You can buy envelopes at many shops in the city centre, and you can get stamps at the Post Office of in any stores marked with a large T.
To post your letters there are red post boxes throughout the city. When mailing a letter or post card from Prato to any other city within Italy or internationally, put it in the slot marked “Per tutte le altre destinazioni”. Note that the inclusion of postal codes in Italian addresses is essential; delivery of your letter or parcel may depend on it. Make sure to write “Air Mail” or “Par Avion” in order to ensure that the letter does not go by boat. If you are lucky, the letter will arrive within about four to seven days.
If you want to make sure that your correspondence gets there, you may want to send it via an international courier service, such as FedEx or DHL Worldwide Express, or through Mailboxes, Etc.
If you want to send a package you can go to the main post office, Poste Italiane. Be careful! Remember always to close your pack with scotch tape before going to the office.
Poste Italiane - Hours Monday - Friday 8.25-19.10 Saturday 8.26-12,35
Via Arcivescovo Antonio Martini 54, phone: 0574 483349
Via Marianna Nistri 7, phone: 0574 699531
Via Fabio Filzi 39g, phone: 0574 611732
You should NOT have letters sent to your housing addresses in Prato. Instead, have your family and friends send letters to the school, and we’ll put it in your student mailbox at the school.
Give this address to your friends and family (letters ONLY):
c/o University of New Haven
Via Luigi Muzzi 38
No packages should be sent to the school.
If you want packages sent to you in Prato, you must have them sent to Mail Boxes Etc. in Viale Montegrappa 136. Phone: 0574 572002. Before you give the address to anyone, go and see what the arrangement is with them. Basically you’ll need to leave your phone number and email, and they will alert you when the pack arrives or in case of problems. They speak English so it should be easy to communicate with them.
Tips for Having Packages Sent from the U.S.
One of the bigger problems students face is receiving packages from the United States. When a package is being sent from the United States it has to pass through customs, just as you would when traveling, and items must be declared. The Italian Government taxes declared valued items an additional 20% and you will wind up having to pay an enormous fee just to accept the package!
A few tips for your loved ones at home on sending you packages from the U.S. to Italy:
- When sending packages from the U.S a form has to be filled out describing what is in the box, always write:
“Used, personal items for private use. Oggetti personali usati.”
When writing down the content value of the box always declare a low value and write down less than $30 (even $1 is acceptable), otherwise, you will have to pay a tax.
- We recommend that you do not use UPS. They have private postal fees, charge 20% tax for declared items, and are usually the hardest packages to get sent.
- THE FOLLOWING ITEMS ARE NOT ALLOWED THROUGH CUSTOMS:
- Toiletries, hair products, toothpaste, perfumes, cosmetics, etc.
- Medications, medicines, or vitamins.
- Leather or fur products.
An easy way to avoid the hassle with customs is to not get any of these items sent to you.
Remember, we recommended that if you are taking medication for a medical condition such as diabetes or allergies, you should have brought all medicine with you. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HAVE SOMEONE MAIL PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS TO ITALY. Getting such packages cleared by customs authorities can be very difficult and might not work.