Saturday, 10 May 2008

Italy - the land of riches..I think not

I mentioned the other day that I returned from Calabria with my suitcase full of food since it not only seems to be more fresh and tastier down there (as far as the parmigiano and apples I bought are concerned!) but the prices are considerably cheaper. Bel ragazzo is due back from his village tonight and I'm going to meet him at the Tiburtina bus station to help him carry more of our supplies home.
Perhaps you don't believe me. Perhaps you are thinking 'can the prices really be that different?'

Let me give you an example:



I love mozzarella, really love it and could eat it all day long! In the past years I have often bought the Santa Lucia 3 packs from the supermarket. Since re-arriving in Rome I have not bought it once, and for the life of me I could not recall why I could afford it last year in Sicily, but not this year in Rome. When shopping in Calabria I saw the 3 pack of mozzarella with the price printed in large font on the front "€2,29" - and that was when it hit me. The 3 packs they sell up here in Rome DO NOT have then €2,29 printed on them. In the supermarket near me it has €3,69 written on the shelf!

Now do you believe me? Such a considerable difference and this is just one small example. I bought a kilo of dried lentils for €0,99 down there, and up here they charge over €3...for dried lentils. The list goes on and on...and on.

Perhaps you think we get higher wages here? In some instances this is correct, but only IN SOME INSTANCES. With my job for example it makes no difference what part of Italy I live in - the wage is exactly the same. (And don't even get me started on how low the wages are here when compared to the cost of living, and when compared to other countries I have lived in.) I have never really noticed before, or perhaps I have been floating through my last 2 years in Italy and I have been living in lala land. Or perhaps it is just that I am starting to understand not only the language, but the way things are...

What do you think? Anyone living here or abroad who has some thoughts?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head.... the average salary in Rome isn't that much better than small-town Italy but the cost of living in MUCH higher. Every day items cost more, bread, milk etc...
It's a nightmare!

Leanne said...

I know what you mean...I don't make that much, but thankfully I make more then other, and I have no idea how they can survive in Rome (or Italy) with such little income.

Kataroma said...

I think the only way to survive here on Rome on a normal Italian salary is to be subsidised by your parents. So many of my friends have parents who bought them an apartment or subsidise in other ways.

I didn't realise that food prices were so different though. Yikes! How can they justify that?

Leanne said...

Hi Kataroma,
Yes - so very different the prices here! At least my bel ragazzo and I only have ourselves to support but you have a little one on the way too. My friend who has just had a baby in Calabria says she gets her friends and family to send the milk formula from Germany (she is German) as it costs literally nothing compared to here. She spent 200 euro for a one year supply for the baby, whereas for the same brand and all it is 20 euro a pop here.... Crazy...

Lydia said...

Hello, my name is Lydia. I'm italian and I moved from Cosenza (Calabria) to Rome last October. Vi dispiace se scrivo in italiano? My english is not so fluent at the moment. Il segreto per sopravvivere - relativamente al cibo - è leggere attentamente le etichette dei prodotti e soprattutto le voci che riguardano il luogo di produzione e gli ingredienti. In questo modo anche facendo la spesa in un supermercato come il Todis (per esempio)che non vende prodotti "di marca" si può scegliere una buona mozzarella made in Italy ad un prezzo decisamente inferiore. Al Todis si possono tranquillamente acquistare pasta fresca, alcuni formaggi, salumi affettati, frutta e verdura. Certo non tutto, eviterei sicuramente detersivi e prodotti per l'igiene personale. Io risparmio almeno il 50% rispetto agli altri supermercati. Provateci... e fatemi sapere.
P.S. Hey Leanne, we have same combination, I'm half calabrese + half pugliese too!
Ciao

Leanne said...

Ciao Lydia!
Puoi scrivere in Italiano, posso capire abbastanza, pero spero puoi capire quando scrivo in Italiano :) I am not so fluent in Italian!
Devo provare Todis...prima devo vedere dove c'e un Todis qui vicino perche il mio supermercato e Emmi (I think that is the name) e costa troppa!
E che bella - sei meta Calabrese e meta pugliese anche...sono stata tante volte a Cosenza perche il mio ragazzo venga da una paese troppo vicino.

Lydia said...

Sì, ho letto i tuoi post su Malito. Sono contenta di questa nuova blog-conoscenza!
A presto