Shopping in Pescara/Chieti
First, where to shop.
A block away (on your right when you’re facing the sea) is Falcone Mini Market (Viale Alcione, 201) — they have basics if you run out of something: local olive oil, local wine, butter, milk, sliced bread (though they carry the San Carlo brand which we find too dry), plus produce — garlic, onions, different kinds of greens, whatever’s in season…
Three blocks to the left or so — and you have to cross the street — is Conad — in a basement (Viale Alcione, 22), so you might miss it if you’re driving by. It’s a mini-supermarket, larger than Falcone.
If you walk towards the back of the apartments and keep walking you’ll come to an underpass (a bit creepy but when we’re in a group it’s fine) — go through it and out — and cross another street — and you’ll come to a small shopping center. The meat shop is “Osmi Carni“; there’s also a fruit and veggie vendor, and another mini-supermarket which we haven’t been into. The crossing can get a bit tricky though, as the street is busy.
— Paco: and the walls of the underpass are all covered w/grafitti
Past Falcone on your left, if you keep walking about 10 minutes more or so, you’ll come to a bigger plaza/strip mall, but no groceries here. However, you’ll find gelato shops, pastry, pizza and bread, a few bars (not like bars in the US, but really just places where people stop to have a snack). Nothing spectacular but good for when you’re out for a walk and need to get a quick bite with the kids.
— Paco: and there is also a church and a huge plaza there. (Mom: I’ll get to churches in my next posts 🙂 )
Past that, about 15-20 minutes more — there are more pizzeria, gelateria, etc. Hombre is quite good for pizza — prices run around 6 Euro for something that will fill up Aisa 🙂 . And Il Gelatone — E knows about that since it’s right by the hotel he stayed at — has excellent gelato. But I digress… (gelato does that to me)
–Paco: It’s all homemade gelato there (w/ excellent Limone)
–Aisa: ~ Ma, are you kidding me? I could’ve had another whole half. The gelato helped, though. Thanks.
–Aisa:~ You can taste the alcohol 😀 in the Crema Rum… I’m sure Uncle Eric could tell you that.
Back to grocery shopping. On your left, when you get to the roundabout and turn right (Via delle Naspee) — then drive to the next roundabout and take the 2nd exit — which is actually the entrance to a shopping center — there’s a bigger Conad on the left, past the two department stores, this one with a parking lot. This is good for after-work runs if you’re pressed for time or only need a few items.
Further away, there are LOTS of options. If you bring a GPS with you, you’ll get at least 20 various places — Conads, Sidis, Tigre, Eurospin, etc. We haven’t shopped at those since if we’re driving farther anyway we might as well take the highway and get to the LARGE shopping centers.
Near the guys’ work place are Auchan Aeroporto and iPercoop. (There’s another Auchan near work but it’s not as nice, though it’s less crowded.) Both are large supermarkets — think Wal-Mart or Meijer, and you can get just about anything you want. If you need other things — cookware, beddings, sports equipment, clothing, etc. there are also stores within the mall dedicated to these. That’s what I love about the malls here — they’re not centered on cinemas or food courts or “flagship stores” like Lord and Taylor or Macy’s — the “flagship store” is the FOOD STORE. And the food store really is the main attraction and draws the crowds — try shopping at around 8 pm and you’ll see what I mean. I wouldn’t recommend this on a weekend (Uffa! That’s “argh” in Italian) — if you’ll remember life in Clarks Summit, Dickson City was the “night/weekend life” for the people there. There’s a similar feel here, but I won’t begrudge the Italians their love of food.
Here are their websites. I subscribed to their newsletter prior to leaving the US, that way I got a good idea of how much things cost on sale, before actually getting here, and I was able to give A an idea of how much our weekly budget would be grocery-wise:
AuchanClick on “Offerte” to find out what they’ve got on sale currently. If you want to see their ad online, click on the drop-down menu where it says “Visualizza Volantino On-Line” and select your location (Scegli la localita): Pescara Aeroporto. It’s open from 8:30 am to 9 pm. Their address is Via Tiburtina Valeria, 386 – 65129 Pescara (PE) — however, the first time we GPS’d that we got lost. Ask Alfredo which highways/exit to take, I guess. And Lina would know.
