Welcome to The Takeaway, a series highlighting the best goods a destination has to offer. Every week, we’ll showcase seven gifts every traveler should consider in terms of quality and value.
Italy has always been a must on traveler bucket lists. The world’s most famous boot simply cannot fail to impress. With incredible landscapes, incredible culture and varied agricultural zones, it only makes sense that such an admired destination produces some of the best items in the world.
Whether it be truffle oil, handmade paper or leather shoes, Italian treasures are crafted with care. National specialties, like textiles and ceramics, often represent their respective towns, cities or regions. Take a detour from major attractions to find the best of Italy’s specialties: handmade lace from Burano; glass from Murano; and blueberry liqueur from Sardinia, Corsica, and Capraia.
Sarra Sedghi is Paste Food’s and Paste Science’s assistant editor. Her eternal food baby is named Frederick.
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Textiles: Italy has been producing top-notch textiles such as silk and linen for centuries. Burano, an island in the province of Venice, specializes in lacework, a slowly diminishing art.
Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images
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Oil: Bring a taste of Italy back in the form of a bottle (or gigantic can, we get it) of local oil. Tuscany and Umbria in central Italy are the best regions for olive and truffle oil.
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Shoes: If you're looking for a pair of shoes that'll last, Italy is the right place. Italian footwear, particularly leather shoes, are among the best in the world.
Photo: Marc Samsom/Flickr
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Stationery: Much of the world's paper artistry has faded, but you can still fine ornate, high-quality stationery in Italy. Florentine paper, which is based off a traditional, Renaissance-era design, is one of the most famous varieties.
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Ceramics: Ceramics are everywhere in Italy, and most towns or cities have their own specific design. Thin-glazed, Renaissance-style majolica pottery is generally found along the Amalfi Coast.
Photo: Mark Goebel, CC-BY
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Handicrafts: Italian crafts are incredibly designed and built to last. The best handmade marionettes and toys are found in Palermo, Sicily's capital; meanwhile, Murano is famous for glassware.
Photo: ReflectedSerendipity, CC-BY
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Libations: You know Italy has plenty of wine, but keep an eye out for other spirits. Southern Italy offers the best limoncello and orangecello, while Sardinia, Corsica and Capraia specialize in mirto, a blueberry liqueur.
Photo by Herman DeLangen