Please Mr. Postamat

de-liver de letter da sooner da better

Please Mister Postman, look and see
Oh yeah

If there's a letter in your bag for me

Please, Please Mister Postman

Why's it takin' such a long time

Oh yeah

For me to hear from that boy of mine

Even when lightly whispered, the two, simple words Poste Italiane conjure up images of long lines, confusing service, letters and parcels that never arrive, et cetera, the standard litany of complaints and jokes about the Italian Postal service. And often times, forces grimace at the idea of monthly "why do i have to go to the post office to pay bollette" appointment.

However, since its full blown debut in 2004, the new Poste Italiane has style and flair, even if the service lines and lack of credit card availability make no sense. The PT team colors, blue and yellow, and its fervent push for modernization amidst charming architectural settings have brought on a renaissance in the world of Italian snail mail, with the Postamat as its best kept secret weapon.

The Postamat is the hybrid bancomat (ATM), bill pay center and pay-as-you-go cell phone recharger. At any time and any credit/ATM card (preferably the PT's own Carta Postepay) and PIN, Vodafone and Tim cell phones are topped and bills can be paid (only with Carta Postepay). Its like Blade Runner meets The Postman.

I HEART POSTAMAT, I proudly say, every time I do a late night ricaricare.

Ivy covered pergolas, corner buildings with balustraded balconies (Piazza San Cosimato), travertine-face Fascist boxes (Ostiense) and frescoed halls of art nouveau palazzi (Centro, San Silvestro) are just some of the homes to Rome's beautiful Poste Italiane offices-- where the wait can almost be well-worth it.

Key word: almost. All parcel shipping/picking up, stamp purchasing and vaglia sending must be done on the inside. Waiting in line is standard. I hear there is wifi at the central office, so bring your laptop to catch-up on your email. Or else go shopping in the larger Poste Italiane stores-- excellent holiday gifts. As of yet, Poste Italiane does not have DIY machines, but one can only hope.

Photo credit: GB from Italian Notebook, a little bit of Italy, every day.