Grocery Shopping

We thought it would be fun to show you some of the realities of living in Florence.  While we would rather see the beautiful art, eat the wonderful food, and walk around this gorgeous city; we do have to keep up with our regular chores.  So we had to do some grocery shopping this morning, and here is what it is like.

Throughout the city of Florence, there are numerous bakeries, cheese shops, produce shops, and butchers.  There are many close to our apartment.  We visit these almost daily to get some of our food, but we also visit our local supermarket to do our general grocery shopping. 

While the supermarkets here are as close to one-stop shopping as it gets, they are not anywhere near the size of supermarkets in the U.S.  The supermarket we go to is about a five  minute walk from our apartment, and it is about the size of a Sheetz convenience store back home.  There are larger supermarkets in Florence than the one we go to, but even the large supermarkets here are small by our standards.

This is what the our Meta grocery store looks like from the street (the door is on the right by the red car):

Below is the produce department at the grocery store – note our little cart at the bottom of the picture.  That’s what we use!  Most people do small shopping trips because you walk to this grocery store and you have to carry everything home.  Remember our 61 steps?  It’s a lot of work carrying our groceries home!

You can also see the scale on the left of the picture.  You have to put a plastic glove on before you pick your produce, put what you want in a plastic bag, weigh it on the scale, press the correct code, and then print out a sticker with the price. 

Here is the entire meat, cheese, and dairy aisle.  Frozen foods are in the case to the right.  The colorfully wrapped things in the front of this picture are chocolate eggs for Easter.  Kids here get big chocolate eggs on Easter that are hollow with some sort of surprise inside!  And they’ve recently appeared in all of the supermarkets. 

Here is the water and soda aisle.  Bottled water is actually much cheaper here than in the U.S.  There is no Diet Coke – it’s called Coke Light and it tastes more like Coke Zero (although there is Coke Zero too).  So Maria went through serious withdrawal as she doesn’t like Coke Light (it’s too sweet).  

Of course in this small store there is an entire aisle dedicated to pasta!

Barilla is popular, but we like this Garofalo pasta. 

There aren’t as many jarred sauces – most Italians make their sauce from scratch.  We use a Barilla Basilico sauce when we are looking for a fast meal. 

And you can even find some decent wine in the supermarket!

Now here are some of the products we buy.  Special K Italian style – with some dark chocolate shavings!  It is so good!

I love these – great to break up and put in yogurt!

Here’s some peach and apricot yogurt:

Here is our skim milk – it only comes in these one-liter containers.  With two growing boys, we go through them quickly! 

And finally, a carton of eggs.  They are all brown and fresh.  Maria makes a great omelette!  Note that the expiration date on this package is 01/04.  That doesn’t mean that it is old (January 4th)!  It means April 1st, as the date is put before the month here!

Hope you’ve enjoyed the Florence grocery shopping tour!


One Response to “Grocery Shopping”

  1. Grandma Says:

    Liked the grocery shopping tour! A lot like the shopping in Geneva near the UN complex. I would not use a cart so I wouln’t get more than I could carry. Would also would have to plan on the stores being closed on Sunday. What I got a kick out of there was the amount of Weight Watchers products on the shelves when space was at a prieum!

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