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13 Best Gifts from Italy to Remember Your Trip

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Are you looking for the best gifts from Italy? You’re in luck!

Italy is an incredibly culturally rich place. When you’re visiting, you’ll probably be seeing so many places with different customs and histories that deciding on the best gifts from Italy is going to be difficult.

Finding the perfect souvenir to remind you of your trip is always hard. But it is especially hard in a country so diverse and heterogeneous that visiting the north and getting a souvenir from there will not be representative of Rome, Naples, or Sicily.

So what should you do? You should focus on finding what the classic souvenir from the city or region you’re visiting is, of course.

Chocolate

When thinking about luxury chocolate, we most often think of French, Belgian, and Swiss chocolate. But Italy has a longstanding tradition of chocolate factories, and you might already know some of them!

Think about Nutella and the golden hazelnut chocolate balls called Ferrero Rocher. They’re both made by a brand called Ferrero, an Italian producer of high-end chocolate goods.

Some other brands to look for when you’re chopping for chocolate gifts are Perugina, a chocolate factory from Perugia in Central Italy, Cioccolato Venchi, Gianduiotto and Caffarel from Torino, and Modica chocolate from the town of Modica in Sicily. Chocolate can be one of the lovely inexpensive gifts from Italy, especially if you’re visiting Northern Italy or Sicily.

Italian chocolate, especially from the province of Piedmont in Northern Italy, often has a hazelnut flavor, because the Piedmont region is known for the cultivation of hazelnuts.

Some classic options from various producers include chocolate truffles with crema gianduja, a hazelnut-chocolate paste that’s often the filling of “cioccolatini”, chocolates with whole hazelnuts, like Baci from Perugina that have a lovely saying in every chocolate.

You’ll find most of the big brands of chocolate in an ordinary supermarket in Italy, so they make a great last-minute gift. If you’re, however, interested in a factory tour or visiting artisanal shops, you’re most likely to find those in the towns of origin.

Historic colosseum made of stone under a grey sky.
The Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Wine

Unlike chocolate, Italy is well known for its wine production. There is no shortage of delicious wines to sample anywhere in Italy. As a bonus, if you’re visiting any kind of wine-making estate, they’ll most likely be able to ship your chosen wine straight to your home address, eliminating the hassle of trying to fit your souvenir in your flight baggage and making it one of the best gifts from Italy.

While delicious wines can be found all over Italy, some of the most famous come from Tuscany. Very little can compare to touring a winery, sampling the wine, and then sending one home.

There is no shortage of wineries in Tuscany that produce the famous chianti. Some other wines from Tuscany include Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and Vin Santo, a dessert wine.

Virtually all of Italy is one big wine-growing region with differences reflecting the micro-climate and cuisines. The most renowned wines come from the aforementioned Tuscany, Lombardy, Piedmont, and Veneto. Any large Italian supermarket will hold a decent wine selection, with wines from all over Italy and the world.

If you’d rather go that route, stick to wines designated with the labels IGP (or sometimes IGT), DOC, and DOCG. These labels ensure the wine you’re buying was made according to the regulations for its variety and in its native wine-growing region.

These wines are controlled and tested to ensure the best possible experience for the consumer, so they make wonderful gifts for the wine aficionado in your life.

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Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is a traditional product from the region of Emilia-Romagna, specifically from the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia. The world-famous balsamic vinegar comes from Modena and is known for its dark color and sweet and sour taste. The first mention of the word “balsamico” comes from 1747 from the ducal palace of Modena.

Today, the name “traditional balsamic vinegar” describes a product that’s obtained with a long period of aging, most made out of grapes. This type of balsamic vinegar is protected with the Italian protection of origin DOP and comes in two brands.

The traditional balsamic vinegar from Modena (Aceto balsamico tradizionale di Modena DOP) and from Reggio Emilia (Aceto balsamico tradizionale di Reggio Emilia DOP).

The third type of product you can buy is the balsamic vinegar from Modena with IGP or the typical geographical indication mark (Aceto balsamico di Modena IGP), which doesn’t require a long aging process.

