I’ve lived in many places, most of them big cities, including Tokyo, Los Angeles, London, Dubai, Cape Town… But there’s just something about small Italian village life that I just love. The Italians are full of LIFE. They appreciate and enjoy life, and food is a very important part of every day life here. In most countries in the big cities, most people shop for their food at big super markets, not knowing anything about the producers behind each product. I’ve also been guilty of that. Just rush to the nearest, most convenient supermarket and get all your shopping done at once.
But not here in our little village in Italy. Things might be different in the bigger cities, but at least in the small village where I live, you still have the macelleria’s (butcher shop), frutta e verdure (fruit & vegetable shops), fornaio (baker) and on every Saturday there is also the local market with fresh produce where all the locals shop at.
Giacomo Lurati is the butcher 5 minutes away from where we live, and I visit him and his wife at their macelleria (butchery) several times a week. He has a secret place he sources his animals from, and the whole village is always wondering where he gets his meats from, as they are so tender and tasty! He makes his own salami, lard, sausages, you name it. And if you ask them to, his wife seasons your meats for you. Their meat is the best (according to me). I have asked him several times to please open up a good steak house with me, we need one of those in this village! 😉 He keeps shrugging me off saying he’s too old to start a new venture, but I’m convinced we should do it!
And I love how passionate they are about their products! Our local fruit & veg guy, Loris, for example, he goes to Milan at 5am twice a week to get his fresh produce. He has beautiful fruits and vegetables displayed all across his shop, and yet when you ask him for something, he wants to go in his back storage room to get the best bunch of grapes, or the best strawberries, or whatever you have asked for. If you ask for something that he doesn’t think is good, he won’t sell it to you, even though he has it there on the shelf… he will say ’No no no, the watermelon isn’t good anymore, it’s not as sweet as it should be! But try these amazing yellow kiwi’s!’ And honestly… I am now addicted to yellow kiwi’s. Loris supplies most of the restaurants in the area as well, and we often get good tips from him regarding which restaurant we should check out next!
We then have the local Saturday market. I head straight for the food section. There’s the nice friendly cheese man there, with his truck full of cheeses. He loves letting you taste all his different varieties of cheese and you end up buying much more then you should… They also have the Sardinian stand with the ‘porchetta’ (pork) which you can ask them to slice a few pieces for you. They have the best Sardinian bread as well… And olives to die for! There’s also the stand with all the different salami’s… every piece you try is so good you want to buy all the different varieties.
I can also just go to the farm across the road and buy fresh milk, or cheese. And I can show my kids where their milk and cheese comes from, by showing them the cows getting milked (the smell is horrible but hey, we are in nature!;)
So, for all the people who continuously ask me, ’Don’t you miss living in the big cities!? How can you live in such a tiny village!?’ Now you know the answer….
For anyone living in Lugano, I highly recommend taking a quick trip across the border to buy all this amazing food! I won’t even get into talking about the Swiss prices versus the Italian prices here! 😉 Never mind the price (I can never ignore it though…), the quality is just the top!
Via Venini Corrado e Giulio, Porlezza (CO) 22018, Italy
Phone: +39 0344 61164
Galimberti (fruit & vegetable shop)
Via Ceresio, 21, Porlezza (CO) 22018, Italy
Phone number +39 0344 61412