Your favorite souvenirs - (just for fun!)

Hello Everyone,

I was just wondering what your favorite souvenirs from your trips have been? Let's exclude: 'memories' and 'photos.' Certainly we all agree with those.

In the past, it's been jewelry for me: (a) a gold chain from Florence with a murano glass pendant from Venice (which I still wear at least once a week) and (b) a ring from Greece, which I wear every day. Each time I look at them, I smile to myself - they bring back many good memories.

I'm going to Italy this summer and wondering what I should bring back this time. Any suggestions?

Gretchen

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7209 posts

Forgot a good one. We leased a Renault for a trip. My oldest son kept the key chain as a souvenir.

Posted by Amy
Zurich, Switzerland
54 posts

We have bought something that we can put in our house on each trip. We have bought pottery, painted tiles, or a water color/oil painting back from trips.

When I get back from a trip (or while I am there) I like to buy a cookbook from the country or region that I went to. I like trying to recreate the foods that I had on the trip.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7209 posts

Clothes are a good thing. I'm now in the habit of taking one less change of clothes and buying some clothes on vacation.

My wife has a sweater she bought in Verona. It's now one of her favorite sweaters. The material and fit are great and no one else has the same sweater. When she gets compliments, she says, "Thanks, I got it in Verona." Best of all it was on sale for cheaper than she would have bought a similar sweater in the States (even with the expensive Euro).

My mother in law is Catholic. We bought Venetian glass Rosary beads for her at St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice. That was another light, inexpensive and unique gift from Europe.

My son buys the glass blocks that have a 3D picture laser cut inside them. He's been collecting them with his own money since he was 8. He now has his own "glass menagerie" of souvenirs from places he has visited all over the country and world displayed on his bookshelf.

We also have carnival masks from Venice we really like.

Posted by Jan
Cartersville, GA, USA
55 posts

I collect fridge magnets [ mostly from museums],bookmarks and tea towels. All take up very little space. I also collect cat figurines which I have found everywhere.

Posted by Mme Eli
XXX
1170 posts

I am Catholic so I tend to buy rosaries for family members and myself. I bought a sterling silver one at the Basillica in Mexico City, and a special one from Nortre Dame/Paris. I used to collect magnets and dolls in national costumes but they both got out of hand so now I only bring back edible things, and maybe something to wear.

Is silver cheaper in Italy? I might be tempted to buy yet another rosary or two in Italy!

Posted by Ron
southwest, Missouri, U.S.A.
1359 posts

From France : a folding knife made by a knife craftsman in a knife shop located in Thiers, France. The best knives in France have been made at Thiers for 500 years. My knife is the Laguiole Lotus knife, it has blonde horn handle scales. That knife has a simple elegant beauty. Laguiole folding knives have various different handle materials and colors. Many of the Laguiole folding knives look like the "Texas Toothpick" folding knife. It is the kind of knife that European people carry with them when hiking at mountains. The blades of some Laguiole knives are "12 C 27" Stainless Steel from Sweden.

Posted by Jane
Lebanon
605 posts

Gretchen... I love scarves. In the markets of Paris as well as in Venice and Cortona , I have purchased lovely scarves for myself and others. Other things I have collected from France include antique hand colored postcards, teas, linens, and olive oils. In Italy I love gelato spoons, more scarves, Leather items, olive oils,soaps, anything made from figs.

Posted by Barbara
Walnut Creek, CA
70 posts

Hi gretchen:

I brought back some beautiful mosaic earrings I got in Rome and a beautiful leather jacket from Florence. I wear it all the time in the winter.

I have also bought scarfs and I have a shawl that I keep in the office for when the building is cold.

I also found a carved olive wood jar with a lid that is unusual. I also have bought socks as well.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9130 posts

From Belgium: Moeder Babelutte chocolate!

Posted by Jon
Portland, Oregon, USA
320 posts

Gretchen:

We were in France and Italy for a month in the summer of 2004. We had the kids with us - we made a point of picking up collectible pins just about everywhere we were. Small, cheap etc.

