Bologna Inside - Second Edition

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By this point, you’ve discovered that Italy’s ancient bureaucracy craves official letterhead and multiple authorizations. Italians sometimes explain this with the Latin phrase “verba volant, scripta manent,” which means “spoken words fly away, written ones remain.” For all the paperwork you’ll have to do, it’s a good idea to make personal contact with your nearest embassy or consulate. They will be your point of reference for many bureaucratic procedures, including registering a marriage, the birth of a child or renewing a passport. Whenever you require documents from your home country, you must request an apostille, the legalization of a document for international use under the terms of the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents.

Documents which have been notarized by a notary public and then certified with a conformant apostille are then accepted for legal use in all the nations that have signed the Hague Convention.

Any documents and apostilles written in a foreign language will have to be translated into Italian by an authorized translator, registered in the albo (guild). A list of authorized translators is available at the front desk of the Tribunale (City Courthouse) on Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 6. IWF members have recommended the following translator:

Lucia Gaudenzi

Tel. 051.6153453
Cell. 347.3221840


For help with long-term paperwork, visit the city’s URP in Piazza Maggiore, see Chapter 1: Plugging In. The URP website contains useful information in Italian on citizenship, marriage and other long-term issues.

The City of Turin has an excellent English-language version of its site. While some of the information is city specific, many of the procedures for preparing for the long term are similar to Bologna: