Since this is my first trip to Italy, there are a lot of people that I would like to bring a little something home for. Unfortunatly, I am on a budget so it can't be too much. We're traveling to Rome, Florence and Venice. Does anyone have any suggestions for gifts that "won't break the bank"! Thanks
I like to get refrigerator magnets from various cities - Paris and Venice have good selections and I have a cool statue of "David" one that I got for some people (classy). I also like dishtowels from the various cities -- see lots of these in Italy.
Inexpensive, useful and easy to pack.
Joanne-- In Venice we got lots of neat things. For women the are lots of scarves, glass necklaces of Murano glass( maybe), lovely olive oil soap,leather goods. For men-- pens, leather goods,. Other items-- a little Italian coffee maker, some Italian coffee, Gelati spoons. In Venice check out the Rialto area. There are reasonable masks there that are handmade. We always like to find the markets. In the market in the newer part of Cortona called Camuci we found the ice cream or gelati spoons that look like little shovels. They were about 12 for 4 euros. Stainless steel. We bought 3 dozen and gave friends 6 or 12.They make nice little stocking stuffers. There is always spices, little bottles of Lemoncello,and on and on. Have fun.
A great small gift I found in Italy is wine corks. They had a ceramic top and then a cork on the bottom. I bought a bunch and then was able to give them out to lots of people. I know they were not more than 3-5 Euro each.
Venice is fantastic for buying gifts for women. The beautiful glass pendants are wonderful, and you can get a wide range of colors and shapes and sizes for not too much money. Every store you pass will have some - check quality carefully. My trick was to buy a couple from each place, that way I got a good variety. You do need to check quality though - no chips in the glass, closed jump rings, smooth seams, etc. We brought back quite a few, and gave them for Christmas gifts.
We had more of a problem shopping for the men on our list. We ended up buying beautiful ceramic olive-oil toppers (with the spout for pouring), since many of the men we were buying for are chefs. These were also reasonably easy to find, and inexpensive.
Other ideas - brightly colored ceramic tiles, small ceramic bowls, leather goods from Florence (the selection is huge, the prices good, and you can find small items that aren't too expensive). All of these are easy to pack.
Have a fantastic trip!
For sports fans, I bought soccer scarves for the various Italian teams, which run about 5 euros each and are small. Plus they are fun and easy to carry. For example, this is what a Fiorentina (Florence) one looks like at: http://www.footballheaven.net/acatalog/fiorentinasca7.jpg
Speaking of scarves, you can go to the flea market and get a great deal. I got beautiful scarves for women at 2 euros each. They take up no space and can be warn even asa wrap.
My sister got me a leather wallet, but I don't know how much she paid.
In Venice on or near the Rialto bridge there is this little shop I believe its called Bartolucci or lucca- anyway they sell brightly painted wooden items from keychains to clocks. The keychains are inexpensive and easy to carry.
I like tshirts especially for kids.They are inexpensive and easy to pack.If you buy them all at one place you can usually get a deal.
Thanks everyone for all the great gift ideas. I certainly will "check" them all out when I'm there. I have to say,this is the second question I posted and everyone has been so helpful. Thanks again. I hope I can return the favor when I return!
linen dishtowels are great, they are well made over there, inexpensive and pack light. street vendor fun jewelry is nice. I always buy myself a bracelet or scarf - light to pack and makes a great memory gift for myself. Go into a big department store too, it is really fun to check them out in different countries and lots of time the tourist stuff is cheaper in there than on the streets
Just a little tip I learned the hard way (when I used to collects magnets during travel). If you bring back anything with a magnet, MAKE SURE they get nowhere near your cards with magnetic strips.
Some ideas: Postcards, stationery [beautiful in Florence], and beer coasters [although maybe hard to come by bcause Italy isn't really a beer-drinking country]
I like to get people unique souveniers. I take things from certain places, pick up things from my hotel or hostel. Find a loose cobblestone, etc. It's a little strange but maybe I like it because I'm 20. These things make for great stories and I can guarantee people won't have anything like it at home. Last time in London I picked up pieces of burned down homes from the London fire on 1666 on the banks of the Thames at low tide. Everyone loved it.
You were given many great suggestions, so I will warn you what not to buy.
Last year I bought a small snow globe. I did not think about the liquid laws, and I had the snow globe in my carry on. I was not allowed on the plane with it, so they took it away from me. I'm glad this snow globe was not expensive! The globe had less than three oz. but all liquids have to be in travel sized bottles, not globes! I sure was not thinking!!
In Florence I found a tiny little shop that had Pinocchios of every size you can think of. The shop is near the Pitti Palace...sorry I don't have the name of it anymore.
I got about 2 doz. little Pinocchios that are jointed, about 3-4" tall and have a cord at the top--they made great gifts as Christmas tree ornaments.
Also, in another shop nearby, I found some beautiful mosaic earrings.