The funny thing is - we look at them and talk about them all the time! My 9 yr old son mounted them (about 5 dozen) on a little bulletin board. A wonderful way to recall our adventure.

Have fun.

Posted by Kevin
West Sacramento, California, USA
238 posts

My first trip was 35 years ago when I was 9 years old. My parents took us to London and Scotland. The trip was done on a shoestring budget, and there was not much available for souvenirs. The Paddington Bear books were quite popular in our family, and in London we recognized many places because of our reading the books. We also saw a stuffed Paddington in a shop window, but with no souvenir budget, and train rides too and from Scotland, getting it was out of the question. As we neared the end of the trip, my brothers (6 and 10) and I counted up the pocket money we had. We then made our case to our parents, if they could just put in XX (I have no idea how much it was now) could get Paddington as a family souvenir. What could a parent do--we went to the shop, and Paddington is to this day on a shelf in the bookcase of my parents family room.

This summer, I will take my own kids to London, and we are taking an hour to go to Paddington Station for a picture with Paddington.

Posted by Kelly
Columbus, Ohio, USA
258 posts

My pashima scarves from London.

Fridge magnets from all the places I have visited.

Garnet necklace & earrings from Prague.

Also I pick up any kind of stickers, pamphlets, patches, etc. that catch my eye that I can use in my scrapbooks.

Items I love, but don't last long: spices from Marrakesh, chocolates and candies from countries that are different from the U.S.

Right now I'm wearing a bracelet and earrings that my brother bought me in Turkey.

Posted by Ron
southwest, Missouri, U.S.A.
1359 posts

Hello Gretchen. You asked what item to look for in ITALY. In Venice you will see white marble sculpture imitations. (heavy weight). They are made of compressed marble dust. They are beautiful, but I did not buy any. The artistic item in Venice that I desired to own, but I did not buy it, is made of metal (shiny silver color: chrome ?) and round red glass, approximately 3/4 inches diameter. I am sorry I can not do a better description of it than that. Perhaps an other person reading this will know what item
I am talking about. There were two sizes, slightly different styles. The bigger one looks better. I saw those in a display window of a small retail store in Venice, somewhere between San Marco Sqaure and the Rialto Bridge. It might be on MERCERIE, or 2 APRILE. Walking toward the Rialto Bridge, the store is at the left side of a narrow street. I saw it there in March of 2004. It is such an appealing item, they should have continued making those. But I don't know.

Posted by Mme Eli
XXX
1170 posts

From Norway we brought back pewter items like dessert fork set, bottle opener, cheese slicer and cake server. If I do buy something I try to get things that have some use, like my fine bone China from England. That was bought when we first got married in 1987 when we were allowed tons of weight, and were able to bring back a dinner set for 8.

Talk about the good old days, LOL

Posted by Lane
Mansfield, GA
847 posts

My wife collects spoons from the places we travel and displays them in a shadow box. It is now full so she will have to get a new box after our next trip.

Posted by CL
Salem, Oregon, USA
914 posts

My favorites from Italy included a small print of a watercolor (the scene is Tuscan cypress trees), purchased directly from the artist in a little shop in San Gimignano. When I commented on the beautiful and vivid colors, she told me that her art was inspired by the fantasy and reality of the place she lives. Every time I look at it I am transported to that conversation on a warm, sunny day in the old town.

Less lasting but still fun were the various Italian food stuffs (Baci candies, tomato paste in a tube, ricciarelli cookies). Many of these purchased at the last minute in the duty free shop to use up remaining Euros (probably not many of those left on my next trip!)

Posted by Carole
Daytona Beach, FL
220 posts

My favorites: a wooden carved warthog I bought from a man at a gas station in Kenya, a red wool cape from the San Lorenzo market in Florence, and a penny whistle from Ireland.

