Bologna Inside - Second Edition

[Skip to Page Content]



SHOPPING (See also Chapter 7)


Food shopping in the provincia can be both a great delight and frustration. The upside is the abundance of fresh, locally grown food. Local crops include cereals (oats, wheat, corn and barley), industrial crops (sugar beets, hemp, sunflower and soy) and a variety of fruits and vegetables. The meat at your local butcher is likely just that - local. The province also has a host of farm-based fruit and vegetable vendors that have permanent stands and sell their own produce, marked with the word nostrano (ours). If you feel comfortable going from shop to shop you can get almost all fresh, local foods. If you really want to fit in, find out which day of the week the local market takes place and do your shopping there.


If you prefer one-stop shopping, there is likely to be a COOP supermarket where you can now find taco shells, soy sauce and other so-called ethnic foods. Each COOP has a buying manager, so you can make special requests about items you’d like to see on the shelves.You may have to promise to then purchase the four packs of tofu a month, but it saves you a trip into the city. Similarly, ask your local fruttivendolo (produce vendor) if he or she will provide special items, such as avocados or cilantro, you do not see displayed. Most are willing to pick up your request for you the next morning.


Once they know you, province shopkeepers will often wave you off with a polite “la prossima volta” if you are a few cents short. Keep this charming tradition alive by actually paying the shopkeeper back on your next visit. Note: some small establishments in the province may not accept credit or bancomat (debit) cards.