Text and images by Sarita Rajiv
As promised, I’m back with part 2 of my Italian gift guide. If you enjoyed reading Part 1 of Souvenirs and gifts from Italy, I promise you’ll enjoy this one too. And if you decide to visit Italy, this guide will help you get started on the kind of Italian products to look for.
Handmade toys & accessories: Remember how I alluded to wood in the previous post? I was referring to Bartolucci. If you love handmade toys and accessories, Bartolucci is the place to go. Pinocchio is the star there and it’s like being in a fairy tale land of wood people! It’s one of the popular Florence attractions when it comes to shopping in Florence. While Bartolucci has shops across Italy (and even the world), it was fun to visit the Florence store, Florence being the birthplace of Pinocchio and all. They have magnets, key chains, pen holders, clocks, pencil sharpeners, even motorcycles – you will be spoiled for choice. The best part is that everything is handcrafted, made in Italy and affordable!
Burano lace: While we were in Venice, along with the fabulous Murano glass art, we also had a chance to see some classic Italian lace from the island of Burano. It takes a group of women several months to complete something like a lace tablecloth as each woman is specialised in one kind of stitch. Fascinating right? Can you imagine the exclusivity of something like that? Perhaps you fancy a scarf for your girlfriend or a traditional tablecloth for your mother? There is a lot to choose from depending, of course, on how deep your pockets are.
Postcards and stationery: Did I tell you I like postcards, but never really sent any until recently? Whether you’re planning to send these postcards to your friends and family or whether you intend to gift it to them, you will be spoiled for choice in Italy. While I saw these peculiar postcards and this gorgeous stationary (oddly it has a Parisian touch) at Aqua Alta Libreria in Venice (remember that quirky book shop I talked about in part 1 of my guide?), Florence has its fair share of shops selling stuff like marbled paper and other kinds of stationary.
So that was my Italian Gift Guide in its entirety. What are your favourites? Have I missed out something? I'd love to hear your suggestions.
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