Posted by Susan
Kamloops, BC, Canada
221 posts

if you're looking for souvenirs to bring back for others, you'll find lots of pretty 'marble' print stationery in the markets in Florence (inexpensive and lightweight); in Florence markets you'll also find lots of small glass pendants (supposedly from Murano, but maybe from Asia, but who cares, they're pretty and inexpensive) and silk (imitiation silk??) ties for men. On a recent trip, i bought myself some pretty Murano glass pendants in Venice in a shop near the Rialto bridge and some Carnaval masks on the Rialto bridge.

Posted by Bonne
Columbus, OH, USA
208 posts

My first trip to Europe was a college graduation gift from my parents. I also received a gold charm bracelet to pick up momentos from my trip. However, the price of ONE gold charm was equal to most of the silver charms of the same type, so...I picked them all up in silver and bought a new bracelet when I came home! When I wear it, I am constantly reminded of my first solo trip to Scotland.

Other favorites -
Art Museum posters/prints, tea towels, pashminas from Paris, theatre posters - so long as the theatre name is on it, and shot glasses - they're small and relatively cheap! I have quite the collection - and my friends do as well!
I have 2 rings from Scotland from a jeweler in Orkney that we watched make the jewelry at her shop - I get constant compliments on them.

Posted by Devra
Lake Forest, CA
199 posts

In Florence leather;in the small towns of Tuscany and Umbria, dishes, wine and olive oil; in Sorrento limoncello; in the north silk scarves and cute little wine bottle toppers (found in Bellagio); Venice glass or a mask; anywhere bookmarks always come in handy. Usually it's stuff I can use and won't have to dust.

Posted by Kathy
Lewiston
13 posts

I am going on a 3 week trip around Europe this summer and was wondering about sending home souvenirs as I go, as I will have to carry my luggage from place to place. Does anyone have any input on this?

Posted by Debbie
Cayuga, Canada
124 posts

I have brought back these souvenirs from Italy - Murano glass jewelry (earrings and ring) and wine stopper from Venice, cameo pin and earrings from the Vatican museum, black leather purse from Florence, silk scarf from Rome.

I collect frig magnets and postcards from the countries I visit. Also, when in France, I buy perfume that I use on the trip and to remind me of my vacation when I return home. I have bought an Aran sweater and Claddagh ring in Ireland, lavender soaps and pillow in Provence, silk scarves from Ireland, Italy and France, even leather ballet flats from Paris. All items are either small or wearable during the trip - I pack light enough that I can add these.

I have shipped some items home from France - last summer I bought an International shipping box at the post office in Nice for about 35 Euro and filled it with books and others items that I didn't want to carry with me.

Posted by Troy
Celebration, FL, USA
4 posts

I have enjoyed collecting city flags as I travel. Municipal flags (far more prominent as civic emblems in Europe than in most of the U.S.) are packed with symbolism, history, color, and interest. They are usually inexpensive, light, and compact to pack away. Besides, they look great in my social studies classroom!

Posted by Elizabeth
San Diego, CA, USA
5 posts

Love this topic!

A replica Viking WOMAN's knife (or so they said) from Denmark.

Jewelry always. ditto on clothing (still gathering compliments for a dress I bought in Prague a few years back).

For fun, i love to bring home toiletries (everyone seems to love them, especially kids) and I have found hand crafted shampoos that I especially loved in France. Also a really nice brush. My young daughter loved having her french toothpaste to use for months!

I brought condiments for some people too, especially mustard lovers.

Posted by Linda
Vero
137 posts

This may sound silly, but we collect stones from beaches in Europe. One year, we stayed at Menton, in the south of France, a beach of river stones and we purchaed a pretty piece of pottery to display our memory on a table. We did the same for Sicily.

Posted by Kimberly
Durham, NC
43 posts

I'm a jewelry and book souvenir person. I have 2 favorite pieces: a teal glass handmade necklace from Windsor and a green amber pendant from Prague. Both get me compliments each time and it is nice to be able to tell folks where I got them. Inevitably, conversation turns to travel, which is one of my favorite topics. I also love to look through my books on a regular basis. I've recently "revisited" Prague through the books I bought there.

