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Tough question for residents of Italy

Philadelphia Area
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2,150 posts
63 reviews
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Tough question for residents of Italy

I just came back from my 5th trip to Italy. There was an Italian Government worker who has been SO nice to me. I am a photographer and she has helped me obtain permits and has more than gone out of her way to help me since I have been home. She is seriously the nicest person I never met.

In America, government workers get terminated if they accept gifts over $10. Everything over $10 must be given to charity. I would like to send this lady a gift card or gift for well over $10. However, I don't want her to lose her job if Italian workers are under the same rule. Can anyone help me?

Milan, Italy
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1. Re: Tough question for residents of Italy

Hi there,

go on with your gift: in Italy even politicians accept "gifts" (money or things) without ever losing their positions. Besides, if a gift comes from a foreigner, nobody is going to think about corruption (which is, as I said, ordinary stuff anyway).

Castellina in...
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3,347 posts
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2. Re: Tough question for residents of Italy

If it's sent to her private address, there's no connection with her work. Afterall, she also probably has a birthday! A municipal architect near here (not Castellina) got six months behind bars for taking "gifts" but that was comparatively big stuff. So don't go tipping municipal nor government officials in their offices!

FF
Milan, Italy
Destination Expert
for Milan, Genoa, Valle d'Aosta
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3. Re: Tough question for residents of Italy

#1's reply is a typical case of Italians' self-thrashing attitude that I cordially dislike.

No, bribes are not the rule here. But I see no problem sending a gift privately as #2 suggested.

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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4. Re: Tough question for residents of Italy

Ethically, I can see a difference between making (or promising) a gift before a decision is taken, as against making an unexpected gift after the decision is made.

In this case, the government worker helped you without there being any expectation that she would receive any reward. If you send a gift to her home address, I cannot see there is anything ethically wrong with that.

Upper Maremma...
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5. Re: Tough question for residents of Italy

Don't send money though, she might appreciate more a little gift, even only worth 10 dollars.

Philadelphia Area
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6. Re: Tough question for residents of Italy

Do you think she would think it's weird if I asked her for her private address? Also, I can't figure out what to buy her, I never met her. We only spoke on the phone for a minute and we correspond mostly through email. I think she is in her 40's from her voice. What would an Italian in her mid-40's like as a gift? Suggestions???

Montreal
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17,790 posts
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7. Re: Tough question for residents of Italy

I have no gift suggestions, but you presumably know her first and last name and the town/city where she lives. She might be listed in the Italian White Pages: www.paginebianche.it

If she is, send her an email telling her you took the liberty of looking up her private address (check that it's the correct one), because you wish to send her a small gift. She can hardly object; it's public knowledge.

Philadelphia Area
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63 reviews
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8. Re: Tough question for residents of Italy

There is more than 1 listed and I just have her work and cell phone number, so I can't match up the home phone to make sure it is the correct one. She is sending me a package, so maybe she will have her home address on that. I will have to wait and see.

9. Re: Tough question for residents of Italy

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