So, you are looking for what to bring home in your carry-on from Italy. Be happy, you found the right place for inspiration!
Italy is well known for its food, arts, fashion goods, and spectacular landscapes, among others. It would actually be plenty of goods to bring back home, but sometimes we have to deal with restrictions: first of all, the hand luggage. This does mean no wine and liquid in general, and no fragile and big items. Considering that a piece of white marble from Carrara is wonderful but quite bulky, one might think that there’s no much left to put in a carry-on… But that’s not the case! There are still many things you can bring, so let’s review them. I hope you’ll get some good ideas out of this post.
Parmesan from Emilia Romagna
Parmigiano and Grana Padano are among the most famous Italian cheese. You can bring them in your carry-on: being classified as hard cheese, there’s no need to declare them and they are admitted in most of the countries.
I’m including this one as it is something that I always struggle to find when I want to bake pizza abroad. Given that I don’t want to use the baking powder for cakes, I always try to bring with me the suitable yeast.
Mignon bottles of Italian liquors
We all know you cannot bring more than 100 ml of liquid in your hand luggage. Mignon bottles are good both for collectors and for the gourmands who want to taste an amaro or a grappa, a distillate uniquely produced in Italy. Of course, don’t forget that in the duty-free of airports you have a vast choice not only of spirits and super-alcoholic beverages but also of wines. One bag of duty-free purchases is almost everywhere accepted on board without any additional cost.
Almost a ritual, a visit to Venice is bound to a day trip to Murano, where the world-famous glasses are blown. My advice is to buy in Venice and not on the island, as prices are a lot higher and you might step into scams and imports from the far East. Note that original Murano glasses have a mark on the bottom confirming the authenticity. Recognizing a counterfeit by eyes is something just an expert glass maker can do, but you might want to look for a signature, bubbles and asymmetric qualities, all clues of an artisanal work.
Italian chocolate is surely one of the best in the world. Indeed, many Italian maîtres have been awarded – first of all, Amedei, voted the best chocolate in the world and also the chocolate with which the most expensive cupcake in the world is made of. There are many varieties and flavors, in shape of bars or pralines. Of the latter, you surely know the Ferrero Rocher.
Another typical product of Italy is coffee. Forget for the length of your Italian stay those cups with tasteless, brownish dishwater, and enjoy the art of espresso. This is made out of ground coffee, which you can generally buy everywhere in the world. But in Italy you can find some of the tastiest ones: Illy coffee, Lavazza, Vergnano and Segafredo are just a few.
Leather goods from Tuscany
Spaghetti, pizza, and fashion: these are probably the first three things people think of when asked about Italy. This country has a long tradition in the hand-crafting of leather goods – the region Tuscany is leading the production (35% of Italian leather products come from the province of Florence). There are bags, belts, wallets, and smaller goods like bookmarks – a cheap and light gift to bring back to your friends who love reading.
Pesto from Liguria
Basil, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, parmesan (see above) and a clove of garlic. These are the ingredients of another Italian specialty, in particular, coming from the region Liguria. Although pesto is found everywhere nowadays, it is difficult to encounter the finest qualities and the variants to the usual recipe (aubergine pesto, pistachio pesto or rocket salad pesto, for example). If you pass by Genova, be sure to buy a couple of jars. You can easily put in your hand luggage.
Torrone is an ancient Italian specialty – one you struggle to find in other countries. Cremona is the best-known city for its production, followed by Benevento, the region of Sardinia and others. The recipe is pretty difficult and I wouldn’t try to do it without a bit of baking expertise. Fortunately, this is another good you can take in your plane!
Hazelnuts and Pistachios
Pistachios and hazelnuts’ varieties in Italy are probably the best in the world. So why not take some with you? Nutella is made out of hazelnuts (although there are other creams with a much higher hazelnut content), and the Pistacchio di Bronte is regarded as the best variety of pistachios in the world. Again, these goods can be transported in your hand luggage.
BONUS: Don’t forget to take a lot of wonderful photos. These are the best, lightest and cheapest souvenirs!
Have a wonderful stay in the Bel Paese.
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