Global Tax Refund

This is something off topic ... some experience in Italy.

When you purchase certain amount of item in European countries you are entitled to get the 12% VAT tax refund when you leave the last European country ... sounds terrific idea, right?

In reality, it's very hard to get it because you can only do it at the airport where you are leaving Europe, you need to get the receipt stamped at the custom with your original item checked, you might need to find out where is the refund counter and most importantly, you might not have enough time between your international flights ...

My wife and I enjoyed our Christmas vacation in Venice and Rome and we did buy some items ... we could not get the tax refund a Rome airport and we can only get the receipt stamped in Frankfurt airport ... our flight delayed so we have barely 1.5 hours, when we got there we asked where the tax refund office was and we got different answers from different people so we just walked around with all of baggage ... from terminal A to terminal B and finally found the custom office for tax refund ... I saw one lady came out of the custom office in tears and I asked her what happened, she told me that it took her more than one hour to find this custom office and she almost gave up the tax refund!!!

We managed to get our refund and get on our airplane back SFO ... It's been a while I travel outside US and when I got home I felt I do not have any complaint anymore, home sweet home and US is the best country to live in.