Buying Toothbrushes in Italy

6 09 2008

You can have any type as long as it’s Medium

One of the things that amuses foreign residents in Italy is the fascination of the local people with ugly big box stores and malls. As more North American style shopping centres begin to appear, even in the provinces of the south, Italian consumers have been quick to abandon those picturesque urban piazze filled with charming small shops. When a miniature version of a mall opened where I live a few months ago, with all of 20stores, entire families would come down from the mountains to gawk at the glamour and luxury of modern retailing. The German discount chain Lidl cannot open stores quick enough and there are long, disorderly queues in front of their doors every Monday and Thursday morning for the biweekly specials. The reason for all this excitement is simple: traditional Italian retailers are overpriced and arrogant.

I have just come back to Italy with a suitcase full of soft toothbrushes. Why? In the area where I live (but it seems to be a nationwide phenomenon from my brief attempts to find them elsewhere in the country) the supermarkets and pharmacies only sell medium toothbrushes. No soft toothbrushes, no hard toothbrushes, no choice.




8 responses

9 09 2008

It’s the same here in Genoa – I guess nobody realizes there shold be a choice.

12 09 2008

Thanks. I feel justified now.

16 09 2008

Lidl now sells soft toothbrushes in their own store brand. This is an exception that proves the rule – the national brands are available only in medium…

16 09 2008

I never noticed this, actually. I did notice the little box around the toothbrushes here – something the Dutch don’t do.

16 09 2008

Hi Rob. How do they package toothbrushes in Holland?

17 09 2008

Thanks for the idea! Lidl it is!

19 09 2008

In Holland they are in a blister package as per everywhere – but they don’t come with a separate little box around the head.

By the way, my 100% Calabrese girlfriend tells me that soft and hard brushes etc. can be found at shops like Acqua & Sapone. But to be honest, I haven’t checked mhyself.

19 09 2008

Indeed – the little box is very Italian (but I suspect it encourages mould).

The Acqua & Sapone nearby doesn’t, although the situation may be more pronounced down here.

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