The Supermarkets are open on Sunday!

Updated June, 2010 and again April 2015.

For those of you coming here to find which supermarkets are open on Sunday in Milan, well, now, most of them are.  However, one that is guaranteed to be open every day (including Sundays), except 2 days (Christmas Day and Easter Day) is Esselunga in Viale Piave. Also, from what I understand, one that is open almost 365 days of the year is the supermarket at Central station (Stazione Centrale)

Now on to the original post ……..

Actually, that’s not true.  Until recently, all the supermarkets in Milan were closed on Sunday. Coming from the UK, this seemed very strange, but you get used to anything.

Then, quite suddenly it seemed, they decided to open on some Sundays. They would put a banner up outside the supermarket to say that they were open on Sunday. But, it appeared, they took it in turns.

Then, from about November, they all started to open on Sunday – every Sunday.  I thought that they had finally realised that true Customer Service (not something Italians seem to expect or get) meant opening when your customers wanted.  So one came to expect they would be open and it was very useful.  Even to the point that they stopped putting up the blackboard signs in the entrance to tell you which Sundays they were to be open.

Imagine my shock, today, when one of the local supermarkets actually had the blackboard sign to say that they were CLOSED for this Sunday!  OMG!

While I’m on the subject of Supermarkets, something that happens here – a LOT – which I never really found in the UK.  People will start their shopping.  Then, when they have about 1/2 of it they will queue up at the till, but then leaving their basket or trolley, will continue to go and get the other things they need, returning every so often with an armful of groceries.  This is fine – unless it comes to their turn at the till and they are nowhere to be seen!  If it’s me who is behind them, I’ll just skip ahead, but it has caused some fights at the till, with me shouting in my very best English.  Grrr.

And, they don’t do drugs (I mean the legal kind), which includes cigarettes.  You can only get drugs from a chemist and cigarettes only from a tobacconist.  Train/tram/bus and parking tickets you seem to be able to get from virtually anywhere (except supermarkets, of course) but you can certainly get them from tobacconists!

I’m sure that, eventually, Italy will discover the concept of Customer Service and all I can say is “roll on that day”.

2 thoughts on “The Supermarkets are open on Sunday!

  1. Hi,
    I’ve just found your web through the Guardian abroad site (bored and surfing around the web!). I’ve lived in MIlan (well. Garbagnate, just oputside) for ages now and although there are good things about Italy, sometimes I really can’t stand it. Like today: I ordered a book from Paris, they sent it to me by registered mail on 22nd Dec. and I never got it: in fact the person who sent it received it back today! Impossible to get any answer, let alone an apology from the local post office!!!!
    This is very strange because, admittedly I was away from 25th Dec to 3rd Jan., but even so I should have got a card telling me there was a parcel for me and they should have held the parcel at the PO for a month instead of sending it back…. the man in the PO told me they’d look into it and the Manager would ring me tomorrow (well, if you believe in fairies….)
    Maybe we can exchange (horror!) stories about living in Milan, although from what I’ve read of your blog you only seem to have come up against “quaint” oddities here, not the nitty-gritty stuff!

  2. Hi Joan,

    You are right, of course. I’ve not had any really bad experiences here and, in all honesty, I love Milan so much that I would probably just shrug my shoulders.

    I’ve heard other stories about the postal system. In fact, we were at dinner with friends on Saturday night and my friend from the US was telling me about a missing parcel her Dad had sent over. Unfortunately, he added money in the parcel as a last minute thing – which is something I would not do here. However, all my Post Office stories are good ones and we’ent and received many parcels without any problem – even received some with inadequate postage!

    Anyway, nice to have you on board – but why are you living out at Garbagnate?

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