The Neighborhood


The Neighborhood

Saturday, May 7th, 2016

Our place for 86 days (except the a couple of side trips) is the same apartment where we stayed last year. After almost 3 months you get to know a neighborhood reasonably well. So here is a bit more about where we stayed. First there is the map:

We're at #66

We’re at #66

Starting at the closest place is the tabaccheria. In Italy it is not just tobacco products. They sell bus tickets and recharge cell phones. To add minutes to your phone you give them your phone number, the cellular provider (in my case Vodafone) and hand over 20 euros and voila! You immediately receive an SMS message from Vodafone that you have another 20 euros in your account that usually lasts a couple of months of calls, texts and internet access. Of course they also sell batteries, stamps, lottery tickets, mints and usually a variety of stuff like playing cards, key chains and whatever else will fit in the window. Ours actually has the same street address (numero civico) – #66.

"our" tabaccheria

“our” tabaccheria

Next is the local bar. There are bars everywhere in Bologna. You can barely go 100 meters along Santo Stefano without encountering another one. I pop into this one on occasion for a coffee on the way back from the gym.

"our" barrista

“our” barrista

They have some signs on the wall like you might find in a cafe in the U.S. A couple seem to be either originals or replicas of information for a brothel.

The stuff on the wall

The stuff on the wall

The saying on the right say “we gladly sell to the poor: they have little money … but in compensation there are lot of them” – not a literal translation but that’s how you’d say it in English. If you want to know what the others say, leave a comment.

Just a few steps further on is a very good gelateria. Rain or shine, warm or cold, there always a crowd there in the evenings so you know it must be good!

"our" gelateria

“our” gelateria

There are lots of little “corner” stores and this one is literally on the corner. They are mostly general stores that carry fruit and vegetables, beer, wine, cleaning supplies, pasta, etc. A wide variety of things that you often need – in our case mostly potato chips and beer. Still I continue to be amazed at the variety of things that they cram into these small spaces. An interesting aside, they are mostly run by Bangladeshis.

"our" corner store

“our” corner store

Ah, the wine store. In this case it has been there a long time and still has the name “fiaschetteria” rather than a newer term “enoteca”. It is owned by two brothers that inherited it from their father who founded it in 1947. It’s absolutely my favorite place for wine and grappa. The prices are reasonable and the advice good. I’ve visited a lot of enotecas here and it’s definitely worth going out of your way to stop in here. By he way the wine prices are significantly lower than in the united states. I estimate that a bottle of wine here that costs roughly $10 would cost over $20 in the U.S. Tell ’em that I sent you.

Roberto on left and his brother Giancarlo

Roberto on left and his brother Giancarlo

Of course when I don’t want to go to the Mercato delle Erbe we do shopping closer to home. Also for non food items. So not far away is a store named Verdura;┬ákind of a smaller scale Whole Foods with similar prices. Right next to it is a fairly inexpensive supermarket, Pam, with a limited selection. A little further away is a Coop (another supermarket chain) with more stuff but I usually opt for the Pam while Karen goes the extra distance to the Coop for a greater selection of stuff in general.

verdura

 Pam

The Coop has a salumeria inside among other things

The Coop has a salumeria inside among other things

Via Santo Stefano continues on straight but it becomes mostly a pedestrian area at the beautiful Piazza Santo Stefano. The road however curves to the left and becomes Farini. Karen took a lovely sunset photo there in early March.

Ah, the beauty of Bologna

Ah, the beauty of Bologna

A dop0! (See you later! – sort of)

 

 

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2 Responses to “The Neighborhood”

  1. Ellie Says:

    Everything on Via Santo Stefano looks good to me.

  2. Joe Says:

    Yes, it’s a great street. After so much time there (3 months this trip) it really felt like home – sigh. I can hardly wait to return.

    Joe

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