You are wondering what are the best gifts from Italy to bring home with you? Then you have landed in the right place because we have great ideas for you to help you with your shopping quest. There are so many Italian souvenirs to buy in Italy like olive oil, Italian wine and all sorts of elegant Italian gifts.
Italy doesn't disappoint as this is a world-class souvenir shopping paradise. And here, we are not talking about postcards and plastic trinkets but excellent quality Italian accessories that everyone will want.
The country takes immense pride in a long history of creating some of the world's finest hand-made products and gift items that proudly declare “Made in Italy”, a mark of superior quality. So what are we talking about? We want you to think of world-famous fashion designers, speciality foods, flagship stores, and an endless list of uniquely crafted (and brewed!) souvenirs from Italy that uphold the Italian tradition. Wherever your tours take you, Italy will not only charm you but leave you spoilt for choice when looking for the best souvenirs!
Enjoy this complete and comprehensive Italian souvenir guide and get excited about your trip.
Table of ContentsOpen
THE BEST ITALIAN SOUVENIRS TO BRING HOME
Excited about the best gifts from Italy? We bet as the country is full of great Italian regional souvenirs whether you decide to visit Northern Italy, Southern Italy or the luxurious Amalfi coast.
The perfect Italy souvenirs are better compared to the average “Viva Italia” postcard or that common-place key chain. While memories are important when travelling, shopping adds some spice to the experience. As you tour the different parts of this Mediterranean nation, why not see the local specialities? You can buy so many things in Italy that will be treasured for years when you get home by family, friends, and visitors. Depending on where your Italian travels take you, we are sure you will find something from our meticulously assembled list of the best Italian souvenirs.
What is a unique gift from Italy?
It's hard to pick just one unique gift to buy in Italy. Italian chocolate, olive oil, leather goods and cookbooks are all excellent choices for your family and friends. The perfect Italy souvenir is based on your own preference and taste. The good news is that when it comes to Italy, you will find an array of incredible products you'll love.
Essentially you won't be short on things to add to your shopping list.
What is something you can only get in Italy?
Artisanal pasta is something you will only find in rural areas of Italy. The same goes for small batches of wine or olive oil. This is very likely something you will find in rural areas of Italy, which means you need to go a bit off the beaten track.
Italian ceramics are also likely to be found in special shops located a little outside of the main cities. Something truly unique to buy in Italy is Italian tables. They are usually made from good quality wood. Some will be incredibly elegant and sophisticated but you need to remember that will pay quite a bit for transportation.
ITALIAN BRAND NAME FASHION ITEMS
When you visit Italy for the first time, expect to meet big Italian and European name fashion brands such as Versace, Gucci, Prada, and many more.
Heading to Milan? We all know that Milan is Italy's fashion capital? Here, you can buy lots of classy designer items ranging from clothes, shoes, jewellery, and perfumes, all of which are great Italian gifts for your most loved ones. A great Italian souvenir is perhaps a silk scarf from one of the major fashion houses?
You will be pleasantly surprised to learn that when in Italy, the prices of these huge Italian brands are generally lower than the international ones. So if you have been longing for that high-end Gucci handbag, now is your best chance. If your Italian visit restricts to the capital, don't lose hope. There is an affordable outlet mall in Rome, where you can find fair prices for many high-end brands.
A timeless Italian souvenir is a watch from one of the famous brands in Italy.
UNIQUELY HAND-CRAFTED ITALIAN LEATHER Goods
Want the best Italy souvenirs in leather? Make sure you check for signs that read “Italian-quality” leather. This helps you confirm the leather product has been crafted according to local Italian traditions and has not been chemically treated.
Though you will find authentic, quality leather products throughout Italy, Florence is the best place to buy when you want an incredibly designed handmade purse, belt or coat. Why not head to Santa Croce and check for yourself what the biggest Italian brands are selling? If time allows you, take a tour of the expansive San Lorenzo Market where you will definitely find the very best souvenirs. Here we found dozens of booths and stores selling all types of leather products. We promise you, your souvenir from Italy could just be waiting for you there.
LEAVE WITH A PAIR OF SLEEK ITALIAN SHOES
When it comes to footwear, Italian style is unique, particularly when you match it with masterly selected attires such as suits, dresses, or denim. Italians appreciate quality and comfortable shoes.
Italians are known for their great quality leather goods. An exclusive gift would be a pair of handcrafted Italian leather shoes. Or a comfortable and long-lasting pair of Italian leather sandals.
We bought a pair of custom-made sandals and some awesome short leather motorcycle boots from Capri that have proven to be durable even when worn on the cobblestone Italian pavements.
If in Rome, you will find all types of leather shoes, the perfect Italian souvenirs, both affordable and expensive, from many different brands such as Albano, Gucci, Casadei, Albano, or a myriad of lesser-known independent local designers. Want a secret? Some of these local designers have less expensive creations that can match some of the big brand names. Still, no matter the price, location or designer, a pair of leather shoes make beautiful souvenirs from Italy.
