But not for much longer.
The Billa supermarket group is withdrawing from Italy. Their strategy was to become one of the Big 3 supermarkets and, having failed at that, they're throwing a hissy fit and withdrawing from the country completely.
We've never known Venice without the Billa on the Zattere. There are a number of others throughout the town, including one on Rio Marin which is our nearest local for 'emergency' shopping.
And soon they'll be gone, to be replaced with branches of "Conad". I don't know much about them, apart from the fact that the name sounds like a Robert E Howard-style barbarian hero, and slightly rude into the bargain.
In the meantime, Billa are selling off their remaining stock at ever more ridiculous prices. Every week Caroline goes to the supermarket. Every week she comes back with her trolley groaning with things that were on offer. Teabags, pasta, risotto rice, breakfast cereals, tinned tomatoes. Campari. Lots of Campari. Our magazzino now looks as if we're storing up against the Apocalypse.
The loss of a supermarket isn't really something to get nostalgic about, but they were there and they were convenient. You don't really need more from a supermarket. And we will remember them, as long as the teabags endure.
And here's something we won't be hearing any more. It's described as a jingle, but that, frankly, is a disservice to fifty seconds of a little bit of Italian pop magic...
The Billa Jingle (Youtube)
Per fortuna, c'era Billa!