What to buy in Italy
“I pick things up in different cities, so my wardrobe is kind of a souvenir chest” - Hilar Hahn.
Those are the words of the famous American violinist Hilary Hahn and not one letter of it seems an exaggeration.
Without souvenirs, our travel is incomplete, they keep our memories alive and make us yearn for places, probably we visited once in a lifetime.
Italy is a country where you'll get hundreds of souvenirs of every kind. With a deep-rooted historical significance and a rich, diversified culture that evolved through millennia, the boot-shaped country of Europe is more than worth keeping alive in your memories.
What makes souvenirs unique is the exclusivity. Here are seven souvenirs you would want to buy on your Italian vacation.
Hand-made sandals from Positano
The hustling local markets of the picturesque coastal town is filled with clothing and leather items shops. The hand-made leather sandals are not only a métier for the patch but also a specialty.
The best part is, you could get your pair of sandals customized then and there, which means you get to choose the style, heels, and the color of your choice.
The wait time anywhere is around 15-30 minutes unless something delays it further. But when you are in Positano, the time won’t stretch.
Just a little north to the Amalfi coast is the Gulf of Naples, and if you are there, you won’t miss the lemon liqueur—Limoncello.
Well, if this bright yellow-hued liquor is not to be missed tasting, it is not to be missed taken home as well. Made from the zest of Sorrento lemons, which are grown everywhere on the island of Capri, the drink is made in quite many parts of the world, but you won’t find one like in Italy.
Limoncello would make a great Italian souvenir which you can gift to someone or just decide to keep it for yourself.
More leather from the birthplace of Renaissance
Florence is known for a plethora of things. The center of the Renaissance, apart from the reasons much obvious, is also known for its leather items. Leatherworks in the city goes back to the middle ages.
The reason for the emergence of this industry could be attributed to the fact that the city enjoys close proximity with river Arno, which is a great source of water required in the tanning process.
In this mecca of high-quality and authentic leather, you’d find a huge range of leather products such as handbags, wallets, belts and much more.
Remember Capone’s iconic black-strapped white fedora? Yes, precisely that one! In fact, Capone himself was a fan of Borsalino. Over 160 years old the name in Italy, manufactures all kinds of hats you could imagine and has become synonymous to a hat.
Based in Alessandria, the hat maker’s history can be analogous to the history of Italy: pride, fame, and culturally significant. In the year 2017, the Italian government dedicated a stamp valuing €0.95 to Borsalino.
The production of hats still sticks to the original process with some of the felts having over 50 manual steps and could take up to half a year to craft one hat.
Coming back to the coveted and picturesque Amalfi Coast, this time it is, the ceramics. Just like the sandals, the ceramic items available on the beautiful coast are hand-made too and hand-painted as well.
What makes them great are the intricate details as if they were printed by a machine and are just as erroneous as a handicraft could be.
You could get a wide range of ceramic items here such as bruschetta trays, spoons, bowls and much more. The bigger shops can even ship the items to your home, so you don’t have to go through the hassle and risk of breaking.
The town of Vietri Sul Mare is one of the oldest towns to manufacture ceramics, from about 400 years, according to legends.
Venetian Masks & Paper
From the south, straight up to the north, comes Venice—The city of water, and here, for a souvenir, some things could be evidently Venetian, and some could just be a complete surprise.
One of the most popular events in the world is the Carnevale di Venezia— whose iconic mask could become a mascot of the event itself, brings the most outlandish, intriguing and enigmatic masks in the world. If you happen to visit Venice around February, buy a Carnival mask as a souvenir for a lifetime.
Coming to something less evident of Venice, have you heard of the Venetian glass? Yes, Venice is known for its glassware, and the glassmaking goes back to the 13th century. You would get a vast range of glassware such as figurines, chandeliers, vases, and much more.
So, this time around Italy, you have a plethora of things to buy as souvenirs. Don’t forget to book your tours to Venice and Amalfi coast with Benvenutolimos.
About the Author: Giovanni Benvenuto is the managing director of Benvenuto Limos, a chauffeur and private tour guide company, serving the tourists who visit Italy to discover the outstanding beauty of the country. Apart from his professional work, he also loves reading, writing journals, and cooking.