I happened to need to buy a few things today so nipped into an average-sized supermarket in Bibbiena, a COOP. I found most of the things on display (with the exception of the tomatoes and watermelon) a little bit pricier than at home. I know the pound has fallen against the Euro so wasn't overly surprised to find most groceries about 15% more expensive than at home.
The one thing that absolutely floored me, however, was the price of baby and kids' products. Babywipes come in pack of two for €8.50! I could buy four for about £4 in ASDA at home. Pampers Babydry nappies - the ones I buy in boxes of about 100 in ASDA for a tenner cost €10 for 30!
But once the kids get to school, things degenerate further. It occurred to me that picking Léon a school bag and pencil case in the COOP instead of at TESCO once I got home, would mean he would have something different and easily distinguishable from his classmates. The bags looked identical to the standard supermarket ones at home, as did the pencil cases. I had picked Léon up a Kung-Fu Panda bag last year in TESCO for £5.99 and a Spiderman pencil case at about £2.99, so I picked up the equivalent: a cartoon logo bag and pencil case. At the checkout the wanted €58 for the bag and €23 for the pencil case!!!! I wondered momentarily if Italy had gone back to the lira! Imagine buying bags and pencil cases for all five of my kids!
I'm afraid they were quickly returned to the shelf, and I'll be heading straight for TESCO on my return! No wonder Italy has one of the lowest birth rates in Europe!