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Food Shopping in Italy - Italian Grocery Shopping Guide

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Getting Food and Groceries in Italian Stores and Markets
open air market, fivizzano italy

Vegetables at an open air market in Fivizzano, Italy.

Italy Picture © James Martin, Europe for Visitors
This food shopping guide will take you step-by-step into the world of shopping in Italy--from supermarkets to small, neighborhood stores called alimentari and open air market stalls.

Why do you need to know about grocery shopping? Well, the best way to save money in Italy is to buy picnic ingredients and walk to a park or nearby piazza to consume them. Italy is full of small stores where you can buy salami, ham, cheese, great breads, and wine or water for far less than you'll pay in a restaurant. Plus, if you've taken the slow travel route and have rented an apartment or country house for a week (our favorite way of spending time in Italy), you might feel like assembling a snack or a small meal to eat on the terrace.

Shopping is very simple, but different in some small but important ways you might not be used to.

The picture below, the open air market held on Wednesdays in Fivizzano, a town in Italy's Lunigiana region, shows people doing something considered very, very bad if you don't have permission. Do you know what it is?

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