I've been pretty busy since the last post with a trip to the Mass Vital Records office, a trip to Italy, and general laziness. I'll begin with the Mass Vital Records office and all the fun stuff that's been making my mind race.
In order to correct Massachusetts' error on my grandfather's birth certificate, I have to give them my only copy of my great-grandfather's birth certificate (which means I need to get another one from Italy), pay $18 for a copy of my grandfather's sister's birth certificate to prove that the last name stayed the same, pay $50 for the state to correct the record, and pay another $18 to get a corrected certified copy.
I need a copy of my great-grandfather's Certification of Naturalization, I only have the Declaration, which isn't enough. In order to get this I have to do a Freedom of Information Act Request (FOIA) which, I believe, will take quite some time as I've seen "rumors on the internets" that the US Government is 60,000 requests behind. Hooray for bureaucracy!
On a happier note, I was in Italy for 2 weeks with my family (my parents, 2 sisters, and an aunt) playing tour guide. We went to Rome, Greve in Chianti, Florence, San Gimignano, Bologna, Venice, Cinque Terre, Pisa, and Torino. It was quite a whirlwind tour of the country and was probably a little too much, but I had an excellent time and can't wait to get back (for a much longer stay!) We rented apartments for a week in Greve in Chianti, a small town that was a 25 minute drive south of Florence on the S222 between Florence and Siena. We rented the apartments from Villa Prono and couldn't have been more pleased with our experience. Andrea, the owner, was very helpful telling us about Greve in Chianti and giving us a few recommendations about where to go in and around the area.
Our experience in Rome was quite memorable. We walked to the Vatican, Forum, Colosseum, Pantheon and over to the Spanish Steps. While in the Vatican we walked up to the top of the Dome of St. Peter's and had a breathtaking view of Rome and surrounding areas. I'll put links to a couple photo sites of mine down below so you can see what I'm talking about.
It's always nice to see Venice. I'm not a huge fan of Venice because it's so touristy, but some parts of the city (Piazza San Marco & the Waterfront) that no matter how crowded they may become are just great places to relax and take in all the history.
It was great being back in Torino. Walking around the covered sidewalks (arcades) gave me an immediate feeling of deja vu from 3 years ago when I studied in Torino. Showing my family where I lived, going to some of my favorite restaurants, and just walking around the city was an excellent way to wind down a busy vacation.