Bologna Inside - Second Edition

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7 > SHOPPING

SHOPPING ETIQUETTE

DON’T TOUCH THE PRODUCE

The rule, whether in your local market or a superstore, is that fruit and vegetables must not come into direct contact with your hands until after purchase. When in smaller shops, you often end up having to point to the object you desire. The supermarket will provide you with oversized plastic gloves to wear while handling produce.

“ALTRO”

When a shopkeeper says, “altro?” in an inquisitive tone, what they’re really asking is, “Do you want anything else?” If you don’t want anything else from that particular shopkeeper, an affirmative “altro” is the only proper response. This is a Bolognese-ism that baffles people from other parts of Italy.

RECEIPTS AND RETURNS

It is actually illegal to leave a shop without a receipt and both you and the shopkeeper can be fined by the Guardia di Finanza (Finance Police) if caught within five meters of the scene of a transaction without one. With a receipt, some stores accept returns within 15 days, usually for store credit. Otherwise, there is no cure for buyer’s remorse.