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why i love il farmacista in italy | Bleeding Espresso Bleeding Espresso

why i love il farmacista in italy

Pharmacies in Italy run very differently from those in the United States.

I bring this up now because on Friday I finally broke down and went to la farmacia (farm-uh-CHEE-ah) after feeling not-so-good for a few weeks.

It started with a virus, but then every few days I’d get abdominal pains and was just generally rundown.

Why not go straight to the doctor?

I hate going to the doctor, and I know I’m not alone in that. The biggest part of the annoyance for me is having to wait around with a bunch of sickies who may be sicker than I am and/or with different problems, and possibly catching what they have on top of whatever I have.

But Italy lets me avoid that ever so slightly because here the logical first stop is il farmacista, the pharmacist, who can also diagnose your symptoms and give you medications that require prescriptions–and you only pay for the meds, not the advice.

My pharmacist is here every day but Sunday (he’s even here some Sundays as pharmacies are required by law to rotate so that one is open every Sunday in a given area), so it’s also rather convenient as he’s just a few steps down the Corso.

Once I’m there, I describe my symptoms, and he lets me know if I should go to the doctor or hospital or if he can provide something to help along the healing process.

Best of all, I live in a village of about 350 people. I’ve had to wait in a line (of one person ahead of me) precisely one time in five years.

Read: no shouting your symptoms across the desk in a room full of people. So that’s nice too.

Now, granted, something *very* annoying about the pharmacy system in Italy is that you have to *ask* the pharmacist for just about everything medical you can imagine–think vitamins, regular strength painkillers, cold medicine, yeast infection meds (ladies, I know you hear me on this). I’m spoiled as my mom sends me these things, but that’s more because many of these things are also ridiculously expensive here.

Anyway, I am happy to report that since my pharmacist gave me meds on Friday, I have felt so amazingly better that I have resolved to stop complaining about having no drugstore where I can buy everything over-the-counter, without describing of symptoms or asking anyone for help in the unlocking of cabinets that hold controversial items like tampons, lipstick, and shampoo.*

And that is why I love il farmacista in Italy.

Today anyway.

*For the record, we can buy tampons, lipstick, and shampoo in places other than pharmacies, thank goodness.

Have you dealt with il farmacista?

What say you?

35 Beans of Wisdom to “why i love il farmacista in italy”
  1. Gil
    12.08.2008

    Glad to hear that your trip to the Farmacia has been fruitful in getting you better. I’ve seen signs stating: Farmacia da banca in various parts of Italy. Does this mean that they have a bank along with all of the other stuff?

    Hah, magari! I’m guessing it means something like a walk-up window instead of a full pharmacy? Boh. Anyone? Anyone? We’re not that advanced down here 😉

  2. 12.08.2008

    I went to one in Rome when my niece had some allergic reaction aka hayfever. Since I was at a loss becasue I didn’t know how to say hayfever in italian, I described in many more words than necessary an allergy to plants and flowers from the wind blowing and her breathing in the stuff and making descriptive use of hands that her throat was sore). Va bene. He got the idea pretty quickly and whatever we bought cleared her right up! Glad you’re feeling better. Maybe you need to consider getting a flu shot next year?

    Possibly. People in my family tend to get quite sick with the flu shot (especially my mom with whom a share a freaky medical synergy), so I’m a little leary, but maybe. And yes, motioning to the pharmacist is an *excellent* technique. I still use it if I must 🙂

  3. 12.08.2008

    Glad to hear that you’re doing better!!

    I did’t visit the farmacia that often when I used to visit my parents’ hometown. Sometimes my dad or nonno used to go, instead. They would buy the “pumata” for the insect bites that I had on my legs. I could not stop scratching them. Luckily, I wasn’t allergic to them!

    Take care,
    Rosa

    Rosa’s last blog post..My Kitchen, My World … Ethiopia

    I’ve *never* had insect bites as badly as I get here. The first year they would get huge and red and swollen (especially gross on my pale legs), but since then I must’ve developed tolerance to them or something and they don’t get as bad. My mom was the victim this past summer 🙁

  4. awedree
    12.08.2008

    Glad you are feeling better. And what a nice story illustrating how some things are just more successful at getting done when you keep it simple. Here in the US, it’s just so complicated to have to schedule an aptmt, then go to your doc, wait, get advice that most of the time the pharmacist can give and THEN go the the pharmacy.
    You’ve added yet one more reason I should move to bel paese!! 🙂

    No, Awedree, universal health care makes everything *more* complicated putting bureaucracy between you and your doctor! Don’t you see?! 😉

    I have to admit, this is definitely nice for someone like me who hates going to the doctor for minor illnessses; in my case, I’ve actually had my family doc standing right next to the pharmacist getting the diagnosis from both of them (they pal around when they’re both in the village). That’s also quite nice 🙂

  5. 12.08.2008

    Yes, the pharmacist is useful in Italy for bites and small things. What is annoying is that I have to remember to bring the card with the ‘Codice Fiscale’ on it to buy almost anything !

