Italy TravelShopping in Italy: Where to Buy The Best Italian Products

Shopping in Italy: Where to Buy The Best Italian Products
Published on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 by


While seeing the relics of ancient history and indulging in mouth-watering food are certainly a few of the highlight of a visit to Italy, for many visitors shopping is one of the activities they most look forward to. After all, here’s the chance to get those wonderful Italian products we all love, right from the source and in unique designs and offerings we can’t find at home. Here are some of the best Italian products and where to find them:

Fashion: Although you’ll find great fashion stores in all of Italy’s cities, Milan remains Italy’s fashion capital. If you are looking for designer duds or just want to window shop, head to the Quadrilatero alla Moda. Be sure to check out the Armani Superstore offering everything from clothing to chocolates. And visit Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele, Milan’s classic shopping center.

For bargain fashion, head to the outlets! There’s a Milan shopping tour to the nearby Serravalle Outlet or head to the Mall (Gucci and other designer outlets) on a Florence shopping tour.

Ceramics: Two of Italy’s ceramics centers are Deruta in the region ofUmbria and Vietri sul Mare on the Amalfi Coast. Walk down the streets of either of these towns to watch artisans at work and compare designs and prices. Definitely plan on shipping your purchases home. But if you don’t make it to one of these places, don’t worry, there are also ceramics towns in Tuscany, Puglia and Sicily and ceramics from all of these places are brought to bigger cities to sell in shops.

venice-maskGlass: Venice is the place! There’s been glass-making here since the 9th century. Visit the Venetian island of Murano where all of the city’s glass factories are located and it is possible to watch the glassblowers in action. There’s also a glass museum and many places to buy everything from glass trinkets to chandeliers.

Leather: Florence is world famous for leather goods — shoes, jackets, belts, purses. The best places to buy these items are in the street markets or at Scuola del Cuoio, where a consortium of leather artisans sell their creations.

Masks: You’ll see paper-mache carnival masks all over Venice and many are true works of art, worth hanging on your living room wall when you return home. Prices range from the equivalent of $15 to hundreds of dollars for the most opulent and intricate masks. Seek out some of the artisans’ stores — there’s nothing like buying straight from the source.

Paper: The tradition of marbleized paper began in Venice and was brought to Florence by master craftsmen. Florence still offers the best stationery and paper products and you’ll find them sold everywhere from the local markets to the stores of high-end stationers. These colorful, elegant items make great gifts for the folks back home.

Silk: The town of Como on Lake Como in northern Italy produces a majority of the silk manufactured in Europe. This is where the major Italian fashion houses get their silk and you can snag some great deals at the factory outlets around town.

By Kathy McCabe

Taking your first trip to Italy? Learn everything you need to know when you get your FREE copy of The First Timer’s Guide to Italy by contributor Kathy McCabe.

Ready to plan your trip to Italy? Perillo Tours has been leading group trips throughout Italy since 1945 and can custom design an independent itinerary for your dream Italy vacation!

Photos by   Chiara Marra,

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