A year ago I wrote the story of the Postbox Saga, which may have recently been resolved, while for now anyway! For the benefit of those of you that did not read this story last year I have reproduced the posts here again in full.The Saga of the Postbox (originally posted on News From Italy, October 20th 2009)
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 Stefania 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 on going 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!
A few weeks later I posted an update.
Postbox update (originally posted on News From Italy, December 10th 2009)
Sorry but I have only just realised that the update I promised was never blogged.
What a surprise we had just five days after my last post on the situation to get up one morning and find the postbox had gone. Moved back to its original position by the main owners of the land it is positioned on, early that morning before we were even awake.
The argument rumbles on though as the cousin was far from happy and had ignored the fact that action would be taken if he did not restore the postbox back to its original position himself!
Well he didn’t so it was done for him, so disgusted was he that he called the carabineri out, yes to complain about his own cousin! Anyway they were far from interested when they realised that the post office were involved and that they had stated emphatically that the postbox could not stay where the objecting cousin had placed it.
It seems to be stalemate at present.
Latest Situation October 2010
The stalemate continued for just about a year with the postbox remaining in its original place despite the cousins objections. During this period the neighbours have had various discussions on behalf of all of us as to where it could be safely sited on the lane conveniently for all concerned. There was even some discussion about just five postboxes, those of us living in the immediate vicinity, being mounted on the wall of our workshop which backs onto the lane. We were in agreement and one of the neighbours was to build a more respectable structure to take the boxes.
Unfortunately nothing came of this plan before the situation seemed to escalate again. The cousins are having a legal battle of which the postbox is just one of many problems they have unresolved between them. It seems that having had enough of the postbox being on land it was not supposed to be on for yet another year, legal action was taken between the cousins demanding it was moved immediately.
So within hours of getting another solicitors letter our neighbour has moved the little house for the postboxes out on to the lane again. This time it is on the left side of his gate,rather than the right where it was placed last year. Last years position was not approved by Poste Italiane, but since then consultations have taken place and we are led to believe that this current position as been deemed suitable by the relevant authorities.
Meanwhile this is where the postmen are delivering our mail, just a few steps across the lane from our house.
Anyone who knows me well will know that I really want to tidy this up!
For now it stays as it is and I must go and concentrate on preparing for the Olive Harvest.