    Scintilla’s last blog post..Bring Italy to your Christmas!

    Yes, some things require it; I keep mine in my wallet so I almost always have it (OK, not a card since I *still* haven’t received mine–mine’s just a piece of paper!). Plus since my pharmacy is so close to my house, if I do forget, I can just bring it back later…sometimes village life is really convenient 🙂

  6. 12.08.2008

    I do agree. I was interested to read that your family suffers adverse reactions from flu shots. Micha got his about three weeks ago — his first— and has felt like crap ever since. It all came out last week in a cold (no fever). I could not figure that one out… In any event, I went to my favorite famacia, which carries a full range of regular and homeopathic /natural medications. I wanted to get some cough control medication for Micha with some sort of expectorant. The farmacist, who special orders my homeopathic meds for me, sat down for a good twenty minutes and went through the difference in the chemical and homeopathic cough formulas. He then gave me a bottle of drops which they make there at the farmacia for hacking coughs – a combination of hawthorne (biancospino), propolis, eucalyptus, cypress, and thyme. I feel very fortunate to have this kind of service available here. OTC’s are very expensive all over Europe, but to be honest, I use them less than I ever have. Having access to pharmaceutical grade natural medications at the drug store here is really wonderful — and the way they take time to explain things here at the pharmacy — well, let’s just say I am not a fan of going to the doctor here either and the pharmacist certainly fills a void for me. Great post, glad you are feeling better in time to celebrate the holidays. Bacioni.

    Yes, they do have a lot of great homeopathic stuff too, and my pharmacist is always excited to tell me about it too 🙂 Like you, I’ve noticed that I’ve used less and less OTC meds here; nothing beats Nyquil though, so it’s nice to have that handy!

  7. I’m glad you’re feeling better. I’m a big fan of the farmacista as well. So far I haven’t need any OTC as I bought a few with me when I moved.

    The one around the corner is very helpful. I know I will have to make a trip there is summer to get something for mosquito bites. Not in a problem in L.A. but here? I was eaten alive. Not fun

    A

    p.s. I linked to your Italy Mag. article today. Hope you enjoy the holiday.

    nyc/caribbean ragazza’s last blog post..Immaculate Conception.

    Thank you! And yes, the mosquitoes here are overachievers.

  8. 12.08.2008

    We bought some stuff on our trip back in 2004 in Rome and Florence. I have had excellent experiences with French Pharmacie’s, which by all accounts are very similar. I love them for the fact that you can get so many wonderful things there-other than drugs. Good skin care and really cool products that you can’t get here in the states. And the Pharmacists are so knowledgable.

    This is why I love them 🙂

    Glad you are feeling better!!

    My Melange’s last blog post..Interview and Book Giveaway : The Paris Apartment

    Thanks Robin; they do always great skin and hair care products 🙂

  9. 12.08.2008

    Glad to hear that you are feeling much better. I’ve got a flu for a couple of days now but I have to go to a doctor and hate that. That’s a nice system in Italy. In Greece, although they are very helpful they are not allowed to give medicine without doctors’ prescriptions.

    Ivy’s last blog post..Weekend Herb Blogging #161 – Roundup

    Yes, the same in America; pharmacists can be quite helpful, but since they can’t give out anything in prescription strength, you still have to go to the doc for the script.

  10. joanna
    12.08.2008

    here in spain the farmacias are the same as you describe. once, a few years back, there was a move to change to a more american style drugstore but there was such antagonism to it happening that they decided to keep the farmacias as they are.

    Hah, I think the same would happen here! Thanks for stopping by Joanna 🙂

  11. 12.08.2008

    I found this out when I was in Italy this past summer and thought to myself how convenient it was especially in a town like my father’s where there is a population of like 200 people and the doctor only comes around to the town twice a week (I’m pretty sure it was just twice a week).

