Traveling and postal systems
Wait a minute Mr. Postman...Or possibly even six weeks: Mailing letters on the road, receiving mail while traveling, and postal systems in Europe
There really is quite little to say about the mail in Europe—except that you should call it "post," some variant on which is the word for it in most European languages.
You can get stamps not only at post offices, but at most tobacconists, and many newsstands—if you're in a major city or touristy area, they'll all know just exactly how much it'll cost you to send a postcard or a letter to your home country. Just hold us your five postcards and say "To USA?"
How long it'll take the get there, on the other hand, is a different story. Though things are a lot better than they were even five years ago, when six weeks wasn't uncommon for mail to get from Mediterranean countries to America, the post can still be mighty slow, especially to a culture increasingly conditioned to the near instantaneous satisfaction that e-mail can provide.
If you need to receive mail in Europe
You can have mail sent to any local post office in Europe (find addresses from the box above to the right) addressed to your name followed by the words "POSTE RESTANTE." They'll hold it at the main post office in town; you'll have to pay a small fee to pick it up.
American Express cardholders can get a similar mail holding service free of charge if there's an AMEX office in the city you will be visiting (www.americanexpress.com).