I have based the chronological classification of the Italian stamps upon the following catalogue:
Catalogo Enciclopedico Italiano, Edition 2008-2009, Ascat.
I have also consulted:
SASSONE, Catalogo completo dei francobolli d’Italia e Paesi Italiani, vol 1°, edition 2002
SASSONE, Catalogo completo dei francobolli d’Italia e Paesi Italiani, vol 2°, edition 1999
UNIFICATO 2001 Area Italiana, 27th edition, C.I.F.
I have based the classification of the postal objects according to the following catalogue: Unificato di Storia Postale, edizione 2011-2013, Terzo volume, Servizio Corrispondenze Repubblica Italiana. A previous edition follows a different philosophy and presents therefore different information, which are complementary to the above: F. Filanci e E. Angellieri, “Unificato di Storia Postale 1995/96” Seconda Edizione, CIF.
Objects and rates which were in use before the Italian Republic (this site covers some months of this period as well) are described in the previous volume Unificato di Storia Postale, edizione 2010-2012, Secondo volume, Servizio Corrispondenze Regno d’Italia – R.S.I. – Luogotenenza – Occupazioni alleate di Napoli e Sicilia.
In the first years of the Italian Republic it was still possible to use stamps and postal stationeries which were issued during the last phases of Kingdom of Italy (Repubblica Sociale Italiana in the North and Kingdom of Italy in the South, with Umberto II of Italy acting as Lieutenant General of the Realm until May 1946 and then as a King of Italy for one month only). References for these objects were found in the following catalogue: Catalogo Enciclopedico Italiano 1997/98 – Repubblica Sociale Italiana, Regno del Sud, Luogotenenza, Occupazioni Straniere, Emissioni Autonome, CLN – CEI, 1997.
POSTAL OBJECTS AND TARIFFS
The main source for the postal rates mentioned in the Postal Objects section is the Gazzetta Ufficiale (Official Journal), that can be consulted online in the internet site www.gazzettaufficiale.it. For each Gazzetta Ufficiale containing rate variation decrees, I have published a link to the document in the official webpage (URL tested in August 2018) and another link to download the PDF version of the complete journal. All Official Journals are in Italian only and therefore the list of the Gazzetta Ufficiale editions is fully described in a specific sub-page of the Italian version of the bibliography.
For practical reasons, instead of consulting the Official Journals one by one, there are clearer tables in the already mentioned Catalogo Enciclopedico Italiano, Edizione 2008-2009 and Catalogo Unificato di Storia Postale. Other sources were then consulted: Bruno Crevato-Selvaggi (edited by) “La Repubblica Italiana”, Poste Italiane 2003, chapter “Le Poste – Ordinamento e Tariffe” and Carobene, Gabbini, Macrelli “AICPM 1974-2004 Storia dell’Associazione e tariffe postali italiane 1963 – 2000”, AICPM 2005.
In some cases the above sources are not all fully aligned, for instance about the tariff for the inland postcard at the end of the 80’s or for the transition between the “inland letter” and the “corriere” in 1999. The latter can be explained by the subsequent postponements of the introduction of the Corriere, including a last-minute one, mentioned in the article by Giovanni Riggi di Numana “Storia dell’Avviamento del Servizio Postale Prioritario in Italia dal dicembre 1997 al febbraio 2000” published in “Sestri 2000 – esposizione nazionale filatelica di storia postale tradizionale e tematica”, Federazione Società Filateliche Italiane, 2000.
In the page dedicated to Corriere Prioritario, the new service which was introduced in 1999, there is a sub-page dedicated to the first ground-breaking tests, with relevant examples: information comes from above mentioned Catalogo Enciclopedico Italiano, Edizione 2008-2009. Other data, more detailed, are available in the above mentioned article by Giovanni Riggi di Numana “Storia dell’Avviamento del Servizio Postale Prioritario in Italia dal dicembre 1997 al febbraio 2000”.
In the page dedicated to the 5 lire Avvento della Repubblica and in the one dedicated to Justice Administration Documents a special rate for registering the acknowledgement of receipt is mentioned. Apart from the Official Journal, this tariff is described in the Catalogo Unificato di Storia Postale 2011-2013 only.
