Hey Ertsy Fam! Welcome back to another session of some fashion and travel chat. Well, you do know I’ve spent a long part of the past few weeks in some of the more exceptional parts of Italy. Which is what motivated to write me a post with 10 essential things to shop for when you’re traveling in Italy. Yes! You got it right – a Travel Shopping Guide. Since this wasn’t my first time in Italy, I’m also going to add things from my last trip to make the perfect list of things to buy from Italy.
First things first, this list is a mix of handicrafts and goods (sort of) exclusive to Italy. So, I’ve not included branded items and/or luxury stuff that you can and must buy on your trip, too. Secondly, these things are not super exotic so they won’t pose a problem for you when passing through the customs either.
Furthermore, the list here is, I think, a good mix of cliches and some offbeat but amazing things you need to bring back from Italy. I’ve emphasized on things from Venice, Tuscany, and Milan the most. However, I am always open to more suggestions and ideas for things I may have missed out!
Things to buy from Italy:
1. Leather Bag(s)/ other leather goods: Florence
You’d be surprised by how cheap good quality and well-finished leather goods can be here. I’ve bought everything from shoulder bags to wallets and even pen-cases from Florence and I regret nothing. In fact, since I personally try to use leather as less as possible, but the friends and family I gifted these to have not stopped gushing.
2. Virgin Olive Oil from local producers: Tuscany
So, you must’ve heard something about the olive oil scandals in Italy but the local produce is still worth everything. They are best found in weekend or festival markets in the country area and for a good price. They are certain to make your Mediterranean cooking stand out back home!
3. Home Brewed Wines: Tuscany
Italian wine is very distinct and subtle. If you’re a lover of wines or just enjoy the finesse in life, you must try the home brewed wines in the country. In fact, even if you don’t want to indulge in drinking it, make time to visit a vineyard and just see the amazing process. It is one of my most loved things to do in Italy.
4. Cashmere Shawls/ Scarves: Milan
Now, if you’re a style fanatic, which I guess you are, you must buy a cashmere shawl or a scarf from Milan. Depending on the season and where you live, the two make for literally the best things to buy from Italy for a style lover. Besides, you’ll find them light, beautiful, and cheaper than in rest of Western Europe.
5. Burano Glass accessories: Venice
The Burano glass is famous and rightly so. It is adapted into beautiful accessories – like I got a shawl/scarf pin from Venice for my BFF. You can find many more variations of this in all of Venice. It makes for a nice souvenir and a personal style statement, too!
6. Handmade Sandals: Positano & Capri
Beach outings are just incomplete without a beautiful pair of flip-flops or sandals. You can get some hand-made ones on your next trip to Italy. They are cheap, functional, and of great quality. So, don’t miss out!
7. Italian Paper Notebooks: All Over
I’m a sucker for stationary and Italian paper notebooks are definitely special. You can find some with beautiful renaissance art covers and others with the views. This basically makes it to the top of my favorite things to buy from Italy.
8. Ceramic Art: Amalfi Coast
Whether you’re into art plates, smaller tiles, or crockery, the ceramic art on the Amalfi coast has everything to please everyone. You can even buy the fridge magnet versions of these. However, even though it is quite heavy-duty, if you can’t wrap it between your clothes or some towels, I’d leave it for the next time.
9. Branded Makeup: Milan
After shopping for makeup in almost all western European countries, I have deduced that Milan has the cheapest branded makeup. While Made in Sephora products were at least 40% cheaper from Paris, Kiko Milano, for obvious reasons also has some unique products and great offers when bought from Milan.
10. Coffee Beans &/or Espresso Maker: All Over
This is the one thing you can and should buy all because of its intrinsic value. The coffee beans aren’t a specialty of the country but the Espresso definitely is. Head to a local shop and get your pack before leaving the country.
Bonus: Buy Art pieces in smaller versions from gallery and museum gift shops all over the country to be reminded of the beautiful and rich history of the country.
So, that’s the list of things I strongly recommend buying on your next trip to Italy. Do you already own some of these? Do you know of something else I could add? Don’t forget to share your travel wisdom in comments below.