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?