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Our postman was kind of grumpy and never returned our greetings.


We have a new postman!


He won’t bring us any mail.


It does seem that Italy is conspiring to give us every frustrating experience we’ve ever read or heard about.  Crummy mail service?  Oh come on, that news is so old it’s no longer true.  Italian mail service has improved considerably, even in the few years we’ve been here.

Except for packages.  If someone sends you a package from outside the EU, heaven forbid, you are likely to be asked to pay twice the contents’ value in duty.

And except for when a new postman takes over the route.

We haven’t received a piece of mail in almost three weeks.  The Captain went to the Post Office and was told they couldn’t help him.  But the nice woman there gave him the phone number of the Capo della Squadra Rapallo.  He told Louis that probably there just hadn’t been any mail for us, because “I’ve checked your bin and there’s nothing there for you.”

Rosa across the street sings a different song.  “The postman doesn’t know where your box is,” she explained.  Gee, the kids that put firecrackers in it last week didn’t have any trouble finding it – maybe he could ask them.  Or maybe he could ask Rosa; or his boss at the Post Office; or, a novel idea, the man who delivered the mail until three weeks ago.  If he was a particularly  enterprising person he could get off his scooter and look down the stairs that lead to our house.  There he would see it, proudly green and red, and mounted as close to the road as possible – our mailbox!  (Because we live below the road there is no street-level place to hang a mailbox.)

I hear you saying, “Well, maybe you really don’t have any mail.  You don’t get very much, do you?”

You’re right, we get precious little – the odd billet doux from the IRS, perhaps a stray check or bill, and the envelope with a pair of CD’s in it that friends sent a while ago from the States which we’ve not yet seen.  It’s not much, but we’d rather like the chance to look at it ourselves.

The Captain is irritated.  He is about one day away from disgruntlement.  He is going to lie in wait for the post man and lead him by the nose to our box.

Meanwhile, we kind of wonder what may have happened to our mail…