The Best Souvenirs to Bring Home from Italy

by Jenna Lee
Ceramics from Sicily. Best souvenirs from Italy

No trip is complete without a few treasured souvenirs tucked safely away in your luggage. If you’re like me, you might even pack a foldable travel bag to bring goodies home. Some souvenirs provide a lifetime of memories displayed on the mantle and others may disappear before you even finish unpacking. Either way, here are a few of the best souvenirs from Italy to pick up on your next holiday.

Decorate your Home with Murano Glass from Venice

Diana, The Elusive Family

Venetian glass is one of the most well-known products and best souvenirs to bring home from Italy.  Created and produced on the island of Murano near Venice, Venetian glass is an art form. Not only that, but this artistic glass has been among the finest in the world for over a thousand years.  For centuries, Italian law concentrated Venetian glassmaking to Murano, thus creating the now well-known Murano glass.  Today, there are several independent glass blowing artists and factories on the island as it is one of the largest tourist draws for Venice.

Venetian, or Murano, glass is beautifully designed in an array of patterns, colors, and details. The glass is fashioned into many items such as jewelry, kitchen items, cups, and glasses. You can also find small items like paperweights, beads, vases, figurines, and many other unique items. Murano glass is sometimes layered to combine contrasting colors and create unique shapes and designs.  The beauty of Murano glass is not only its appearance but the rich history of glassmaking in the region. Next time you have a day in Venice, hop on the ferry to Murano to watch the local glass blowers craft beautiful works of art that you can take home.

Glass work. Murano glass, originating from a Venetian island, is one of the best Italy souvenirs to bring home.
Image: Source

Add to Your Wardrobe with Leather from Florence

Kaisa, Glam Granola Travel

Did you know Florence is world-famous for its leather goods? I sure didn’t until I asked the folks at my hotel about the best souvenirs to bring home from Italy. They stared at me like I was absolutely clueless. It turns out leather goods are a very, very big deal in Florence. The city prides itself on leather craftsmanship, has so for hundreds of years, and retains an excellent reputation for its leather textiles. In fact, shopping for leather is a good enough reason alone to add Florence to your itinerary if you’re planning a trip to Italy.

Selling knockoffs is illegal in Italy, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t scammers who sell inferior products. You can find a wild assortment of leather goods in both markets and brick and mortar shops. Either way you plan to shop, do your homework before purchasing leather in Florence. The idea of spotting cheap products vs high-quality leather can be deeply intimidating. If you’re unsure, simply ask locals for the names of leather shops they recommend. Benheart, the Leather School, and Roberto Ugolini are well-known as a few of the best places to shop for leather in Florence. 

One final word to the wise, wherever and however you decide to buy your Florentine leather, it isn’t cheap. A few small souvenirs for friends and family and one nice (but still small) shoulder bag for myself cost around $100 USD. How much you’re willing to fork out is up to you of course but if the price seems too good to be true, think twice.

Leather messenger bag. One of the best souvenirs from Italy is leather from Florence.
Image: Source

Share Italy’s Favorite After-Dinner Digestif, Limoncello from the Amalfi Coast

Megan, My Canadian Passport

If you are heading to Italy’s Amalfi Coast, purchase a bottle or two of Limoncello to take home. It is truly one of the best Italy souvenirs you can buy. Whether you keep it to yourself or share Italy’s favorite after-dinner drink with friends, it probably won’t last long. It’s strong, but delicious, and a great aid in digestion.

Originating in the Campania region, this popular digestif is made using the peels of the famous Amalfi Coast lemons. Limoncello most commonly uses the lemons Ovale di Sorrento and Sfumato Amalfitano. Both varieties of lemons are subject to regulation by the Consortium for the Promotion of the Amalfi Coast Lemon. In Italian, Consorzio di Tutela del Limone Costa d’Amalfi I.G.P. The official I.G.P. logo is an indication of the authenticity of the product.

Lemons hanging from a tree. Bring home a bottle of Limoncello from the Amalfi Coast. It won't last forever but its still one of the best souvenirs from Italy AND you can share it with friends after dinner.

Reminisce Over a Glass of Vino Santo from Trentino

Joanna, The World in My Pocket

Trentino is a wonderful area to visit in Italy if you want to escape the crowds and enjoy nature. It is also a great place to buy unique edible and drinkable souvenirs for your dear ones and for yourself. Vino Santo is one of them. 

