What I bought in Italy


Jul 17th, 2004, 06:36 PM
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What I bought in Italy

what did you purchase and in what city did you purchase it in?

Did you not buy something you wished you would have?
robbiegirl is offline  
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Jul 17th, 2004, 09:40 PM
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I bought for myself in Florence a little leather lipstick cases with a mirror 6 years ago and I still carry it in my purse. What I wished I had bought is one for all of my sisters and girlfriends. It was very inexpensive ($7-8) and obviously took up little space in my luggage!!
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Jul 18th, 2004, 05:47 AM
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I am always careful to not be swept up in the moment of buying something typical to the area I am in; I find that it is usually overpriced and I can find it where I live.

For example, I found that the Murano glass pieces that appealed to me when I was in Venice were the expensive well designed pieces; we have stores where I live that carry those pieces and with the exchange rate on the euro, the price will be equivalent for me.....

I bought an expensive linen table runner in Venice as a souvenir on my last day; lo and behold, I saw the same runner in an upscale linen shop downtown here in Montreal , the price was equivalent....

I did find my Vietri dishes in a flea market in Tuscany, sprawled on the grass, second quality so they cost practically nothing; I brought home a few bagfuls, they were a true bargain....

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Jul 18th, 2004, 09:43 AM
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Even if you could buy the same thing at home, it wouldn't mean as much, because you didn't buy it on your wonderful vacation in Italy!

I spent the most money I've ever spent on jewlery- 200 Euro on a beautiful cameo in Venice. Yea, I know Venice isn't really the cameo place, but that's where I saw the one I wanted. What was unusual is that the lady is wearing a little diamond on a chain around her neck.

Even getting it was special because I saw it in a store and did not buy it because, well I don't spend that kind of money on jewlery for myself. My 14 year old daughter was so determined that if I wanted it, I should have it that she made sure she paid attention where that store was, so that even in the winding streets of Venice we found it again and she convinced me to buy it.

I still haven't got a chain for it yet, though.

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Jul 18th, 2004, 10:11 AM
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SandyB - The first time I went to Florence they had little leather lipstick holders with famous artworks on them and I thought I would see them in other cities and planned to buy them later. I didn't see them anywhere else and really regretted not bringing them back for everyone. Last summer when I went back to Florence I found ones with fleur de lis designs in leather but the ones with the artworks were now in plastic/vinyl. I bought several of the fleur de lis ones for about 2E each.
If you have time, shop around for the best prices off the main squares. It seems the prices get better the further off the beaten path. If you don't have much time, buy it because you might not see it again.

I always look for small items that don't take up much luggage space. I don't think I made any purchases that I wish I hadn't but I do regret not buying many things.
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Jul 18th, 2004, 10:22 AM
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I went to an enoteca in Sorrento ( I wish I could remember the name of it- I think it had the word Bacchus in it--see what happens when you drink too much) -hand selected a case of the most incredible red wine and had them ship it home.

It wasn't a matter of it being cheaper over there. Most of the bottles weren't even available in the US.

It was Christmas x 10 when that crate arrived. For the price of one airplane ticket, I got to go to Italy 13 times.
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Jul 18th, 2004, 10:38 AM
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I try to buy local items that can't be found here at home, for example:

Florence: Hand-carved angel for our Christmas tree and two small watercolors from an artist outside the Uffizi
Greve: Beautiful embroidered items
Capri: Lemon shaped and scented soaps
Tuscany: Aged balsamic vinegar, wine and chocolates that are not exported
Venice: Silk tassels, Venetian mask
Rome: More hand-made tassels
Positano: Ceramic demitasse cups, saucers
San Gimignano: Ceramic olive oil server

There are more, but you get the idea.
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Jul 18th, 2004, 03:00 PM
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Offwego - What wine did you get in Sorrento?

Lorac1127 - The watercolors are great everywhere. I bought a small on in Delphi, Greece and regret not buying others. I will have to go back and start a collection.

robbiegirl - Don't forget to buy dried porcinis in the Florence area.
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Jul 18th, 2004, 03:07 PM
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In Venice:
Lace tablecloth
Murano glass necklace and earrings
Pashmina shawls
(My husband bought 10 Italian silk ties)

In Florence:
Red leather briefcase (Santa Croce Leather School)

In Orvieto:
Pottery in cobalt blue and yellow sunflower pattern (S&P set, oil/vinegar set, serving platter, and serving bowl)

In Tuscany:
Olive oil

In Amalfi:
Hand painted ceramic clock closely matching the sunflower pieces I bought in Orvieto

In Rome:
A pearl and silver rosary from the Vatican Museum

In every city: An oil painting done by a local artist. These are my favorite souvenirs. We are having them all matted and framed the same and they will line the walls of our staircase.
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Jul 18th, 2004, 03:08 PM
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I've bought a watercolor painting (or series of paintings) on each trip. It makes a nice log of my travels on my dining room wall. They don't get eaten or go out of style.
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Jul 18th, 2004, 04:17 PM
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-red leather coin purse for 4E that I LOVE! It took up no room whatsoever

-fur-lined leather gloves (Daniela's Gloves). Recently moved to Colorado from Texas and discovered my thin gloves were not very useful during the winter. I love these!


