Planning a trip to Italy? Or perhaps you are already in the country and wondering what are the best Italy souvenirs to bring home? Then you have landed in the right place because we have great ideas for you. Italy has exotic places to visit and you will want to bring those memories home with you. And guess what? Italy doesn’t disappoint as this is a world-class souvenir shopping paradise. And here, we are not talking about postcards and plastic trinkets.
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. Wherever your tours take you, Italy will not only charm you but leave you spoilt for choice when looking for souvenirs!
12 Best Souvenirs from Italy - Contents
The best Italian Souvenirs to Bring Home
Looking for the best Italy souvenirs to bring home? Well, look no further for we have the best recommendations for you. These are much better compared to the average “Viva Italia” postcard or that common-place key chain.
While memories are important, when traveling shopping adds some spice to the experience. As you tour the different parts of this Mediterranean nation, why not see the local specialties? 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 Italy souvenirs.
Italian Brand Name Fashion Items
Visiting Italy for the first time perhaps? Expect to meet big Italian and European name fashion brands such as Versace, Gucci, Prada, and many more. And, don’t we all know that Milan is Italy’s fashion capital? Here, you can buy lots of classy designer items ranging from clothes, shoes, jewelry, and perfumes.
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.
Leaving before you found the perfect souvenir? Don’t worry, at the Rome Airport you will have another opportunity to grab your Italy souvenirs.
Uniquely Hand-Crafted Italian Leather
Want the best of 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. 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. 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, 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
Wine is the best souvenir from Italy 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 favorites were the red wines from Puglia, and Tuscany regions.
A bottle of wine makes an excellent souvenir. Who wouldn’t appreciate a bottle of vintage wine as an Italian 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 to 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. 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 Italy souvenirs.
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 Italy souvenirs.
Grab Some Formaggio (Italian Cheese)
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 a great souvenir to take home from Italy.
Like pasta, every Italian region has a different type of 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. It travels well, so you may want to consider bringing some home as part of your souvenirs from Italy.
The Uniquely Italian Espresso Cups
Visiting Italy and still lost on what unique 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 Italy souvenirs.
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 collection espresso cups.
The Iconic Italian Pasta
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.
Italians take cooking pasta as a very serious sport! Most of the Italian regions have developed their own unique pasta. In fact, 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. And most importantly, never add salt when boiling your pasta!
Limoncello, the Yellow-Colored Lemon Liqueur
Limoncello is a yellow-coloured liqueur made in Southern Italy with Amalfi lemons. This is the perfect way to end your meal, and we must add, one of the best Italy souvenirs. Limoncello is not only unique to Italy because this is where it originated but because its flavour is derived from Amalfi 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 home-made 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. 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.
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.
Try Cured Italian Meat
Another Italy souvenir not to leave behind, you won’t believe this, 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 most unique 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 glassware. It might interest you to know that once upon a time, glass beads from Venice were used as currency by Greek traders.
There are lots of different Murano glass items 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.