Ciao a tutti!! Most everyone asks about where to buy food when they arrive in Italy. We are not talking about street food or restaurants (ristorante), but supermarkets (supermercati!).
If you’re traveling vegan, you can get away with some ristorante and street (bar or tavolo caldo) food, but it is not going to be the best. In some restaurants, maybe, if you are spending a lot of money, but if you are out for a walk or traveling from hotel to hotel the bar or tavolo caldo is not going to be your best bet.
You need to find a supermarket for your fresh VEGGIES, TOFU, SEITAN, FRUITS!
NON VI PREOCCUPATE!! No worries! For one, fruits and veggies are very easy to find anywhere in Italy. From Rome, to Milan, to Florence and every little town and village in between!! Italy has a lot of fruttivendoli which is fruit/vegetable stands where you can buy it fresh. If you are traveling or living in Southern Italy, the produce is available just about year round!
Also, just about any supermarket will have an ample supply of fruits and vegetables. You may notice that you cannot get ALL of what you are used to back home, but you will be able to find fresh produce. It is also very easy to find legumes (lenticchie) in Italy, since it is a part of the diet. Many italians will eat a lentil soup or minestrone. In southern Italy, fava beans will be a staple of the diet.
You will notice that some of the big name supermarkets, such as Essalunga or Tigros, will carry the produce but will not have the “health store” feel. There are supermarkets, such as NaturaSi, where you can find organic (agricoltura biologica), gluten-free, vegan, TOFU, rice/almond/oat milk and much more!!! In fact, NaturaSi is fastly becoming one of the supermarket hotspots in all of Italy!! They have branches near Milan, Rome and just about anywhere!
Just remember, its not vegan specific. You will also find meat and cheeses there too. But if you are looking for a place that has a lot of vegan or organic foods, you can find it here!