Greetings cards are not big business here. Italians don't exchange cards like we do, for special occasions they either give a gift and/or call/visit/text etc to say auguri (best wishes).
In England instead there's a card for everything and a card shop on every high street. People give a card for every event - new house, belated birthday, new job, leaving job etc. I enjoy browsing through the cards in Clintons/Hallmark/WHSmiths etc and having a good chuckle at the cards. Some can be really funny.
Yesterday I went to buy my Dad a card for his approaching birthday. I went to the cartoleria (stationers) and browsed through the small collection whilst the shop assistant kept a careful eye on me, just in case I wanted to shove one in my bag without paying. It's not that I look like a criminal, this is normal behaviour in small shops here. Anyway, whereas in Clintons I'd have a laugh at the cards, here they just don't have that effect. It could be different senses of humour I suppose, I mean, I can understand the Italian, so the language is not the problem...Sometimes I wonder if maybe there is double meaning to what I've read which would make an Italian recipient laugh out loud.
The one I went for - ie, the best one in my opinion, read the following: "Buon compleanno" (so far so good), then inside "Goditi questo giorno e... attenzione al tuo equilbrium!" translated: "Enjoy today and... be careful you don't fall over" :| Does that make anyone laugh? Is it meant to I ask myself? I didn't bother to translate it for Dad as I don't think there's much point, he's not missing much by not understanding. He'll understand the "Buon Compleanno" which is the important bit.
Card in hand, I've completed half the battle of getting a card to England. The next hurdle is to find a postage stamp - the times I go to the tabacchi - who is supposed to sell stamps amongst other things - I ask for a stamp and he says "niente francobolli". Then finally to I have to go to a main post office (out of my way) to post it. If you post a card from a random box it will take from 2 weeks to forever to arrive, whereas if I post from a central post office it will take from 4 days to forever to arrive.