There are near-limitless fun things to dream about and budget for when gearing up for a trip to Italy, and planning what to buy in Italy is definitely one of them! Souvenirs from Italy are a fantastic way to bring a piece of your trip home with you, and you can definitely find a souvenir for every taste when shopping in Italy.
Not sure what to buy? Here are the best souvenirs from Italy to look for!
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A note for 2020: can’t make it to Italy? No problem! From wineries to boutiques, many Italian businesses can ship goods across the world right to your door, and would love the support this holiday season! What better way to start looking forward to a 2021 trip than with an Italy-themed gift?
Best Foodie Souvenirs from Italy
Of all the best Italy souvenirs out there, we have to admit we’re partial to those with a foodie bent: not only is Italy’s gastronomy practically synonymous with its culture, centering your shopping in Italy around food will allow your trip to continue on in spirit once you return home, and eliminate the risk of waste or clutter accumulating over time.
The most classic of all Italian souvenirs is definitely wine.
Virtually all vineyards in Italy will ship bottles home for you, so if you’re a wine fan, consider picking up several of your favorites and enjoying them slowly over time.
Like wine, olive oil is a classic Italian souvenir that is easy to ship home.
And while it’s a popular souvenir year-round, if you’re lucky enough to visit during the olive harvest in the fall, you should absolutely, without a doubt, be sure to pick up some fresh olive oil!
Spices are one of the cheapest and easiest to transport of these foodie souvenirs from Italy, and they can transform any dish.
Drizzle a few drops of truffle oil over your pasta at home, and you’ll almost swear you’re back in Italy when you taste it.
Want to recreate some of your favorite Italian dishes once you return home? Pick up a cookbook when shopping in Italy!
From prosciutto to parma ham to plenty of sausages, cured meats travel well and make great souvenirs from Italy.
Dried or jarred–either option is a great way to bring a taste of Italy home!
Arguably Italy’s best-known liqueur, limoncello comes primarily from the Amalfi Coast and the surrounding area in Campania, including Sorrento–but you’ll find it served and sold all over the country. If you pick some up as a souvenir, you can make an incredible limoncello spritz at home and bring a taste of the Amalfi Coast back from Italy with you.
This grape-based hard liquor is easy to find in Italy–you’ll undoubtedly be served a shot on the house at a restaurant at some point during your trip–and definitely has quite the kick!
While dried pasta has nothing on the fresh stuff, it’s still a solid second choice, and makes a fantastic souvenir from Italy!
Traditional Balsamic Vinegar
Forget the cheap stuff–traditional balsamic vinegar from Modena takes 12-25 years to make, and the cost matches the commitment!
It’s worth it, though: traditional balsamic vinegar is one of the absolute best souvenirs from Italy, as it is a very specific product that is difficult (and expensive) to source abroad, it is easy to transport, and lasts a long time.
From basic olive spreads to more, shall we say, adventurous spreads like cibreo, jarred spreads are easy to carry home, and smeared across a piece of crostini, will help you feel like you’re back in Italy.
Hard Cookies & Sweets
Hard cookies and sweets (we’re partial to cantucci cookies from Tuscany, personally) are an inexpensive and fun way to bring a taste of la dolce vita home with you.
Artisanal chocolates may be more readily associated with Belgium and France, but Italy also makes some incredible ones–look for these especially in the region of Piedmont and in Modica, Sicily.
Hard cheeses, like aged parmigiano-reggiano, transport more easily than soft cheeses, but with a little ingenuity you can get most cheeses home.
Want to bring true Italian coffee home with you?
While coffee bars are an enormous part of Italian coffee culture, moka pots–the pots that Italians make their coffee at home in–are also a huge part of the culture, and a great way to bring Italian coffee home with you (assuming you’re not willing to splurge on a very pricey espresso machine, that is).
Decor + Collectibles to Buy in Italy
Home decor is one of our personal favorite things to buy in Italy, even though we haven’t had a home in years. Seeing our carefully chosen pieces never fails to put a smile on our faces, and when we do settle down again, we’ll have plenty of memories to display!
Ceramics + Pottery
Ceramics are popular across Italy, though you’ll see a lot of beautiful, hand-painted choices along the Amalfi Coast and in Tuscany in particular.
One of our personal favorite souvenirs from Italy is our hand-painted jar from the Amalfi Coast.
From dishes to tiles, Italy is home to some truly beautiful porcelain.
Examples of Murano glass, with its distinct colors and patterns, can be found in castles, palaces, and other opulent buildings around the globe–and it can definitely make an incredible souvenir from Italy!
While you can find Murano glass available for purchase across Italy, it’s especially lovely (and you’ll have the best selection) purchasing it on Murano or in nearby Venice.
The popularity of beautiful tablecloths from Perugia dates all the way back to the 13th century–but if you’re visiting Umbria, it’s still absolutely worth picking one up today.
Door knockers may be one of the more eclectic Italy souvenirs on this list, but if you’re in the market for one, you’ll certainly find an incredible selection in Italy!
The best way to go shopping in Italy for Christmas ornaments is at the annual Christmas markets, of course–but you can find beautiful ones year-round!
Italian lace–and specifically lace from the island of Burano near Venice–is cherished, and like Murano glass, has been popular with the extremely wealthy for centuries.
Traditional handmade lace pieces are very difficult to find today (the amount of work involved simply doesn’t make sense to do today), and cost into the thousands if you find it–but pieces completed in part by machines are arguably just as lovely, and far more realistic as modern souvenirs from Italy.
What’s a trip to Venice without buying a Venetian mask?
With options raising in price from roughly 3 Euro to thousands, some version of this Italian souvenir is an option for everyone.
