Postage to Italy: A Comprehensive Guide to Sending Mail

Last Updated:
June 27, 2023
Postage to Italy: A Comprehensive Guide to Sending Mail
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Table of Contents

Postage to Italy: A Comprehensive Guide to Sending Mail

A Brief Overview of Postage and Its Importance

Postage is a system that has been around for centuries. It involves paying a fee to mail letters, boxes, or other items.

With the introduction of new technology and services, this system has developed over time, making international mail delivery more straightforward than ever. You can either utilize their international mail delivery or other services providing international shipping from all around the world, be it Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland, Dominica or Lesotho.

A street in a small town in Italy

The Importance of Sending Mail to Italy

Italy is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and has a thriving business industry. Whether you're sending letters, postcards, or boxes for personal or professional reasons, understanding how postage works when shipping items from your country to Italy could make all the difference in ensuring successful delivery. 

Understanding Italian Postal System

History and Evolution of the Italian Postal System

The Italian postal service, Poste Italiane, has a long and fascinating history. It was founded in 1862, just a few years after Italy was unified. 

During its early years, the postal system was primarily used for government communications, but it soon expanded to include mail delivery for individuals and businesses. Over the years, Poste Italiane has undergone many changes and improvements. 

In 1987, the postal system became a public limited company with the government owning a majority stake. The company continued modernizing its services by introducing new technologies like computerized sorting machines and online tracking systems. 

Structure and Organization of the Postal System in Italy

Poste Italiane is divided into several departments that work together to provide mail delivery services to individuals and businesses throughout Italy. The most important departments are:

Customer Service

This department is responsible for answering customer questions about sending packages, delivery times, shipping rates, customs regulations, etc. 

Mail Delivery

This department handles all mail pickup and delivery aspects throughout Italy.


This department manages the transportation network that moves mail between cities and regions. 

Delivery with motorcycle in Italy


This department is responsible for developing new technologies that improve efficiency in the postal system. Overall, Poste Italiane is an intricate department network that works together seamlessly to provide high-quality mail delivery services. 

Services Provided by the Italian Postal System

Poste Italiane offers a wide range of mail delivery services depending on your needs. Some common options include:

Standard Mail

This is the basic service Poste Italiane offers. It's an affordable option for sending letters or small boxes throughout Italy.

Italian Postage Stamp

Priority Mail

This service is for you if you need your package delivered quickly (within 1-2 days). 

Express Mail Service (EMS)

This is the fastest option available and is ideal for urgent or time-sensitive deliveries.

Post office delivery van in Italy

International Shipping

Poste Italiane also offers mail delivery services to countries worldwide. 

Courier Services

Poste Italiane does not offer the usual courier shipping option.

In addition to these services, Poste Italiane provides other useful options like registered mail, return receipt, and insurance. Whether you're shipping important documents or valuable items, Poste Italiane has a solution that meets your needs.

Airplane of Poste Italiane

Types of Postage in Italy

Standard Mail

Sending mail via standard post is a popular and economical option for shipping mail to Italy. The international shipping cost of sending standard mail is based on the package's weight, size, and destination. 

The delivery times for standard mail varies depending on the destination in Italy, but it usually takes 7-14 business days. However, remember that delivery times can be impacted by holidays or natural disasters. 

Cathedral in Milano

It's essential to note that limitations may apply when shipping standard mail to Italy. Ensuring that your package adheres to all size and weight restrictions the Italian postal service sets is vital. 

Additionally, certain items may not be allowed through the standard post due to restrictions on prohibited goods such as weapons or hazardous materials. Therefore, continuously checking with your local postal service before shipping anything via standard mail is essential. 

Priority Mail

If you require faster delivery times than those provided by standard post, priority mail may be a suitable option for you when mailing items to Italy. Priority Mail offers quicker delivery times than Standard Mail while being reasonably priced. The international shipping cost of priority postage depends on weight, size, and distance. 

The average delivery time for Priority Mail in Italy is 4-7 business days from the time of shipment. However, during busy seasons such as holidays or peak shipping periods like Black Friday/Cyber Monday, sales season may delay deliveries slightly. 

As with Standard Mail services, there are limitations regarding what can be sent via Priority Mail in Italy due to restricted items laws. Be sure always to check before transmitting any item via Priority Mail. 

Express Mail Service (EMS)

EMS is an excellent option if you need quick parcel deliveries when mailing items between countries; it offers fast shipping options with tracking number at higher costs compared with standard and priority mailing services. The shipping costs of express mail service depends on the weight, size, and distance covered in Italy. 

EMS is the fastest option for shipping parcels to Italy, with a guaranteed 2-4 business days delivery times. This also boasts insurance coverage and better package tracking and tracing. 

However, there are restrictions to what can be sent via EMS in Italy due to restricted goods laws. It's essential always to check before transmitting any item via this service. 

Preparing Your Package for Mailing to Italy

Packaging Requirements for Shipping Items to Italy

When preparing a package for mailing from US to Italy, it is crucial to follow the packaging requirements of the Italian postal service. Boxes must be sturdy and able to withstand normal handling during transportation. 

