The Mega Hardware Store, all-you-can-eat sushi and more


This was my past experience with Italian hardware stores!

This was my past experience with Italian hardware stores!


When Anna asked me to accompany her to OBI, the mega hardware store, I couldn’t say no. We both hate going to these kinds of emporiums alone and over the years we have supported each other on  trips to stores like IKEA and helped each other through the experience.

Anna’s daughter Lise and her dog, Bianca, came along.  Did you know that dogs are welcome in stores and restaurants in Florence? Bringing a dog along in Italy is almost as much fun as toting around a small child.  Everyone smiles and talks, full of admiration for your beautiful offspring, canine or human.

OBI looks, smells and feels a lot like Home Depot, even down to the orange uniforms of the employees.   On this early weekday morning it wasn’t as packed as I was told it would be on Saturday. There is a HyperCoop next door, but neither of us had the reason or the fortitude to go inside.    I once abandoned a full cart of groceries in a HyperCoop and fled. I guess I am easily overwhelmed.

Next stop was the all-you-can-eat sushi place in Florence,  Wabi Sabi, in the Le Cure neighborhood. As long as you eat everything you order, your lunch is 15e. Bianca lay down under the table and the waitress brought us green tea.  I was surprised how good the sushi was- I had miso soup, edaname and some sashimi. Becasue I wasn’t very hungry, I couldn’t do this place justice but I would definitely return, should I ever spend enough time in Italy to tire of Italian food.

Two nights ago I woke up at 3:00 am with a raw throat and continuous sneezing. Europeans use homeopathic medicines and my first introduction to these tiny pills and drops was very positive. My throat stopped feeling raw in less than 24 hours and though my nose is still running, my cold has not gotten any worse.

At the pharmacy I was surprised at the reasonably priced over the counter medicine. I spent 12.50e for a vial of homeopathic pills and nose drops. The price would would be at least double in North America.

I am now in Poggio Alle Croce on the olive farm.  Elettra just gave me a hot brick from the stove to warm my bed. I’ll let you know how it worked tomorrow!

2 thoughts on “The Mega Hardware Store, all-you-can-eat sushi and more

  1. Globalization and the fusion of people and cuisine. That said i’m sure the Italian soul remains the same. It has endured throughout the centuries thank goodness. Imagine how boring our life would be.without Italian art, fashion, food, music, design etc. It’s great that you have left your secure little life in Toronto to experience a day in the life of il vero italiano. Carry on….

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