    So glad to hear you are feeling better!! 🙂

    LuLu’s last blog post..Feast of the Immaculate Conception

    We have a few town docs, but of course one is “yours” and mine comes a few times a week; the Guardia Medica is always an option, though, if you really need something, but having the pharmacy is great 🙂

  12. See, I am a pretty private person when it comes to pharmacy issues and I *hate* going and having to yell what I need above the other 10 people in front of me – who IF they have been helped I don’t understand why they haven’t moved out of the front, but anyway.

    I imagine living in a village with 350 people has its advantages and this is one of them. I am lucky, too though in that our pharmacist is P’s cousin’s cousin’s husband… so that makes US cousins. (Seriously!)

    Glad you are feeling better!

    Cherrye at My Bella Vita’s last blog post..Celebrating Christmas in Italy Part III: The Immacolata

    I’m definitely a private person too regarding my health, *especially* in such a small town, but yes, it does make it easier that if there does happen to be several people in the pharmacy, I can always just swing by later since it’s so close 🙂

  13. 12.08.2008

    I do love the farmacista too when I’m Italy. They have a way of making the painful visit to the doctor seem so not necessary, and seriously the pharmacist could be a doctor. These people really know their stuff. Not that American ones dont but there is more bed side manner in Italy and a real understanding of the symptoms. Not just a quick refill of the usual. (as we do here in the states) Maybe we should take a closer look at the health system in Italy as a model for health care. Why just this morning I was on the horn with the insurance company fighting with them about an unpaid claim because my doctor mysteriously is no longer covered. Pure corruption I tell you. Anyway, hope you feel better Michelle!

    L-
    Margie

    Margie’s last blog post..Voglio Fare L’Americano…Sunday Dinner –Part Due.

    There are definitely aspects of the health care system that work better, IMHO, than some in America…of course there’s *plenty* of room for improvement here as well so it’s not all so lovely. But still, the pharmacy just down the street with someone who can help me without a wait is definitely a plus for me 🙂

  14. vanessa
    12.08.2008

    Since my MIL is a Farmacista I have hardly ever had to go, however she retired last year and since then I have been often. Have to say my experiences have been the same as Cherrye – yelling what you want (half the time you don’t even know what the name is) over all the others in front of you. Once i bought a pregnancy test like that and was mortified I would know someone in the store!! Awful. And the prices – YIKES! The only positive thing for me is they also sell animal medications so I don’t need to go to the vet to get my cat stuff. And there is one at the end of my street, which uses a numbering system so no queue jumpers (usually).

    So the ones in the US don’t have pharmacists in them then? Weird. I like the drugstores in the US (never needed/ wanted to ask advice there though) but in the UK they have big chains like Boots and Superdrug where you can get any and everything and if you need to speak to a pharmacist there is always at least one on duty down the back in the prescription drugs part. They have even started having specialist clinics there – ones i can remember were for glasses/ eye care, podiatry and diabetes. When my accident prone sister smashed up her toe on an elevator coming out of the tube in Picadilly circus (30 mins before we were due to see a west end show) we went straight to the nearest Boots (conveniently opposite the station!), saw their on duty nurse and bought the stuff we needed to patch it up in their treatment room. V handy indeed!

    Yes there are pharmacists in drugstores and pharmacies in the US–they’re the only ones who can fill prescriptions. And they are surely good sources of medical advice, but since they can’t give you anything prescription-strength, unless you’re totally clueless about your symptoms, chances are you’ll have to go to a doctor to be seen.

  15. 12.08.2008

    I even remember getting some medicine for a kitten with pink eye at the farmacista! they are a blessing… seems like you have the best of both worlds with your mom sending things over Michelle.

    joe@italyville’s last blog post..Seven Fishes Feast – A Food Blogger Event

    Absolutely Joe; I’m very lucky! And yes, I’ve gotten doggie meds at the pharmacy too. Very convenient!

  16. 12.08.2008

    That’s really interesting – I did not know about il farmacista. That sounds like a nice alternative to going to the doctor for something small that can get a “quick fix”.

    Also – Your comment setup is really interesting – It appears to be posting it as I type it!

