So I finally got my passport in the mail, and the next stop on my bureaucratic adventure was to the Italian consulate.
I have to say, for a country that used to be communist, I expected a whole lot more red tape and hassle than I had to go through to get my visa. Granted, when I showed up to the consulate (15 minutes before the office opened, and I was 3rd in line), I had all my paperwork in order, but they seemed to have a much more organized processing system than the U.S. passport folks.
Now I have to wait for my application to get processed (”It’ll get done when it gets done,” the lady at the window said), which hopefully won’t take more than a week or so. Still, I’m on pins and needles until I get my visa in my grubby little hands. In the meantime, though, I’ve managed to do some shopping for comfortable walking shoes and lightweight clothes. Apparently, it gets pretty hot in Umbria in the summer!