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Top 10 typical souvenirs from Italy

<i>If you’re on holiday, it is fun to bring souvenirs for your family and friends or yourself. Do you have no idea what you would like to take home? Gustocamp has listed a number of inspiring examples! </i>
1. Pinocchio from Tuscany
If you stroll around in the cities of Volterra, Florence, San Gimignana or another Tuscan city you can’t miss Pinocchio! Pinocchio has its origin in the city of Collodi, also the birth place of the mothers of the writer. The writer of the story of Pinocchio, Carlo Lorenzini, is born and raised in Florence. The Italians are still very proud of the story, and that makes sense! Pinocchio is world famous! They are so proud that there even is a Pinocchio theme park. In this park you can find all characters from the story and everything about the history and origin of the story. With 3 fairground attractions and a fun playground for young children.
2. Limoncello: fresh lemon liquer
Who doesn’t know Limoncello? The delicious lemon liqueur, which can be drunk after a meal, preferably cold. Limoncello is being prepared in the south of Italy. Limoncello was traditionally made with lemons from the Sorrento region. Later on also lemons from other regions where being used. Many Italians make the Limoncello themselves. For the best result pure alcohol of 96% has to be used. Limoncello consists of 30-35 % alcohol. 15 years ago it was being served at room temperature, but nowadays it is served ice cold. The taste is the best when the Limoncello is served directly from the freezer.
3. Colorful Murano glass
In the 20th century all glassblowers were obliged to move to Murano, as well as all the glass ovens. At the island Murano there were already some glassblowers active. When all the glassblowers moved from Venice to Murano, a genuine association was formed. Everybody who used to blow glass needed to be a member of the association. If they wanted to go elsewhere to blow glass , were severely punished. The secrets and recipes of the glass production have been passed on from generation to generation. Murano glass, just like ordinary glass, is made of sand.

Nowadays glass blowing courses are given on the island. The Murano glass is still very popular among tourists. This is due to the fun patterns and colours that are used.
4. Cantuccini cookies
Cantuccini cookies are typical Italian almond cookies. There are many ingredients needed for this special cookie. Not only almonds , but also amaretto, sugar , flour, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise and clove. If you want to bake these cookies yourself, you need to bake them 2 times, just as biscuit. Often the Cantuccini cookies are served as a dessert with Vin Santo. You need to eat this cookies in combination with a sweet dessert wine. The Vin Santo used to be drunk as a wine in the church, only the pastor didn’t eat cookies with the wine.
5. Venetian masks
These masks are typical for the carnival in Venice. Since 1296 these masks have been worn. It is not clear how this tradition started. In the stores you can find many different masks. The most famous one are Dottore Peste, Bauta and Moretta. Have you always wondered what the meaning of these names are?


Dottore Peste

was originally used by doctors who had to treat the victims of the plague. The used the mask to counteract the smell and prevent contamination. The masks have a large part near the mouth and glass blinkers. At the time, doctors could store perfumed tissues in this.



mask is a white mask with an extended point under the nose, which covers the mouth. It represents intrigue, secrets and mystery. This mask if often worn with a jacket, black cape and a hat.



is French from origin. The black velvet masks are oval shaped and cover the entire face. Often these masks are accompanied with veils and hats. These masks are made for women only.

You can buy these masks in almost every souvenir shop. The prices vary between 15 and 200 euros. The simple masks are often a bit cheaper and the authentic masks are more expensive.

6. Olive oil extra vergine
Olive oil is mainly produced in Tuscany. Here you will see fields full of olive trees. Off course you can buy the olive oil in the supermarket, but you can also buy it along the way. The range of olive oils is very wide. For example oils with red pepper, rosemary, garlic, thyme, orange and truffle. The extra vergine oil is made from the first pressing and has the most expense quality.
7. Italië, country of shoes
Italy is the mecca for fashion , but certainly also for shoes. If you think of Italian shoes, you think of expensive, luxury, stylish handmade shoes. Almost everyone has a pair of these beautiful and stylish shoes in his or her assortment. There is a wide range from pumps till slippers, it’s all there! Most of the shoes are made of leather. Italian shoes are known about this.
8. Pasta in all colors, sizes and types
You can buy pasta in all colors, sizes and types. The different colors are green, white and red, just like the flag of Italy! There are many different types of paste. You can think of ravioli, spaghetti, fusilli and tortellini.

The shapes of the pasta differ per type. There is twisted pasta, long strings, shells or stuffed pasta. You eat every type of pasta with a different sauce. Penne are always served with meat sauce, tortellini is often stuffed with cheese, meat or raw ham. Ravioli is a stuffed pasta and often served with a tomato sauce. The inside can be filled with meat, fish, poultry , cheese or vegetables, basically everything!
Farfalle is also named butterfly pasta and can be served with almost every sauce. It looks like a spiral and available in different colors. This kind of pasta can also be used in a pasta salad.
9. Albast stone
Albast is won in the town of Volterra. This is the only place in Italy where this is possible. Albast is a chalky , soft type of stone which can be processed into beautiful art works. If you walk in the city, you can find albast stones, jewellery and statuettes in almost every store. Around th1 17th and 18th century the artisans rediscovered ancient art.

There are 4 types of albast: scaglione, bardiglio, pietra a marmo and agato. The difference between these types is the color. The color varies from white till dark brown. Scaglione is almost translucent. Bardiglio is a grey colored albast, pietra a marmo is white and looks like marble ( as the name indicates). Finally there is agato, a brown albast with sometime a red tint.

All types are processed with a file, chisel or work bench. The materials that are used depend on what image, vase or piece of jewellery is made. When the statue has the desired shape and is finished, it is polished. This ensure that the statue gets a nice smooth and glossy layer.
10. Parmesan cheese and Grana Padano
Despite the fact that Dutch people are always named cheese heads, the Italian people also love cheese! The 2 most famous cheeses are Parmesan cheese and Grana Padano. Delicious with pasta, but also to eat it directly. Parmesan cheese comes from the Parma region and has a long ripening time. Grana Padano is named after the Po valley. It is made in almost the complete Northern part of Italy, from the Po valley till the Dolomites. You can buy both cheeses in a vacuum-packed packaging, so that you can easily take it back home.
Do you want to bring a nice souvenir from Italy? You can book your summer holiday with Gustocamp! Do you want personal advice? Call with one of our colleagues at the Gustocamp office. Monday until Friday reachable by telephone from 9.00 until 17.00 at telephone number +44 (0)1706438006 or send an e-mail to info@gustocamp.co.uk.
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