I have a fascination with border towns– those places that effortlessly hug two cultures and somehow combine the best of both worlds. The Northern Italy region of Lombardy is already distinct from the rest of Italy– swap olive oil for butter and pasta for polenta and risotto, for starters. But if you head all the […]
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.
From my home city of New York, direct flights to Milan are cheap and plentiful. But while I love exploring European cities, what really gets me to book that flight are the side trip options. As a city dweller, I need to get out to the countryside and smaller villages to finally feel like I’m […]
European Sunscreen– the Most Useful Souvenir? Sunscreen is bulky, messy, and not particularly interesting, so you may be wondering why I would suggest picking up some tubes on your next vacation outside the US. It’s simple– the sunscreens available in Europe, Japan, Australia and many other parts of the world blow our sunscreen away. Foreign […]
Guest author Raphael Alexander Zoren of A Journey of Wonders just came back from a two-year trip around the world and brought with him a big suitcase filled with souvenirs. 36 of them, in fact! Ed: Note— after you read about guest author Raphael’s top picks, you may also want to check out my own […]
The agriturismo Sant’ Anna in Camprena, in Pienza, Tuscany is one of my all-time favorite places to stay. Sant’Anna in Camprena in Pienza is a former Benedictine monastery with some serious history– it dates all the way back to the 15th century. But unlike other ancient Tuscan properties that have been glammed up beyond recognition […]
Skip to the shops Pienza is a gorgeous Unesco hill town, perfect to visit any time of day for the striking renaissance architecture. (more…)