When it comes to travelling, we always remember our closest friends and wish they were with us everywhere we go. That is why we want to return home with the most beautiful gifts for them…or not. Here you have a list of Top 10 gifts to avoid getting from Italy, if you really care about your loved ones.
1. Cheap wine
It is not about the price, but the quality of the Italian wine. It has to be old, antique and at its finest quality. If you’re choosing to buy some ordinary 4 euro wine, then you should buy it directly from the airport or the supermarket down your street. It’s the same thing! Where can you find some exquisite wine? The most amazing wineries, wine shops and touristic venues are in Tuscany. If you’re a wine lover, then that is the perfect place for you to visit.
2. A cookery book in English
Italians don’t speak English. It’s not that they don’t like it, but they don’t want to. All the real Italian cookery books, that consist of ONLY authentic Italian recipes, are written in Italian. Your foodie friends will be delighted to get a true, amazing gift, despite the Google Translate work they’ll have to get done afterwards. Sometimes, the best way is not the easiest one, but the result is extremely satisfying. If you want to visit a special bookstore in Italy, then you have to visit Venice and its amazingly beautiful Libreria Aqua Alta.
3. Fake beauty products and perfumes
Italy is famous for its lovely Capri scents, its clay masks and its beautiful women. Well, this beauty is nourished with a few old products that have been changing lives for decades. Don’t go for the cheap, fake stuff. Don’t buy no name cosmetics only for the packaging. If you have friends that care so much about their looks, be sure to buy only the best. These shady products with nice packaging are sold in your country as well, for sure, but the authentic Italian goodies are not to be found anywhere in the world. The perfect destination for the perfume lovers is Capri, a city hiding one of the Italy’s treasures – Carthusia.
4. Ordinary coffee and wanna-be Bialetti Moka
Italy is all about coffee. It will be a crime to leave this country without some amazing coffee to drink with your friends. Bring home only the very best of the best, and not some random coffee bought from a grocery store near your hotel. If you want to live a complete Italian experience, buy the Bialetti Moka Induction coffee maker too. The real one, not the hundred wanna-be versions that everyone is selling at the corner of the street. Don’t leave Rome without visiting the amazing coffee shop Caffe Sant’Eustachio, where you can also find the right coffee maker for you and your friends.
5. Made in China notebooks
Florence is famous for its paper and journals. If you have friends who write, keep journals, schedule everything in beautifully wrapped notebooks, don’t buy random, plastic agendas from the newspaper stands. Here you have the chance to buy notebooks that are covered in gorgeous leather, in lace or made with fine Florentine paper. Don’t miss the opportunity to get your special friends beautiful gifts and visit the amazing Cellerini Boutique in Florence.
6. Olive pomace oil
This is only an example of the delicious authentic goodies you can get from Italy, such as balsamic vinegar, honey, limoncello and hot chocolate. All of them have cheap alternatives that can be bought anywhere in the world, while the originals are to be found only in Italy. That is why we advise you not to stint when it comes to this sort of gifts and buy the real stuff. If you want to buy something excellent for your foodie friends, then visit Frantoi Cutrera’s shop in Sicily.
7. Fake murano glass
Venice is known worldwide for its beauty and its amazingly crafted Murano glass, but also for its frauds. There are many ways to avoid buying fake Murano glass pieces, but one of the surest is that of avoiding shady shops and street vendors. Avoid pieces that have “made in Murano” or “Murano style” signs on them and look for designer signatures. Some of the master glass masters are Ercole Barovier, Archimede Seguso, Aureliano Toso, Galliano Ferro, Vincenzo Nason, Alfredo Barbini and Carlo Moretti. The best thing to do, in case you have lots of friends who love the colorful Italian beauties, is to visit the Murano Glass Museum in Venice.
8. Non-precious jewelry
Italians are all about jewelry and beauty, so if you’re taking a trip to Italy, make sure you don’t leave the country without some beauties for yourself and your friends. Don’t waste your time and money buying fake, non-precious jewelry when you have so many jewelry shops to visit and pieces to choose from. You can also attend some fantastical jewelry fairs where you’ll find the most beautiful baubles and decorative pieces you’ve ever seen. If you have jewelry lovers among your friends, then you shouldn’t miss Arezzo, on your trip to Florence, the city considered to be the capital of jewelry in Italy.
9. Plastic masks in Venice
You have to know that the authentic Venetian masks are made of leather, porcelain, glass and papier-mache, not plastic. They are heavy and precious and easy to distinguish from the frauds. If you want to buy the real thing for a friend of yours who really loves Venice, then choose to stay away from the street vendors and visit the shops that sell the authentic pieces, brought right from the factories. The place you have to visit when it comes to real beauties, and not fake wanna-bes is the Ca’ Macana shop.
10. Cheap key chains
We all love key chains, that is a fact, but when we say cheap, we don’t talk about the price, but the quality. Avoid buying key chains just because they have the Italian flag on them, or are made in the shape of a Venetian mask. Buy something valuable, beautiful and well crafted, something that really represents Italy. You will find lots of authentic seaside key chains in Sorrento.
The gift shopping part of your trip to Italy should be a fun and exciting one. But this really depends on how close you are to your friends and how much do you invest, both emotionally and financially in your relationship.