Posted by Margaret
Clarkston, USA
192 posts

From Florence: earrings that are tiny mosaics, Pinoccios (sp?) the right size for Christmas tree ornaments, various books and postcards from the museums.

From Rome: a nifty book on the Colosseum, the usual postcards.

From Bologna: a little stuffed lion on a keychain. Lion is wearing a t-shirt, and on the shirt is my first name, in Italian!

From Amsterdam: several wooden tulips (life size), a keychain with wooden shoes, a book on Amsterdam, a box of small chocolates.

What I Wish I Could Bring Back From Italy:
GELATO!!! :)

Posted by Vanessa
Halifax, N.S.
211 posts

My Manakin Pis corkscrew and the a Beer Glass shaped like a boot from Brussels. Funny cute and practical.

I also love th murano pendant I bought in Italy, and scarves and X-mas ornaments from all over.

Posted by Teena
Piedmont, nc, usa
282 posts

I try to buy a silver charm in each place. Also, I've got a collection of tea towels. Glass, of course, in Venice, leather in Florence, scarves anywhere. I try to get a small watercolor print in each city.I've framed them and have them on my living room wall. They make a great display and remind me of the places I've visited. Last fall I brought back flower bulbs from the Netherlands and I'm now enjoying the flowers. My very favorite, though, is a plague doctor's mask from Venice. I loved it, bought it and then had to lug it all around Italy for 2 weeks. It made it home intact and is now proudly displayed in my home.

Posted by Nancy
Taylor, TX, USA
416 posts

I have books on dog breeds in German, French and Italian. Now I need to go to Spain and get one there.

Other favorites: Local pottery (from Strasbourg and from Oberammergau), rocks (found one with a fossil in Brescia), wine (save the bottles after drinking), olive oil grown and bottled at the Agriturismo I stayed in, porcelain container from pate purchased in Strasbourg, Swiss card (darn useful and not as bulky as a Swiss Army knife), backpack from Switzerland, stickers for my car....

Posted by Tom
Portland, Oregon, USA
20 posts

One of my favorite things to do is go to the local open air markets. These are filled with all sorts of local products. fresh meats cheeses and vegtables. all are cheaper than the stuff in the stores. For the things I bring home I look for table cloths and napkins. They fold and pack well and are cheap. They are often geared to local taste as well. This means the ones from France have sheaths of wheat and lavender, geese and ducks,and the French tri-color motifs. The Italian ones have grapes fish and lemons.All are very colorful. Be careful how you wash them when you get home. Above all have an outdoor dinner serve pasta and wine and enjoy a slow afternoon meal with friends. The table cloths also make great gifts. You won't find these things here.

Posted by Cora
Vancouver, BC, Canada
191 posts

Most of my first trip in May 06 I bought the souvenir books at different sights like westminster abby, london eye ect.. but I ended up having to buy a second bag when I got to Venice. One of the favorite things I bought was one of the carnaval masks, I have it hanging on the wall and it just brings me back there everytime I look at it. I also got some beautiful glass plates, and the jewlery, i didn't have a lot of money but i bought a couple nice pieces, and then spent the rest of my time haggeling for less expensive stuff, funnily enough it's the cheaper items i wear the most.

I felt i had to buy everything when I was there, because I thought i would never return, well 2 years later and I am heading back to Venice, so from now on I will not regret not buying something because you can always go back!

