20 Best Souvenirs From Italy to Bring Home With You

Trying to decide what souvenirs from Italy to take home with you?

The following list is complete with Italian souvenirs that you can eat, drink or wear. From extraordinary food souvenirs like pasta, truffles, and sun-dried tomatoes, to regional specialties such as ceramics and one-of-a-kind cosmetics.

Keep reading to find out 20 of the best souvenirs to buy in Italy.

1. Pasta

pasta

Some would argue that there’s nothing more Italian than pasta. Spaghetti, conchiglie, penne, farfalle… With so many shapes (and flavors), pasta really did put Italy in the culinary books. It has undoubtedly become one of the favorite food souvenirs from Italy.

Nowadays, you can find good Italian pasta brands in your local supermarket, like Barilla, DeCecco, or Garofalo. But nothing beats artisan-made pasta, crafted in the homeland itself. 

Try buying a flavored variety as opposed to the wheat-based that’s more widely used. It will certainly make a difference in your dish!

Price: starting from 2€

2. Cheese

cheese

Every region in Italy has its very own cheese. The Lombardia region has gorgonzola and mascarpone, Emillia-Romagna has parmigiano reggiano and grana padano, Campania the beloved mozzarella, and the list goes on…

Nowadays, it’s even possible to fly with the smelliest of cheeses, provided you vacuum seal and carry it in a cool bag. Still, it’s probably best to choose a hard cheese as opposed to a softer one. And your best bet is to visit local markets or specialty stores and learn about the region’s best and what to match it with. Most Italian cheese producers will be happy to let you have a taste and teach you all about the production.

Gifted on its own or paired up with some authentic pasta or Tuscan wine, cheese is one of the most gratifying souvenirs from Italy.

Price: varies, depending on item

3. Olive Oil

olive oil

Olive oil is a staple in any Italian kitchen. It’s definitely a more durable food souvenir when compared to pasta or cheese as you’ll be able to enjoy it for several meals. It’s even better if bought in the fall, as it might be freshly harvested, which makes for a delightful rare treat.

You should pack it carefully in your luggage, well wrapped and insulated. If you’re traveling with only a carry-on, depending on the departure airport, you should be able to find good Italian olive oil in duty-free shops. Otherwise, many producers will happily ship it to your home.

Price: starting from 4€ at supermarkets

4. Truffles

truffles

Truffles are one of the most coveted Italian delicacies. These grow wild in many regions throughout the country but are especially popular in Lazio and Umbria. Not only that, but many truffle based products can be found both at smaller grocery stores or bigger markets.

Although some indeed go for very high prices (high-quality pieces are sold for thousands of euros), you can find affordable yet tasty truffles relatively easily. But make sure you get a chance to try them before deciding to bring them home as a souvenir from Italy! Also, it’s better to buy truffle oil or shavings as they don’t go bad as fast and are easy to travel with.

Price: varies, depending on item

5. Sun-dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes are the perfect hearty souvenir for foodies. These are especially popular in the southern regions of Italy, due to the prolonged sunshine hours. You could maybe attempt doing it yourself if you live in a sunnier area. You do it by exposing cut ripe tomatoes covered in thick salt to the sun. Remember to store them back inside during the nighttime to avoid exposure to humidity.

Speaking of storage, these are best kept in terracotta pots. But if you don’t feel like going through the hassle, you can buy perfectly good and ready sun-dried tomatoes in Italy. They are super affordable, travel-friendly, and can be added to a multitude of dishes.

Price: starting from 2€

6. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is a condiment already commonly used around the world. However, usually found in the Emillia Romagna region, traditional balsamic vinegar is on a completely different level. It’s made over several years and the grape must be transferred onto a series of wooden barrels (which decodes the sweet and sour flavor).

This variety is significantly more expensive than the regular one but many will argue it’s worth it. Drizzled over salads, fruits, and cheeses, this flavor-enhancing souvenir from Italy will surely not disappoint!

