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Souvenirs from Italy
Souvenirs from Italy are the easiest way to keep alive the memories of your dream vacation as you cherish them at home. Every town you stop in will have ceramic and resin replicas of the major landmarks, like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Milan’s Duomo, the Coliseum in Rome, or the temples of Ragusa. These same images will be emblazoned onto T-shirts, postcards, key chains and magnets for small Italian souvenirs to share with loved ones. Catholic memorabilia, like blessed rosaries, prayer cards and icons, from major religious sites, like the Vatican, Assisi and Florence, will be cherished for centuries by the faithful. The majority of the world’s art heritage is located within the borders of Italy, and you will find calendars, tote bags, coffee mugs and pencils decorated with the likeness of the David, the Sistine Chapel and any number of Raphael’s work. Of course, the best souvenirs maybe the many photographs you will take.
Italian Fashion and Deals
Considered a fashion and design capital of the world, Italy is an ideal location to purchase clothing and accessories. Designer quality leather goods can be found in the Tuscan region for incredible prices, and you will see gold jewelry at a substantial value here and in Venice. All of the major cities will have shopping districts where you can stroll through luxury boutiques and purchase fashions that will not be available outside the country for some time. If you enjoy the look of high end brands but are not quite able to afford them, many of the design houses, such as Gucci and Prada, have discount stores, where last season’s goods are sold at lower prices. Of course, you will encounter markets where handmade lace, embroidered clothing, and vintage fashion and accessories will be sold. This is an ideal place for the budget minded to shop for souvenirs of their Italian vacation.
Glassworks of Italy
Hand-blown glass is made throughout Italy, but nowhere quite so famous as the tiny island of Murano. Hundreds of workers create the glass in the same method as they have for generations, taking the time and care to produce works of art. If you are visiting northern Italy, it is worth the time to visit Murano to watch the artisans at work. You will find examples in every city you visit, ranging from vases to chandeliers, beads to pendants, paperweights to statues that tower overhead, and delightful animals in bright colors. It is possible to have pieces commissioned while you are at the workshop and shipped to any destination you wish upon completion. How wonderful a set of wine glasses would be for the newly married, or for your own bar, done in colors to match your décor? Any design or style you can suggest, the glassworkers will make it a reality.
A Culinary Adventure
Of course, there are many who say their favorite part of the vacation was the food and, in Italy, there will be truth in that statement. Rich in culinary history and influence on current world food trends, the country offers many ways to bring those flavors back with you. The farmer is still a vital component of society, and brings fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, cheese and olive oils into the city markets for purchase. Take a stroll through these markets to find tasty souvenirs to bring home with you. Salamis, canned olives and truffles, jams and jellies are ideal for packing in your luggage, while you may want to see if you can have oils shipped back home by the producer. Packaged cookies, breads and candies, such as those from Ferrero Roche, are another option found in stores. The attractive packaging and tasty treats will be a sweet souvenir of your Italian gastronomic adventures
Liquid Italy: Wine and Coffee
Italians drink more wine per capita than the majority of the world, and are proud to share their heritage with visitors. If you are fortunate enough to be driving through the countryside, stop at every vineyard you see. The owners will be glad to give you a quick tour, and share some of their products with you. If you like what you are drinking, they will happily arrange for shipment of as many bottles as you would like. The other lifeblood of Italy is coffee, appropriate day or night, in the correct form. You can purchase beans or ground coffee to use at home, and an espresso machine to make the flavor concentrated beverage. If there’s no room in your luggage for the restaurant style machines, a metal stovetop espresso maker called a moka pot will certainly fit. Naturally, you will also need to purchase a set of espresso cups and spoons to properly set up your home café.
Italy has a strong tradition of craftsmanship in ceramics, done in vivid colors and styles, but still reflective of the local traditions of each region. Umbria, Sicily and Tuscany are known for being centers of ceramic production, with factories and artisan workshops to tour and purchase pots, place settings, cups, vases and decorative objects from. Medieval reproductions of tapestries, flags, clothing and weapons are other fun pieces of memorabilia to purchase, as well as mementos from the Roman, Etruscan and Greek civilizations. Picking up Italian language magazines, books and maps can make an interesting decorative focal element for your coffee table, and allow you to share the landscapes, buildings and artwork you experienced while on vacation. A carnival mask, based on the fashions of the 15th and 16th centuries, is a beautiful souvenir of festivals, and a stylish addition to an office wall. Of course, there are always plentiful options for Italian souvenirs, such as water globes, rubber bracelets and visors with images and slogans. No matter what memento you choose to purchase from Italy, you will always remember your glorious vacation time.