I’m a citizen!
The notification came on March 4, 2014 in an email without a subject heading from the Italian Consulate in New York City.
“I have the pleasure of informing you that you are an Italian citizen… the procedure to obtain Italian citizenship is complete.”
As I read the message, I longed to encroach the gap between heaven and earth and tell Granny, Nono and Aunt Commie the good news. I was blessed to have been shaped by their love in my childhood. And now, I’m overjoyed that I can carry on their legacy in adulthood as an Italian American citizen.
I’ve told my family and friends and the most common question has been “What will you do with it?” The answer is, I’m not sure yet. It will be a gradual process of learning the nuances of Italian culture and hopefully, learning even more about my family.
The process of applying for dual Italian American citizenship has reoriented me toward my roots and parsed out a complicated understanding of the meaning of family. I feel empowered to sharpen my vision of the kind of life I want to provide for my children.
It has also brought me closer to members of the Gozzi clan. I found myself just a couple of weeks ago, with Mike, in the apartment of my cousin Dan, for a lovely homemade dinner, right here in New York. I haven’t seen Dan in several years and it was great to reconnect and hear about his aspirations of becoming a dual citizen. Dan’s grandfather was born in Italy and was my great Uncle Bill–Nono’s older brother. My first cousins, Amanda and Kevin, have also expressed interest in applying for citizenship.
I look forward to continuing to have this space to write about my experiences with Italian culture and identity, my impressions of family, and some awesome travel tales as my relationship with Italy evolves.
Most importantly, I have this space to write more stories about my grandparents. I love you, Granny and Nono. And I love you, Aunt Commie. Thank you for never leaving my side.
In celebration of becoming a dual Italian-American citizen, I’ve created a new Italian cookie recipe for Cookie Chronicles. Click here for the recipe to Chocolate Dipped Chestnut Biscotti.