You’re getting closer to your deadline, and it’s almost time to set up shop in Italy, but where do you go to find your daily food? Do you go to an Italian supermarket to find some of the ingredients you need to make that famous Italian food at home? Or do you go to an Italian food market? How will you ever choose and how will you ever know where you can find a Farmers Market in Italy?

That’s where I come in and tell you what to do (or at least what I would do). When you have to buy Italian food you have to keep in mind that freshness is the real deal-breaker when you’re trying to make something amazing for your friends, or your family that came to visit. So, how are you going to go food shopping in Italy if you’re used to going to the supermarket? Well, one thing you can do is go to a supermarket, there are a lot of different ones, but the main ones you’ll find in all of Italy are Conad, Coop, Esselunga, and Pam. These are the Italian Supermarket chains, you’ll also find a variety of European ones like Lidl, and Carrefour, but we’re talking about Italy so let’s concentrate on those. The main thing about supermarkets in Italy isn’t the convenience, but rather the fish section.

The Fish section in Italian supermarkets is something that all the old ladies know about, and they also know which one is better than the next one, it’s like the Fishmonger wars, but at a metaphysical level, it’s pretty odd, but lucky for you this mean that when you don’t want to spend a lot of money on fish, you can get it at a supermarket and you’ll be sure it’s gonna be good. So, when you need to go on a fish run during your Italian food shop that’s where you go. Even though I’m pretty sure that if you’re on a student budget fish is probably not on your Italian food shopping list.

Now let’s look at something more organic, somewhere you can buy organic Italian food. I’m sure in some supermarket they have an organic section but don’t fall for it, cause nothing beats the authenticity of an Italian food market. Let’s take the Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio (a food market Florence Italy) in which you’ll find all the fresh fruit and veggies of the season. Remember the place is so organic that they only sell what is in season, cause they can’t produce what isn’t in season. A good thing to do is just ask what food to buy in Italy at the people at the stand, and if you’re lucky enough that they speak English than bam they’ll tell you to get this, that, and this. Another market to keep in mind is the Mercato Ittico di Rialto (a food market Venice Italy), a historic fish market in the city on the water, so even if you don’t want to spend that cash, you can always just look around, plus they actually have some pretty fresh fishies to buy.

Per usual I haven’t answered your question regarding where to shop in Italy, cause I do both, I go to the supermarket if I’m missing some stuff, and if I’m not lazy on a weekend morning I’ll go to the market. Just try both and then you’ll know what is the best place to food shop.