I have a confession to make.  I love grocery stores.  It’s not what you think so don’t get me wrong.  I’m not into Food Lion, but put me overseas just about anywhere, and my favorite place is the grocery store, second only to pharmacies (culture is much farther down the list, sorry).  So having spent the better part of last week in Italy, I visited many little (and I mean little) grocery stores, and a few larger ones like Despar, Bitta and others with seemingly no name in Venice and Rome.

Now I said earlier I was a snob (of sorts) having traveled extensively overseas, except South America and Africa (but I’m working on it!) and there’s nothing like a good gourmet store, and yes, we visited Castroni, Volpetti et al., but there is no denying that the ‘mundane’ grocery store is where it’s at, people!  Not only do you save yourself enormous piles of euros by shopping where the locals do, but you are also purchasing exactly what Italians buy.  Take a look at my candy/sweets haul from several different grocery stores and feast your eyes on the fun finds that perusing the foreign candy aisles will turn up (my teens thank me)…

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