Would you like to know how to read Italian addresses? Reading Italian addresses is essential to figure out where you are supposed to go, even if you want to send a letter, postcard, or package while in Italy or to an Italian friend.
Fortunately, an Italian address is straightforward to read and understand; in addition, sending a letter or a postcard is supposed to be done following the directions of the Italian postal service.
Let’s see how.
How To Read Italian Addresses Properly
Reading Italian addresses is very simple. An address is composed of the following:
- Street name
- Street number (apartment number or building number)
The address may refer to different types of streets or locations, such as:
- Street – Via
[Speechword voice=”Italian Female” isinline]via[/Speechword]
- Square – Piazza
[Speechword voice=”Italian Female” isinline]piazza[/Speechword]
- Alley – Vicolo
[Speechword voice=”Italian Female” isinline]vicolo[/Speechword]
- Avenue – Viale
[Speechword voice=”Italian Female” isinline]viale[/Speechword]
- Street/avenue – Corso
[Speechword voice=”Italian Female” isinline]corso[/Speechword]
Knowing the street name and number is enough if you are looking for a street location. In Italian, the street number is called:
- Numero Civico (House number)
[Speechword voice=”Italian Female” isinline]numero civico[/Speechword]
What happens if you have to send a letter or a package?
How To Write Correctly An Italian Address?
According to the standard defined by the post office, an address in Italy must consist of a minimum of three and a maximum of five lines.
The use of only uppercase characters should be preferred, and punctuation marks should not be used; in particular, the comma or the abbreviation N. should not be used before the house number or the brackets around the province.
An exception is a slash used to separate the street number from a letter in case more buildings are present in a particular street number. For example:
- Via Rossi 1
- Via Rossi 1/a
- Via Rossi 1/b
The letters A and B indicate buildings or houses with the same street name and number.
Here is the Italian address format:
- Recipient: name and surname or company name
- Optional – Additional information about the recipient
- Optional – Building: building number, floor, apartment number
- Address: street name and house number (street/Viale/Corso/piazza…) or P.O. BOX
- CAP, City, and City Code of the province
- Name of the foreign State
For example, here is a simple address:
VIA GIUSEPPE VERDI 10
20900 MONZA MB
DOTT. PAOLO VERDI
DITTA FLEX S.R.L.
SCALA A INTERNO 4
VIA GIOACCHINO ROSSINI 40
84011 AMALFI SA
Basics Rules When Writing An Adress
1. Terms such as via, piazza, largo, etc., except in foreign denominations, which require capital letters, must be written with a small initial. On the other hand, the names of buildings and monuments begin in capital letters, even if made up of several terms.
2. The correct composition of a postal address is an essential requirement for transactional and commercial correspondence to be delivered on time.
3. It should also be kept in mind that the envelopes must be white or, in any case, clear.
4. About the structure, a correct address is composed of several lines varying from three to five.
5. A sixth line is foreseen for the indication of the foreign State (which may be written in Italian or the original language and which is not necessary for the Vatican City and the Republic of San Marino).
Here is the correct data distribution for each line necessary as described above:
– line 1: mandatory, indicates the addressee (company name or first and last name, it must be a specific person)
– line 2: optional for additional information on the recipient, e.g., Marketing Office, etc.
– line 3: optional for additional info on the building (interior, floor, staircase, …), beneficial for recipients in large condominiums, private villages, or other complex situations
– line 4: mandatory, shows the street type, street name, house number
– line 5: mandatory, it shows the zip code (or postal code), locality, province initials
Some important aspects:
- Write everything in the correct order
- Write everything in CAPITALS; in particular, it is mandatory to always and only write in capital letters the lines of address, place, and any foreign state (respectively, line 4, line 5, line 6)
- Empty lines must not be left between one and the other that make up the address.
- The address (street and house number) must not go on multiple lines (use maximum lengths of up to 30 characters + house number)
- Do not enter punctuation or other special characters in the address (line 4) and locality (line 5) lines. For example: Do not write “Via Giuseppe Verdi, N. 5,” But write instead: VIA GIUSEPPE VERDI 5. In addition, do not write 45035 Castelmassa (RO) but 45035 CASTELMASSA RO
- The house number must be reported after the street name and never before
- If the destination is one of the cities divided into postal zones, the specific zip code to which the destination street refers must be reported
- If the envelope is addressed to a hamlet that does not have its own zip code, the locality line (line 5) must indicate that of the municipality to which it belongs, possibly reporting the name (and only the name, without the hamlet, hamlet or other ) of the fraction in the building row (line 3).
Not following these instructions can result in lost mail and lost packages.
In addition, if you learn how all this work, you will be able to read the Italian addresses correctly and figure out what they mean.
Would you like to know more about the Italian language and culture?
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