Posted by Perry
Pearland, TX, USA
852 posts

Hi Gretchen...
... when I worked in Boston, my train stopped in Andover on both parts of the commute. Your note brought all that back to me (thanks). I used to imagine Humphrey Bogart waiting for trains at that station (I'm not so sure that he actually did).
... As to souvenirs, we have always saved our ticket stubs and receipts and have made them part of our trip scrapbooks. It's amazing how often we refer to those for one reason or another...
... Now, we use Picasa to store photos ... next time, we'll take photos of tickets and receipts as part of those online scrapbooks.
... Apart from that, we have sugar dispensers (one teaspoon each tip) that bring back memories of Austria. Some have nicely painted scenes on them, others are just plain. They make nice gifts, whichever.
... All the best, P

Posted by Paul
Cedar, IA, USA
2381 posts

We collected prints and watercolors from each place, but now the walls are full except for a particularly nice one. Someone mentioned stones from a beach or area, we have lots of those as well. One unexpected tacky trend we have developed, on our first trip I kidded my wife I wanted a little Eifel Tower, we didn't get it...but since then have picked up a small Leaning Tower and other small tacky touristy cheap statues, as a joke, but getting to be an eclectic collection.

Posted by Sarah
Altoona, PA
57 posts

First off - love this topic!
My little sis & I collect patches of all of the places we go. I also collect teddy bears (including one from Harrods marking their anniversary). One of my favorite souvenirs is a wool scarf I picked-up in Edinburgh last year. I've also collected napkins from places I've eaten, bottle caps from my cousins' restaurant in Italy, & nearly every gelato spoon I've ever used. From my first trip to Italy, a new friend gave my sis & I copies of his band's CD (listening to it brings me back to that summer). My all time favorite souvenir is a caricature of myself drawn by one of my good Italian friends. He drew it on a napkin while we waited for our pizzas at a little restaurant in Cassino. Every time I look at it I'm reminded of all the fun we had hanging out that evening... which of course leads me to other thoughts of Italy....

Posted by Leeana
Canberra, ACT, Australia
115 posts

when I was younger I used to collect souvenier pens from places I went to :) I might do it again when I go to Europe

But I have been thinking about buying country patches and maybe sewing them onto my backpack... What do you think? Does it look 'tacky'? I'm not sure if its like a big blinker to theives or anything...

Posted by Sharon
Mukilteo, WA
61 posts

From France - a scoop of sand from Omaha Beach, kept in a tiny jam jar (which had come from breakfast aboard the overnight ferry from Southampton UK to Caen).

From the UK - Christmas ornaments bought in Harrods. Memories of finally meeting relatives and seeing where my Dad's family originated. THAT was priceless!

Posted by Beatrix
Calgary
1974 posts

Not an option for everyone but certainly our most important souvenirs: children! Both our kids were conceived in Europe :-)

On a more material note: I love jewlery as a souvenir, easy to carry home! In London I found a great dress in a vintage store that is quite timeless and thus will be a memory for more than just one summer.

Posted by Carmen
Calgary, AB, Canada
14 posts

When I was younger I collected post cards from all over England - it cam ein handy for my collector's badge in Girl Guides!! This trip I don't want to be hauling around tonnes of things so I am going to hopefully pick up a silver charm to add to my charm bracelet. I never wear it - but when I pull it out every couple of years I love remembering where I got certain charms and who gave them to me. I have also heard of collecting nomination bracelets (with the Italian charms) with charms of all the flags of the countries visited... but for me I don't want to start a whole new bracelet. I am hoping that charms are easily found around the places I am going...

Posted by Elizabeth
Denison, Texas, USA
51 posts

I have several favorites. The weirdest may be the orange crate label I pulled from a pile of crates stacked next to a trash bin. It's on my refrigerator, and I think of my trip to France every time I see it.

We have framed art of the Fortress and Old City from an Austrian watercolor artist. We also framed a placemat from Le Nautic in Ville France sur Mer. My husband bought an old book from a vendor along the Seine. We don't know what it says (it's in French), but the cover and illustrations are beautiful.

I love and use the pashima scarves I bought cheaply in London. I remember the double decker bus tour everytime I wear one.