Balsamic vinegar is a lovely gift if you’re visiting the provinces of origin or have foodie friends. It’s easily accessible everywhere but will be more special if you can find it at a specialist shop or if you tour a shop.

Blue gondolas floating on the water by a wooden pier.
Gondolas in Venice, Italy

Glass

Murano glass is a specialty art from the island of Murano in Venice. The products are made by master glassblowers from the school of Murano. Every piece is unique and a product of years of practice to master the art of glassblowing.

If you’re visiting Venice, a short trip to Murano should be on your itinerary. When you’re there, you’ll truly be able to see why this glass is so renowned. Murano island is also well known for its colorful houses that make for pretty photos and postcards home.

Because Murano glass is so unique, authentic Murano pieces aren’t cheap. Only glass made by the artists in Murano can be marketed as Murano glass, so you’ll be paying the price for the quality and uniqueness of your chosen piece.

While large art pieces and chandeliers might be difficult to transport by yourself, most shops have the option of shipping your chosen art to you. You should remember that you’re not only buying beautiful art but a part of more than a thousand years of glassblowing tradition and a part of the Venetian soul.

Truffle Products

Another food product on the list, because honestly, who wouldn’t love a little food gift from Italy? Italy is known for many food products; some loved all over, some more divisive. Truffles and truffle products are firmly in the second group; most people either love them or not.

In Italy, truffles grow all over the country and are world-famous for their deliciousness. If you’re looking to give someone Italian truffles, it’s worth knowing that truffles in Italy come in two types: black and white.

Black truffles are much more common and have dark, bumpy skin and semi-strong flavor. White truffles are rarer and have yellowish skin and a stronger truffle flavor. White truffles are prized because of their intense flavor and rarity, so they also fetch a higher price than black truffles.

Raw truffles are best used fresh as soon as possible, or they use their signature flavor and smell, so they do not make great souvenirs, but there are many products on offer that contain truffles and make one of the best gifts from Italy. These products can be found in regular supermarkets as well as in specialty stores.

Opt for a truffle pesto, most often used for pasta dishes or bruschettas; a truffle cream is also a great option for pasta, truffle oil, and truffle salt, which are excellent condiments to spice up any Italian-inspired dish.

Aerial view of a town from above with red roofs, with rolling hills in the distance.
Aerial view of Florence, Italy

Silk

Silk isn’t something you think of when thinking of the best gifts from Italy. But, in fact, silk is just as Italian as pasta and wine! Silk production came to Italy via the Middle East with the Byzantine Empire and to Sicily and Calabria in the 9th century.

Sicily was part of the Islamic state, while Calabria was still a part of the Byzantine Empire in the 12th century when they became the leading producers of silk in Europe.

From there production of silk spread all over Italy and the rest of Europe. By the 13th century, the silk industry became a prominent part of the industries of Bologna and Lucca. The Italian silk industry flourished, especially during the Industrial Revolution.

If you’re visiting Lucca, Bologna, or parts of Southern Italy, you’ll be in prime silk territory, but there are options to buy silk souvenirs all over the country. If you’d like Italian souvenirs that don’t expire or if you’re just not a foodie, silken accessories are a perfect gift from Italy.

Ceramics or Pottery

Pottery and ceramics are so ubiquitous in Italy that you’d be hard-pressed to find a region that doesn’t have at least one production center. The Italian National Ceramics Council (yes, it’s a real thing) lists at least one center with the tradition of ceramics in 15 out of 20 Italian regions! 

The good news for you is that you’ll be able to buy traditional Italian ceramics almost anywhere in Italy. But if you’re visiting the regions of Campania, Sicily, or Tuscany, coming home without a piece of pottery is almost unheard of.

Pottery pieces can be a wonderful gift from Italy for anyone who’d like to bring a gorgeous, durable souvenir home. Useful ceramics pieces are wonderful because they won’t just collect dust in a corner but will get used—one of the best gifts from Italy for fans of useful gifts.

Old stone fountain with blue water.
Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy

Leather Goods

Italy is known worldwide for its fashion and accessories brands. Areas in Italy that are traditionally known for their leather industries are Tuscany and Veneto, which is great news for anyone visiting Florence and the surrounding areas, and Venice. 

