My neighborhood grocery store, and a common chain in this area, is called the Coop. I have lived abroad before, so I knew grocery shopping with food allergies in Italy was going to be an event in itself. My first trip to the grocery store, I had no idea what to expect! I was just hoping I wouldn’t spend hours in the store reading every single ingredient! I brought my Italian/English dictionary with me the first few trips. It did take a while to figure out what was okay that was packaged. The labels and warnings on food are different here than in the U.S.
For the first month or so, I stuck to very basic foods. I bought mostly fresh foods, so I was going to the store a few times a week. Now that I have been here for a while, and know the Italian ingredients, it takes me much less time to find foods that I haven’t tried and that should be safe to eat. I still have yet to find any candy or ice cream that is safe here!