Of all of the options listed in this guide to what to buy in Italy, a piece of original art (which can range dramatically in price, from small crafts to enormous oil paintings, statues, and beyond) definitely ranks as one of the most memorable and unique!
Best Italy Souvenirs to Wear
Prefer Italian souvenirs that you can wear?
These are some of the best options for shopping in Italy if you have your eye on clothes and accessories!
Not just any perfume, though–one purchased from a historic and beautiful location.
Consider purchasing a scent at the 13th century Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy in Florence or the flagship Merchant of Venice store in Venice when shopping in Italy!
Leather clothing and accessories, including jackets, bags, belts, shoes, and more, are some of the most popular artisanal goods sold in Italy, and especially in Tuscany!
Italian gold is known for its high quality–most of the gold sold in the country is at least 18 karat–and its enormous number of artisans will make sure you have plenty of pieces to fall in love with.
You’ll certainly pay a bit more there, but if you’re in the market for a gold souvenir from Italy, the most memorable place to purchase it is undoubtedly from one of the (many) shops along the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.
Italy is known for its high fashion shopping opportunities, and that includes watches.
If you’re looking to splurge on a timepiece anytime soon, Italy is a great place to do it!
One of the most popular souvenirs from the Amalfi Coast is to have a pair of leather sandals handmade for you onsite–but the tradition extends beyond the Amalfi Coast, and you’ll find these souvenir options in Tuscany, as well.
Luxury Clothes + Accessories from Italian Designers
Valentino, Prada, Armani, Versace, Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana… even casual observers of luxury brands can no doubt name off several of the big names from Italy!
If you’re looking to splurge on any designer pieces, Italy is absolutely the place to do it–not only is the selection incredible, but you’ll actually often pay less in Italy than you would for the same luxury goods abroad!
Like luxury, but also like deals? You can also go souvenir shopping in Italy at a luxury outlet retailer–you can even hop a shuttle bus to one near Florence!
Book your shopping trip today!
Miscellaneous Things to Buy in Italy
Jeremy loves his wallet from Tuscany–and wallets also make great gifts to pick up while shopping in Italy!
Beautiful stationery is one of the best things to buy in Italy (we especially recommend it for honeymooners–what a fun way to write thank you notes when you get home!), and Florence and Venice are especially known for it.
For Catholics, especially those visiting the Vatican, a rosary can be a particularly meaningful reminder of their trip to Italy.
Additional Religious Items
In addition to rosaries, (Catholic) icons and crucifixes are also popular religious souvenirs from Italy.
Whether used or new, books are one of the best ways to remember a trip–and English-language books are fairly easy to find when shopping in Italy.
Inexpensive (But Fun) Souvenirs from Italy
Only have a few Euro or a small sliver of space in your luggage to spare?
These Italy souvenirs might be right for you!
Magnets are one of the most popular souvenirs to collect from around the world, and often run only a few Euro apiece.
It’s worth waiting to find one that really sticks out to you–I spent almost a week looking for the right Sicily magnet, for example, but absolutely adore the one we ended up with!
What better way is there to reminisce about your trip to Italy than to be reminded of it every time you go to make a hot drink and pull your mug from Italy out of the cabinet?
Postcards are the ultimate combination of inexpensive, easy to pack, and easily personalized, making them one of the best budget souvenirs from Italy!
They tend to run .50 to 1 Euro each, but if you’re up to spending an extra couple Euro on top of that, consider filling a postcard out with your memories of the day right then and there–and then sending it to yourself so you can relive your Italy memories as you return home (or a few weeks after, really–we’ve found that it takes quite a while to receive postcards from Italy in the USA!).
Tips for Shopping in Italy
When shopping for food items, check for its certification.
Italy takes its food incredibly seriously–so seriously, in fact, that there are different certifications a product can earn, stating that it was made in a particular place, with particular ingredients, or with a particular technique.
Look for the DOP and/or IGP labels when shopping in Italy for food products, and you’re bound to come away with a great example of Italian gastronomy.
Shop your region.
While you can find beautiful Italy souvenirs all over the country and can find most of the items included on this Italy shopping guide in many places, shopping for products specific to the region you’re visiting–for example, olive oil in Tuscany or glass in Murano–can add something special to the memory while helping ensure you have the best possible selection available.
Have a plan for which souvenirs from Italy you want before starting your trip.
You won’t need to stick to your plan exactly, of course–shopping spontaneously can be part of the fun of travel–but having a general idea of what you want to look for when shopping in Italy can help add structure to your browsing, and in some cases, help limit indecisiveness (for me, anyway!).
Consider quality over quantity.
When deciding what to buy in Italy, think about quality over quantity: it’s incredibly easy to end up buying more Italy souvenirs than expected, and ending up with more knick-knacks than you really need.
In our experience, it’s much better to buy 1-2 truly memorable souvenirs than a whole slew of less memorable ones!
Note the trip and date of purchase on your Italy souvenirs.
You may find it easy to remember when and where you purchased your beautiful souvenirs from Italy now–but give it a decade or three, and you may be very glad you noted the place and year of purchase with the item!
We tend to write the info on the bottom of home decor pieces or Christmas ornaments and love the tradition of it.
Check on transportation regulations.
For the vast majority of these souvenirs from Italy, there is absolutely no issue with bringing them back yourself in your checked luggage–but for food items, be sure to double-check any necessary regulations before packing up to leave Italy.
For Americans like us, check the TSA regulations here.
Check on shipping costs if necessary.
If you’re carrying back something particularly fragile, heavy, or potentially regulated, it’s definitely worth at least inquiring about the cost of shipping–many small businesses and artisans in Italy are able and willing to ship their goods abroad.
… and leave extra space in your bag!
It’s definitely worth leaving an extra outfit or two at home to make sure that you have enough room in your luggage to accommodate a couple of the best souvenirs from Italy for you!