Thanks to everyone who gave me recommendation for dining in northern Italy. All the suggestions were right on the mark. Here is a little place I found in a beautiful medevial town up in the hills of the Veneto called Marostica for buying non-perishible foods that were great and a good value. The town is worth seeing and in JUly is known for its fresh cherries - unbelievably good. While there I came across a little store, "Bar Bianco Latte di Siviero Paolo" on Corso Mazzini 102 (its on the main street that leads into the main square). This wonderful store had all kinds of fabulous prepared foods (great for a picnic)but also all kinds of great dried pastas, dried mushrooms, spices and many types of high quality risottos at very reasonable prices. Everything I've tried since getting home has been of high quality. If any of you are ever in the region check it out - the quality rivalled Pecks of Milan (of course it was a much smaller establishment) but was so much less expensive!