A short lesson on mailing postcards from Italy
Most of my clients ask me about sending home postcards. Is it hard to send postcards? Should we do it? How long does it take? And since we are in the middle of the greeting card season, I thought this to be a perfect time for Sending Mail from Italy 101. Of course, the easiest way is to buy your postcards and hand them off to your hotel’s front desk for mailing. But, what would be the fun in that? Below is how you can purchase the stamps and drop them in the mail yourself.
Stamps can be found at any Tabaccheri. Just look for the big black or blue T posted above the storefront. They sell all kinds of tobacco products, keys, and lottery tickets to name a few. Some even combine with a coffee bar.
It’s easy to walk in and head for the cash register. Hold out your post cards and ask “Quanto inviare per posta?” (How much to send these?)
Prices for international postage (Postamail International) from Italy
-Zone 1 1,00€ (3,50 for International Postapriority Express shipment which usually cuts delivery time in half)
-Zone 2 2,20€ (4,50 for International Postapriority Express shipment which usually cuts delivery time in half)
-Zone 3 2,90€ (5,50 for International Postapriority Express shipment which usually cuts delivery time in half)
Don’t buy the Express stamps unless you are mailing legal documents. I have friends who were tracking their mail for many days past when it was guaranteed to get there. IMO it is not worth the headache.
For basic purposes, a postcard or letter sent from Italy to the USA will cost 2,20€ and will generally take sixteen working days.
Look for the red mail deposit boxes on the walls outside buildings. Pay attention to what’s written on them! Usually, they have two small windows. One window will say “Per la Citta” (for local letters), and one will say “Per tutte le altre destinazioni” (for all the other destinations). Make sure to deposit your postcard into the correct window.
Here is how my most recent experience with mailing letters to the US went:
-Twenty handwritten notecards w/ envelopes each needed a 2,50€ stamp.
-They were mailed on October 30th. Keep in mind there are a few more Italian holidays.
-Only four of the twenty recipients have confirmed that they have received my card. Two got them in the 16-day time frame. Two received them in 26 working days (almost 6 weeks from when I mailed them).
Let me know if you have any tips or experiences with the Italian Post Office by commenting below. You can also contact me by email HERE