When you return from studying abroad, everyone is going to expect a gift, even if they don’t tell you, but where do you start shopping for everyone in a city as big as Rome?
If you to ignore everything you’ve learned during your time in Rome, then you’ll probably visit your typical tourist shops.
If you’re really desperate to find something for a member in your family, then the tourist shops it is, but I found that the more personal things make for much better gifts.
If you didn’t know, the story of Pinocchio originated in Italy and is a very big deal for the Italians. Throughout the city there are many small Pinocchio shops that handmake all different kinds of Pinocchios. If you’re looking for a gift for little kids I would definitely suggest stopping there.
Many of the Pinocchio objects in the store can even be personally engraved with the child’s name (how cool is that!). They have all different kinds of toys for kids of all ages, just don’t tell them the Italian version of the story of Pinocchio.
Italy is known for most of its alcohol. If your parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles are alcohol enthusiasts, buying them something from Italy is definitely going to get you some brownie points.
Italy is most known for its wine and Italian wine always makes a great gift. My parents and I are obsessed with wine from the Tuscany region so if you’re looking for a really good wine try the Tuscan wines. The owners of the store are also more than happy to answer questions about the different wines that they offer.
Limoncello is also very popular in Italy. For those of you who don’t know, limoncello is an after dinner drink to help wash down your meal.
Throughout the liquor stores in Rome, most of them will let you try the different limoncellos before deciding which one to buy. If the family you are buying the limoncello for is Italian, they will definitely appreciate the gift.
Museums and Attractions
Like most museums in the world, at the end of your time you will be directed into a gift shop in Rome. If you have any art or history enthusiasts in your family the gift shop is the place to look for gifts for them.
In the gifts shop they will have things ranging from puzzles to clothes to countless books. You can find a picture of your cousin’s favorite painting or find a book on all of the wars during the Ancient Roman Empire for your grandfather.
It’s also really cool to say that you bought the gift for them right after seeing the art piece or seeing the attraction.
Mom and Pop Shops
Some of the coolest gifts that I found for my family were in small shops on side streets. For my grandfather I found this old man who handmade ties and bought him a music tie (he’s worn his tie twice in the last week). For my grandmother and aunt I found this shop where they had handwoven scarves (like how cool is that!).
While finding Mom and Pop shops is a little bit harder than walking into the tourist stores, you might stumble upon one when you get lost. Check out my post Getting Lost…Oops, to see other ways you can take advantage of getting lost in Rome.
When it comes to buying the perfect gift for every member of your family it is going to take a lot of time. As soon as you see something you like for someone, BUY IT! Don’t leave all of your shopping to the last-minute.
To make sure that you keep track of everything you buy for everyone, check out the link below:
Don’t forget to keep track of everything you buy as well and keep track of how much it costs to make your life easier when you go through customs. To keep track of how much you’ve spent check out the link below: