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Italian Vegetables


There is nothing like getting a large shipping box delivered from Italy (unless it is one of dirty clothes I have mailed home to myself). It is like an early Christmas, because after almost 2 months, you have ALMOST forgotten what you purchased.

Once I got the box open, I dealt with styrofoam popcorn, LOTS of it. That stuff gets EVERYWHERE: the floor, the counter, my hair... it is messy!


I looked at the photos I took in the shop in Nove, outside Bassano del Grappa. I should have had 15 little items (9 veggies and a few small serving items). But there were 17 things bubble wrapped, and one was quite large.


Sometimes ceramics shops put in an extra small item as a "regalo", or gift. That explained the set of ceramic salad utensils. I unwrapped everything that was mine, and nothing was broken or damaged. Now, what was in the BIG package?

It was a three sectioned serving plate, like 3 clam shells attached at the top with a "coral" handle. I didn't order this, so someone else's order must have gotten mixed up with mine. What to do?

A. Keep it and say nothing?
B. Ship it back to Italy?
C. Give it as a gift?
D. Sell it on E-Bay?


I went with "None of the Above": The next morning, at 6 a.m. California time, I called the shop. This conversation was all in Italian: "Good afternoon, this is Palma Hansen from California. You shipped me a box of things I bought in September." At this point the woman said, "Oh yes, Senora Hansen. Is something broken?" I replied, "No everything is perfect, but I got one large plate that is not mine. It is like three small white plates together with coral. It must belong to someone else."

The woman was SO SHOCKED I called. She kept saying, no, she did not want me to ship it back, it was their mistake, and they hoped I would enjoy it. She said several times, how kind and thoughtful and courteous I was was to call, that no one would bother to do this, and she hoped I would return to the shop on another visit!

All's well that ends well, and I love my Italian veggie platter! Anybody love coral?


Comments (8)


hi palma,
i love reading you blog, it is in my favorites...i do have many questions for you about your travels...i have been to italy 6 times in these past 5 years. reason is, 2 of my children attend the american university in rome. one of them has graduated and the other is in her last year. i would love to talk to you about buying and shipping things back from italy to the usa. i will be traveling to italy on thursday. i want to purchase a few things and would like to know about how much it cost to ship them back...thank you so much,liz


And I love your Italian veggie platter too -- it's gorgeous!

Your Italian veggies are adorable!

And the large dish is pretty too. I love the coral (pretty close to orange)!

You know, of course, that if the shipping error had happened in the US, the merchant would want the item shipped back. Gotta love Italians!


Great story! Love the veggies - the coral, maybe not so much... :)


Good for you for calling! I would have, too. Love your blog - and your new beauties from Italy.

Shelagh (SJ):

Another great story!
I think the coral-handled dish would look pretty maybe in a bathroom? Full of lovely Italian soaps?!

Good for you for calling, I would have as well. It is a sad commentary on society in general that the shop keeper would be shocked at your honesty.

I love the veggies and the platter!

I would have called as well. I wasn't charged for an item in a dept. store the other day so I went back to pay for it. They were so apprecitive that they gave me an additional 20% off which was already on sale 30%.

I love your veggies.

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