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Mailing things to Italy from the United States

Published on November 5, 2009 2:10 PM | Comments

I see a lot of these types of questions on travel and relocation forums, etc. "What can I mail to Italy?" or "Can I mail things to Italy?". You can - but the Italian postal service is rather notorious for being slow, or never delivering at all (first class mail, letters, etc. are usually fine - it is the packages you have to worry about). Here is the official list of things you can not send (prohibited!) in the mail from the USPS:

Albums of any kind (of photographs, postcards, postage stamps, etc.).
Arms and weapons.
Articles of platinum or gold; jewelry; and other valuable articles unless sent as insured Priority Mail International parcels.
Artificial flowers and fruits and accessories for them.
Bells and other musical instruments and parts thereof.
Cartridge caps; cartridges.
Clocks and supplies for clocks.
Compound medicaments and medicines.
Coral mounted in any way.
Ether and chloroform.
Exposed photographic and cinematographic films.
Footwear of any kind.
Haberdashery and sewn articles of any kind, including trimmings and lace; handkerchiefs; scarves; shawls, needlework including stockings and gloves; bonnets, caps, and hats of any kind.
Hair and articles made of hair.
Human remains.
Leather goods.
Lighters and their parts, including lighter flints.
Live bees, leeches, and silkworms.
Live plants and animals.
Nutmeg, vanilla; sea salt, rock salt; saffron.
Parasites and predators of harmful insects.
Perfumery goods of all kinds (except soap).
Playing cards of any kind.
Postage stamps in sealed or unsealed First-Class Mail International shipments.
Radioactive materials.
Ribbons for typewriters.
Roasted or ground coffee and its substitutes; roasted chicory.
Saccharine and all products containing saccharine.
Salted, smoked or otherwise prepared meats; fats; and lard.
Toys not made wholly of wood.
Treated skins and furs.
Weapons of any kind and spare parts for them.

Also note that if you mail something from the U.S. and fill out the green customs sticker with a value, the recipient here in Italy will have to fork over molto euro to receive the package - it is not unusual to pay more in customs or duties at the post office than what the package is worth! Welcome to free trade...

This page will keep you up to date on what you can or can't mail.

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