In the page dedicate to the 20 lire value of Italy at Work series there is a postcard sent to the Zone B of the Free Territory of Trieste. The book written by Franco Filanci “Trieste – Tra alleati e pretendenti”, ed. Poste Italiane shows how, starting from the end of 1945, it was possible to send postal object from Italy to the Zone B at inland mail rate. More info about the Free Territory of Trieste can be found in relevant Wikipedia page.
The reduced fares for sending objects to enlisted Armed Force personnel (only privates, corporals and corporal majors, not sub-officers or officers) are explained in the above mentioned Catalogo Unificato di Storia Postale 2011-2013, which describes the content of 1973 Postal Code (Decree of the President of the Republic n. 156 dated March 19 1973, consulted in the Italian version on this URL in March 2018). The Catalogo Unificato also explains that the rules were the same also in the previous editions of the Postal Code. This subject is mentioned in the page dedicated to 30 lire stamp of the Coin of Syracuse series, where there is a letter (full fare correctly applied) which was sent to a Sergeant Major. An explanation about Italian Army ranks can be found in this Wikipedia page. Rules and dates for the reduced fare objects can also be found in the relevant page.
The Air Mail Tariffs for each different country of the world during the 60’s are described in Danilo Bogoni “Michelangelo – Un affresco postale”, Poste Italiane, 1995. Some information about the air mail transportation from Itali to foreign countries after the end of WWII can be found in an article written by Costantino Gironi “La riattivazione del servizio postale aereo con i paesi extra europei dopo la Seconda Guerra Mondiale” (re-staring air mail service with extra European countries after World War II) published in the site Il Postalista.
The validity of the express delivery stamps and the rules for franking the objects (and for applying taxations, if necessary) are described in Franco Filanci e Costantino Romiti “Espresso e anche un po’ urgente” Poste Italiane, without year.
The page dedicated to inland postcards describes the possibility of sending a card which is bigger than the actual postcard, provided that extra part is folded and stapled, so the object is eventually as big as a normal postcard. This possibility is described in the Catalogo Unificato di Storia Postale 2011-2013 which is making reference to the Italian 1936 Postal Code, consulted at this address (URL visited in September 2017, only Italian version available).
In the pages dedicated to the acknowledgement of receipt (in particular the page showing the acknowledgements of receipt sent between April 10th 1949 and August 31st 1959) a special form named 23-A is mentioned. This particular document, described in the 1908 Postal Code (articles 258, 259, 260 and 261), is described in the site Il Postalista, which hosts a page written by Franco Naricini. I haven’t found yet any online source for consulting 1908 Postal Code.
All information about the financial penalties for Mail Employees come from an article written by Sergio Mendikovic “Ammende al Personale” which appeared in the A.S.F. publication “L’Occhio di Arechi” n. 26, June 2009 and was then published online on the site “Il Postalista” in this page.
The Catalogo Enciclopedico Italiano does not mention the validity interval of the different lettersheets issued in Italy: I found this information in Franco Filanci “Il Novellario – Enciclatalogo della Posta in Italia – Volume 5: la Prima Repubblica in Posta”, edition CIF Unificato, 2018.
The main source for the use and the franking of the Acknowledgement of Receipt is the monography by Emanuele Gabbini “L’Avviso di Ricevimento nella Repubblica Italiana”, published in 1998; Gabbini has then presented a homonym collection for the GIFRA ehxibition in Ravenna, 2004, that can be consulted at this link (URL visited in July 2018) in the site of ISTITUTO DI STUDI STORICI POSTALI “Aldo Cecchi”. In the older forms for the acknowledgements of receipt there is the shield with Savoy cross surrounded by decorations, which has the official name of Stemma del Regno d’Italia (naming is described in this Wikipedia page which mentions the decision of the Heraldic Committee of the Kingdom of Italy). After the proclamation of the Republic, the symbol became the Emblema della Repubblica Italiana (official denomination mentioned in the page of the Presidency of the Republic site).
General information about the Democratic (aka Democracy) series, plus some more specific information dedicated to the grey 10 lire stamp, are described in F. Filanci, D. Bogoni La serie della ricostruzione – Democratica, Poste Italiane, second edition, March 1995. The details about the need of the Post Administration to get rid of all values in cents (tariffs with fractions of lira became obsolete few months after the introduction of the series) are mentioned in Franco Filanci “Il Novellario – Enciclatalogo della Posta in Italia – Volume 4: da una Repubblica all’altra”, edizioni CIF/Unificato 2016. For the 25 cents stamp of this series, Franco Filanci writes in the Novellario that it was valid for franking until 1952, whereas other catalogues (CEI, Unificato, Sassone) say it was valid until 1948, like the other values in cents.
