Aug 12th, 2007, 12:32 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 14

Hey guys! I'm going to a jam-packed european tour (venice, florence, rome, paris, lucerne) next month and was wondering about stuffs to bring home.

For Venice, I know I want to buy a mask and maybe a murano glass plate. Where would be an authentic but reasonably-priced store be for both?

For Paris, can anyone suggest a good place to buy wine or champagne? Oh, and a good supermarket so I could stock up on cheap foods?

For Lucerne, not sure about this one yet... Maybe gruyere cheese? Swiss chocolate? Any other suggestions?

Btw, would it be cheaper in Florence to buy souvenirs (e.g. limoncello) than in Rome or Venice?

I know I ask too many Q's, sorry. But all your input will be appreciated, thanks.
roseannegon is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 12:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
Any good supermarket will do wine and champagne, but remember you can't put it in yur carry on. So you'll either have to ship it or pack it (waaah!) in your hold luggage. Or (my pick) buy it in duty free.

Go to any E Leclerc, Carrefour or Ecomarche for your groceries. The bigger the better selection.

Florence will NOT be cheaper than Rome and Venice.
sheila is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 03:01 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,270

You can't walk more than 50m in any direction in Venice without encountering 2-3 mask shops and as many stores selling Murano glass. Masks are sold both at sidewalk kiosks, general gift shops, as well as mask only workshop/stores. The latter are numerous as well - you will find them.

Here's an example. Masks run from as little as 20-25Euro for a basic mask with an appliqué design to hundreds for larger, more lavish creations.

Murano glass. You can take a morning trip to the island of Murano (20min boat ride) where there are many many shops with some beautiful glass. Prices on Murano are no different than in Venice. Plates, bowls, vases, etc are all for sale all around the city. Expect to be floored by the prices, even for simple glass plates. You pay for the artistry and design. When looking for a gift under $20 my daughter remarked that the selection was like what you'd find at a WalMart.
J62 is online now  
Aug 12th, 2007, 04:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Let me start off by saying that I am often mistake as a tourist, even though I have lived here for more than a year.

Here in Luzern, it's a good idea to get your chocolate at the grocery stores- Migros and Coop (note, that Migros does not sell alcohol). There is a new Coop grocery store downstairs in the Luzern train station, so if you are taking the train into Luzern, so might want to stop in there to see their selection to give you an idea of your options. Of course,you can get cheese here also, but you might wait until the last day so it will keep).

Other things I see tourists buying- Swiss souvenirs, like, miniature flags, shot glasses, napkins, t-shirts, keychains, hats, scarves.

The flat chocolate bars can be purchased for about 1.50CHF in the grocery store, compared to 5CHF or more per bar in the airport duty free/shops FOR THE SAME BARS- I monitor the prices like a hawk! I travel back to the US often, and these are the things that I buy since I have to buy about 20 bars since I have such a big family back home.

They sell LIndt chocolate and Toblerone in the grocery stores as well.

I have also seen the Swiss Army knives for as low as 15CHF (very few tools, but a cute souvenir) in the check out line at the Migros grocery story.
freeman0819 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 10:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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As above, I always pick up my Swiss chocolates at a Migros grocery store. My U.S. born friend long-time living in Switzerland recommends it. There's other cute Swiss souvenier plenty, small plates, frig magnets, Swiss army knifes, lace, etc.

Myself, I would not try to be packing home fresh cheese (how are you going to refrigerate it?), champagne, or wine (too heavy).

suze is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 02:17 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 374
Carrying back wine and especially champagne awkward at best and you can only bring in 2 bottles per person. Plus as another said it will need to go in your checked luggage. In Paris a great place for souvineers for women and girls is Fragonard. They are French purfumiers and you don't find them in the states. For 8 Euros you can get beautiful smelling soaps. For 15 Euros they have small but beautifully packaged boxes that have 6 of their natural perfumes inside in little bottles. There also inexpensive boxes of solid perfumes in really pretty containers. I buy the box, split it up and use them as small gifts for friends at work. There is a store on Ave. Capucines in The Opera area and one on Blve. St. Germaine.
chevre is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 02:27 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,270
chevre writes

"Carrying back wine and especially champagne awkward at best and you can only bring in 2 bottles per person."

Not true. You can bring back bring back even a case or 2 if you wish for your own use. The 2 bottle limit is for duty free, but the duty on wine is so small ($0.25 or so per bottle if I remember correctly) that every time I've brought wine into the US from Europe I've just been waived through. You need to declare the wine on the customs form.

As for the difficulty, I found many wine shops in Italy that will provide a styrofoam 6 bottle holder that you can either check on its own or put inside a larger suitcase. You can also get single bottle carriers, or simply use the old wrap in dirty clothes technique.

J62 is online now  
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