.Anyone staying in Italy for more than 8 days needs to apply for a Permesso di Soggiorno, Permit of Stay. Basically, every foreign national needs to register at the police station. If you are staying in a hotel or vacation rental, they should register you themselves (this is why they record the information on your passport when you check in). If staying with family, friends or at your own residence, they you need to go to the local questura, police station and do so within 8 business days of arriving. I applied for my permit in mid-April of 2007. This process used to take a few weeks, but fortunately (not!) for me, the system was changed in March 2007. It has taken almost two years (slight exaggeration, but not much) to obtain my permesso. High five and Merry Christmas to me!