Kids Europe Newsletter - Small Shops in Italy
Pleasures in Small Shops
Doing your daily shopping in many different shops can be an
interesting and fun experience in Italy. Many
small shops, each specializing in one kind of
product or service, is the way things have been
done since ancient times. You can find
supermarkets and large hardware stores in Italy,
but small shops predominate in cities and
villages. Try to skip impersonal supermarkets and
enjoy the warm and pleasurable experience of
shopping the old- fashioned way.
newsletter touches on the advantages of shopping
in small shops, a little "how to", and
some fun activities. You'll also find a great
review of our book and a profile of a vacation
castle in Chianti.
Advantages of Small Shops
The shopkeeper is an expert
Italians do food shopping on an almost daily
basis. If you visit or stay in an Italian house or
apartment, you'll see that refrigerators are tiny.
They save space and energy, but also people just
don't store a lot of fresh food. They know the
freshest food is the best and there is no doubt
that Italians know good food!
nice things about visiting small shops are:
shopkeeper is an expert on her merchandise,
don't hesitate to ask.
shopkeeper likes contact with customers, so
you have a chance to talk to a person who
wants to help you find something.
can find many interesting items to look at and
store itself may have a personality to
appreciate. It could be stuffed to the
ceiling, filled with nice displays, or appear
as if nothing has changed in 50 years.
How to Shop
Always say buon giorno
you are in Italy, take your grocery list and go
with your family to the shops to buy your items.
This is a chance to get closer to Italians and
Italian culture. Be open to a conversation, too,
if business isn't brisk. If a shopkeeper asks you
where you are from, you can answer and ask them
the same thing. You can ask about their family and
how long they have had their business. Who knows
where it will lead?
are some things to remember:
the shop keeper. Say “buon giorno” bwon
jorno in the morning, “buona sera” bwona
sarah after 1pm.
removing something from a display such as that
of fruits and vegetables, check to see if the
shopkeeper wants to do it for you. You can
just catch their eye and hesitate and they
something you need is behind the counter,
ask/point so the clerk can get it for you.
you don’t see what you want, ask the shop
keeper. You can try in English -- most
Italians study English in school -- and if
that fails, you can pantomime what you need. I
have noticed that Italian shopkeepers are
experts at discerning what foreign customers
are trying to communicate. For example, if you
are looking for a mosquito repellant, you can
buzz like a mosquito and then slap a pretend
mosquito on your arm.
if you find what you think you need, when you
go to purchase you might ask if this is a good
product and give the shopkeeper a chance to
suggest something better. You can simply ask:
"E buono?" Eh bwohno?
often stay in rental apartments and pick up
ready prepared items in rosticcerias
(rotisserie) and salumerias (delis). I usually
ask the shopkeeper to make a suggestion and
they seldom steer me wrong.
remember that this is the livelihood of the
shopkeeper, so don't unduly waste their time
without making purchases.
Now You Try...
Some Shopping Related Activities
for laughs, you can get ready for your trip to
Italy by pantomiming your shopping needs to each
other. How would you pantomime:
paper (ha ha) – learn to say "Carta
Igenica" car tah ee gen ee ka
a collection of different kinds of shops. I
started a photo collection when I was in Italy in
October and you see here some of the results. You
can write a list with an explanation beside each
type of shop; be prepared for a long one. Here's a
list to get you started:
VERDURA Fruits, vegetables
Fresh meat, salami, and sausage
Household items (get your Carta Igenica here)
Cold cuts, cheese, salami, some canned goods
take out and eat in baked and roasted foods
Foods of all kinds, a grocery store
Italy Discovery Journal Review
Parent thinks it is great!
thought the journals were great and used them as
the main guide for planning our daily activities.
Moving the focus of our trip to seeing the Italian
lifestyles and not the museums/tourist sites was
something I had not thought of and enjoyed myself
as much as seeing the sights, esp since I had been
to Italy twice before and did the tourist rat race
thing then. We esp. enjoyed the page tracking
license plates and gelatto flavors.
you are studying Italy or planning to go there,
the Italy Discovery Journal is the perfect
companion for children up to about the age of 16.
Adults, too, appreciate the insights as you can read
in comments from satisfied customers. Costing
as little as $7 for the eBook, $18 if printed, if
it brightens even a single hour of your vacation,
it has paid for itself!
La Farmacia - The Italian Pharmacy
may need to visit a pharmacy while in Italy and
will find it different than the drug stores we
have in the US. The people that work there are
very professional, all wearing white coats. Even
the women who sell cosmetics are white-smocked
professionals who will be very helpful.
you need some medicine, even over-the-counter
medicines, you probably won't find it on the
shelves, but need to consult with one of the
pharmacists. They are trained to help people find
the right medicine. Because they are well educated
in their field, they will probably understand your
description of your problem when you say it in
English. Don't hesitate to ask them; you will be
listened to attentively and will probably be given
several helpful suggestions.
you have a regular prescription, be sure to bring
it with you when you travel. You will surely be
able to fill it in Italy. The box will look
different, but the pharmacist will make sure it is
the right drug. And if you are from the US, you
will get a happy surprise at the cost of
prescriptions; they will be much less expensive
than in the US.
Stay in a Castle in Chianti, Tuscany
drove by this castle in the spring and loved the
location, so I contacted the owner to visit
Castello Niccolo last month. We were delighted to
find it an optimal family vacation spot. We are
proud to present this property to you, it has so
much to offer:
location just south of Florence in the heart
panoramic views across the hills, great
real medieval castle
buildings renovated with modern comforts
to play, romp, relax, and explore