-Real paper mache mask
-Glass beads to make my own necklace and earrings on some rainy afternoon back home
-leather-bound address book from a shop on the Rialto Bridge I patronize on every trip to Venice

Monterosso al Mare

Ceramic tiles in the numerals of our wedding date (6/12/04)


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Jul 18th, 2004, 04:23 PM
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In Deruta - a wonderful oval mirror that now hangs in my foyer and reminds me each day what a great purchase it was! Also in Deruta, a large platter and a handful of admittedly lower-quality salad servers for co-workers. Oh, and a picture frame.

In Florence, I spent big bucks (for me, anyway!). A gold necklace and gold earrings. Also, several mongrammed lipstick cases with mirrors and a couple change purses at Santa Croce, again for giving.

In Assisi, a set of gorgeous postcards with paintings of the duomos we had seen in our travels. Still haven't gotten around to framing them yet, but I will. Also, a lot of various religious items, and a necklace. Oh, and a leather tote that I watched the owner finish making.

In the little religious shop next door to the duomo, a print of Madonna of the Streets, and a Fontanini nativity, and a vestment as a gift for my priest. The last two were group gifts from all of us traveling together.

From Rome, unfortunately, very little because our time was filled to the brim with seeing all we could see!

From the little Umbrian town where we stayed, three necklaces and a pair of earrings. Also, chocolates, a purse, and wine.

We return next year, and I can't wait to pick up more memories!
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Jul 18th, 2004, 06:27 PM
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I have gotten some great ideas for our home, myself, and for holiday gifts. I love these posts.
robbiegirl is offline  
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Jul 18th, 2004, 06:37 PM
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The ceramic tiles are a must. I had to buy a WC to hang in my bathroom.
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Jul 18th, 2004, 08:21 PM
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I remember with vivid clarity the leather cigarette case I purchased in Florence 30 years ago. I used it for years, though truly I smoked very little. It was an elegant little thing, and certainly not expensive. I guess those are the things best bought, unique items that get used with regularity. I think purchasing artwork is a lovely idea - and there are a few canvases I regret not purchasing in Galway (though how I would have explained their purchase to my husband I will never know). I still want to return to Venice to buy brightly colored gloves, but have no idea where I would wear them. Gloves are not a big fashion accessory in Southern Cal.
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Jul 18th, 2004, 09:22 PM
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Rome: Leather jacket bought from Gazelle a not famous manufacturer located on via del Corso. It's a 100% better quality than the ones they sell here (either made in China or India) in the dept. stores.

Florence: A Pinocchio wooden figure

Also from Florence I didn't buy it on the trip but from mail order: nice and inexpensive black leather gloves from Madova
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Jul 19th, 2004, 08:00 AM
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I love all my souveneers - even years later!
From Sicily - in Tydari - in a tiny gift shop near the basilica - I bought the most gorgeous Capodimonte boy and girl 6" dolls in beautiful costumes - for $6.00 each! I have seen them here in Boston for $75 each!

from SanStephano - wonderful and CHEAP Sicilian pottery - I wish I could have carried more.

I also collect miniature paintings and was able to find a few in Sicily. I have them now from all over the world.
The one I bought in Taormina shows 3 people walking in the rain with huge umbrellas....perfect! My 2 sisters and I were there in March and it rained almost the whole time. That little tiny painting puts me right nack there in the streets of Taormina.

I'm headed for Rome on Sept. 23rd this year - looking for lots of fun stuff - clothes for my grandkids and of course - a miniature painting!
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Jul 19th, 2004, 08:14 AM
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And here I was thinking Italian food!
Now you have me thinking Shopping!
What a trip it will be, going at end of
September to Positano and nearby towns
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Jul 19th, 2004, 09:00 AM
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In Florence, a beautiful gold and lapis ring and gorgeous postcards of the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio and the Uffuzi (in the Florentine paper) which are framed in our bedroom, and my husband bought a briefcase

In Cortono, a ceramic vase of muted beige and green

Siena, ceramic tiles to spell our last name which we mounted on a board and have hanging about our doorway

Wine and Olive oil and balsamic vinegar throughout Tuscany

Ravello, a coral cameo for my mother and a coral necklace for me and more ceramics!

Rome, leather gloves and a gold cross for my neice's christening.
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Jul 19th, 2004, 03:42 PM
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How large are the ceramic letters? That is a great idea. We will be going to Siena for a day.
I was originally going to just take a 22 inch suitcase. I am now rethinking this and might take that suitcase plus one a bit larger and put the 22 inch inside the larger one and use the smaller one for souviniers and shopping alone.
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