Made for Locals by Locals.
There is a type of retailing in Bologna that is so beautiful. The windows are essentially showrooms, with creativity and artistic fervor being the rule of thumb in its design. It is not uncommon to see people window shopping, taking photos. I am reminded of this when I leave Italy, and come back. Yet there is a catch, the store seems to be always closed;they have minimal online existence; no posted hours, no price tags. The worst is that once you walk in and intend to purchase something it is as if you have have made a personal affront to whomever is unluckily working there. Now that is a ridiculous statement, and since living here I have come to learn how to talk and engage, contrary to Boston where being tall and making eye contact led me to being served first at a busy bar.
Walking into this tiny cubicle sized room, every head turns as if I were in the wild west. The 4 walls are covered from floor to ceiling from local wines at sale prices to rare vintages of Sauternes. If you have your glasses on you will find that in addition to the myriad of chocolates, appellation rice, assorted fine food items, Japanese whiskey mingles with Gin only distilled during full moons. Another one of these places that makes it not really conducive to buying things as it feels like you are at a family gathering with everyone drinking wine and talking to each other. It works, enough at least. If you want to see their wines you can be given a book of their entire inventory of 100s of pages ranging from specific vermouth, to aged barolo, even to Jura, but it’s all in alphabetical order…. Their storage room is about a block away with glass walls across the street. Very cool window shopping, and sales on magnums etc. Just make sure to take a picture as if you do not show the price you may very well be over or under priced (a lack of any POS technology is the norm in Bologna). I mostly get my coffee there (as society values me drinking coffee daily more than Lambrusco), which they grind on the spot while I stare at the Calvados and Valle D’Aosta Passito. Of which I sincerely think they have not updated their pricing since it is the best deal in the city, or I am just enjoying the coffee due to the pleasant purchasing experience.
Antica Drogheria Calzolari
Via Giuseppe Petroni, 9, 40126 Bologna
Mon-Sat 7:30 – 2, 3:30 – 8:30