For the page dedicated to Syracuse Coin 10 lire winged wheel postmark, fluorescent version, I found details in: F. Filanci, D. Bogoni, E. Angellieri, F. Luperi, A. Malvestio, M. Manelli La Siracusana – La variante infinita, Poste Italiane, 1995.
For completing the page dedicated to the 80 lire Leonardo Da Vinci I had to consult Diego e Gianni Carraro, “Catalogo delle Specializzazioni e delle varietà della Repubblica Italiana e Trieste”, Sassone, 2016 because the Catalogo Enciclopedico Italiano is rather approximative in the description of three different printings, whereas Diego and Gianni Carraro do not mention three different printings and clearly distinguish three different perforations.
I have consulted J.P. Mangin, “Guide Mondial des Timbres Erronés”, Yvert&Tellier, 1999. When mentioning the 20 lire Turin Cars Exhibition 1950 stamp Mangin correctly recognizes a mistake which is actually present in the stamp. In the page dedicated to 25 lire road safety 1957 stamp, on the contrary, Mangin calls wrong (so wrong to put it in the book cover!) a stamp which is fully correct. In the same book also the 25 lire Simplon Tunnel 1956 stamp is mentioned: since this stamp is well known for the mistakes in the drawing, all other catalogues spend some words about it as well.
In the page dedicated to the 25 lire Mail Transport by Helicopter stamp, F. Filanci e E. Angellieri, “Unificato di Storia Postale 1995/96” Seconda Edizione, CIF is the only source that puts in evidence a couple of mistakes in the stamp and in the commemorative slogan plate postmark.
In the pages dedicated to Michelangelo’s paintings series, I mention Danilo Bogoni Michelangelo – Un affresco postale, Poste Italiane, 1995 which describes the complicated story of stamps validity and which lists the portrayed characters, all coming from Sistine Chapel paintings (except for Michelangelo’s self portrait in the 200 lire stamp).
Sometimes in the 70’s the postage rate were increased so frequently that a rate change could occur between the stamps preparations and the official emission. The result is that some stamps (for example 40 lire, 50 lire e 90 lire Michelangelo Buonarroti) became available for the public when rates were actually higher and therefore their isolated use for franking is very uncommon. Details can be found in Franco Filanci “Il Novellario – Volume 5° – La Prima Repubblica in Posta”, CIF/Unificato, 2018.
In the page dedicated to Italian Castles Series 50 lire stamp with the “IPZS ROMA 1980” variety I mention Danilo Bogoni, Castelli – Un baluardo postale, Poste Italiane, 1999. I consulted this book for providing information about the printing method, whereas the given dates for possible first use are outdated. In fact Catalogo Enciclopedico Italiano, Edizione 2008-2009 stated that this stamp was found in documents dated December 1990, whereas in Bogoni’s book the first use is said to be in Summer 1991. A commemorative postcard dated December 14th 1990 belongs to my collection, it is the same document mentioned by CEI Catalogue.
About the 750 lire dedicated to ancient tourist installations in Rimini seafront, Catalogo Enciclopedico Italiano, Edizione 2008-2009 provides very few information about the stamp sale to the public before the official issue date. On the contrary, Franco Filanci nel testo “Il Novellario – Volume 5° – La Prima Repubblica in Posta” is the most complete source.
POSTMARKS, HANDSTAMPS, CANCELLATIONS
In the pages dedicated to temporary post offices, in particular the one about mobile post offices at Roman Churches for Holy Year 1950 and the one about temporary post offices in tourist resorts, I mention:
Luigi Ruggero Cataldi “La Posta va in vacanza“, rivista Storie di Posta n° 12, novembre 2015, pagg. 48-55, edizioni Unificato;
L’annullo, newsletter of “Associazione Nazionale Collezionisti Annullamenti Italiani” (National Association of Collector of Italian Cancellations), n° 56, December 1985 for the cancellation “RIVIERA ROMAGNOLA”;
Bruno Crevato-Selvaggi (edited by) “La Repubblica Italiana“, Poste Italiane 2003, chapter “Le Poste – Ordinamento e Tariffe” and chapter “Catalogo dei bolli italiani dei servizi distaccati 1944-1950”.
