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Report 491: Maremma: Lost in a Tuscan Kansas

By Alice Twain from Italy, Summer 2004

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Page 6 of 7: Food (and Book) Buying

In Rispescia, the obvious place to buy food was the small supemarket (follow "Centro commerciale" signs) which offered, as a bonus, delicious "Chianina" meat. This is a kind of cow traditional of northeastern Tuscany, grown free range and with particularly tasty and tender meat. The range of vegetables and fruits for sale is limited, probably because all families in the area grow their own. So don't expect too much, but if you're staying in an agriturismo, check if you can buy any from the owner (unless he or she starts selling them to you).

Also in Rispescia, in the main (and only) square, right in front of the "dribbling boar" statue-fountain (don't ask!) and beside the park office where you can buy the beach tickets, the bakery makes a good bread "a lievitazione naturale" that will keep for two or three days.

In Alberese, look for the shop of the Azienda Agricola Regionale dell'Alberese, which sells the (organic) products of the farm, which include pasta, rice, vegetable preserves and spreads, cheeses, wine and the meat of the locally grown Maremmana cows (free range, not as tender but even more tasty).

In Pitigliano, buy local sweets and bisquits, unlevened bread and sfratti from "Panificlio del Ghetto". It has two shops, one in the old town, on via Zuccarelli, the other under the bridge that connects the old and the new town. If you can read Italian, visit libreria Stampa Alternativa. Stampa Alternativa is one of the most interesting small publishing houses of Italy. Its creator Marcello Baraghini moved to Pitigliano and this bookshop is his office during most afternoons. Books for sale are all from Stampa Alternativa and range from novels to essays to comics. On a second thought, go there even if you can't read Italian, on a table there is a selection of natural soaps smelling great; I wish I had bought some.

In Grosseto, look for Libreria Popolare (not far from the duomo) for books in English.

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