We, too, collect the little replicas of the places we visit. Some I use as Christmas ornaments, others I place near framed photos (or in photo shadow boxes). You can find some that aren't tacky, but unique. One of my favorites is a miniature snow globe of the Midi du Aguille in Chamonix, which perfectly illustrates our visit on that blizzardy day.

(more)

Posted by Elizabeth
Denison, Texas, USA
51 posts

(continued)

We also collected recipe postcards of regional favorites such as Salad Lyonnaise, Salad Nicoise, Savoyard Crouton, Pannacotta, etc. It's fun to duplicate them at home.

We keep leftover foreign coins and paper currency in a jar on our bookshelf. We tell ourselves we'll take it back to spend the next time we go, but I doubt we will.

My hubby and I have always joked that we should start a "tacky" collection featuring Jesus. We do NOT think Jesus Himself is tacky; rather, when we travel domestically, we never fail to find a crucified Christ with the name of the city, national park or whatever stamped on the cross. Who buys that? And why? Anyway, while we've never forked over money for such tacky items, we joked that we'd have to do it if we found a Jesus nailed to the Eiffel Tower or Tower of London. Fortunately, we did NOT see such tackiness in Europe -- not even at the churches.

Posted by Geoff
Powell River, Canada
359 posts

Elizabeth, you keep the jar and its contents safe and do/do go back, please. Lovely ideas for souvenirs and we all have a collection of guilder, franc, etc. coins never again to be spent but great reminders of great times. Thanks for the post. Geoff

Posted by tuscany
seattle
56 posts

I have been collecting silver charms for many years. They represent a city, state, island, or country - from many many trips. I have over 100+

I usually try to find the ones that 'move'
(like a windmill from Amsterdam that spins)
They are so fun to look at & collect. Easy to pack & bring home & never too expensive.

I also have a sand collection from beaches all over the world. Quite unusual. I just have to remember to pack very small baggies & a sharpie to label what beach it is from.

Posted by Sandra
Vancouver, BC
37 posts

Art - I bought a cheap watercolour in Athens 20 years ago which is still in my bathroom. I have some antique prints from Paris, photos from Prague, and oil paintings from Honfleur and Cornwall.

I also have my own photos of cities that have meaning to me. This year, I finally matted and framed them.

Everywhere I look there are reminders of trips and experiences I have had.

Posted by Destiny
Park City, Ut, usa
33 posts

I have a fridge covered with magnets from my trips- I try to get the photo ones or something unusual like 'David'
I also buy cd's of street performers that I enjoy-helping support artists that try so hard.
I have brought back some crazy stuff-like heavy glass objects or something fragile that I have to be careful with but I have begun to realize that there are easier things to have as a souvenir. I like buying strange food/candy/gum for my friends back home.

Posted by Ellen
Centennial, CO, USA
1396 posts

I always buy the cheesiest city souvenir I can find. Buy it from a street vendor. A copy of the Colloseum, the Leaning Tour, The Duomo in Florence. All made of plastic, I have a shelf in my office and I have my collection there..it's a fun reminder of my trips.

In Italy I always come home with one piece of really nice ceramics. In Orvieto last trip I bought the most wonderful cookie jar, and I use it every day.

I only buy what I can hand carry home, so the little cheesy pieces are easy, they go in my carry on, or shoulder bag, and the larger ceramics are hand carried on in a plastic bag!

Posted by Sherry
Hernando, Mississipp, USA
458 posts

I like jewelry, including watches, as souvenirs myself. Perhaps my favorite souvenir though is from Montalcino. My husband insists on spending a week in Cortona when we go to Italy. On Monday we always go to Montalcino to buy wine. We invariably buy the wine at Les Barriques. In 2004, my husband picked out the wine he wanted and told the shopkeeper that we would pick it up after lunch. When we got back, there were two boxes on the counter waiting for us. One was obviously the case of wine we had purchased. The other was a smaller box and the shop owner said it was for us because we remember and come back. When we opened it up, it was a wine decanter with a conical bottom that sits on a wooden stand with the name of the shop. My husband stated that it was a shamne that we would not be able to get it home. I couldn't figure out why he thought that and carried it home all the way on my lap. We used it just this week to decant a rosso di Montalcino. It always brings back good memories.

