lthough I had sent off for all the documentation, I quickly realized I was not able to find documentation in Italy and France, nor was I able to translate the documentation into Italian. There are companies that specialize in this type of work - I decide to consult one of them that I felt seemed the most trustworthy.
I decided on a company called italyMONDO! They had a guarantee – I would get my citizenship and passport or I would not pay anything. I wonder how this can be, but after filling out the contact form I can see how they are able to give this guarantee. I was required to fill out information about my heritage so that they could research the validity of my claim before I even had a phone consultation.
Huzzah! A phone consult with the owner of the company, and I have an idea of the costs, the procedure, and my probability of a successful application.
He said that this process starts with the gathering of the documentation, then correcting any inconsistencies in the documents (misspellings, etc.), getting an apostille on each of the documents, getting the ones in English translated into Italian, and then applying. He said there are two ways to apply – the first is to use the consulate in the US (the one which services my state) and the other is in Italy. The consulate, he says, costs less money but takes the longest time as appointments are often not available for 18 months and if there is an issue with my application, I would have to make more appointments. Applying in Italy, he says, takes two weeks and is coupled with a sort of “back to your roots” vacation while you work through the application process. Of course, this option is more expensive (with airfare and lodging), but seems, to me, to be the better way. A follow-up email from Peter with a list of documentation that is needed confirms my initial step – I now just wait for all of these documents to arrive.