Ciao Bologna


Ciao Bologna

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Ah, this is the last post on this trip since my flight back is tomorrow. I have a few random photos of Bologna that I think are interesting. But first a discourse on the art of a longer trip. Part of the reason for this relatively short trip (6 weeks) was to lay the groundwork for the longest trip yet – 6 months. This turns out to be more of a challenge than I had imagined. I should have done a bit more research before I came. I thought that the biggest issue would be getting the permisso di soggiorno (permission to stay) which both Karen and I will need to obtain here soon after we arrive. I did not realize that to remain for more than 90 days one also needs a visa. To obtain a visa you basically need to show that you will not be an economic burden on the state, that you are not a criminal, etc. Much of this is not a big issue. The parts that turned out to be most difficult were a residence for 6 months and getting a timely appointment at the consulate in the U.S. for the visa application. Leasing an apartment for 6 months in Bologna is virtually impossible. Fortunately the consulate will accept AirBnB if the entire 6 months is paid in advance (there is a receipt to record that). Fortunately we stayed in a place that we liked last May and became friends with the owner of the apartment so they were willing to rent it for that term at a reasonable price; so that’s done. The appointment with the consulate is really difficult. They are open for visa appointments only 2 hours a week. So you can imagine the difficulty. This has further complications. It’s inadvisable to buy plane tickets prior to at least the appointment. I am assuming (and praying) that at the appointment they can we can be close to 100% sure that we will receive the visa within 3 or 4 weeks and we can go ahead and buy the plane tickets before they become really expensive. After further research on the web I found that there are locations called “honorary consulates” or something quite similar. These are kind of like branches of the consulate in other smaller cities. So we were able to get an appointment for December 10 in San Jose (rather than December 23 in San Francisco). So hopefully I can buy airline tickets the next day.

The problem is this: to get the visa you have to have a committed place to stay. So you have to have a lease (or in our case a prepaid AirBnB) starting on a specific date. So you really want to have the flight arrive on that day. So all of this then depends on getting an appointment at the consulate and their ability to approve the visa in a timely manner, etc. So everything winds up depending on the consulate. Whew! So I think that all is working out.

While in Bologna, in addition to contacting at least a dozen realtors about short term apartments, and spending hours searching the web for same, I got an appointment at the Questura (the central office of the police department). One department of the Questura has the responsibility to issue the permesso di soggiorno. A friend here has a good friend who is the head of the department that issues these permits and I had a pleasant conversation with him and he said that when I return to come directly to him and essentially bypass the line. So I think that end of things is covered. Now I just need to keep my fingers crossed that all will go well, including renting my house for the same period in Oakland.

And now for thoseb photos.

Need a little parmigiano e prosciutto?

Need a little parmigiano e prosciutto?

A word to the wise - don't leave a nice bike in centro overnight!

A word to the wise – don’t leave a nice bike in centro overnight!

Also peanut butter has arrived in Bologna

Peanut butter has arrived in Bologna

Ciambella - doughnut a Bologna!

Una  ciambella – doughnuts also have arrived in Bologna!

Very evocative walkway close to where I live.

                  Very evocative walkway close to where I live.

Night lighting for Nettuno

                             Night lighting for Nettuno

Shadow of Nettuno

                                  Shadow of Nettuno

 

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2 Responses to “Ciao Bologna”

  1. Joy O'Neal Says:

    Joe,
    It is a delight to read about your adventures in Italy. Have a sweet holiday season. Love, Joy

  2. Joe Says:

    Wow, somehow I missed this comment, Joy. I’m glad you enjoy reading the blog. I’m now back in Bologna and will have a few things to write about.

    Joe

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