Price: traditional variety starting from 40€

7. Cured Meats

If you’re a meat-lover or looking to surprise one, cured meats are the perfect souvenir from Italy to bring home. The majority of Italian cured meats are made from pork, though a few are made from beef. Can be eaten as a pizza topping, in a sandwich, as a snack or starter. The most popular are prosciuttosalamipancetta, and bresaola.

The best place to buy these is in local supermarkets. You need only ask the clerks what they recommend, as the specialties vary depending on the region.

Price: varies, depending on item

8. Pastries & Desserts

italian desserts

Tiramisu, gelato, biscotti, cannoli, panna cotta… If I were to name all Italian sweets, I could type all night, and even then it wouldn’t be enough. Sweet desserts have been a tradition since Roman times when they’d combine a variety of nuts with fruits, honey, and chocolate.

Like in its neighboring European countries, bakeries and pastry shops in Italy are quite easy to come by. Campania’s sflogliatella, Sicilian cannoli, or the decadent zeppole are examples of delicious pastries sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Price: starting from 1€ / piece

9. Torrone

torrone
Photo by L Manzari

One of Sardinia’s claim to fame, the torrone is this island’s version of nougat. It is made with honey and a variety of nuts (almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts). It pairs especially well with caffeinated teas but can also be a middle-of-the-day treat or dessert.

The authentic version, made with honey and not sugar, can be found in various local markets. But the sugar-based version is significantly cheaper and not bad at all…

So if you’re in town and are looking to bring home a sweet souvenir from Italy, torrone will make for an impressive gift.

Price: starting from 5€

10. Wine

italian wine

It’s true that Italian wines are amongst the world’s finest. I’m sure you’ve heard of Tuscany and its beautiful vineyard landscapes. But wines from SardiniaPuglia, and Castelli Romani are also widely appreciated. The variety of types, colors, and flavors ensure there’s a wine for every person, so why not treat yourself? Or a loved one?

Decent wines can be found in most supermarkets throughout Italy. However, for a wider selection and guided recommendation, you should consider visiting a specialized store. A good vintage hardly ever goes for less than 50€, so don’t go in expecting a bargain.

Price: starting from 3€ at supermarkets, 15€ at specialized stores

11. Limoncello

According to legend, Limoncello originated over a century ago in the Southern city of Capri. It’s said that Lady Maria Antonia Farace used to prepare homemade liqueur using her homegrown lemons and oranges. Others swear limoncello originated in Sorrento and while some say the Amalfi coast. Regardless of the actual origin, all will agree that it makes for an exquisite digestive (always served chilled!).

What makes limoncello one of the most unique souvenirs from Italy is the fact that the lemons used in its production are grown mainly in the southern regions. It may be found across many stores and restaurants but the best quality ones are usually bright in color, strong-smelling and taste like lemon. The most popular brands are Villa Massa and Limoncello di Capri.

Price: starting from 13€

12. Espresso Cups

If you’re a coffee-lover, then you’re no stranger to the Italian tradition of espresso. Whilst visiting Italy, you might fall into the habit of having a freshly brewed espresso right after every meal. Sometimes even instead of a meal! Although buying an espresso coffee machine would be a great idea, Italian espresso cups are easier to travel with and a more affordable gift.

For more unique pieces, visit Italian coffee brand shops, where you’ll find yearly editions of their collections. Otherwise, you’ll be able to find perhaps more sophisticated and interesting designs in any kitchenware shop in Italy.

Price: starting from 10€ / set

13. Calabria Ceramics

calabria ceramics
Photo by Ken Kaplan

Hand-painted ceramics are a great idea if you’re looking to buy more traditional souvenirs from Italy. There’s a wide selection of pottery to pick from, including more modern pieces. A hand-made piece of ceramic will make anyone feel like they’re somehow partaking in the Italian lifestyle. Besides, there are all kinds of objects, of various sizes, patterns, and colors, so there’s an item for everyone.

Ceramics from Calabria are inspired by folklore, so naturally very colorful. Made from locally extracted terracotta, the pieces are painted using naturally sourced materials. There’s a multitude of motifs (including some meant to ward off the evil eye), so choose whichever you like best.

