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FIUME VENETO, Italy — Ask someone what they miss about living in the States, and shopping malls often make the list.

They’re becoming more and more popular in Europe, though, and the latest to open in Italy is just 10 miles away from the gates of Aviano Air Base. Centro Commerciale Emisfero boasts almost 70 shops, including the huge supermarket that the center is named after. The mall also has a handful of places to eat for those looking for something new off base.

Most unusual is a Japanese-style restaurant that offers sushi dishes as well as an array of fare that’s spent more time sizzling on the stove. Kaiten Sushi offers a half dozen combinations illustrated above the counter, so diners can just point if their Italian (or Japanese) is a bit rusty. There’s also assorted entrees starting at 6 euros and sushi dishes ranging from 4 to 15 euros.

A few steps away, Al Caretto dei Sopori offers gelati (1 euro a scoop) and various ice teas (1.50 a glass) for those who work up a sweat walking from store to store. The cafe also has desserts and offers fixed menu meals for 12 euros that include first and second courses, a side dish, beverage and coffee.

A few more steps away, shoppers can try out a variety of sandwiches at Panini Giusto. Sandwiches range from 2.90 to 5.50 euros, with drinks including soda and water, but also red and white wine and beer in the can, glass and from the tap. Americans without language skills are in luck: the menu’s also in English.

A mall in Italy couldn’t exist without a pizza parlor and PizzaMi fills that role. Buy a slice (1.90 to 2.10 euros) or an entire pizza (10.50 to 12.20 euros).

But the place offering the most selection when it comes to food is the Emisfero supermarket. A deli section offers an array of fresh fruit, salads, sandwiches and pizza by the slice ranging from 1.80 to 3.90 euros. There’s a small eating area set up nearby for those looking to grab something for a short break between shopping.

Shopping is, of course, why most people will be visiting the mall. This one boasts the closest outlet of European clothing retailer H&M to Aviano. It also has several stores specializing in sports apparel, a large electronics store and a variety of specialty shops. The UCI Cinemas, which offer movies in English a few nights a week, is right next door.

Commerciale Centro Emisfero

Fiume Veneto, Italy

Hours: Mondays 2 to 9 p.m.; Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Specialities: Sushi by the roll. Noodles by the bowl. Pizza by the slice. Gelato by the cone. Water and soda by the bottle or can. Beer and wine via bottle, can or glass.

Clientele: Mostly Italians.

Directions: The mall is located off the SS-13 a few miles east of Pordenone and almost 10 miles exactly from the gates of Aviano. Take the first right at the large traffic circle and maneuver under the overpass to reach the parking lot.

Web site: None (though the theater next door posts its movie listings at

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Kent has filled numerous roles at Stars and Stripes including: copy editor, news editor, desk editor, reporter/photographer, web editor and overseas sports editor. Based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, he’s been TDY to countries such as Afghanistan Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia. Born in California, he’s a 1988 graduate of Humboldt State University and has been a journalist for almost 38 years.
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