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Food and Wine "to go" in Venice/Florence/Rome

Now that my airline ticket has been purchased and my overnight accomodations have been booked, I can now concentrate on two very important and exciting aspects of Italy (this is my first trip) - FOOD and WINE! If I have read my many guidebooks correctly, there is no shortage of place to buy bread, cheese, fresh fruit, etc especially in central markets. Since I am "backpacking" on my trip, I will not be able to pack a knife for cutting bread and cheese and such. Where would I go to purchase a knife for this purpose, or will a plastic knife be sufficient (easy enough to pick up in a cafe)? Also, where are the best (and least expensive) places to buy bottles of wine to enjoy on a picnic or in the hotel room? And for bottles of wine, where would I go to purchase a corkscrew (another item prohibited by the TSA)?

Posted by
23465 posts

I think corkscrews are permitted. At least we carried one through security on our last two trips. It was pretty simple -- traveling style that fit in it own plastic case. Just look for a hardware store for your knife. And there are shops that sell only knifes. You will need more than a plastic knife for cheese especially since you should buy the harder cheeses. Soft cheeses don't travel well and become really soft when warm. Take a rolling cutting mat with you and santi wipes to clean things and some plastic wine glasses. Wine is available everywhere and most of it is pretty cheap so you don't have to worry about finding the best place. Just buy when you see it. The grocery stores in the basement of the big department stores generally have good prices.

Posted by
186 posts

Lisa,
Not to worry. You can buy GOOD wine and cheese almost anywhere in those cities. A knife and corkscrew will be available almost anywhere. I have a small folding corkscrew next to my best cutting board that was given to me as a gift by an Italian restaurant owner in Amalfi. You have me reminiscing wonderfully. You are in for such a great time. Enjoy!

PS- Went to all 3 cities April 2008, so memory is still pretty fresh. Feel free to PM, if you need any help.

Greg

Posted by
521 posts

Hi Lisa,

Why not pack a swiss army-style knife in a check-in bag for the flight? You only need a small knife for cutting things, and you can get one with a built-in corkscrew.

Posted by
3313 posts

Look for the Coop stores. They'll have everything you need at low prices.

Posted by
586 posts

Hey, Lisa, here's a simple phrase to employ in these shops: "Da Porta Via, per favore!" that is, "For the Road, please!" Most places will open the wine and cut food for you before you leave. Keep in mind, though, "picnicking" in Venice is severely restricted right now. You'll have to check on where it's allowed.

Posted by
10344 posts

Confirming Frank is correct, corkscrews are now permitted by TSA in carry-ons, provided they are not the kind that have the small knife blade for cutting the foil.

Posted by
51 posts

Thanks so much everyone! You have, as always, been extremely helpful.

Posted by
108 posts

Lisa, in Venice we went into a neighborhood wine store, and for 1.99 euro they filled a plastic liter soda bottle with white wine from a vat with a garden hose for us--and it was delicious! We also had no trouble locating little grocery stores and deli's selling meats and cheeses in Venice, Rome or Florence. Buon Viaggio!

Posted by
51 posts

No way! In that case, I may MOVE to Italy permanently!

Posted by
891 posts

We found a small wine store on the Cannaregio Canal in Venice right down from our hotel. He sold some wine in bottles, but mostly had large casks and locals were coming in with their clean water & soda bottles for him to fill. He gave us tastes of MANY of the wines and helped us settle on one. He sold us a plast 2 litre bottle so that we could come back later in our trip and refill it. There was a small grocery store a few doors down that was very handy.
Last April my travel corkscrew made it through the airports in Denver, Frankfurt, and Milan. It was confiscated at Heathrow on the way home. In September I'll try again with another one! I also suggest learning the phrase "Da Porta Via, per favore" Have a Great Trip!