Leather goods are a great gift for anyone who’s visiting Europe from a country with importing restrictions, like Australia, or anyone who’s just not interested in bringing food home. Especially in Tuscany, you’ll be able to find artisanal leather products that will last you and your loved ones a long time. They’re truly the best gifts from Italy for your fashion-forward friends!

Venetian Masks

Venetian masks are the must-have once-in-a-lifetime souvenir from Venice. They’re the main feature of the Venice Carnival, along with extravagant costumes. The tradition of wearing a mask began in the 13th century and quickly gained in popularity. The masks were used to afford anonymity to the wearer and, as such, guarantee equal status in Venetian society. 

They were first phased out after Napoleon defeated the Venetian republic and made several returns and disappearances before coming back strong in the 1980s. There are several mask-making shops scattered across Venice, and it’s highly recommended to invest in a quality mask rather than choosing a cheaper one that might not make it home with you.

Old church with dark green and pink design.
Piazza del Duomo in Florence, Italy

Espresso Cups

If you know or are a coffee aficionado, little espresso cups might just be the cutest gift from Italy you could get. The cups come in many different shapes, colors, and materials. You could get espresso cups from known Italian coffee brands like Illy or Lavazza, the moka coffee pot brand Bialetti or many others.

The best thing about espresso cups is that they’re small! Even if you barely have space for anything else, you’ll most likely have space in your luggage for one of these tiny cups. They’re also widely available everywhere and are one of the most thoughtful, inexpensive gifts from Italy.

Limoncello

Limoncello is a sweet liquor made from macerated lemon peels originating from the region of Campania. When visiting Naples, Sorrento, Capri, and the Amalfi coast, you’ll most likely be seeing lemon trees everywhere, with some of the most enormous lemons ever. 

Today, limoncello is a superb gift from Italy for everyone who wants to bring the carefree vibe of southern Italy back home with them. This delicious drink will not only look like summer with its bright yellow color but also taste like summer with a strong lemon flavor.

Bridge with stores on it stretching over the water.
Bridge in Florence, Italy

Cheese

Italy offers some of the best and most famous cheeses in the world. If you’re visiting, chances are you’ll have an opportunity to sample many more kinds of cheese than just the usual Parmigiano Reggiano and mozzarella. While it’s recommended you visit your local cheesemonger while you’re in Italy and choose cheese from there, you can also just visit a regular supermarket if you’re trying to stay on a budget.

Almost every part of Italy has its signature cheese, so if you like one and want to bring it back with you, make sure you first check the import rules of your country. Once you know the cheese will be able to pass customs, go crazy. 

Some of the best options that will survive the travel are hard and semi-hard cheeses like the different pecorinos (Pecorino Romano from Rome being the most famous), Parmigiano Reggiano from Emilia-Romagna and its less famous but still delicious cousin Grana Padano, as well as Caciocavallo and Fontina. For fans of blue cheeses, Gorgonzola is a delicious option from northern Italy.

Pasta

Pasta in Italy is king. There is no doubt about it, which is precisely why it might be the best gift from Italy for almost anyone. You can indeed get pasta all over the world, but buying Italian pasta in Italy will give it a special something when you bring it home. 

If you want your souvenir to be more local than just pasta, try finding the traditional pasta shapes of the region you’re visiting to take home. Visiting Liguria? Why not bring home a package of trofie? If you’re going to Apulia and visiting the Strada delle Orecchiette? Buy some orecchiette to bring back with you. 

The main fun of pasta in Italy is that it comes in many shapes you don’t get in other parts of the world that are perfect to go with sauces from that particular region. While it’s true, you can buy pasta anywhere in Italy; it’s always a bit more fun to surprise your loved ones with a shape they might have never seen before.

Italy is a country with many different regional specialties. Be it food, customs, or products, when you’re choosing gifts from Italy to bring home with you, make sure you explore the regional varieties. This way, the best souvenirs from Italy tied to your memories will be special for years to come.

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