The first time I visited Florence’s San Croce neighborhood, I must have walked right past the entrance to Scuola del Cuoio, a leather school in the heart of Florence. Though located on a sizable campus with several buildings and courtyards, the leather school was far less conspicuous from the street. It wasn’t until I was […]
The Top Souvenirs from Italy: What to Buy
Italy is one of my favorite places to shop for souvenirs, but it can be tricky to know what to buy. Tourist spots in Italy can be crowded with vendors selling the worst kind of tourist tat. The top souvenirs from Italy embody a sense of place— whether you’re shopping for cheese off an Italian farm in Tuscany, or bringing home souvenir ceramic plates bought directly from the artisan’s shop in Florence. Other top Italian souvenirs to look out for are crisp Italian linens and Italian wine from a small family vineyard that doesn’t export beyond their property line. Italian souvenirs can also remind you of the culture– like a palio souvenir reminded me of the closeness of contradas. And some souvenirs from Italy can be just for fun– our guest contributor shares how his top souvenirs from Italy included mini replicas and statues of Italian landmarks.
No matter where you find your own top souvenirs from Italy, don’t forget to mind the opening and closing hours. In some smaller hilltowns, they are serious about shutting down for several hours mid-day so plan accordingly to avoid disappointment.
Shopping Rome for the best souvenirs can be a daunting experience, especially if you’re only in town for a quick city break. It’s not that Rome has a lack of souvenirs to buy– you’ll find plenty of vendors hawking tchockes on every corner. But if you’re looking for tasteful, quality souvenirs to bring home, well […]
While Florence can be heaving with tourists, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. More tourists means more foot traffic– and shops that can actually afford to stay in business. On my first visit to Florence, I was overwhelmed by the tourist tat and underestimated the shopping potential. Fortunately, on this last visit to Florence, I […]
People who complain about Florence being too touristy and crowded have likely never been to the “other” side of Florence– right across the Arno river, the Oltrarno. I used to be one of the people. On my first visit to Florence, my sightseeing was limited to a tiny circumference in the center, where I was […]
I was a little lost in Florence’s Oltrarno quarter. It might have by design, because I was only half-heartedly looking for my destination. As usual, I was hoping something more interesting would distract me first. It didn’t take long for something to capture my attention. I looked to my right and saw an open doorway […]
I had this romanticized idea of the Italian Lake district for years– narrow stone lanes framed by blooming flowers, grand terraces along the water, and of course, the home of George Clooney. With expectations sky high, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the reality was a let-down. But after an all-too-brief visit, I can happily […]