drug stores/groceries in italy

Old Apr 30th, 2009, 09:33 AM
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drug stores/groceries in italy

I know this may sound like a dumb question but I'm traveling carry-on only for the first time ever and I would like to know where in Rome you can buy toiletries and such. My guide books keep pointing out where the pharmacies are in the train stations. Are the pharmacies there like the pharmacies here in the US, where they sell OTC products and shampoos and stuff, or are they just medicine? Or are there convenience stores on every corner that sell these things? I just don't want to be wandering around Rome looking for a store!
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 09:35 AM
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yes, they sell toiletries at drug stores.
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 09:37 AM
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In Termini station - on the lower floor by the east side there is a huge Drug Store (not sure they are a pharmacy) - like a Rite Aid or CVS or Walgreens in the U.S.)

But as these items probably cost twice as much as at home and should be small, try to carry them on IMO
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 09:43 AM
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Where are you staying in Rome? There is a good, very large pharmacy on Corso del Rinascimento which is very near the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and somewhat close to the Campo dei'Fiori. I think it's a bit unusual in the breadth of its selection.

Around the same area, you can also find small stores that kind of defy description but carry all kinds of useful things -- laundry and dishwashing soap, shampoo, diapers, toiletries.

In my experience, pharmacies in Italy do sell some toiletries but it is often a limited selection, and not cosmetics. There are a lot of specialty cosmetics stores that also carry toiletries.
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 09:43 AM
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You can only carry very limited amount of gel, cream and paste in carryons, each 100ml or less in a transparent container 1L or less.
Italian pharmacies (Farmacia) sell medicine and toiletries, but the latter will be cheaper in supermarkets and drug stores (they don't sell medicine other than small amount of aspirin etc). They are fairly easy to find, but keep normal shop hours. Supermarkets are open longer, with or without afternoon closures.
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 09:46 AM
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No, cities in europe do not have convenience stores on every corner - esp in tourist areas. And few places are open 24/7 - in fact many close by 7 pm (or even realier in Switzerland).

If you really need somethingyou can buy it, but it's much easier to bring it - esp if you want a specific brand.
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 09:51 AM
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I may add that you may find it difficut to find what you are looking for. Your familiar brands may not be stocked, and all descriptions will be in Italian only. How can you tell the difference, for example, in Italian between conditioner for dyed and permed hair and one for damaged hair? Or skin cream for dry face against one for sunburnt hands?
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 09:52 AM
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I did forget about the carry-on restrictions.
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 10:16 AM
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Unless you're dealing with a very small carry-on allowance (as dictated by your airline, not security concerns) you probably won't need to worry about buying toiletries at your destination. 100 mL/3 oz doesn't sound like much, but it is, and you'll need even less of most items.

That said, you'll find it quite straightforward finding just about anything that didn't fit in your bag, or that you run out of, and you can often find them at grocery stores (though the smaller ones in Rome won't have as large a selection). There's much less difference in brands these days (Garnier, L'Oreal, Colgate, Dove, etc. just about anywhere you look) and even if you don't read Italian you should be able to figure it out (or ask for help).

If I can buy hand cream in Tokyo, you can buy shampoo in Rome. ;-)
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 10:29 AM
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Thank you everyone for your help! We will be in Italy for two weeks, so we weren't sure if we'd be able to get enough shampoo/cond/body wash and such in our carry-on given the restrictions, and I'm sure we can figure out which products we would need once there. The only thing I am pretty sure we can't carry on are razors so that is what I am going to have to find there. Thanks again!
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 11:08 AM
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Since you'll know in advance what you need to buy you can look up some helpful vocabulary in advance.

Shampoo = shampoo (pretty frequently, I find) = sciampo (pronounced "shampo")

Conditioner = balsamo

Body wash = body wash (used widely, though something with "bagno" or "doccia" might also be used)

A cool way to get familiar with the vocabulary is to go to the international versions of web sites like Garnier:

http://www.garnier.it/_it/_it/home.aspx
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