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 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.
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…)
It can be hard to pick a favorite cheese. When in France, Camembert rules. In England, I can’t live without aged cheddar. In Portugal it’s all about the Azeitão. But in Tuscany, Pecorino di Pienza is more than just my cheese du jour– it leaves me craving its umami goodness long after I’ve left the […]
Gucci, Pucci, Ferragamo, Versace, Chanel, Celine– do these names ring a bell? These are just a few of the glittering designer boutiques lining the streets of Florence. Enter one of these shops at your own risk, as it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and blow your vacation budget on a single pair […]
Siena is a city of contrasts In the back streets of the neighborhoods, it’s just another unassuming Tuscan hill town, complete with colorful shutters, blowing laundry and mopeds sitting at the ready. (more…)