Tabacchi shops in Italy, one useful place to know

22 July 2013 - Tabacchi shop in Italy

Tabacchi (Pronunciation: ta-bA-Kee) = tobacco shop

It is easy to spot tabacchi shops in Italy by the large sign displaying a large white “T” on a blue or black background. Yes, as the name states, tabacchi shops sell tobacco products…but it is an important place to take note of if you’re in Italy. In most tabacchi shops in Italy you can purchase local bus tickets, international phone cards, and francobolli (postage stamps). In certain authorized locations, you can recharge your Italian cellphone with phone credit and even pay your bills!

22 July 2013 - Tabacchi shop in Italy

Ataf bus tickets

You can buy your bus tickets at the tabacchi shops that have this symbol in their window for €1.20 for a 90 minute pass. If you have a cellphone, you can also buy a one time ticket via sms, just text “ATAF” to the number 4880105 and in a few seconds you will receive an sms with your valid e-ticket. This is valid for 90 minutes and the only extra cost is for the sms itself.

22 July 2013 - How to send mail from Italy

Sending love

So, you’re in Italy and you want to send a postcard or birthday card back home…where do you go to buy stamps? You have two choices, either visit a post office in town or buy a stamp at a tabacchi shop and mail it yourself. Most of these shops have a method to weigh the letter you need to send and can determine what type of stamp you will need. Once you affix the correct stamp, search for these large red mailboxes found on the sides of buildings around town and drop your letter in the correct slot. In Florence, they will usually have two slots for dropping mail into – the left says “per la città” for mail sent within the city, the right will say “per tutte le altre destinazioni” for all other mail outside of Florence.

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Caffe Salvemini 43.771674, 11.262388

Tabacchi Caffè Salvemini

The one tabacchi shop that I have found that is always stocked with francobolli and authorized for pretty much everthing from bills to recharging your phone is Caffè Salvemini in Piazza Salvemini, 20. Yes, you will notice that right across the street there is a large post office, so why would you go here to buy your stamp or pay your bills? That is because you may enter an Italian post office only needing a stamp and exit two hours later very irritable and disgruntled or on a good maybe it will only take you 30 minutes…Your choice! 😉

Leave a Reply

  1. I recently mailed letters inside a tabachi shop and the owner told me to place them in a black box located inside instead of the red box outside. What does that mean?

    1. Ciao Mic, perhaps you were in one of the new Poste & Tabacchi shops. There is a new collaboration happening where Tabacchi shops are trying to have more Post Office services offered directly within their shops. Especially with post offices being closed early and usually closed on weekends, this will be a huge leap if these Poste & Tabachhi shops can spread out all over Italy! Were you in Rome? I know they started up there and it’s easier to find these types of Tabacchi shops down in Rome. This link explains it a bit more (site in Italian).