This is our journey to obtaining dual citizenship between Canada and Italy!
Part 1: Where is all began
Our journey actually started almost 10 years ago and I have lots to share, so hence why there will be multiple parts to unveil this journey! So stay tuned for how it will unfold!
In 2007, Jamie and I visited Italy and the most memorable part was not the leaning tower of Pisa, Cinque Terre, the Colosseum in Rome or the canals in Venice but it was staying at his uncle’s farm for in Civitanova del Sannio!
We boarded a train from Rome to Isernia and had arranged for his uncle to meet us at the train station to take us to the farm. As we traveled along the rails a bit of anxiety crept up for both of us; we didn’t speak Italian (other than Jamie knowing all the swears… not really helpful) and they didn’t speak English. I am not even sure if Skype or FaceTime were even around back then, but we had no contact with Jamie’s uncle really other than his parents phoning and letting him know what time our train would arrive in Isernia. What were we getting ourselves into?
An instant calmness came over us as we approached our stop and looked out the window to see a man who looked so much like Jamie’s father, there was no doubt in our minds it was Zio Nicola. It was a weird feeling to not really know them but having an instant feeling of unconditional love and know they will take care of you.
They are famiglia!
The last time Jamie was at the farm in Italy he was 18 months old with his parents and big sister. From the stories I keep getting told he was a little devil getting into all kinds of mischief at the farm. It had been over 27 years since Jamie was in Italy, but I could tell he felt at home. His Auntie, Uncle and cousins all welcomed us with open arms, lots of incredible food, wine and love. Regardless of the language barrier, we figured it out how to communicate. I did have to learn “Basta” by the end of my first night. Which means “enough” in Italian.
The farm was where Jamie’s father lived and grew up until he immigrated over to Canada when he was 17 years old. We now had an understanding of so many of the stories his father told of him caring for the animals and farm land. Just the visual of the landscape and surrounding made the stories much more alive to us. We ate fresh almonds off their tree in their yard, grapes off their vineyard outside their balcony, talked about how much work it was to make olive oil from their olive trees. So much of it was a little surreal that this is where his family was from.
Jamie mother is also from the same small town, so we were able to go into town and see where her old house was and learn about where her family lived. She immigrated over to Canada when she was 6, but it’s so interesting to see how even though they both immigrated to different cities in Canada they ended up finding each other, being rooted to the same small town most likely had their worlds collide.
The connection that Jamie made to Italy and to his family was undeniable and something changed for us in just 2 short days we spent on the farm.
We wanted to find out what options we had and how he could stay connected to his Italian heritage. We talked about all different potential options; moving to Italy, would we take our kids back to visit (we didn’t even have kids yet), could we see ourselves working there, etc. With all these types of ideas the main question came up – Could Jamie get dual citizenship between Canada and Italy? If he could, then we would have way more options in our future and our kids future!
So upon our return home to Canada the investigation, research and work began to see if we could make it happen! Stay tuned as we explain our journey.