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Mailing package to the U.S.

I am studying abroad in Florence Italy and I need to mail some clothing and a big mug I bought In Germany home to the United States so I don't go over the weight limit for my checked baggage on the way back. I have heard the majority of the people at the post office in Florence do not speak English and I do not speak Italian so I want to be prepared when I go there. The items I want to send home are just summer clothes I bought in the United States, the mug, and a couple scarves purchased in Florence.

Can anyone tell me how to declare these items and what forms I need in order to mail a package home? Also, would it be better to split it into 2 packages as opposed to 1 big package that has a chance of being relatively heavy?

I've been trying to send this stuff home for a week or so without finding any answers and I just want this stuff on its way back immediately so I don't have to worry about it anymore.

Posted by
401 posts

Honestly, even after all this time in Italy, it is still a mystery at times with the procedure for mailing things to the US. But I would pack everything up (if it's easier with two, send two packages) and say you want to send it Posta Priorità to the United States. Don't get into having to declare anything. However, they may insist that you fill out something called a Fattura Pro Forma (which you are technically required to fill out when mailing anything outside the EU), where you have to list and give the value of what you are sending. Just say clothes and give it a value of 0. Allow time for everything to arrive.
If you are still having problems, isn't there anyone you know in Florence who speaks Italian who could go with you?

Posted by
2092 posts

11/30/09 7:17 AM
Lewiston, Idaho USA
Posts: 379
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Samantha~I would check out for a location near you (there are 14 in Florence). You'll probably find that it would be cheaper if you only have one box but of course I have no idea how much you have. UPS does have a size restriction. It's also a good idea to include the list of items inside the box so I guess the easiest would be to actually go to UPS, get the form and ask questions. The UPS rates might be better than the post and the size limits for the post might determine which is best. Good luck!

Posted by
2349 posts

With UPS you can track your package. With the Italian postal service you probably cannot track it.

Try going to to see what your cost would be. It may be cheaper to just pay for the extra baggage.

Posted by
1170 posts

I wouldn't use the Italian postal system. I have used DHL from Venice, sending fragile Murano glass, on more than one occasion and from Europe, I prefer it since it is a European shipping company. I have never had a problem with DHL. If there is duty due, they will pay the duty and in turn send you a bill. Since you are only shipping clothing bought in the U.S. and a mug and a couple of scarves, I don't think that it is worth declaring, quite frankly. Just wrap the clothes around the mug to protect it and send it all home.

Posted by
401 posts

They are right, the simplest thing would be to go to Mail Boxes Etc. (which works with UPS) to send the package. They will also do all the necessary paperwork, the only thing is that it may cost quite a bit can track packages with Poste Italian btw.

Posted by
15644 posts

You can go to and use their calculator. My guess is that the cheapest option is going to be paying the excess baggage charge on your flight home. Maybe I entered something wrong, but my quick calculation came to well over 250 euro. If the post office will send it by SEA MAIL, which could take months, it can save you money. Otherwise, it is going by air anyway, might as well take it with you.

Posted by
3 posts

I got everything sent! Thank you everyone for your help. I just found a UPS Mailbox Etc. store and they did it all for me, it ended up being 100 euro (what I was expecting), it was a lot easier than the Florence Post Office and they spoke English.