Post Office in Vatican City: Using the Pope’s Post Office

by Jessica on January 20, 2007

by | January 20th, 2007  

vaticanpost2If you know anyone who still collects stamps (is that even still possible with all the self-adhesive jobbies out there nowadays?) and you’re going to Rome, you’ll do them a big favor by swinging into the Vatican City post office. A trip to Vatican City won’t get you a new passport stamp and you may not even realize you’ve crossed any kind of border, but the Vatican is its own little country within the city limits of Rome – and consequently has its own stamps and postal system.

You just have to ask someone who’s lived in Italy about the Italian postal system to understand why the Romans feel fortunate to have Poste Vaticane at their disposal. Italy’s post is notoriously slow, and having a package disappear entirely isn’t unheard of. Poste Vaticane, by contrast, is not only quick and efficient, it’s also staffed by people who tend to be nicer than your average Italian postal worker.

vaticanpost1But even if you don’t have to deal with Italy’s postal system much, a stop at the Vatican’s post office is worth the small detour during your visit to the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s. There are a few post office locations in Vatican City – one of them is inside the Vatican Museum, which is convenient if you’ve got time to buy museum postcards and write them before you leave the shop – but the more accessible branch is just to the left of St. Peter’s Basilica on St. Peter’s Square. If you’re looking at the front of St. Peter’s, turn to your left and you should see yellow Poste Vaticane boxes attached to the wall outside the post office’s door.

The post office at the Vatican on St. Peter’s Square is open year-round, and it’s open Monday-Saturday from 08:30-18:30.

Shelley of At Home in Rome has a fun anecdote of what a trip to the Vatican’s post office is like.

photos by Jessica Spiegel & may not be used without permission

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Vatican City | Italy Travel Guide
September 4, 2007 at 9:56 am

{ 10 comments }

Belinda Patterson October 30, 2007 at 10:54 am
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I am planning a trip to Italy in December and would like to send some postcards from the Vatican post office. I need to know what size post cards are to send with postcard stamps and how much in Euros each stamp (only the stamp) will cost. Thank you, Belinda Patterson

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Jessica October 31, 2007 at 7:48 am
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Thanks for the question, Belinda – last time I was in Rome, it was the usual size postcards that I was sending from the Vatican Post Office. As for the cost, you’ll have to ask at the post office counter when you arrive – just like in any country, stamp costs change occasionally, so it’s best if you just ask when you get up to the counter. (I will say that postage costs in the US tend to be much lower than postage in other countries, so be prepared for it to be higher than you might expect.) Bring the postcards you wish to send with you, and ask how much it would cost to send that postcard to whatever country you’re sending it to. Have a great trip!

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Bruce January 10, 2008 at 8:07 am
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Hi,

I just sent a postcard right before New Years and the postage cost was .80 Euros for the standard post cards from the vatican. How long did it take for yours to get to their destinations?

Thanks

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Jessica January 10, 2008 at 9:05 am
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Hi, Bruce, and thanks for the current postage costs! Unfortunately, my experience with the Vatican post office wasn’t great, but it was also my own fault. I only sent one postcard from Vatican City (to my Catholic postcard-collecting friend!), and I used the wrong zip code. So, it took forever. But I hear that generally speaking the Vatican post office is a zillion times faster and more reliable than the Italian post. Provided you use the right zip code, of course… :)

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Dr jwseidenberg February 6, 2008 at 11:05 am
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Why can’t I Just GET THE OFFICIAL ZIP CODE FOR VATICAN CITY ROME ITALY? EVERY THING ELSE IS ALL OVER THE NET BUT THAT PLEASE REPLY ASAP THANX

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Yetta October 21, 2010 at 4:24 am
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The first time I visited Rome I popped my postcards into the postal box hanging outside the local post office. BIG MISTAKE! The cards to the US took nearly three weeks, the ones for European destinations took four (4) weeks!!
Since then I have always gone to Postale Centrale on Piazza di San Silvestro and posted my cards from one of the counters. Cards then take three to four days inside Europe and less than a week to the US.

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M. Walsh November 13, 2010 at 3:51 am
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Thanks for the article. We were in Rome and wanted to send something back to the U.S. Because of your post we made the special trip to the Vatican to post our package. We were having a hard time locating a regular P.O. in Rome anyway. They all seemed to be hidden. The Vatican Post worker was very helpful, even sealing our package for us. And with a Smile!

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Jessica November 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm
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I’m so glad to hear it! I’ve had great luck with the postal workers at the Vatican post office, too. :)

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Nicole August 21, 2012 at 9:24 am
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My husband & I were on our honeymoon and wanted to send our parents post cards from the Vatican city. We took a tour and they stopped at a gift shop right outside of St. Peters that allowed you to fill out, stamp and mail right there. We mailed these (2) post cards on July 3 and both parents just received them on AUGUST 17TH!!! I couldn’t believe it & on top of that it wasn’t even our post cards they received!!! They were brand new, blank post cards sent in a manilla envelope! Why our post cards never made it, I have no idea. Someone paid additional to have these “fake” post cards sent but had to have had our originals because the addresses were correct. I am REALLY upset and sad that they wouldn’t have sent our postcards written to our family. The “fake” cards don’t even have vatican stamps or post marks.

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Jose Banda October 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm
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I’m in Santa Fe;N.M. U.S.A. and I came across a lot of vaticane stamps I believe they from 1991 or before but I would like to find out how much they are. If anyone knows how I could go about it please let me know by my email at josebanda213@gmail.com.. THANK YOU

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