Fragile items should be wrapped in protective materials like bubble wrap or foam padding. It's also essential to use appropriate packing tape that won't quickly come off during transit. 

The size and weight of the package must also be within the specified limits set by the Italian postal service. The maximum weight limit for parcels sent via postal service is 30kg, while the length plus girth (the distance around the widest part of a parcel) should not exceed 2m, with no single dimension over 1.5m. 

Addressing Your Package Correctly

Colosseum in Rome

Correct addressing ensures that your package arrives at its intended destination safely and on time. The sender and recipient's name, address, and postcode should be written on the package in capital letters. When shipping to a home address in Italy from outside Europe, it's essential to include "ITALY" in capital letters beneath the address line. 

This helps identify where your package is headed and ensures prompt delivery. Shipping packages via courier services like FedEx or DHL require a contact phone number for both sender and receiver. 

Italian flag

Customs Declaration Requirements

Customs declaration requirements apply when shipping items from outside of Europe into Italy. A customs declaration form (an airway bill) must be completed correctly before shipping any item or parcel abroad. The customs declaration form includes detailed information about what is inside your package, including its value, so customs officials can determine whether customs duties or taxes are due. 

Small town post office in Italy

Correctly filling out this form could lead to delays or fines, so it's essential to check guidelines and regulations beforehand. It is also important to note that certain items such as weapons, explosives, and illegal substances are prohibited from being sent via mail services to Italy. 

Additional Considerations When Mailing to Italy

Volumetric Shipping Cost

When shipping bulky items, you should be aware of volumetric (dimensional) calculation. Any package that has a dimensional factor will be billed based on it's volume. When shipping to Italy, use shipping calculator to estimate the discounted rates to understand if your box has an affordable rate.

Postal delivery Scooter

Customs duties, taxes, and fees

It's crucial to keep in mind that you might have to pay import charges, taxes, and fees while shipping to Italy. These charges are determined by the Italian customs agency and vary depending on the type of item being shipped and the package value. It's essential to research the specific regulations for your item before shipping to Italy. When you are shipping multiple packages, the total value is considered.

Prohibited items in Italy

Before shipping packages from US to Italy, it's essential to understand what items are prohibited by Italian law. Some items that are not allowed include firearms, drugs (including prescription medications), certain food products (such as unpasteurized cheese), counterfeit goods, and anything considered obscene or offensive. 

Mailbox in Italy

Tracking your Package

Once you've shipped your package from US to Italy, you'll likely want peace of mind knowing exactly where it is. Fortunately, many postal services offer tracking services that allow you (and sometimes even your recipient) real-time updates on the status of your package. 

Be sure to ask about tracking options when mailing your package or look up online trackers available through postal services like UPS, DHL Express or FedEx. Keeping an eye on its progress can help ease any anxieties about whether or not it will arrive safely and on time. 


Summary of key points discussed in the article

If you understand the Italian postal system and the different types of postage available, preparation to ship to Italy can be a straightforward shipping process. The structure and organization of the postal system in Italy are well-established and offer a range of services that cater to individual needs. It is essential to know the international shipping options, shipping costs, delivery time, and limitations associated with each type of postage option when deciding which one is suitable for your package. 

Canal in Venice

Tips on how to ensure successful delivery when shipping to Italy

To ensure successful delivery when shipping to Italy, it is essential to prepare your package correctly. This includes packaging requirements, correctly addressing your package, and accurately completing customs declaration requirements. 

Additionally, take note of any import duties, taxes, or fees that may apply and ensure that you are shipping only permitted items. Tracking your package throughout its journey can give you peace of mind and allow you to plan accordingly. 

Postal delivery vehicle in Rome

Importance of understanding postage regulations when mailing internationally

Understanding postage regulations when mailing internationally is crucial for a successful delivery outcome. Each country has specific rules regarding what can be shipped into their borders, with penalties for non-compliance being severe in some cases. 

By adhering strictly to these regulations, worldwide reliable shipping can become simpler while ensuring packages are delivered quickly without interruption or unwarranted delays. Sending mail internationally does not have to be intimidating if one understands all aspects involved, including what restrictions exist as well as costs associated with various options available from postal systems around the globe, such as those offered by Italy's postal service, which has evolved into an efficient organization capable of delivering packages on time every time even across vast distances where communication infrastructure isn't always reliable making it an excellent option for ex-pats looking for affordable ways get materials from their home countries such as Benin, Kenya, Tuvalu or Samoa quickly.

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Emily Fletcher

Emily Fletcher is a renowned logistics expert and author, with over 15 years of experience in the industry. With a passion for optimizing supply chains and streamlining operations, Emily has helped numerous businesses achieve significant cost savings and improved efficiency. Her expertise lies in creating innovative logistics strategies tailored to the unique needs of each organization. As part of Shipixy’s Digital Marketing team, Emily provides practical insights and actionable advice to guide professionals in the logistics industry toward achieving operational excellence.

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