I just started the process of registering our family as official residents of the City of Florence. With “resident” status, we’ll be eligible to sign up for Italy’s national healthcare, we can own a car and get car insurance, and I think we also get great discounts at all the museums and monuments in Florence.
For anyone planning on applying for residency, it’s fairly simple: I went to the comune’s “Anagrafe” office at Via Dei Leoni #5 at the back of the Palazzo Vecchio – their webpage has a lot of good info if you can get through the Italian.
First, I stopped at the front desk in the waiting room where they gave me the form to fill out and a number to wait my turn. I was able to put the entire family on one application form, since we’re all living at the same address. Once my turn came, I needed to show a passport and a Permesso di Soggiorno (Permit to Stay) for each family member. Then, I don't really understand why, but she asked for a Marriage Certificate – and of course I didn’t have one. I showed her the kids’ birth certificates stating that Anthony and I are their parents, and she finally accepted this as proof of our marriage. (I think she was trying to tell me that the birth certificates were not acceptable proof, but every rule in Italy seems to be at least a little flexible, thank god! It probably also helped that I don’t speak Italian well and had a hard time understanding her --- so she just gave up.)
Now that the paperwork is done, we’re waiting for an official to stop by our apartment to confirm that we physically live here. Once he meets us and reports back to the office, they mail out our Residency Cards. Once we get our cards, we can sign up for the National Healthcare…look for my post in the near future.