Shopping for Household Products and Groceries in Rome

Shopping for general needs in Italy can at first a very different experience - but once you figure out how it works you will find it is actually logical and works just like it use to back home in years gone by. So here is a quick rundown on a few of the different types of shops (Italian: Shop: negozio / Shops: negozi (neh-goh-tsee-oh / neh-goh-tsee), that you’ll need on a daily basis.Groceries


An alimentaria (alee-mayn-taree-ah) is a smaller general store which often holds a selection of foods that are ‘basic daily needs’ but it can also hold very  high quality cured meats, cheeses and maybe even handmade pasta’s. The deli selection will be full of delicious choices of meat, cheese, olives and more.  There could also be a dozen types of pesto, for example, and since "pesto" merely means "paste" you can imagine the wonderful tastes and healthy combinations that have been invented over the years.


Most of the time when you have made your selection you’ll be handed a docket and asked to pay at the cassa: kahs-sah, the ‘cash register’ which normally is situated near the exit of alimentari, so you pay and then go back and pick up your produce. It is the same in bread shops Panetteria as well, your local panetteria may sell cakes and small biscuits by weight as well but if you’re looking for a serious cake shop you’ll be needing a bakery or pasticceria: pahs-teech-cheh-ree-ah.



Supermarkets  supermercato: soopayr-mayr-kato  in Italy are as they are everywhere else in the world but usually they have 99% food and beverages.  You don’t always find cooking utensils, pots and pans and other kitchen needs here. In Italy there are shops dedicated to this and they are called Casalinghi: ka-sa-ling-gee, here you’ll be able to find all of the coffee pots, cooking utensils, spice jars, bathroom accessories, etc, and incidentally there are always a lot of good gift ideas to be found in these shops.


Open air markets, mercati: mehr-kah-tee, are a fun experience and generally stock a very wide range of needs from fruits and vegetables to meat and fish, as well as antiques, clothes, household goods, and nic nacs.


International Food Shops

Super Markets in Rome

Castroni – is a chain of great international food stores and with coffee specialists. Castroni sells classic food that you’ll miss from back home like baked beans, pancake mix and HP sauce. They always have a fine (though expensive) collection of artisan liquors as well as cheeses, hams, salames, and the like.


Another place to get international food is in the Conad supermarket on the underground level of Termini Station, while outside Termini on the Via Giolitti side you'll find Rome's most international neighborhood all based around Piazza Vittorio Emanuele – with Chinese, Korean, African and Indian supermarkets and fast food, and some of the best kebabs in town.


And if your in trastevere by Piazza di San Cosimato there as a great shop on via Natale di Grandi  31, “Giancarlo E Giovanni” you can find a wide range of international items, teas, peanut butters, etc.


Good luck with your household goods shopping in Rome!  And let us know if you find any good spots that should be added to our list - just visit our contact page here.