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by Sabrina in Palermo

While there aren't that many of us here, here is some information about Palermo. First of all, in bureaucratic lineups, even unofficial ones, remember to ask "c'è il turno?" so that at the very least you can write your name on a piece of paper, or someone will tell you where to take a number. This is really important as in general there is a lack of understanding about the process of waiting for one's turn.

Questura (Immigration office): Via S. Lorenzo Colli 271 (091-672-5111).

For PdiS, you need to make an appointment (there is A LOT of traffic here and the cases are quite complicated, so they take longer). For the first appointment you need to go there between 3-5 pm. They will give you a strip of paper with the next appointment time and date (that will be between 9am and 1 pm). It takes about 4-6 weeks right now. The official PdiS documents needed:

  • 6 photographs,
  • entry visa photocopy (not mandatory but welcome),
  • photocopy of passport
  • either photocopy of letter from employer or school or marriage certifcate (depending on type of visa). If marriage visa, then the spouses's passport photocopy is needed too.
  • marca da bollo of €11

After you hand in the documents they will give you two more strips of paper: one with the next appointment (to pick up PdiS) and one is the stub (cedolino) of your application form. The Comune doesn't consider this stub a legal document to apply for residency, but it is good enough for the codice fiscale and for SSN. It will take about 8-10 weeks to get the PdiS. Or so they say. I will confirm when my husband actually gets it.

For those applying for family reasons an "autodichiarazione" of the spouse, as well as the Stato di Famiglia (if marriage is already registered) or marriage certificate (with apostille if not married in Italy).

Comune (central ufficio Anagrafe for residency): viale Lazio 119 (091-740-5226). There are also delegazioni depending on the Quartiere you live in, but go to the central one first. The delegazioni are good for getting certificates and carta d'identità as they are much less busy. For residency one needs the official PdiS: go to sportello
5 with it, there you will fill out a form stating your street address. After this it is anywhere from 2-12 weeks and a cop (yes: a policeman from the Polizia Urbana) will come to your home and check you are really there. If you live in an apt, that is easy: you can tell a neighbour you are there or the portiere (even if you are not home then you will get recorded). If you have a single family house, maybe telling a neighbor or a store nearby would work.

Agenzia delle Entrate (for Codice Fiscale): via Toscana 20
(091-512-681 -note this is a six-digit number) For the Fiscal code (codice fiscale) you need the PdiS provisional stubs and the passport. They will issue a temp one on a A4 piece of paper and about 1 month later you will get the plastic card. Make sure to check that they get the sex right (it happens).

ASL: How to look for it in the phone book (white pages): Azienda Unit, Sanitaria Locale n.6 (AUSL 6) Palermo
Via Giacomo Cusmano 24 90141 Palermo tel. 091-70311-111

International products: depending on what products one is looking for, many are carried by well-stocked groceries. I have found a lot of american-style mexican food items like refried beans and canned green chilies even at my corner supermarket, and from brands I could recognize (no cheddar, sorry). Some stores will even order them for you. For asian items, I know there is a chinese grocery store in via Roma, but I am not sure what they carry. I get tofu, rice noodles, tamari, gomasio, spices, black-eyed peas and some teas, etc. at Bio-logico (via Gen. di Maria), since they have fresher stuff.

Supermarkets: I am of the opinion that part of the niceness of living in Italy involves not going to big supermarkets all that often. Having said this, there are three sizes of grocery stores in Palermo: small local salumerie, bakeries, greengrocers, etc, usually around the corner or across from where you live; most if not all deliver the groceries if you want to, at no extra charge (though we always tip the young guy); medium size supermercati like GS, Despar, SISA, Coop and SMA: they are just about everywhere and they vary in size, but they have at least 4-5 aisles and you can find some who sell vegetables too (all have meat and deli counters) and some may deliver, but there is an extra charge: my local SISA is where they have all the mexican food; Then there are big supermarkets like the big GS (in Zona Espansione Nord), Centro Olimpo (viale Olimpo, Mondello) and Auchan (formerly Città Mercato, in via U. La Malfa 47, Circonvallazione) that sell food and other things (clothes, electronics, books etc). Big stores are usually open Sundays (but not in August, as one can expect), they have some bigger discounts, but they haven't much variety: you have to get what is on discount. One finds better variety in the smaller stores, and the prices aren't that different. For detergents, here there are detergent stores (again, around most corners): those have the best discount prices for detergents, personal hygiene and some beauty items.

fai da te: there are many "brico" stores around here, all around the Circonvallazione (a throughway that surrounds the outside of the city), but my favorite is Bricocenter (via U. La Malfa 103). It is basically like a (smaller) Home Depot. Another where I have been and where I bought stuff is Legno Market (via Perpignano 295). Not bad.

English books can be found at Feltrinelli (via Maqueda 395, not a block from Teatro Massimo), and at Pegaso Libri (via Notarbartolo 9/F) Public transportation:


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