Here are some great places to shop for food in ten of Italy’s most visited cities. In this article we have concentrated on speciality foods of the type you might want to take home with you rather than on everyday food shopping. We have not mentioned markets as we’re planning a separate article on these.
Franchi, Via Cola di Rienzo, 200, Roma.
Established in 1925, this is a gourmet store stocking Italian and international food. It has a stunning array of salami and cheeses plus a take-away section where you can buy speciality Roman foods including the establishment’s signature dish, Roman supplì. There is also a stand-up bar. The British chef Jamie Oliver lists this store among his favourites.
Gastronomia Volpetti, Via Mormorata, 47, Testaccio, Roma.
Volpetti also stock national and international foods and are proud of the high quality of their many breads and sweet dishes which are made on the premises. They will vacuum-pack cheeses and salami for travellers.
I Tre Mercanti, Campo della Guerra Castello, 5364, Venezia.
Food is not the first souvenir you would think of if you are visiting Venice and the city does not have a food production tradition. However, if you want to delight your eyes and your soul it is worth visiting I Tre Mercanti, which was the inspiration of Roberto Caruti, a Gucci employee. He wanted to set up a beautiful food shop in Venice and did so in 2007. The shop stocks the best food products from all over Italy and will ship worldwide.
Gastronomia Tassini, Borgo SS. Apostoli, 24/r, Firenze.
Situated near the Ponte Vecchio, the Gastronomia Tassini offers Tuscan and other traditional Italian foods, specialising in cold cuts, cheeses, truffle products and wines.
Pane & Co, Piazza S.Firenze, 5/r, Firenze.
Pane & Co offers Tuscan specialities such as Colonnata lard [a kind of bacon] pecorino cheese from San Gimignano and Pienza and hams from Pratomagno. They stock a wide range of truffles, oils and balsamic vinegars and bake bread in wood-fired ovens. The staff are happy for you to browse.
Peck, Via Spadari No 9, 20123, Milano.
Established in 1883 when Francesco Peck from Prague opened a salumeria in Milan, Peck is now Milan’s “temple of gastronomy”, stocking everything from jam to foie gras. It has an extensive wine cellar and stocks a wide range of hams, cheeses, pasta sauces, spices and honeys. There are at least twenty-five types of local salame to choose from. There is a charge for vacuum-packing.
Dolce Idea, Via Chiaia, 35, Via Pietro Castellino, 132, Vomero, Via Bonito, 2, Via San Liborio, 2, and Via De Lorenzo, 24, Napoli.
Situated near Piazza del Plebiscito, this is a traditional chocolate shop. Some specialities are chocolate-coated cherries, liqueur chocolates and white chocolate products. The stores sell chocolate copies of espresso makers and you can even order chocolate copies of Neapolitan buildings.
Salumeria Albertini, Corso Sant’Anastasia, 41, Verona.
Established in 1839, this shop’s window displays and the tubs of wine bottles outside will surely attract you. It stocks fish specialities, regional cheeses, hand-made pasta, a wide variety of hams, panettoni and fine wines.
Eataly, Via Nizza, 230/4, Torino.
Eataly, “the largest food and wine market in the world”, opened in a former Turin vermouth factory in 2007. Its motto is “alti cibi” or “fine foods”. The top floor of its Turin premises is now a vermouth museum and the rest of the 27,000 square feet of space is devoted to food and wine. Besides food sales points, Eataly comprises eight themed restaurants, two bars, a gelateria and educational areas. Eataly now has outlets in Bologna, Milan, Asti, Pinerolo, Tokyo and New York. The Slow Food Movement acts as an adviser to Eataly.
Paolo Atti e Figli, Via Caprarie 7 and Via Drapperie, 8, Bologna.
This famous family store established in 1880 continues to produce and sell its own pasta, bread and pastries. It is reputed to sell the best tortellini in Bologna. Its most requested product is the certosino, a bolognese Christmas cake.
Panificio Vacca Angelo & C, Via San Carlo 1, Bologna.
Said to be the best bakery in Bologna, this shop is famous for its streghe, savoury biscuits flavoured with sesame seeds, rosemary or pepper.
Augusta Perusia Cioccolato e Gelateria, Via Pinturicchio 2, Perugia.
Augusta Perusia is a former Perugino employee who set up his own chocolate shop in 2000. The chocolates are handmade to traditional methods and come flavoured with hazelnuts, almonds, pinenuts and liqueurs among other tastes. Boxes of chocolates are decorated with old pictures of the town. After you’ve done your gift-shopping here, why not enjoy an ice cream?
Pietro Romanengo fu Stefano, Via Soziglia 74r and Via Roma 51r, Genova.
“Pietro Romanengo, son of the late Stefano” – this is the name that Pietro Romanengo gave to his store when he registered it in 1814, to ensure that his father’s name would live on. In 1853 the Gazzetta di Genova described the Via Soziglia store as “ a priceless jewel” and, indeed, the confectionary it produces resembles jewels today. The store makes and sells the candied fruit for which Genoa is famous, along with fruit and flower preserves, chocolates, fondants, dragées, sweets and desserts. The store’s quaresimali biscuits, eaten at Lent and Easter, are legendary.
We hope you have enjoyed our food shop tour.