The last of our merry group to arrive were Aunt Sharon and Uncle Dan who were driving in from Portofino. We had expected them much earlier in the day, but they finally called to let us know they had gotten lost…in Praiano. No wonder, since their GPS had directed them straight into the sea!
As we had already discovered, they would have to arrive by pedestrian pathway, no cars allowed. Not even a Vespa would make it up the steps of Via Ruocco.
After circling around for an hour without finding the road or the villa, Sharon and Dan had stopped at Tutto Per Tutti, a little grocery store just down the way, to ask where the villa was located.
Tutto Per Tutti, the compact alimentari just down Via Umberto, would become our favorite (and only!) spot for buying anything and everything we needed during the week.
And it was here at Tutto Per Tutti where our group first made the acquaintance of infamous Angelo Cinque, who would provide much entertainment for us in the days to come. It had been Angelo, the owner of the little grocery store, who let Sharon use his telefonino to call the villa when they were lost. (More about Angelo later.)
We needed to stock up on a few provisions, so we reluctantly pulled ourselves away from the dreamy villa and struck out to make our first visit to Tutto Per Tutti.
Down the stairs to the green gate, down the stone stairway to the narrow path, down the path to the small road. And at the elbow, where the road continued its downward spiral, we found it.
Tutto per Tutti means Everything for Everyone. And it certainly lived up to its name. It was one of those charming Italian alimentari — essentially, a supermarket in absolute miniature. It had a little of everything: fresh fruits and vegetables, bottled water, laundry soap, a full meat and cheese deli counter, suntan lotion, sea salt, even my favorite Italian soft drink, Crodino.
But the most impressive part of this little store could be found down the steep flight of steps on the lower level: a dimly lit cantina packed with local wines, prosecco, limoncello, and hard liquor. Over the course of the coming week, we would do our best to sample them all.
Since we had to carry any purchases back up all of those same pathways and stairs, our forays into Tutto per Tutti usually included three or more people — especially since the bulk of our purchases seemed to always consist of several bottles of some kind of alcohol.
More than once I wondered what the clerks must have thought of this cheerful group of Californians swarming their little store on a daily basis, then walking out laden with bags stretched to their limit with drink.
But they always met us with smiles and a hearty “Buongiorno!”