Jan
13

Venice goes postal

By

To be fair, it’s not just Venice: It’s all of Italy.

Brace yourselves, because I’ve got some news.  At the post office today I noticed a sign giving the new postage rates.

To mail a postcard — not your novel, not the story of your life — a measly little postcard, from Italy to the U S and A now costs 1 euro and 60 cents.

Not only is that double the previous rate (already high, in my opinion), it is the equivalent of $2.08.

Two dollars and eight cents for one (1) stamp to mail one (1) postcard.

The woman at the window told me that it wasn’t Italy that shot the rates into outer space, it was My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.  I have no idea how these things work, but I do know what it feels like to knock your elbow against the edge of the door, and this is like that.

What I hear now is the sound of text messages and e-mails flying around the stratosphere bringing greetings from your Italian vacation to Aunt Bertha, your twin sister, your niece, your dog.  What I also hear is the sound of postcards not being sold, and stamps not being sold, at least to Americans.

You had to know, and better now than later.  Now you can plan to spend the money you would have paid for stamps and postcards on something else.  Like buying a house.  Or a horse.

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Categories : Tourism

Comments

  1. It’s still good to know that inspite of all the advancements in communication, postcards and postal services are still existing in Italy.

  2. John K says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for the info. We were shocked yesterday when we went to send 10 postcards and it cost 16Euro. We were certain it was a mistake but sadly you have confirmed that is was correct.

    Only Facebook update from here on in! (sadly)

    tc

    • Erla Zwingle says:

      I’m only sorry that somehow you didn’t get the word before you wrote the cards. Yes, the post office evidently has a wish to take early retirement from the world.

  3. Ryan S. says:

    I learned about this rate in Rome last week. At first I thought I had misunderstood, but no, “un euro sesanta” does indeed mean 1 euro 60 cents. 2 bucks to send a postcard to the US? That’s almost as bad as getting gouged for coffee in Paris. As it happens, Italy being Italy, I was not able to spend too much on stamps because the nice woman informed me that she was currently out of such stamps. I would have to try my luck at another post office. So I left, got a caffe for 80 cents, and plan to mail my cards when I return to the US for 32 cents.

    • Erla Zwingle says:

      A while back I asked the man in our local post office to confirm what the woman at the central P.O. had told me (that the price was imposed by the US, and not by Italy). He said, “Actually, not. It was Italy.” Which makes sense, because I couldn’t see how a foreign government could impose postage rates on another country. And anyway, where would the money go? Would Italy be presumed to send the swag to Washington? Even less likely. Eventually, though, we will all be sending our own photos with our affectionate messages to each other via tablet or mobile phone. That’ll fix ’em. (Of course, if you’d really wanted to submit to extortion, you could have bought handfuls of lesser-value stamps and covered half the postcard with them. But you made the right decision.)

  4. Theodoric
    Twitter: NowakLaw
    says:

    My girlfriend won’t send me post cars any more because she doesn’t make enough as an au pere to afford it! I tell her it’s only a cup of coffee and she assures me it’s a third of what she has to live on!

    • Erla Zwingle says:

      I hope she gets a raise and I really hope she doesn’t spend it on stamps. No offense, but the post office will have brought it on itself.

  5. Beth says:

    One week later, and it’s even more! I’m in Firenze (Florence) and I literally left the post office 5 minutes ago and started googling this, as I felt like I was ripped off. To mail 12 postcards, they charged me 24 Euro! They said it’s now 2 Euro per card!!

    • Erla Zwingle says:

      I’ve just consulted the website of the Italian postal “service” and confirm that their rate for “posta prioritaria” of a piece of mail weighing up to 20 grams for Zone 2 (USA) is indeed 2 euros. Comment from me is unnecessary. At this rate we will only be sending e-mails with photos of ourselves on our trips as we travel, which is not, actually, a bad idea, though it isn’t good news to postcard collectors. But they’re on their own at this point.

  6. Nyssa says:

    I went to post a few from Rome and it was 2.50 back to Australia! After googling I discovered its only 75cents from Germany – our next destination. So I saved them up until we got there.
    It’s a crazy price given the postcards are only 50cents!

  7. cath says:

    Last week in Florence a women in one of the museums told me it was 2.50 euro per post card to Australia. I said ‘no way that is too expensive’, and walked out. France is looking like a better option to send them from
    cath recently posted..The slaughter of the innocents — I mean, seppie

    • Erla Zwingle says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only who thinks the postal “service” has totally lost its wits. Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the fact that it has, clearly, lost its wits.

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