I finally have it! The piece of paper that has been a source of frustration since October last year. This is the nulla osta that will allow me to work legally in Italy. It took S and his friend, B, alot of phonecalls and trips to the Sportello Unico to get this. I'm grateful for that, or who knows how much longer it would've taken.
I took this to the Italian consulate in SF a few days ago. It was my best immigration related bureaucracy experience, and believe me, I've been through years of it with the INS. The one man accepting the applications was very nice and accomodating to everyone, even with the long line out the door. And the good news is that I'll get to pick up my passport + visa in 2.5 weeks. I was expecting 4 weeks or more, so I was pleasantly surprised.
I've now purchased my plane ticket to Milan: May 13th. My feelings are now fluctuating between excitement (I've waited so long for this! I finally get to see him after 5 months!) and sadness (Oh no, I'm going to miss my dear friends. I heart USA!) and worrying (Checklists, gotta sell car, more checklists!).