The man was spotted leaving the Ipercoop store in Castenaso, near Bologna, with a shopping trolley stacked to the brim with products he had swiped from the shelves, on Tuesday afternoon.
His stash included 30 slabs of cheese, eight slices of prosciutto and 13 cuts of salami, with a total value of €693, police in Castenaso said in a statement.
Unfortunately for him, local police soon arrived on the scene. After returning the stolen goods to the supermarket, he was arrested for aggravated robbery.
The man attempted to justify his actions to police by saying that he was unemployed.
It follows two arrests earlier this month for petty thefts reportedly "driven by hunger", each amounting to less than €10.
But it seems the latest thief had more refined tastes. Emilia-Romagna is known as the gastronomical capital of Italy and is famous for its luxury cuisine, with prosciutto and Parmesan cheese among its many regional specialities.