    3carnations’s last blog post..20 times 20 is 36

    Hah, it’s my trick to mesmerize you to keep coming back 😉

  17. 12.08.2008

    I went to la farmacia one time when I was visiting Italy the very first time because I could not, for the life of me..fall asleep (72 hours up tends to ruin a vacation) And I love that they wait on you themselves…and they were able to give me some Valerian no problem after a lot of pantomime on each of our parts (I know a teeny bit of Italian and of course, nothing for what I was needing at the time, although I could have purchased a train ticket or asked for the bathroom…) and it was a very inexpensive and fun trip for me!

    Oh wow, that is a *long* time without sleep. Glad you got over it to enjoy your holiday!

  18. 12.08.2008

    Pleased you are feeling a great deal better!! 🙂 We can go to our pharmacy and asked advice to…they are normally pretty good, especially the village pharmacy.

    anne’s last blog post..Colletta di Castelbianco ….

    Thanks Anne 🙂 We’re lucky pharmacy-goers, aren’t we?!

  19. 12.08.2008

    I am glad to hear you are feeling better! I do like the pharmacies here. Being able to avoid a doctor’s visit rates high in my book, they’re always friendly and helpful and knowledgeable, and now that they know I prefer natural or homeopathic remedies as a first course, they always offer that to me immediately. Plus, my pharmicist is a real piece of eye candy! 😉

    Valerie’s last blog post..Gifts That Really Give, Part II

    Hah, lucky you Valerie 🙂 Mine sort of reminds me of a younger version of my dad, so that thought is a bit freaky for me 😉

  20. 12.08.2008

    Michelle thanks for stopping by my blog:) Im glad you are feeling better!

    Thanks Susan!

  21. It’s the same here too in Australia. We can get the general tablets and the like but if you need something stronger you can go to the chemist and the pharmacist can assist. I do believe many of the things the pharmacist can dispense, not all, are things you would need a prescription for in the US. It is rather convenient. They are there to help you diagnose your illness rather than having to go to the doctor’s office which for minor illnesses is a waste of time (and money if I do say so myself). And as you stated, you then have the fee of the medicine on top of the doctor’s visit. I’m all for saving time + money. 😀
    I think we can thank the socialised medical system for this because this seems to be the ‘norm’ in socialised medicine. That has been my experience.

    collette~all over the map’s last blog post..Christmas Postcard: 3 Dec

    Yes, those quick $15 (or more!) co-pays can really add up quickly….

  22. helena
    12.09.2008

    On the Greek island of Milos there was no doctor and a brand new health centre sitting empty, gathering dust. I hope the situation has changed by now! Anyway, the local pharmacist had to perform miracles. While driving up a winding road one day, I came upon a tourist scooter rider who had fallen off and grazed her legs badly. I took her to the pharmacy where her injuries were cleaned and patched up, although I suspect hospital treatment and industrial-strength antibiotics might have been in order. As in Italy, one has to ask for everything at the pharmacy. The Greek word is pharmakion. They used to be able to hand over basic antibotics etc without prescriptions, but I believe the system has tightened up.

    Yes, another commenter here mentioned that the system in Greece is a bit more restrictive in what pharmacists can dispense. Glad that pharmacist was well-schooled in first aid!

  23. Carole in KC
    12.09.2008

    We had a nice experience at la farmacia in my home town. My husband suffered from a stomach ailment and they prescribed some suppositories. Must have been all that great food that he wasn’t used to eating. I don’t like to go to the doctor either and it would be nice if pharmacies here worked the same way.
    Nice post as always.

    Buone feste

    Glad you and your husband had a good experience! Pharmacies here are especially helpful, I think, for foreigners/tourists since even if we know what we’d take back home (and maybe didn’t bring it or the prescription), you can still get help without going to a doctor.

  24. 12.09.2008

    At the end of my first trip to Italy I came down with a bad case of indigestion. Rather than suffer through it there was a farmacia just down the street. For the life of me I couldn’t find the words I needed in my small Italian book (not a full dictionary) so ended up using hand signals; he gave me some pills and they worked like a charm.

    I’ve gotten the best directions with hands only communication. Who needs words when one can communicate with hands, eyes, and a big smile.

    Ice Tea For Me’s last blog post..NaBloPoMo – NoMo

    I think it helps that Italians talk with their hands so much anyway 🙂

  25. 12.09.2008

    >>”…you have to *ask* the pharmacist…”

    Yes, exactly. That was my experience in Bari last year. I’d been suffering horribly from hayfever for a few days, and I went into the farmacia….

