Grocery Shopping in Italy

Grocery Shopping in Italy: An Experience all its Own

Grocery shopping in Italy

Grocery shopping in Italy is quite a pleasant activity rather than being just another chore to add to your list. The shopping experience is part of the country's charm. Of course, Italy does have many large, modern supermarkets, but it's the cozy little shops and markets that make shopping such a delight. Many people choose to forego the chore of supermarket shopping and instead enjoy the personal service and human interaction experienced while shopping at fruit stands and local vendors.

A street market in Napoli

Meeting the people is also part of the pleasure. Shoppers and merchants are very friendly and helpful. Listening to their stories, perhaps learning how a shop has been passed down through the generations, or simply exchanging a few words about the weather makes the experience so much more enjoyable.

Shopping ItalyThe proprietors literally dote on customers, and go out of their way to make sure each person finds everything he or she needs. Service is usually on a first come first serve basis, so patiently wait your turn. It will be worth the wait.

Do not try to rush the shop owner through waiting on someone ahead of you. It is considered bad manners and you may offend them. A good rule of thumb is not to attempt shopping the markets or vendors if you are in a hurry. Go when you have plenty of time to enjoy the experience and time to be pampered by the shopkeepers.

Purchasing your food in the shops and markets also helps support the community. Vendors pride themselves on offering the freshest and most delicious fruits and vegetables, breads, cheeses, and olives, and many of them rely on the incomes they earn.

Remember that shops close each day for an afternoon break but open again later and stay open into the evening hours. Check the hours before planning a shopping outing.

Make sure you can find shops and markets okay, so you do not miss any of the best ones. They are often scattered amongst houses and other buildings rather than being all lined up, as you might expect. If you are not careful, you might pass a shop up without even realizing it. Be sure to ask around and locate all the shops that interest you before setting out.


There are also lots of villages that do not have any shops, so either make sure a village nearby does, or plan a day to shop other villages. Shopping in Italy is an experience you will not soon forget. In fact, it may spoil you for regular grocery shopping. When you are ready to return home, you will wish you could do your shopping in Italy first. You will never see your local supermarket the same way