visa etc to live in Italy, that I have photo copies. Thank you.

    • I would love to know if the woman at the Questura was correct, or she was just playing games with me. It seems quite ridiculous that a copy can’t be made. They have all my paper work there, I have seen my file, it is huge. I’m sure if I had turned up with a copy it would have made no difference. She didn’t ask for that, but I will do it anyway.

  8. Anything vaguely form orientated in Italy gives me the shudders Debra, glad it turned up.

    • I’m pleased it turned up too. The process to get a new one is long and drawn out, and expensive.

  9. Crickey, it sounds as if you almost need one of those veterinary-chip things under your skin!

    • Now, that’s not a bad idea, Jan! 🙂

      • I agree, it may come to that.

  10. Bureaucracy in so many countries is madness. Sounds like it takes on a special form in Italy!

    • It can be completey ridiculous here…just as well it is beautiful.

  11. How typical. It always seems to me that each person gets a different answer,and a different way to solve a problem. All of them taking days to be completed. Sometimes I think that the clerks don’t know what to do so they wing it and make up a way.

    • I find it very difficult to believe that it is necessary to start again with the application. I think she was playing games with me, but what can you do?

  12. There is so much that I love about Italy and then there are those bureaucratic nightmares that seem like such a waste of everyone’s time! I give you credit for all you have to do to live there. I suppose I could say I wish I had that problem because that would mean I was there instead of here! Glad to hear that all is well now.

    • I really hate the fact that it is almost impossible to get correct information. I cannot believe that it is not possible to get a duplicate of my Permesso.

  13. This made me laugh out loud Debra! I used to live and work in Paris and every year had to renew my car licence plate. I have no idea why, and I never got the same number twice so it was a pain. I do recall spending many frustrating hours in the prefecture, armed with all of the documents I had used the previous year, along with anything else that colleagues had been asked to produce. And still, every year, there was something else I didn’t have! Aargh…I don’t miss that one bit, though I do still long for Paris.

    • I love Italy and choose to spend half my life here, but I will never get used to the idiocy that is officialdom in Italy.

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