One of the things that I love about shopping in Italy is the personal touch you get. You see most shops are run by the owner and so you know exactly who you are buying from and sometimes it makes me feel good to patronage a shop when the owners are very nice and friendly during my shopping experience.
I recently posted that I also miss Walmart. Let me clarify that for just a moment here. I know it is hypocritical to say but I will say it anyways. Although they apparently pay slave wages and crush out the little guy I still shop at Walmart when I am home for what I think are some pretty good reasons. 1. Things are less expensive, 2. I can find almost everything I need in one place and 3. I usually don’t have the time to shop around otherwise.
If I have the luxury of time, which lets face it, that’s hard to come by in these times, I can think of a million other things I would rather be doing than shopping. But, if I am looking for a special gift or just strolling the shopping districts on a breezy Saturday afternoon then yes, bring on the mom and pop shops and lots of tiny cafe’s serving hot chocolate and warm apple cider!
When we were on vacation in Quebec city for our honeymoon my husband and I loved walking the cobbled streets and browsing into the charming stores in the Quartier Petit Champlain district. We even dropped a few hundred dollars on one of a kind local, handmade goodies to bring back to Italy.
So, metaphorically, Walmart spells convenience which the Italians seems to lack with their shops opening from 9-noon and closing from noon-4 and then re-opening from 4-7. Do you see a convenience factor anywhere in that? But, I will admit that if I ever saw a Walmart open up over here I would probably cry for the loss of small private enterprises and personal service which right now gives Italy a certain charm…you can’t have it both ways I suppose, but for now, I will try and balance those scales a bit and venture out to Via XX Settembre to give my new bank card a bit of a workout before Christmas : ) HO! HO! HO!