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Aug 6, 2011 07:25 PM

Volpetti's, Rome Italy

I hear "Volpetti's, is amazing but expensive. It sounds like a fancy market i went to in Milan. I don't want to be overwhelmed by the selection and prices. I don't speak Italian. I would like to purchase good tasting salami, italian ham and couple of cheeses for a meal to bring on the train to my next destination. Of course I would like to bring a souvenir home to but not something i have to ship. If anyone has reccommendations on what i spoke of that would be appreciated. (not sure i'm posting this in the right place as this is my first time posting a question on chowhound).

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  1. You posted in the right place. Nothing fancy about Volpetti. It is very different from Pecks in MIlan. The display is simple and packed with cheeses, salumi, prosciutto, etc. Also excellent dry goods such as oil, vinegar, etc. Just high quality product at very fair price. It is a must visit when in Rome. Some of the staff speaks English and they are a great source of information. Also visit the nearby Testaccio market while you are there.

    3 Replies
    1. re: PBSF

      Volpetti's has an excellent selection on offer and, as PBSF notes, should not be missed. The staff are friendly and eager to please but the floor can get crowed. A cautionary note: careful about toting salamis back to the US. I have had several meats confiscated at customs so familiarize yourself on what can legally be brought into the US.

      The selection of olive oils and vinegars are particularly noteworthy and the recommendations of staff have been, at least for me, exceptional.

      1. re: PBSF

        Some of the staff speak english & are a great source of information, is great to hear! It sounds like navigating Volpetti's will be easier than Peck's. Not being able to communicate, detered me from making futher purchases @ Pecks. Fair prices,is a relief as many people have raved about this place but mentioned high prices. THANK YOU for your help, it's much appreciated.

        1. re: chocoholichappy

          there is really no comparison with Peck's except for quality of merchandise. Much of the merchandise at Peck's is private labelled, "Peck", At Volpetti they stand behind their quaility and selection, obviously , but it doesnt have that aura of exclusiveness, the idea that I am buying a label not the food, that for me is a disincentive to buying. The staff at volpetti is friendly and welcoming, and they are a real local store in a neighborhood with many other food sellers worth visiting and a local populations still - so the store is filled with lines of housewives, etc, whereas these days Peck , with its rarified atmosphere and uniformed employees isolated behind counters, is fairly empty and iisolated from other food sources - more like Harrod's food hall where your staff would call in an order,for deliver than a real shopping venue.

      2. We purchased a fair amount of goodies at Volpetti on our trip to Rome in May, which we continue to enjoy. Our shopping list: Cans of premium olive oil; a bottle of colatura di alici, aged pecorino cheese and dried porcini. They offered more samples of cheese for tasting than we could cope with. Since we were heading for lunch at Checchino dal 1887--which I also recommend highly--we didn't do more than gaze at the ample offerings of salumi and hams. They will vacuum wrap and/or bubble wrap everything for travel.

        Perhaps Maureen Fant or one of the other regular shoppers at Volpetti can suggest an optimal time for your shopping visit. Late on a Saturday morning clearly was not optimal.

        You may want to dial back to my 4/6/11 posting --Food "Souvenirs" In Rome--and the responses thereto for some additional tips. I will forever be in vinoroma's debt for mentioning Colatura di Alici. If I knew then what I know now, I would have brought back at least three bottles.

        We showed up at what must be the worst possible time, late Saturday morning, but the elder Volpetti was more than willing to spend time helping us. Prices may be a bit higher, reflecting the quality of Volpetti's offerings; since I didn't do much shopping elsewhere I don't really know. What I do know is that I would pay far more for those items in the U.S., if they are available here at all.

        6 Replies
        1. re: sernoff

          Sernoff- great response! Validating that the staff speaks english, their helpful and samples given makes the store sound very welcoming. 4-6-ll Souvenir, i'll see if i can locate that posting. Thank you.

          1. re: chocoholichappy

            I've been shopping at Volpetti for thirty years, and my admiration grows all the time. They want you to understand why their stuff is good, not just buy it. Their prices are on the high side, but not that high, especially considering everything is guaranteed wonderful. Late morning on Saturdays or holiday eves is the worst time to go, but even when crowded, they manage beautifully. Sometimes you go there and it looks impossibly crowded but then all of a sudden it clears out, so don't give up.

            1. re: mbfant

              Thanks mbfant!! Any suggestions on purchases, a good salami, prochuitto, cheese or other recomendation. As i mentioned my main purchases will be for a train ride (dinner) to my next destination (for 3 people). Also i read they open in the morning and close midafternoon & reopen about 5pm for two or three hours? So i see myself arriving when they reopen at 5 pm as i have a 7 o'clock train to catch (as i write this i'm wondering if i should go earier in the day and ask the hotel to keep my purchases frigerated)... & oh, are they open Sundays? Hope this wasn't too many questions to ask.

              1. re: chocoholichappy

                I'll jump in here. First off all, sernoff and mbfant said it all. I agree 100%. Do be prepared to spend a bundle, but it's well worth every penny.
                Hah...what to get? That's hard to say. For the train ride I'd suggest you get a mix of easy things to eat on a train. (And preferably not too smelly!) Some prosciutto for sure. Let them know how you like your prosciutto. Sweeter? Or more seasoned. Then a couple of kinds of salame. Maybe one like Feline, and a hot and spicy one from Calabria. Cheeses: they have some of the best selection of cheeses from Piemonte around. You can taste a few and choose what you'd like. Olives for sure.
                They also have a baked goods section, so get some bread, or better yet a piece of focaccia.
                You should go in the morning, that way you'll also be able to go to the market nearby, to pick up some fruit for the ride as well.
                No, they aren't open on Sundays.

                1. re: minchilli

                  if this errand has to take place on Sunday, I would suggest Panella Arte del Pane as an altenative. It is not far from the Station and is open, with a range of breads, including filled breads, pastries and other items. Items that dont need to be purchased that day, such as cheese,salumi and wine, could be purchased the day before, at Volpetti or elsewhere. thats assuming you have a cool-ish place to put them overnight.


                  1. re: jen kalb

                    Thank you for the suggestions for purchases for my dinner on the train. Since Volpetti's is closed Sunday, looks like i'll have to make purchases Saturday and make arrangements w/the hotel to keep it refrigerated for train ride to my next destination. Any SUGGESTIONS for souvenirs that i can bring home via my suitcase?? Also, any info on Roscioli, re: purchase recommendations or if they are open on Sudays??

                    Via dei Giubbonari 21/23, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT