Tabacchi shops

tabacchi shop photo

The Tabacchi shops are one of the backbone items of daily life in Italy.  They are not just cigarette stores.  However, this is where you buy your smoking supplies: cigarettes, tobacco, lighters, etc.  If you’re from the USA, think of it as a 7-11 on steriods, in a tiny space and without the mystery meat hotdogs and slurpies.

The Tabacchi shops do vary on what they sell –  some are so simple and sell the ciggies and maybe some lottery tickets.  Others amaze me in the variety of items they sell in such a small shop.  I would just sometimes ask for things to watch them perform a Mary Poppins act, sticking their hand in a bottemless purse and pulling out what you asked for!

What you can find in the tabacchi shops (negozio):

  • Very Important for your daily needs – Pay Bills:
    • some/many have the Sisal machines – this is where you can pay many of your bills (electric, gas, phone, recharge SIM cards)
  • The Bollati – the ‘fancy’ stamps you need for your Permesso di Soggiorno and other government paperwork.
  • Postage stamps (francobolli)   * do make sure you state if it’s for international use
  • Metro/Bus/Subway/Tram – Public Transport Tickets
  • Stationary supplies: paper (carta), folders, pens (penne), highlighters, notebooks (quaderno)
  • Some sell moving boxes (empty cardboard boxes – cartone)
  • Shipping supplies; boxes, tape, mailing labels
  • Lottery tickets a go-go…this is HUGE in Italy!!
  • Greeting cards (though, most are just horrible.  Hallmark it is not!)
  • Gifts.  I’ve seen some with crystal ashtrays, fancy pens, statuettes, necklaces and other random things
  • There was one larger tabacchi shop where they sold concert tickets.
  • Cigarettes

tABACCHI Italy connecTHow do you know what they sell?

Look at the ‘T’ sign.  It will list most of the ‘services’, look at their window – they cram all sorts of notes, signs on their windows showing what they sell or just go inside and ask 🙂

Buying Cigarettes

  •  The prices are the same at every shop (not like the USA where each vendor sets the price)
    •  a pack of 20 is around 5€ a pack.  Varies slightly on brand.  (current price 2014 – they also sell mini packs of 10 for some brands)
  • A Pack = ‘Un Paccho, per favore
  • A Carton = ‘Un Stick,  per favore
  • After hours many shops have a machine available (as seen in the photo above).  The trick with the machine is that you MUST insert an Italian ID card: Permesso or your ASL card….it must have one of the chips in the ID card.  Without the ID card, you aren’t able to buy the cigarettes.

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