    Details. I went to one: it was lunch: I came back: it was still shut: I came back after 4pm, and it had at last opened. The whole closing-for-the-whole-of-the-middle-of-the-day-thing caught me out more than once.

    ….and I couldn’t just look around for what I needed: I had to ask. At that point I didn’t know any Italian at all. Not a word.

    Luckily, the word “antihistamine” is unmistakeable in any language. 🙂

    Mikeachim’s last blog post..My Words (And Others): Your Chance To Opine

    You might be surprised how many medical words in particular are similar…those Latin roots come in very handy sometimes!

  26. 12.10.2008

    Glad you are finally feeling better. I was almost sucked in thinking the tampons were kept under lock and key!

    I seem to somehow visit a farmacia almost every year I go to Italy…ripped off toe nail after falling in the middle of traffic in Naples, ear swollen from allergic reaction to a bug bite, allergy problems, eye problems, etc. The most embarrassing time was when I was in Siracusa and I was experiencing a major IBS attack with diarrhea. I tried my best to explain my symptoms but eventually the farmacista had to call over her colleague. This resulted in a long involved discussion (while all the other customers waited impatiently for their turns, although I am sure at least I provided some entertainment). My problem was finally understood and I was given some great medicine. I do have to say that each time I have been to the farmacia, the medicine I have received has always worked wonderfully.

    girasoli’s last blog post..remembering john lennon

    Well I’m sorry you’ve had so much experience with pharmacies in Italy, but at least what you got helped! Sheesh. Be careful 😉

  27. 12.11.2008

    We also go to the pharmacist for advice on what to give our dogs. The pharmacist in the next village is so knowledgeable that you can even take your mushrooms to him and he’ll tell you whether they’re edible or not!

    casalba’s last blog post..Frantoio

    Now *that* is a great pharmacist!

  28. Tina
    12.11.2008

    Ok Michelle, I put my farmcista to the test today, and it went great! Same thing. Had some symptoms and first went to farmacista who was very knowledgable and gave me what I needed. It looks like Argentina has yet another thing in common with Italy 😉

    Tina’s last blog post..R.I.P. Luciano Mares

    That’s excellent news Tina; hope you’re feeling better!

  29. 12.11.2008

    Oh, I do love your farmacista story as it brings smiles of shared experiences to my face! Now that I have gotten used to the Italian pharmacies I kind of like them too, but I still resent the fact that over-the-counter doesn’t exist and that pharmacies will not give up there monopoly on selling asprin for goodness sake!

    Karen’s last blog post..Ognina – more than just a traffic jam

    I hear you Karen…and the prices of painkillers are ridiculous!

  30. 12.13.2008

    Michelle — I have a favorite pharmacist in Calabria — Paola Catanoso, my cousin, who lives in Reggio but owns una farmacia in Cosenza (crazy business rules in Italy prevent her from owning a store where she has lived). I would love for you to meet her. I mention her several times in my book. She is a wonderful woman with an hilarious sense of humor. You’d love her!

    Justin Catanoso’s last blog post..Italians in America

    Oh that’s funny; I’ve never heard of that rule, but it doesn’t surprise me…that’s when you know you’ve lived in Italy too long I think 😉 Cosenza and Reggio are both at least 2 hours from me, but feel free to pass along my contact info if she’s an emailer. I can’t place her in the book in my head right now….

  31. 12.13.2008

    Glad you’re feeling better! I loved our farmacista, too! With three kids, I’m sure we were his best customers. Do you all have the famous “linea de cortesia” about 3 feet away from the cash register? It’s meant to give you some privacy, but the volume at which Italians speak (the pharmacist included) pretty much makes the “courtsey line” useless. 🙂

    Natalie’s last blog post..Sick in America

    Yes we have that line too! Too funny. I’m really lucky with my pharmacist…he actually talks at a normal decibel level 🙂

  32. 12.14.2008

    It was quite the shock to have to go to the pharmacist for every little piddly thing; well, not every little piddly thing. You are right, we don’t have to ask for tampons. Thank goodness! Can you imagine that embarrassment – especially if you have a hard of hearing pharmacist?

    Yes, thank goodness is right!!!

  33. csitly
    12.15.2008

    I’m glad you are feeling better and I’m happy (and envious!) to see so many positive experiences w/ il farmacista here!

