Romes main post office, in Piazza S.Silvestro, opened at the end of December after a two-year closure for restoration and the installation of new postal facilities. It is a showcase not only of beautiful restoration but also of the best that Italys postal system (now privatised) can offer.

The building, once part of the convent attached to the church of S. Silvestro in Capite, is worth a visit just for the ceiling frescoes (which were hardly visible before the closure), its elegant cloister (used as the citys central post office since 1870 when the convent was taken over by the fledgling Italian state) and newly planted courtyard.

This elegant new post office is no longer just for mailing letters; it is also possible to pay bills here, either using the traditional counter system (take a number and wait your turn) or with easy-to-function automatic tellers if you have a Bancomat card.

In addition, there are new services such as a section for the renewal of passports. There is plenty of comfortable seating, an information desk and a post office shop, selling stationery, gifts, books and videos.

So what is missing? The beautiful old ceramic map of Rome, which has been taken into safe keeping somewhere in the city. Does anyone know where it is?