Posted by claregirl02
westminster, md, usa
196 posts

When I was a child and my Irish Granny would come to the states to visit or to pop by on the way to one of her many world touring trips, she would ALWAYS bring us rock candy from Salthill, Co Galway, Ireland. Of course as children we actually ate it with flourish and not realizing it was not the best candy. When I went to Ireland for the first time to visit my relations. I HAD to bring back Salthill rock candy for my nefew's & niece's ... who like us love it. I do know they sell rock candy in all touristy shops in Ireland, but I always get some Salthill to continue the tradition. It makes me smile.

My favorite items are from the kitchen gadget section at Roches Dept store in Galway. I have egg spoons!!! who knew there was such a thing!

Posted by Mike
Seattle, WA, USA
492 posts

Our favorites have been art. Last year we bought a painting in Ireland and lugged it home. The hard part was finding a painting we liked. We went to an art fair in Cork and most of the stuff wasn't to our liking. But we found one painter who did nice work and we bought one of his. Later saw his works in Dingle.

Posted by Bonne
Columbus, OH, USA
208 posts

I forgot about my cheesy souveneirs! I love my "cheesy photo frames" showing something of the city. London has the Eye, Parliament & Nelson's Column, Paris - the Eiffel Tower (duh), Sacre Cour, the Arc. I love them and I put a picture of myself and/or friends or family I'm with on the trip in the frame. Its a fun reminder!

Also - I like to pick up Swatch watches if it has the city I'm visiting on the face and strap. London, Paris, NYC. When I wear them, people invariably ask where I got them. Its fun to tell them where I found them! I just wish there were more!

Posted by Susan
Prince George, BC, Canada
104 posts

Thanks for all the great comments from everyone. I'm making a list for my next trip! We try to buy items that we will use when we get home, and constantly remind us of the wonderful adventures we had. This ranges from Christmas ornaments (I like bells), kitchen gadgets, food, recipe books, fridge magnets, etc.

Posted by Nadine
San Francisco, CA
181 posts

Hi Gretchen,
I always try to buy jewellry when I travel and have swarovski crystal jewellry from Austria, garnet earrings from Prague, and watches from Switzerland. But I also have vase from Delft, cups and saucers with tulips painted on them from Holland,a rug from Morocco,throw cushion covers from Turkey, a crystal vase from the Czech Republic and lots of scarves from everywhere! I think its more fun shopping for a quality item to represent that vacation than picking up smaller cheaper items.

Nadine

Posted by Ramona
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
1 posts

I was in Italy this summer, and I am kicking myself for not buying a whole case of alabaster wine stoppers in Assisi. They are incredibly beautiful, and were only 3 Euros each. They would have made perfect gifts for many friends! I cannot find them online, or in any shops, so when I go back (and I definitely will), I am buying a case! The venetian glass bottle stoppers are wonderful as well.

Posted by Reg Dunlop
Charlestown, PA, USA
184 posts

Swiss Army knives from...Switzerland, and my Hofbrauhaus 1 liter glass mug from...the Hofbrauhaus.

Posted by Kent
Pacific Northwest
6808 posts

Just keep those Swiss Army Knives out of your carry-on!

Posted by Furnacefighter
Philadelphia, PA, USA
99 posts

Hi Gretchen,

We visited York, England back in 2003. We were shopping in the Shambles, the flea market next to Yorkminster. Found a tea cup and saucer that celebrated the wedding of Charles and Dianna. Dianna has passed and the marrage was long over by then but we could not pass on the souvenir. We paid a whole two pounds for it (discounted from three pounds)! It has always been considered our finest European Treasure!