TRY WINES FROM DIFFERENT PARTS OF ITALY
Italian wine is one of the best souvenirs from Italy. After all this time, we still ask our friends to send us a bottle of Primitivo from key locations in the country. Wine is a great Italy souvenir and it doesn't matter what part of this Mediterranean nation you are travelling, you are always sure of finding great wine. As we made our travels through Italy, we had a fair share of their great wines. And there are many good wines in Italy. Some of our favourites were the red wines from Puglia, and the Tuscany regions. But there are many Italian regions with local producers that sell the best Italian wines you could possibly imagine.
A bottle of wine makes a special Italian souvenir especially for people who appreciate an extraordinary glass of red. Who wouldn't appreciate a bottle of vintage wine as a great souvenir? You can wrap these delicate souvenirs from Italy in a quality-padded wine bag, or simply follow our ‘innovative' example; pack the bottles in your clothes for extra padding to avoid breakage.
PIECES OF RELIGIOUS ART FROM ROME OR NAPLES
Whether a believer or not, you can't help but notice that Rome, besides being the nation's capital, is also the capital of Christianity. With the Vatican City located within Rome, there is obviously no shortage of religious shops selling religious art you can only buy in Italy. Besides rosary beads, religious souvenirs that you can buy include pendants, statues, cards, medals, and towels, among others.
You will usually find shops and outlets selling religious art in the downtown area, with a higher concentration found near Vatican City. We found Comandini, a popular store at 151 Borgo Pio that opens between 9 am and 6.30 pm (Mon-Sat) and from 9.30 am to 1.30 pm on Sunday.
If in Naples, there's no place like this for Christmastime. From the 13th century when St. Francis invented the nativity scene, Italians have made it their own. No wonder the Neapolitans have now become the leading makers and sellers of the miniature small nativity scenes and other accompanying figurines that you can buy throughout the year as some of the best souvenirs from Italy.
Make a point of visiting the famous nativity scene makers located on Via San Gregorio Armeno. Here you'll find shops in their hundreds selling hand-made nativity scenes and figurines that can form part of your great souvenirs.
GRAB SOME FORMAGGIO (ITALIAN CHEESE)
Nothing in this world beats Italian food and let's face it, Italian gastronomy is one of the best in the world. Naturally, you're going to want some foodie souvenirs like local food or a typical Italian product. Cheese is unlikely to be among the first items that spring to your mind as a souvenir from Italy but, yes, it comes strongly recommended! The Italians call cheese Formaggio and we think this qualifies as one of the great food souvenirs to take home from Italy.
Like pasta dishes, every Italian region has a different type of Italian cheese. Amazing cheeses products include Provolone from Basilicata, Pecorino Toscano from Tuscany, Taleggio from Lombardy, and Parmigiano-Reggiano from Parma. Cheese from Lombardy is another good choice as you will get it more affordable than when you source it outside Italy. The same applies to DOP Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese that comes from Modena or Bologna.
You will also find many different and unique varieties like Pecorino Romano. What's so special about Pecorino Romano? This is a Roman sheep milk cheese. Another one is the world-famous Parmigiano Reggiano; it tastes delicious on your pasta! Caciocavallo Silano, originally from Calabria is a semi-hard cheese that's not easy to find outside Italy so it's the ideal Italian souvenir for food lovers. It travels well, so you may want to consider bringing some home, alongside a great Italian cookbook which is a great gift for those who love Italian food.
THE UNIQUELY ITALIAN ESPRESSO CUPS
Visiting Italy and still lost on what best Italy souvenirs to take home? If you love coffee and want to continue with the Italian coffee drinking ritual when you get back home, why not acquire the proper gear? Besides the espresso coffee machine, consider getting Italian espresso cups as souvenirs from Italy.
Espresso is meant to be only served in proper cups for that authentic taste and look. These are classic thick-walled cups you typically find at your breakfast table in Italian hotels and bars. You can buy these in ordinary kitchenware shops including a collection of espresso cups.
THE ICONIC ITALIAN PASTA
Come on, pasta is the Perfect Italian souvenir. Pasta is synonymous with Italy and you cannot tell folks back home that you went to Italy and brought no pasta home. How could you anyway? Pasta is not only one of the nation's staple foods but they are quite serious about it. Why there are plenty of famous brands of pasta out there, we recommend going local to search for an original Italian gift. In fact a very nice gift is a combination of pasta with Italian olive oil. Who wouldn't love getting some extra virgin olive oil you can only buy in Italy?
Italian pasta is available in hundreds of variations such as Pappardelle, Farfalle, Campanelle, Gnocchi, Tortellini, Bucatini, Acini di pepe, and many many more.
