Pricing Italy & Area


Image result for italian stampsOne of the most interesting and specialized areas of philately is the Italian area. Italian philately comprises several main areas of interest—Italian States, Italy proper, Italian Offices and Colonies, and philatelic areas traditionally allied with Italy, such as San Marino and the Vatican. There are tens of thousands of Italian area stamps to collect, and specialists count over 150,000 varieties of Italian area stamps.Rarities exist, but the vast majority of Italian area stamps are affordable and fun to collect. There is no other area of our hobby that offers so much breadth and depth at such an affordable price.

Image result for italian states stampsItalian States were among the first stamps produced by any postal agency in the world, beginning in the 1850s. Before the Italian Federation under Garibaldi united Italy into one country, Italy was made up of many independent nations that controlled their own borders, maintained armies, and issued postage stamps. Today, the classic stamps of Modena, Parma, Sardinia, Tuscany, the Papal States, and others are avidly  sought out by collectors. Many are expensive, but many too, despite being over 150 years old, are affordable for all collectors. The stamps of the Italian States were superseded in1863 by the stamps of Italy proper.
The country of Italy has issued several thousand stamps, and they are divided by collectors into several main areas. Most collectors collect either mint or used stamps. The early issues of Italy are very affordable, as are many of the twentieth century issues. Some of the commemorative issues of the twentieth century (especially the airmails) are far rarer used than mint. There are a few rarities, but overall the stamps of Italy are an attractive and obtainable collection.
Image result for italian colonies stampsThe Colonies and Offices of Italy are very interesting. Like most other nineteenth century European powers, Italy had imperialist aspirations. Italy maintained post offices in numerous cities in the Turkish Empire and in China, and these are some of the most sought after issues in all philately. Italy had colonies as well, especially in Libya and Somalia, and like any good imperial power, Italy broke these colonial entities into numerous stamp issuing components, such asOltra Guiba, Cyrenaica, and Tripolitania. Italy fought constantly with the Austro-Hungarian Empire throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, each country occupying, ceding, and then reoccupying areas, such as Fiume andDalmatia, that no longer have postal issues of their own. These areas are collected under Italian philately and are very interesting.
Image result for vatican city francis stampLastly, two traditionally independent countries are also collected by Italian philatelists—San Marino and the Vatican. San Marino, totally encompassed by Italy, is one of the world’s oldest and smallest republics, being established for centuries. Its postage stamps have always been among the world’s most popular. And Vatican City, occupying a portion of Rome nearly continuously for over 1,900 years, has only issued postage stamps as the Vatican since 1929. All told, Italian area philately has as much to offer as any area of our hobby, and it has been one of the most popular branches of philately for over 100 years.
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