In Praiano, a coastal town only a few miles from Positano, my mother and I had an Italian supermarket experience to rival the "window shopping" night I had in Treviso.
After a 30-minute vertical climb to upper Praiano, we found what we had been searching for--Tutto x Tutti, the town's only major supermarket. Immediately we were tickled by the colorful assortment of vegetables and fruit sitting in baskets out front, and the marvelously messy shelves of Italian treats inside. They really did have "everything for everyone," as they name implied.
Our basket quickly filled to the brim with the evening essentials: bottled aqua frizzante, peaches and pearcocce, a variety of peach that's firmer and more golden, prosciutto (to go with the fresh figs we were given from Giovanni our landlord), olio and miele to take home to my relatives. We were comparing the extra virginities of the oil when we were halted by a curious man. A local. My favorite kind of encounter.
It was one of those "only in Italy" moments. The kind you try to imagine happening at home and then laugh. It could never. After the serenade it was back to business for everyone. Our friend went on his way, the deli man sliced some prosciutto and then we checked out.
At the register I realized we had way too many heavy items to consider walking home. I asked for a bus schedule and before I could even figure out how to read it, the store owner was by my side explaining that his son, Pasquale, who was about my age and a beutiful specimen of Southern Italian, would be happy to give us a passagio home.
So after small talking with Pasquale through the rear view mirror and giving him the required double kiss for his chivalrous services, my mom and I said farewell, hit the kitchen and buzzed giddily all night about our fortuitous adventure through the alimentari.