So wherever your tours take you, bring back some souvenirs from Italy in the form of pasta. Want a tip? When cooking your pasta, ensure you follow the specific instructions as each type of pasta comes with different cooking methods depending on its thickness, style, and shape to guarantee you get ‘al dente' goodness.
Extra virgin olive oil
We just spoke about it but let's be real, you can't leave Italy without a bottle of extra virgin olive oil. When getting back home and cooking Italian food you'll notice that the olive oil you buy in Italy really does taste different than anything else you've ever purchased from a supermarket. We think the best souvenirs from Italy are all about food.
If you want to add olive oil to your shopping list, Tuscany is the best region for it. Tuscany is known for its wines but also for its oil which has a great depth of flavour. Eat it with cheese and fresh tomatoes. That's literally joy on your plate. And sometimes just eating good food that reminds you of your holiday abroad is a great souvenir.
LIMONCELLO, THE YELLOW-COLORED LEMON LIQUEUR
Limoncello is a yellow-coloured liqueur made in Southern Italy with Amalfi Coast lemons. This is the perfect way to end your meal, and we must add, one of the best Italy souvenirs to buy in Italy. Limoncello is not only unique to Italy because this is where it originated but because its flavour is derived from Amalfi Coast lemons grown mainly in the Italian region of Campania.
According to legend, Limoncello originated in Capri in the early 1900s where it's said that Lady Maria Antonia Farace used to serve her guests with a homemade liqueur made using lemons and oranges that she grew herself. Others say the origins of Limoncello can be traced to Sorrento while others say it came from the coast along Amalfi.
Irrespective of its origin, Limoncello is an excellent digestive or aperitif and one you should buy in Italy. It's typically chilled without ice and you can use it in different cocktails. You can buy it throughout Italy in stores or restaurants. The best quality is bright in colour with a strong lemony flavour and smell. Some brands we recommend are Limoncello di Capri and Villa Massa.
SOME ARTISAN CHOCOLATE FOR THE KIDS
Wondering what souvenirs from Italy to buy for the kids? Go for some Italian chocolate! Chocolate happens to be one of Italy's best sweet exports, and it makes great souvenirs, especially if you got young pals back home waiting for your return. Italians have a sweet tooth and the nation is renowned for its confectionaries, sweets and baked goods and for producing artisan chocolate.
Italian artisan chocolate is available in a broad range of flavours, styles, and shapes, so you will find something that suits your palate. Our favourite Italian chocolate brand is Novi, particularly “Gianduia” with hazelnuts from Piemonte. We are sure folks back home will love it.
You should try the biggest brands in Turin such as Venchi, Caffarel, and Perugina. Turin also happens to be home to “Gianduiotti“. These are delicious ingots made using a paste of cocoa, sugar and a special hazelnut known as Tonda Gentile delle Langhe. They are certainly not cheap but they come wrapped in a golden foil to ensure they last and retain their unique flavour until you get home. The artisan chocolate you buy in Italy sure is one of the best Italy souvenirs be it for kids or adults.
TRY CURED ITALIAN MEAT
Another Italy souvenirs for foodie travellers is cured meat. If you love meat then we recommend you leave the country with lots of speciality cured Italian meat. Believe it when we say it's hard to find anything like this anywhere else. It will not only satisfy your cravings as you travel across Italy but also make some of the best Italy souvenirs.
And the amazing thing is that it's like nearly every region of Italy has its own specially cured signature meat. In Friuli Venezia Giulia, get prosciutto San Daniele, in Milan you'll find salami and bresaola and if you find yourself in Calabria bring home very hot sausages cured with chilli.
MIND-BLOWING MURANO GLASSWARE
Murano is located off the Venice Lido. This island has for many centuries, been an authority in terms of Venetian glassware. The glassware we found here is unlike any we have ever seen and makes perfect souvenirs from Italy.
The artisans have evolved their craft from years of powerful influences from Greek, Roman, and Asian cultures. The outcome is unique and mind-blowing Murano glass, which is one of the best Venice souvenirs you can possibly buy in Italy. It might interest you to know that once upon a time, Murano glass beads from Venice were used as currency by Greek traders.
There are lots of different Murano glass items to buy in Italy that you can buy such as lamps, cups, jewellery, ashtrays, key chains, and sculptures. We brought home some of these wonderful Italy souvenirs to remind us of our time here. When packing your glassware souvenirs, take extra care as these items are very delicate.
If you are too scared to transport glass on a long haul, there are plenty of Italian ceramics you can purchase instead.
With so many incredible gifts to buy in Italy you can see why it's best to bring an empty suitcase so you can pack it up with all the interesting souvenirs you can find. If we could, we would pack the whole of Italy in a small suitcase and enjoy all its riches year around.
What did you purchase from Italy? Tell us in the comment section below.