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Souvenir help needed

We are going to Italy (Varenna, Verona, Venice, Florence, Pisa, a day in Milan) and Switzerland (St. Gallen to visit friends) for a two weeks this September. Trying to decide what souvenirs to bring back for everyone. Having trouble on what to get for the guys (dads, brothers, my husband's best friend). And we have a 6 month old niece. What do I get her?? For the women I have decided on scarves or bracelets or necklaces. but I'm stumped for the guys. T shirts don't seem the right choice. Please help!

Posted by
2393 posts

Nice leather products in Italy - gloves are a great gift for a man. Money clips - my husband has a Swiss Army Knife/money clip he loves. Jersey from Italian Football team.

Posted by
2081 posts


i havent been to those places yet, but i get some t-shirts or something like that on my travels since my nephews can usually wear it longer than some candy/food will last.

i also give them some of my change too.

happy trails.

Posted by
641 posts

I agree that leather goods -- wallets, gloves, book covers, etc. -- from Florence are always a good choice for guys.

Posted by
507 posts

For the 6 month old niece . . . how about a cuckoo clock she will grow up with? Or a clock that plays music while the man & woman come out of the house & go back in? The Swiss are known for watch-making.

RE WOMEN: Do any of the women collect spoons? You could begin their collections by purchasing one for each lady from each place you go to.

A souvenir book from each place you go to be used as a coffee table book

RE GUYS: I will leave that to the men who are posting their ideas.


Posted by
715 posts

I always find those blobs that people throw onto a board on the side walk that make a weird noise a great gift. ;) Oh, and the glow in the dark whirly bird things you shoot in the air. Honestly, I have never, ever, seen someone other then the people selling these things walking around with one.

Posted by
15267 posts

For the baby, see what you can find with a reproduction of della Robbia's sweet, swaddled bambini created for Ospedale degli Innocenti. There should be all sorts of items in the gift shops but if you could find a Christmas ornament, it's something she could put on the tree through childhood, and have for her own tree when she grows up. You might try the Lucca Della Robbia shop on via del Proconsolo near the Bargello.

This is what I'm talking about:

I've also read that bracelets, necklaces or amulets of red coral - thought for centuries to have protective qualities - are still sometimes given as traditional gifts for infants. An Italian linen/lace handkerchief to carry on her wedding day might be nice too, or a silver charm (silver is a traditional gift in many cultures) to start a bracelet.

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks for all the ideas! Gives me a place to start. Im thinking trinket box for the niece. Maybe with her name on it. Still unsure about the guys. Maybe something will catch my eye once we get there. Im a terrible shopper for other people 😞 even for my husband.

Posted by
3428 posts

Most of these work for guys or gals:

Handmade leather photo wallets (really small- holds school picture sized photos- about 4-6) or 'real' wallets
Any Christmas ornament or things that can be used as such- crystals, beads, small crocheted lace items.....

Handmade coasters, placemats, bread basket liners or other linens.

Magnets (can be used at work on file cabinets as well as the fridge at home)
NICE key chains, money clips, ink pens, paperweights, etc.

Coasters from local pubs/wine bars/vineyards with local brands on them
Tea towels/bar towels or signs
Wine glasses or wine glass 'markers' that slip over the stem (unique glass ones would be great)

For the baby, a special book- especially a picture book, or a keepsake ornament or 'piggy bank'. A handmade wooden toy would be nice, too. Maybe a lace hair band or bow. I would think you could get a lovely sun catcher for her window (you can get great glass in Italy). If her parents have had her ears pierced (some people do......) a small pair of earrings.