Price: starting from 5€

14. Murano Glass

murano glass
Photo by susacu

Named after the island in Venice in which it’s crafted, it is a prime example of tasteful souvenirs from Italy. Murano glass is made from silica, soda, lime, and potassium melted together. A rare artisan production as each piece is handmade and unique. It derives from a millennia-old tradition and is renowned for its beautiful colors, shapes, and patterns.

There are plenty of Murano glass objects to choose from, including kitchenware, jewelry, home decorations… Each will surely give your home a quirky touch. Although you can get cheap pieces in tourist areas, buy directly from the factory to make sure it’s authentic.

Price: varies, depending on item

15. Rosary Beads

rosary beads

Although not technically from Italy but from the Vatican instead, St. Peter’s rosary beads make for a wonderful souvenir. You don’t have to be a believer to agree that this region’s the Christian capital. As such, there are heaps of religious objects sold pretty much everywhere.

Rosary beads are not only popular for its divine connotations but also for being an exceptional piece of jewelry. Prices vary depending on the material. You can purchase them for as little as 2€, while golden or otherwise higher quality items are worth hundreds.

Price: varies, depending on item

16. Venetian Masks

venetian masks

It’s uncommon to find a souvenir that better relates to a single city instead of its country as a whole. Venetian masks are one of the souvenirs from Italy sold in almost every city. But it obviously feels more authentic when you get them in Venice, and there’s more variety to choose from too.

Traditionally, the masks were made with glass or leather, decorates with precious stones and metals. They were worn by high-class citizens that wished to conceal their identity.

Nowadays, this masked tradition is celebrated yearly during the ‘Venice Carnival’. The masks now come in different shapes and sizes, decorated with lace, beads, and stones.

Price: starting from 2€ (smaller ones)

17. Amalfi Coast Soap

amalfi coast soap
Photo by Ciska Tobing

Bright yellow lemons are one of the biggest symbols for the entire Amalfi coast region. In fact, the destination has become synonymous with breathtaking ocean views, sweet lemon aromas, and quaint pastel-colored houses. However, Amalfi lemons aren’t just used to produce summery seasonings, sweet desserts, or digestive liqueurs…

Lemon-shaped soaps are a great gift for family and friends, and there are many shops in town that sell them. The second you walk in, the lemon aroma overtakes your senses. They feel so real that you have to remind yourself you can’t actually eat them!

Price: starting from 2€

18. Shoes

shoes

Just like clothing, Italian shoes are renowned worldwide. Along with graceful dresses, elegant suits, or simple denim pieces, Italian footwear is greatly appreciated. In Rome, especially, you can find an array of different options at various price points. Designer brands like Gucci, Giuseppe Zanotti, or Valentino need no introduction. Alternatively, there are also less expensive independent designers that produce very worthwhile items.

If you happen to visit the area, consider buying Positano leather sandals. You can get a customized pair, for which you get to choose the design, color, straps, and embellishments. Also, they’re surprisingly comfortable and perfect for strolling all throughout Sorrento.

Price: varies, depending on item

19. Leather Items

leather goods

Italian leather has a reputation for being durable, trustworthy, and expertly handled. Tuscany is the Italian region best known for the quality of its leather goods. Products like bags, shoes, belts, wallets, and other accessories line the shelves of Tuscan boutique stores. Besides, any of these make for a very classy gift for both women and men.

Expensive souvenirs from Italy are usually justified by their individuality and longevity, and leather is no exception.

Price: varies, depending on item

20. Perfume

perfume

Armani, Valentino, Versace are amongst the Italian designers that produce worldwide famous perfumes and colognes. In addition to these luxury giants, many other fashion houses release fresh scents every season. And one of the most popular brands among Italians is Acqua di Parma, now a timeless classic. It’s been a symbol of luxury and finesse in Italy for nearly a century.

Gelsomini di Capri, crafted by the house of Carthusia, is sure to make you feel that Italian nostalgia. It evokes the aromas of the island, with sweet and fruity notes, whilst maintaining a sensual touch.

Price: starting from 50€

Read also:

Best souvenirs from Italy – Pin it!

souvenirs from Italy
souvenirs from Italy

Leave a Comment