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Souvenirs from Italy

Updated: Mar 26, 2022

Shopping in Venice… My Top 5 Picks

Murano Glass

Visit a factory on the island of Murano, the world’s capitol of artistic mouth-blown glassworks and watch a demonstration from a master. I was fortunate to tour Ars Cenedese Murano where I purchased a lovely vase and wine glasses. Not only do they offer shipping to make it easier to get your beautiful delicate treasures home, they keep everything on file, so I can continue to add to my collection.

You can also visit Orovetro Murano & Ars Cenedese, in San Marco Square. These magnificent shops offer the best in Venice. Some smaller jewelry pieces make for great gifts and are always easy to pack.

Burano Lace

The colorful island of Burano is famous for the intricate handmade needle lace, which is used in table clothes, napkins, handkerchiefs or a woman's collar. Scuola del Merletto in Burano or Il Merletto- in Venice are two great shops that offer authentic lace.

Venetian Masks

One of my favorite things from Venice are the elaborate masks. Traditionally made famous from Carnevale, they are now more of a decorative item. Tragicomica near Rialto Bridge, sells authentic masks and you can even learn how to make your very own from a master.

Mini Gondola

Want to remember the quintessential gondola ride? Stop by Gilberto Penzo’s shop and pick up a modeling kit to bring home, this also makes for a fun project with the kids.

Handmade Paper

Stationary can make for a great keepsake. Visit Legatoria Piazzesi or Valese Ebru and check out how molted paper is made. This marbleized paper technique did not originate in Italy; however, has been made popular by Italians dating back to the 18th century. It can be found in leather bound books, a single sheet for gift wrapping or to be hung as art. I suggest purchasing a travel journal, bookmarks or beautiful stationary, all which can make for wonderful gifts and are easy to pack.

Shopping in Rome...

Strolling around for a unique souvenir when in Rome, I would buy Italian leather. While Italy is famous for food and wine, these items are more difficult to bring back to the states. But a leather bag or travel journal reminding you of your trip is perfect. After all this walking, everyone could probably use a new pair of shoes as well. Marta Ray is famous for their ballet flats and the handbags are like butter, Fausto Santini offers shoes and bags for both men and woman and Campo Marzio, another historic Roman brand offers great leather accessories.

If you are looking for some more high end shopping, strolling down Via Condotti is where you should go. 5th Ave has nothing on this Italian street close to the Spanish steps- Hermès, Bulgari, Gucci, Prada, La Perla, Jimmy Choo, the list goes on. There are also several jewelry stores that will catch your eye selling beautiful estate pieces. Via Borgognona and Via delle Carrozze are on either side of this street and are filled with top brands as well.

Shopping in Tuscany...

Tuscany offers so much; obviously famous for their wine and olive oil, ceramics are popular as well. Visit the area of Carmignano or Montepulciano and see all three of these popular items.

Italian leather as I mentioned before is easy to fall in love with. Whether shopping for a belt, handbags, or a jacket, you wont be disappointed.

Buying jewelry in Florence on the Ponte Vecchio is quite the experience and the quality of gold in Italy is very high, the standard being 18k. Coming home with a necklace or charm is a great way to remember your Italian vacation.

Sipping Souvenirs...


My husband and I have a modest wine collection and honeymooned throughout Italy. There are several varietals to choose from. Barolo, Brunello, Super Tuscan, Montepulcino d’abruzzo, Amarone and Chianti are just a few to look for and easy to ship home. Touring vineyards or sipping in wine shops is a great way to explore the region you are visiting and learn what your palate prefers.


This grape based pomace brandy is found in Northern Italy, and is primarily served as an after dinner drink or more commonly known as a digestive. After the process of winemaking is complete the pressed grapes are distilled using the skins, pulp, seeds and stems. This liqueur is typical 35-60 % proof. Nardini or Nonino- export and are two notable producers.


Make room in your suitcase and bring a bottle home of this Italian lemon liqueur. Produced in Southern Italy around the Amalfi Coast, it is made from the zest of the famous lemons of this region with sugar and vodka. Typically served chilled and is considered the second most popular liqueur in Italy after Campari. My favorite is Profumi della Costiera from Ravello.

Insider Tip-

Whatever you decide to bring home or decide to ship back, make sure it is something authentic and supports the fine craftsmanship that Italy is famous for. It would be wonderful if these century old techniques where around for many years to come. Please beware of the local tourist shops filled with machine made crafts not made in Italy.

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