Tag Archives: Specialty food shopping

A Simple Life

2 Jul

In Cortona, shopping for one’s daily needs is simple…no megastores, no supermarkets, and no chain stores. What does exist are merchants who tend to specialize, thus offer great quality at reasonable prices. Meat and poultry are generally purchased at the macelleria, or butcher shop, and there are a few in town. Fish and seafood is less easily available, but the fish monger comes to town once a week and fish is available at the Saturday market.         Bread can be purchased directly from the panettiere, or baker, as well as local venues he supplies early in the morning. His shop is directly behind our house, so just about every night we fall asleep to the scent of fresh bread baking in the ovens.

Fresh fruit and vegetables are available at a few locations…two stores and one pop-up market only open in the morning, spread out in an area that becomes a restaurant later in the day.


Dry goods, canned goods, deli meats and cheeses, paper and cleaning products, frozen and dairy items, etc., can be found at one of the two markets in town: Molessini and the Mini-Market.

Pharmaceuticals, baby products, healthcare items, etc. are available at the local Pharmacia, and they are easily identifiable as they have a green cross in front.

The Tabacchi or tobacco shops sell newspapers, magazines, bus and train tickets, maps, gum, candy, and an assortment of tourist items and toys.


Bars, cafés, and enotecas offer everything from morning coffee and pastry to light lunch and dinner with full bar, and I mean full.  You can sit in or out.


The best part is that you buy only what you can carry as you walk everywhere. That of course means that everything you eat is fresh, and so delicious. Makes grocery shopping fun!

Not to be left out is the gelato. Ice cream is available at two gelaterias in town…a great way to stroll and end the evening.

How I am dreading “super” markets back home. Super is definitely not always better, just big, big, bigger! Is there a future for “Simplemarkets” in the US? Probably not, but a good reason to travel!



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