Posted by Emily
Gainesville, FL, USA
29 posts

I studied for six weeks in Seville, Spain, and ended up buying a fan in El Corte Ingles, which is a giant Spanish department store. I had always thought that using a fan was sort of an exaggerated stereotype of Spain, but when I got there I found that the summer heat (of 50 Celsius, not exaggerating at all) made carrying one absolutely necessary. El Corte Ingles had a HUGE fan department, so I bought one for 4 euro and used it every day for the rest of the summer. Definitely the most useful thing I ever bought in Europe. It's on display in my living room now, so I can see it often and think of that trip. And turn down my air conditioner a few degrees, just because I can :)

My professors on that study abroad trip also paid for everyone from our university to get a hand-painted ceramic tile in our school colors that said "UF en Sevilla 2005." That's on the shelf right next to the fan now, and is a beautiful reminder of a great summer.

Posted by claregirl02
westminster, md, usa
196 posts

This sounds totally corny, but I for me it was the touristy 'Rock Candy' stick w/shamrock running thru the middle. When I saw it in a shop in Salthill, Co. Galway Ireland I just HAD to buy it to take home to my family. My irish granny would always bring it to us back in the 70's when she would come to the States for a visit. I remember well that we broke or ruined many knives trying to cut that stuff into 11 equal parts when I was a kid!!! As adults we all are like: "what was she thinking"! God Bless her but, it was probably the easiest sweet to carry on a ship and flight for 11 grand-children. It brought back a lot of good memories that we had stored in our minds and had almost forgotten. :)

Posted by Sharon
TX
505 posts

all so special for different reasons: small crucifix from Vatican, scarf from Bayeux, Murano glass pendant from Venice, leather purse from Florence, watercolor from Montmartre, silver metal bracelet from street vendor in Lindau, signed pottery spoon rest from San Gimignano, sand and stone from Omaha Beach, twig from the Ardennes, pinecone from the American Cemetery in Normandy, a few bracelet charms, all tickets, stubs, brochures, maps, postcards that I mail home to myself, etc. Small items easy to pack or wear home and all quite meaningful.

Posted by Audrey
Keizer, Oregon, USA
577 posts

In my kitchen & dining decor, there are small crocks & tins & tiles & pitchers from Fortnum & Mason, Harrod's, Covent Garden Kitchen Shop. Some are over 25 years old. I also have small framed prints. Everywhere I look, I have a nice memory of trips. Last year I picked up small pewter shot cups in Germany and they are on the mantle. I also have about 30 bandanas in one of my drawers!

Posted by Sharon
TX
505 posts

I forgot to mention a couple of totes, including a cute taxicab pattern Harrod's tote bag that I now use for groceries and other shopping...most useful souvenirs that make me smile almost every day.

Posted by MARIE
SALINAS, CA
33 posts

A vintage blue and white ceramic canister set off a table at a outdoor flea market in Paris (for 25 Euros). It was made in Czechoslovakia and still had some spices in it. I look at it every day and think about Paris.

Posted by Joel
Tempe, AZ, USA
841 posts

For me it's normally a ball marker or scorecard form a golf course.

Posted by Stella
Vancouver, BC, Canada
74 posts

Hi Gretchen -
We always send ourselves a post card from the city or site we are visiting - I have them in a shadow box at home on my kitchen wall and while I'm doing the dishes I can look over at the collection and it always makes me smile while I remember what a great time we had. They are cheap - you don't have to pack them and it's something great to come home to or have arrive days after you've returned.

Posted by Sylvia
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
331 posts

House Keys !! My husband, 2 daughters & I loved the way the places we stayed in France and Italy all had those old fashioned, "skeleton keys", and we all decided that they would make fantastic souveniers. We couldn't find any old ones (people in stores thought we were crazy) so we bought 4 new ones from a locksmith. We all carry them everyday as "KeyChains" !

Posted by Susan and Monte
Granite Bay, CA
225 posts

For me it's a beer mug that I got in Germany! Everytime I see it, I smile. The funny thing is I dont even drink! When I see that thing my mind goes back to Germany all day long. Monte