Ipercoop‘s ad is right there on their front page. Here’s their location. It’s the same exit as Fameccanica but you turn left at the roundabout instead of turning right.
There are other iPer in the area — a favorite of ours is the iPer La Grande (i’m guessing there’s various “levels” of iPer) in Citta Sant’Angelo — Via L. Petruzzi, 140, Città Sant’Angelo (Pescara).
These are all closed on Sunday; though I know for a fact some of them were open on Sundays in the spring. Maybe they change their hours seasonally?…
If you want to try another area, Ortona Center, about 20 minutes away, has another large iPer and the drive there is quite nice. There’s a large Scarpe & Scarpe (footwear) right by it, and there are more stores inside (mostly clothing + Bata (more footwear)).
-Aisa: ~ I wouldn’t advise planning to buy clothes here; it would be much wiser to come prepared to wear only the clothes you’ve brought for your entire stay. Yes, there are lots of clothing stores at the malls, but they’re mostly designer stores, and it’s pretty bad 😀 If you happen to find good deals, check the labels, because more often than not, the ‘good’ deals are MIC 😀 not surprising. Then again, maybe I’m just extremely picky xD but if there’s one thing I’m [very thankfully] spoiled in in the US, it’s Goodwill.
The largest mall in the area (some people refer to it as the American mall, including Jay B.), is Megalo. In the upper level are several restaurants if you need to grab a bite. As E has noted, there’s a preponderance of underwear stores here (actually, everywhere). On the other hand, I am quite taken by the spacious AND VERY CLEAN restrooms at Megalo, AND the food vendors in the halls. You can shop for beans and other dry goods, plus olive oil, dried tomatoes in oil, hot sauces, salami, pecorino, etc. That is, of course, if you aren’t all shopped out yet from being at the iPer.
There’s also downtown Pescara which I’ll cover in a separate post — if you can imagine shopping in downtown Cincinnati that’s what it’s like.
-Aisa: ~ And yet it’s not. Aisa would like everyone to note that she is NOT a city girl — far from it; she has more than once found herself walking in downtown St. Louis with Mama and felt that she can’t breathe. The point she would like to make is, despite not being a city girl, she LOVES downtown Pescara. The mountains and sea and buildings that are rarely taller than five stories make for a very pleasant experience.
And then there’s the open market on Mondays — there are others in the area, but we’ve only been to one of them. If you talk to Anne Marie she can tell you more about it as well. You can do your produce, cheese and meats shopping here, eggs too…. and everything else really — shoes, clothes, home decor, cookware, etc. One word of caution: there are many things that are made in China… but you’ll also find lots of things that are Italian-made. You just need a discerning eye. One guy tried to pass off some espadrilles as “Made in Italy”, but really, at 1 Euro a pair, you have to be suspicious :D.
— Paco: It also gets pretty tight in some areas, you might want to keep the kids close and keep an eye on them, and keep the valuables stowed.
A couple more notes on the shopping experience itself:
When using your credit card/debit card, take your passport with you and present it along with your card. In case you didn’t know, call your bank first before you leave the US, or they’ll suspect fraud and only the first transaction will make it through. You get shopping carts Aldi-style — stick a Euro in the coin slot to get the cart out; later, return the cart and pull out your Euro. Great fun for the kids.
— Paco: and all four wheels [of the cart] rotate; fun for drifting in less crowded areas, but not that fun when it’s heavily-loaded. I try to keep the heavier stuff towards the rear, it helps a little.
In the next post I’ll tackle the “what”. I’ll just go through a list of everything I can think of, and whatever I miss I’m sure you’ll enjoy discovering on your own 🙂
if you know the names of specific stores, you can look for it on the Italian yellow pages:
if you just have a category in mind, sometimes google maps is better for finding things.