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Jul 20, 2007 04:14 PM

is there a large and major gourmet food store in Rome??

perhaps a Rome version of zabars in NYC. or the food halls of harrods and fortnum and mason in London. or Fauchon in Paris. with outstanding selections of cured meats and cheeses and wines all under one roof.

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  1. We just got back from Rome last night. The closest thing to a gourmet grocery store that I could find is Volpetti. We brought back tuna in olive oil and some neat chocolate sauce. Next year I'll leave room for more goodies.

    1. Volpetti is probably about the closest, but much smaller in scale and only a limited amount of non-Italian foods. Castroni on the Via Cola di Rienzo is also good and has a wider array of international foods.

      3 Replies
      1. re: bropaul

        I've gone into Castroni a couple of times and never stayed to shop - I guess as a visitor from New York (as opposed to Rome resident) my interest is in things italian, not global. Anyway, Castroni is crowded and not very exciting if you have Zabars, Fairway, Kalustyan, etc.back home. Id put up Volpetti as an excellent alternative - they have top quality italian products as well as some non-italian (such as Iberico ham and some french cheeses}. Volpetti has wines too, but there are other stores with a broader selection - you may want to make a specific request on this topic.

        1. re: jen kalb

          When we went to Volpetti several years ago, Claudio Volpetti waited on us personally and sold us an insane amount of cheese. He was quite friendly and spoke English very well.

          1. re: jen kalb

            I've had great luck at Castroni, picking up the best dark cocoa, confections, spinach pasta flour and other Italian delicacies. It lacks the drama and sensory stimulation of a KaDeWe or Harrod's, but there are many treasures packed into a small space. We always go to the one nearer the Vatican. There is also a nice bar there that serves very tasty hot chocolate and a nice espresso or cappucino.

        2. On the Campo dei Fiori there is a shop which I believe is named something similar to Roscioli. Not quite Zabars but very good selection if you do not want to make the trek to Testaccio for Volpetti. For cured meats in particular you can also check the wonderful (small) shop, Viola, across the square.

          1 Reply
          1. re: erica

            I just spent a week in Rome, staying in an apartment in Testaccio just a couple of blocks from Volpetti. I'm amused to see it described as a trek -- it's just a few minutes by bus, and the via Marmorata, where Volpetti is, is a major transit artery. Actually, I was amazed at how compact central Rome is -- more like San Francisco than London or Paris: small, but it seems bigger because the hills (and in Rome, the antiquities) break the city up into distinct pockets and make you go in circuitous routes. I overheard two young men discussing whether they could walk from point X to point Y -- one said "it took us over an hour to walk from A to B" and the other one said, "Yeah, but we stopped every five minutes." I pretty much had that same experience walking from my apartment to the Pantheon -- it looks like a long way, because there's so much crammed in between, but it's really not far, and I'm an overweight middle-aged woman. The walk would be nothing for a NYer! Furthermore, the multi-day transit passes are insanely cheap, the buses run frequently, and the bus stops are user friendly (for each bus they list all the stops in the direction of travel, with the stop you're at marked, so you can see at a glance if you're in the right place).

            That said, I wasn't that impressed by Volpetti, although the people who worked there were great.

          2. No, there isn't. You would have to go to Peck in Milan to get anything of that scale. I do my gourmet shopping at Volpetti, and have for eons, but there is also Roscioli, near Campo de' Fiori, and La Tradizione (excellent) near the Vatican Museum, metro Cipro stop. But these are tiny in comparison to what you want.