Italian in Italy


A tobacco shop

The tobacconist, or tabacchi is one of the centers of Italian everyday life. Identified by a blue sign with a large, white "T" in the middle, the tabacchi sells tobacco products, including cigarettes, lighters, pipes, loose tobacco and cigarette papers. However, products are not limited to a clientele of smokers. As well, candies and small chocolates are sold. One goes to the tabacchi to buy stamps, postcards, stationery and school supplies. Phone cards for both cell phones and pay phones are for sale, and in some tabacchi , one can even buy cosmetics and perfume, souvenirs and small gifts. When traveling by bus or subway, one purchases tickets or passes at the tabacchi .

One of the major focuses of Italian life is soccer, and many take a great pleasure in betting on the upcoming games of the week. Every Sunday, a multitude of Italians go to the tabacchi to purchase schedine , small cards where one writes down predictions for winning teams of the week. Since often a tabacchi is attached to a bar, there is the opportunity to fill out one's card over coffee while debating with friends from the neighborhood.