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Posted on May 9, 2009 | 5 comments

One of the hard things about moving to a new country is finding “stuff.” What sort of stuff? Just anything really. You can’t even imagine how much you take for granted knowing just where to purchase every little item, from hairdryers to clothes hangers (two items that stumped me when I first arrived). Coming from the US I was used to Target, K-Mart, Walgreens, etc where you just go and everything you could possibly want is there. In Italy, where small family run business is still the norm (though larger stores are starting to invade), it takes a bit of a learning curve. However, I have realized there are stores where you can get tons of “stuff.” They might be much smaller and therefore crammed to the brim with items, but they work just as well. These types of stores are called casalinghi, which comes from the word casalinga (housewife). This makes sense since the stuff found inside usually pertains to the home — pots and pans, detergent, fake flowers, slippers….the list goes on. Here’s a peak inside my local negozio casalinghi.


  1. I know exactly what you mean! When we moved to North America from Europe it took us forever to figure out the stores. And I too remember struglling to find out where to buy a hairdryer! We still get stumped on some things…like hardware stores where they tend to have different names for things. It took us forever to figure out that the polyfilla we wanted was called spackle! Nice shot BTW!

  2. Ciao – Oh good…I’m glad it’s not just me! I still get stumped sometimes as well, but every day you learn something new I guess! And now I know that spackle is called polyfilla in Europe 😉

  3. Where exactly is your local casalinghi? It looks like a place my wife and I could lose ourselves into!
    [And I have to correct the etymology you gave: it is actually (and simply) short for “articoli casalinghi”, “household items”]

  4. Ciao Paolo – I’m not going to give the exact address because I don’t want to exactly announce precisely where I live on the internet! In any case, you’ll find other similar stores in every area of the city. And yes, your explanation is more precise 🙂

  5. Fair enough, I’m careful with privacy myself. It’s just that this one seemed to have much more potential for useful little gadgets. Or maybe it was just the great pic 😉

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