By Emma Montross, Marist Italy MA, 2014-2015
“Do you think Tutto has that?”
“You got what at Tutto?”
“Is the Tutto near San Lorenzo better than our Tutto?”
“Wait where is the super huge Tutto?”
I can state with assurance that almost every student studying in Florence has uttered at least one of these questions during their stay in this historic city. For Masters students like myself, Tutto is a way of life. Need a trash can for .99 cents? Tutto .99 has it. Folders, notebooks, and pencils for under a Euro? Tutto has that too. Energy drinks and pretzels? Yep. Holiday themed decorations? In abundance. Tupperware? Bowls and plates? Cleaning supplies? Nail polish? Converters and adapters? Honestly, I would be surprised if Tutto didn’t have a secret wardrobe to Narnia considering how much of a poor man’s utopia this store is.
The many charms of Tutto should be obvious by now, but the thing that makes this store different from the stale and uncomfortable dollar stores back home is the atmosphere. Upbeat pop music almost always plays softly overhead, the employees happily count your items aloud during check out, and your fellow shoppers seem just as excited as you are about the great deals at your feet. It’s a different kind of mentality about what a shopping-on-a-budget store is. At no point will you hear the sound of a flicking florescent light or wonder what that smell coming from the carpet is (because Tutto has tiled floors).
There are, of course, like any good thing in the world, knock off Tutto stores. I have, with sympathy, seen otherwise unknowing tourists get caught in lure of the 1 Euro store. If you didn’t know about a far superior .99 cent store, a 1 Euro store seems like a pretty good deal. However, the 1 Euro store is full of tourist tchotchkes and therefore doesn’t contain anything of real value while Tutto provides everyday items for real people, tourists and residents of Florence alike. All are welcome to experience the glory that is Tutto, and I hope that newcomers and repeat visitors to Italy alike can experience its simple greatness again and again for a long time to come. I know I will.
To experience Tutto .99, visit one of the five stores in central Florence located at:
- Via degli Orti Oricellari 16- 18- 20 R
- Via Nazionale 107 R
- Piazza Salvemini 23
- Via de‘ Conti 57 R
- Via de‘ Ginori 46 R