Vino Santo is a variety of sweet wine native to Trentino. It is made using the Nosiola grapes which grow only in Valle dei Laghi. The grape harvest comes at the end of autumn when they are overripe. The grapes are then left to dry in special wooden cases during winter. There is a specific wind that blows through the Valle Dei Laghi from Garda Lake lending Vino Santo its unique qualities. This wind, Ora di Garda, causes the grapes to dry differently than in any other region of Italy. 

The grapes are pressed only during the Holy Week before that comes before Easter. This special preparation is where the wine gets the name “Vino Santo” (Holy Wine). This unique wine has sweet notes of orange, apricot, pineapple, and quince making it a perfect finish to your meal. You can pick up a bottle of Vino Santo for around 15 euros.

Wine Grapes. A bottle of Santo Vino (Holy Wine) from Trentino is one of the best Italy souvenirs.

Brighten your Kitchen with Ceramics from Sicily

Tara, Tara Travels

Anyone visiting Sicily will notice the brightly colored masks, vases, plates and ceramics upon walking down any street. Ceramic arts date back to classical times in Sicily. The craft has flourished on the island due to natural resources, the hot climate, and technologies brought by trade. The soils of Sicily are high-quality clay perfect for crafting and shaping artwork while the hot, year-round temperature allows the work to bake in the sun. Finally, the tin oxide coating brings Sicily’s ceramics to life by giving it the recognizable shiny and reflective finish. The style, known as Maiolica, is recognized by the white background, detailed designs and vibrant Mediterranean colors.

Caltagirone is the town best known for ceramics. The town sits among a clay landscape and you can purchase directly from the craftsman. You can also support local trade in many other towns renowned for the craft, such as Taormina, Sciacca, and Burgio. Traditional items include lidded pots for pharmacies, plates, and heads of kings and queens. Also quite common is the three-legged medusa, as seen on the Sicilian flag.

Brightly colored ceramics from Sicily are one of the best souvenirs from Italy.

Keep a Backup Stash of Giandujotto chocolates from Turin

Christina, Travel2Next

One of the things to do in Turin most people enjoy is to visit the city’s chocolate shops. If you’re looking for a sweet souvenir to take home from Turin, you might like to buy some giandujotto. These little chocolates in foil wrapping are a local delight. They can be bought from any top chocolate shop in Turin. The pretty giandujotto candies are a sweet treat tasting of roasted hazelnuts. They are as addictive as Nutella!

Another reason to take home chocolates from Turin is that the edible souvenir represents an important part of Turin’s history. The Duke of Savoy, Emanuele Filiberto, brought cocoa beans to Italy from Spain in the 16th century. Little did he know that it would result in Turin becoming the birthplace of chocolate in Italy!  The first chocolate house opened in Turin in Piedmont in 1678 and Turin soon became a powerhouse of chocolate production. Chocolatiers from other European countries such as Belgium, and Switzerland flocked to Turin to study the art of making chocolate. 

These days, some of the city’s chocolate makers continue to make chocolate using closely-guarded recipes that are centuries old.  

Bring home chocolates from Turin and share one of the best Italy souvenirs with your friends and family.
Image Credit: Christina from Travel2Next

Cleanse your Palate with Taralli from Puglia

Giulia, Traveling Sunglasses

I love bringing home the best snacks from abroad for myself as well as friends and family. To share our favorite snacks from our trip over tales of our adventure is the perfect way to bring memories to life. As an Italian myself, I think taralli are some of the best souvenirs from Italy. After a quick boil, the breadstick-like dough is baked until crunchy into the shape of a ring. Fennel seeds, onion, garlic, or plain olive oil are a few popular seasonings.

Taralli crisps are original from Puglia, the “heel” of the Italian boot. The most fragrant and delicious are made in local bakeries. However, they have become so popular that you can find them everywhere in the rest of Italy, even in supermarkets. Taralli is often served at bars in the late afternoon or early evening with a glass of wine. When you’re missing Italy, they are the perfect souvenir to recreate a delicious aperitivo back home. Just add some red wine, a bowl of olives, some cheese cubes, and you’re ready to go!

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