Contrary to popular belief, you can find supermarkets all over Venice.They vary in size and content but offer the same convenience and value for money that you would find in your local supermarket at home.
In keeping with a worldwide trend, Venetian supermarkets are now stocking their own Home Brand items. The quality varies from excellent to hideous so buyer beware As far as other commercial products are concerned, there are some slight differences of course. You will not find peanut butter and jelly, dozens of varieties of cereals or bread in plastic bags, but is this a bad thing? Instead you find gourmet quality jams, pastries, ice cream, fruit, vegetables, butter and cheeses for a great price. Often you will find that they are on sale. Freshly baked Italian breads, cold cuts and olives make a great picnic meal in your room for next to nothing. You can even buy delicious ready-made sandwiches and salads. In addition, you can also find shampoo, washing liquid, toothpaste, moisturiser and even good quality wine available.
You will find both heat treated milk and fresh milk in store. Heat treated milk is normally packaged in a heavy plastic white bottle or a cardboard carton.
Supermarket trolleys are normally chained to one another at the front of the store. To access a trolley, deposit a 1 Euro coin into the slot on the handle. When the coin is deposited the chain is released and you can pull the trolley free. When you finish shopping, simply return the trolley to the front of the store and join the chain from the last trolley in the storage area into the slot in your trolley. When this happens, your coin is released.
Fruit and vegetables are a great find in Italian supermarkets. They are normally of very high quality and you will find many varieties on sale. To purchase fruit and vegetables, take the amount of the fruit or vegetable you require and place into a plastic bag. Some supermarkets require you to use the provided plastic gloves to even touch the produce! Take the bag to the weighing machine that will be located nearby and place on the scale, enter the name of your choice (you will find that pictures are often used to make life easier) into the machine and a ticket will be released stating the weight and price. Place the sticker on your bag and then pay for it with your items at checkout.
Plastic bags have a tricky way of tearing at the worst possible moments and in addition, you are also expected to pay for them. To make life easier, buy a foldable tote size nylon bag and use it to pack your items. Italian supermarkets require you to pack your own bags. This is not necessarily a bad thing, who wants to find crushed biscuits at the bottom of their bag?
Alimentari & Salumeria
Small Grocery Stores/Corner Shops/Delis
Sadly, with the rise of generic supermarkets with their generic stock, the local corner store/alimentari is slowly disappearing in Venice. It is sad to see local stores of over 50 years standing suddenly close to make way for yet more tourist accommodation. These smaller stores offer the visitor a great opportunity to buy local produce in a charming, welcoming environment
So with that in mind grocery stores or alimentari are smaller shops that sell a variety of food items. When you enter, greet the shopkeeper with ‘Buongiorno’. If you show some eagerness to speak the language, you will find the staff can be a great help. Usually there will be a wide choice of cheeses, wine and cold cuts along with freshly baked bread. Everyday basics can also be found but you will pay more for them than at the supermarket. Ask the shopkeeper for assistance if you wish to purchase any fruit or vegetables because it is not customary to handle these goods in alimentari. The difference between an alimentari and a salumeria is that the alimentari is more like a small corner grocery store and a salumeria is more like a deli. There is usually a cross over between the two so you could probably find everything you need at either.
Organic Grocery Stores
Happily you will find a couple of Free standing organic stores in Venice.the Santa Croce & San Marco area aswell as on the Lido.Confusingly you will also find organic grocery items in an Erboristeria.What is an Erboristeria I hear you say? Basically it is a herbal store.that sells tea ,soaps tintures etc BUT many,not all have organic groceries.Some have a lot of stock while others,have little more than lentils & whole grains.We have identified the erboristeria that have grocery items & the ones that are basically selling soaps,teas tintures etc
Organic stores sell everything you would expect to find gluten free,dairy free,macrobiotic products salt free. Don’t forget supermarkets also stock organic items,& most companies will have a largish area dedicated to these products
Fruit & Veg
Most of the fruit & veg shops are not in a shop front.They sell of a stand in the street & at the end of the day it is all packed up with no evidence of it ever existing! Unlike it is a t home .it is not acceptable for you to handle the fruit & veg & serve yourself.You will need to wait to be attended to & remember that digging thru & looking for the best fruit & veg is an insult to the proprietor…all there stuff is fresh & fantastic! There is a fruit & veg store in the Dorsoduro that not only sells from a shop front but of a barge aswell. It is normal good quality,& fresh ie the apples have not been refrigerated for months. Worth the expensive …yes
To sum up
Supermarket hours vary depending on size and location. The usual hours for a larger supermarket are 8.00am-8.00pm Monday to Saturday and 9.00am-1.00pm on Sundays. Alimentari,a small Grocery store is usually open twice a day in the morning and late afternoon.and will be closed on Sundays.All hours where possible have been listed
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