    Suffice to say, I’m not a fan. It always happens that I need to visit a pharmacy during the mid-day closing hours. Always. And since I do not have a car it’s nearly impossible for me to make it to the location listed that is open. Of course there’s an ‘in case of emergency’ number listed, but still for me, this doesn’t seem enough. I think certain professions make a commitment of service to their communities irrespective of what time of day it is- hospitals don’t close, nor to fire stations, police stations etc. Heck, even my grocery store has continuous hours. Pharmacists are an extension of the medical profession, and people become ill any time of day.

    I don’t have a problem asking il farmacista for medication recommendations- in moderation. A cold sore, a runny nose, sure. But I’m weary of using the pharmacist as a substitute for a physiscian as my in-laws and many others here seem to do. My grandfather and several friends are pharmacists in the States and Ireland. They would never presume to diagnose someone- and not for fear of a law suit that could arrise in the case of mis-diagnosis, but because they will be the first to tell you they were not trained to diagnose, they were trained to dispense medication. Perhaps I’m completely off here, and pharmacists are trained differently here, I don’t know. And of course I’m not trying to insinuate that pharmacists belive they’re a substitute for a medical docter. I just worry that the annoyace that is visiting a doc here, and the helpfulness pharmacies offer make some people (ah hem, again, my in-laws) avoid the doc more than I think is good for them.

    I hate having to tell il farmacista every little thing you need as well. My Italian’s not all that, and, as some others commented, it’s a bit maddening to be trying to describe (and let’s be honest, do a fair bit of pantomiming) your symptoms/what you need. It also feels so patronizing to me to have to ask the pharmacist for the simplist of things- asprin, vitamins. Recently I was after a basal thermometer. The first four pharmacists did’t have any, and the fith repeatedly asked me if I was SURE that’s what I wanted, and did I COMPLETELY understand the difference to a normal thermometer. Mortifying.

    Ha! Sorry for the rant! And really, I’m glad there are so many positive comments above, especially from the visitors to Italy who needed a visit to il farmacista!

    OK that’s really annoying about the thermometer. I mean, just hand it over! Sheesh!

    Hopefully you’ll start needing the pharmacy during its operating hours…I’ve found that I’ve weirdly adjusted to things like that. Like, for instance, my mom was telling me how my niece and nephew had eye appointments at 1 pm and I was just beside myself…when would they eat lunch?! Hah!

  34. 02.20.2010

    Luckily, while in Italy, I haven’t had the need to get any medications from the farmacia. *Knock on wood*. The only times I was there was to buy a taglia unghia (a nail clipper) and, ahem, Immodium. I also accompanied my ex when he was unfortunately sick. They have quite a few things that we don’t have here, like, fermenti lattici, which are live lactic cultures, or probiotics. For some reason, I think their probiotics are more natural than the pill form ones you have here. I am not sure if they come in a pill form there (probably), but I have seen a powder form that’s mixed into water. Does anyone know about these?

    I don’t know anything about them, but I’m about to…would like to try to make some yogurt with my goat’s milk after they deliver 🙂

    .-= PassagetoItaly´s last blog ..Recipe of the Month: Il Stufato di Vitello e Verdure =-.

  35. Mary Floridia-Rankin
    12.15.2010

    My friend and I had the funniest experience in la farmicia a couple of years ago in Sicily. The pharmacy was filled with a few people and the pharmacist was talking to one person in line but he was a happy soul. He saw us come in and knew we were Americans as he started singing our national anthem…everyone laughed and smiled…he asked us what we wanted and I, stupidly said, minerale de olio (mineral oil, thinking that was the word for it) for our problem…little did I know there is no mineral oil in Italy. (I think that is what he said.) Well, that started some funny comments from some of the patrons and the pharmacist but gave us a chance to talk to some of the patrons. One man was a worker in the post office who wore a suit (in America post office workers wear a uniform) and he said that American women are strong (forte) and big (grande)…I think he meant we weren’t skinny and he told us to come and visit him, He worked right across the street.
    The pharmacist gave us a questioning look and said something in Italian that I couldn’t catch but everyone chuckled and then he said in very good English that he recommended this and handed us a box of something for our problem…I don’t even remember what it was or if we even used it…then under his breath he said something else and everyone chuckled..so for a while we brought a laugh in the lives of these sweet Italians and it was just one of those laughable moments in our vacation that endears the Italians to us.

    Always an adventure for sure! Thanks for sharing your story, Mary 🙂

Michelle FabioMichelle Fabio is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer living in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy and savoring simplicity one sip at a time. 

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