Welcome to News From Italy, my blog about our Italian Adventure. Although this blog has now ceased publication I will be continuing to blog and I am sincerely hoping that my many followers here will move with me to Travel Tales blog to follow my next adventures wherever they may take me. The links to my other blogs are:-
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The Saga of the Postbox
In Italy in rural areas it is not unusual to have to collect one’s mail delivery from a bank of mailboxes located in the vicinity of a group of properties.
This was a new experience for us when we moved to Campo delle Rose as although we lived in the countryside in Vetralla the mail was delivered to the house, well almost, actually a box at the end of our drive. As it was a long drive we were pleased to discover the postbox here was no further away, located in a sheltered spot on our neighbour’s property. He had built a shelter for the boxes so that larger letters and parcels which will not fit in the boxes can get some protection from the rain, important for me as I receive lots of books!
The only down side to this arrangement was one of the neighbour's dogs that is not always chained up and very protective of his owner nipped me enough to bruise me the first and only time I made a solo trip to collect the mail. I have never been confident with dogs and since then will only go to collect the mail on foot if the dog is chained up, even then I am not confident as they are very long chains and I am never quite sure how safe I am! It is not just me, as our neighbour Stefanie is also very wary.
We therefore thought it was maybe good news a few weeks ago when we received a letter from two of the other postbox owners to say that in short the postboxes were to be removed elsewhere. There were a number of possibilities listed in the letter, either everyone involved was to demand that Poste Italiane delivered to our individual properties or the shelter was relocated. It turns out that this letter is part of an ongoing family dispute between two cousins which I will not go into here as it is none of my business. We have all been informed by the neighbour who owns the land where the boxes are located that the letter was too be ignored and that there would be no changes.
Unfortunately the situation escalated recently when the other cousin, who by the way does not even live in this commune, arrived secretively one morning loaded the postbox shelter on to the roof of his car and very hurriedly relocated it to a position opposite our road entrance. When this was discovered lengthy discussions were held amongst the owners of the postboxes, as this particular gentleman had no rights to do this, they are our property not his etc, etc. We nod knowingly and agree to whatever the neighbours decide to do, after all this is not our war. Anyway something will have to be done as apparently you cannot just locate postboxes wherever you fancy there are rules and regulations.
The shelter had been hastily and precariously relocated and it did not even survive its first night in its new but possibly temporary position. The next morning it was on the ground causing yet more problems as it was now a hazard in the narrow lane and junction. If an accident was caused it seems that the postbox owners are the liable parties. This of course caused even more concern amongst the neighbours, photographs were hastily taken and consultations with Poste Italiane intensified. The inspectors have now been to look at the location and we believe it has been declared as unsuitable, but there it stays until situation resolved.
The situation now is that the gentleman concerned has received a legal communication from his cousin to reinstate the postboxes and shelter to their original location within a set period of time.
We await further developments!