I have lived in the UK since I was 19 years old.
I studied, got a job, got married, had a child.
My job as a tour guide took me all over Great Britain and Europe, I have travelled and lived around Europe most of my working life.
Was married 3 times, divorced twice.
My first husband was Croatian, my second Welsh, my third is English.
I was born in Italy, so I have an Italian passport and last year I decided to move back to Italy after having lived 49 years abroad.
Bought a lovely old apartment in the Alps, near the French border.
My husband decided to join me in 2021 and he sold our marital home.
We were happy to start a new chapter of our life in a beautiful country, where people are friendly, good food, hot climate.
The nightmare began the day we went to register my husband at the immigration office in Turin.
Because of Covid lockdowns we could not complete the sale of our home in time for the Brexit deadline December 2020.
Because I haven’t resided in Italy for the past 5 years I was not allowed to register my husband as joining the family.
Because it was March 2021 we were not allowed to register as a Brexit case.
Because I have married and divorced twice before the Italian authorities wanted original marriages and divorce documents apostilled by the British Government and translated and certified by an Italian Judge.
Italia bureaucracy is horrendous.
Every time you need a document you have to make appointments with a petty official, it takes days and days of phoning several government departments, each telling you it is not their job to do whatever you ask them to do.
When you have rang everywhere at least 3 times you might find a gentle soul that takes pity on you and gives you an appointment.
When you get there you are told you should have bought a special stamp called BOLLO, indispensable in Italy, it has to be displayed on every document they give you.
They don’t have it, you must go to the post office to buy it.
There are many different prices for BOLLOS and you can be sure you never have purchased the right one.
Hundreds of euros and bollos later, after having paid an agency to certify my documents in England and another agency to certify the same documents in Italy we were told by a smutty immigration clerk that the documents should have been presented to the Italian Consulate in London to be certified on behalf of the Incompetent Italian government.
My husband could not stay in Italy longer than 3 months and had to go back to the UK.
He is 70 years old and homeless.
He can only come back to me after 6 months from his departure.
My husband was not allowed to stay with me.
We married in 2006, so it was not a marriage of convenience to make him stay in Italy.
We are paying a very heavy price for Brexit.
We were told a pack of lies to make us vote for Brexit, we believed we could still travel between Italy and England as we have done for years.
Now we are both alone and apart.
We are old, tired, ill with worries, depressed.
We do not have the strength to carry on fighting, we have both felt suicidal in the past 3 months.
What are we to do?
Tullia Perretti, 67, Italian
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