The latter is also mentioned in the page dedicated to commemorative cancellations.
In the page dedicated to post offices located inside the seats of private companies, the site mentions the collection of articles “I Recapiti Postali” written by Alcide Sortino and published in the above mentioned “L’annullo” from number 36-37 (May 1981) and continuing with number 38, May 1981 (offices in Novara and Milan), number 39, July 1981 (offices in Piedmont and Lombardy), number 44, October 1982 (offices in Emilia Romagna).
In the page dedicated to the train station mail exchange operators I mention the review L’Annullo, n° 108/1996, available at this link, which is mentioning an article written by Enrico Angellieri on Cronaca Filatelica, May 1993. Even the web Forum of Filatelia e Francobolli internet site dedicates a contribution to the cancellations used by this postal operator: a collection of images and some considerations can be found at this link (URL consulted in July 2018).
In the page dedicated to the postman’s handstamp with the number of the town district I mention Luigi Ruggero Cataldi “Pregate i vostri corrispondenti“, rivista Storie di Posta n° 9, maggio 2014, pagg. 27-35, edizioni Unificato.
In the page dedicated to mute cancellations the information are taken from Filanci e E. Angellieri, “Unificato di Storia Postale 1995/96” Seconda Edizione, CIF. A very detailed description can be found in the internet site Il Postalista, which is dedicating a page to emergency cancellations in Tuscany and which has published in this page the scan copy of a series of articles written by Renzo Bernardelli “Bollature Postali italiane di emergenza” appeared between 1961 and 1966 in Bollettino Filatelico d’Italia.
In the page dedicated to the linear stamp “DOPO LA PARTENZA” (after the departure) I mention some details taken from Catalogo Unificato di Storia Postale edizione 1995/1996; the guaranteed delivery time for ordinary and priority Courier are explained in Catalogo Unificato di Storia Postale, edizione 2011-2013, terzo volume. The subject is also mentioned in the article by Enrico Grava “Uno Strano Timbro”, published in Filatelia Veneta, bulletin of the Associazione Filatelica Veneta, n° 8, January 1990.
In the page dedicated to Avviamento Celere service (faster make-ready, with letter boxes mounted on city tramways) I mention the website “Il Postalista“, in which an article by Marino Bignami is published: “Alcune note sulla corrispondenza con avviamento celere”. (URL consulted in October 2017). This service is also mentioned by Franco Filanci in his book “Il Novellario – Enciclatalogo della Posta in Italia – Volume 5: la Prima Repubblica in Posta”.
In the page dedicated to the so-called fraction hadstamps some general information are coming from Riccardo Bodo “La strana storia degli annulli frazionari“, L’Arte del Francobollo n° 35, aprile 2014, ed. Unificato. I also mention the site www.lafilatelia.it because its annexed Forum hosts the so-called “Research Laboratory for Fraction Handstamps” to which I have given my small contribution. The internet site Il Postalista has published an article by Enrico Angellieri “I bolli numerali frazionari” originally appeared on Cronaca Filatelica n° 83, February 1984.
In the page dedicated to 750 lire Denmark 1993 stamp of the 1993 miniature sheet Benvenuta Europa (Welcome Europe) there is an object which was not initially delivered to the addressee due to a wrong automatic reading of the ZIP code and the consequent printing of a wrong barcode. All this happened in France, so I make reference to the French barcode rules, which are explained in this wikipedia page (URL consulted in October 2017; English translation unavailable).
For the Italian codes information are in the chapter “La meccanizzazione postale” di Giorgio Chianetta, in the already mentioned “La Repubblica Italiana” edited by Bruno Crevato-Selvaggi, Roma 2003.
In the page dedicated to postal censorship (it rarely happened in some particular occasions during the Republican period as well) I mention:
Bruno Crevato-Selvaggi, 1954 il servizio postale ritorna all’Italia – 1918-1954 pagine di storia postale triestina, Poste Italiane 2004
Franco Filanci, Il Novellario, enciclatalogo della Posta in Italia, Volume IV “Da una Repubblica all’altra 1943-1948”, edizioni Unificato.
The English version of the site is based on Roy Dehn “Dictionary of English ad Italian Philatelic Terms – Dizionari Italiano Inglese di Termini Filatelici“, seconda edizione, Vaccari 2004.