A POSTCARD FROM ITALY

A postcard from Lake Garda.

Some of my friends aren’t on Facebook or Whatsapp so I like to send them holiday postcards. It’s now practically impossible to do that from Italy because of the difficulty of buying postage stamps

There are few post offices, they’re not always open, they have a complicated queuing system which requires you to go to the correct counter and when you arrive you may find that that one doesn’t sell stamps.

The old system under which licenced tobacconists sold stamps appears to have broken down as they’re in dispute with the post office. I tried six, all of which gave a curt “Finiti”.

There’s an alternative private postal service for tourists called the Global Postal Network, but it has few post boxes and if you can find one it may not be emptied for weeks.

Apparently fax is still widely used in Italy, which may be understandable.

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