1. Becoming Italian

I was born in the United States, second generation Italian-American on my mother’s side and third generation on my father’s side. I didn’t realize until much later, though, that I was not only an American citizen, but a citizen of Italy as well.

My maternal grandfather was an Italian citizen at the time of my mother’s birth. According to Italian law, she was automatically Italian, as well as American, and handed her citizenship down to me. All that was required was registration of some documents for Italy to record and recognize my status.

As you might imagine, there’s a lot hidden in that “all” that was required. Tracking down documents led to many, many hours spent looking into my family history both in the US and in Italy. There were lots of bends in the road, and countless side roads, including a few dead ends. But it was an amazing process and I’ve learned so many things along the way.

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2 thoughts

  1. Hi, I’m reading your path to cittadinanza because I want to do this, too. My mother was born in Italy, but before 1922 and I was born before 1948. When I contacted the consulate in Detroit, they said “tough bananas” or words to that effect. Now, my adult son wants to “become Italian” and I’m an the hunt again.

    1. Hi, MaryLee and thank you for your comment! I am going to be posting next on some of the exceptions to the rules, and planned to talk about how people work around the 1948 problem. I’m not sure,t hough–what is the significance of 1922? Isn’t that the year women got the right to vote in Italy, for the first time, anyway?

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