Looking back at all the different regions we covered while traveling to Italy, I’m so glad that we were able to bring back an assortment of special momentos that we will help us continue to cherish the memories of such an amazing trip.
If there was a way to bottle up a piece of every part of Italy that we visited, I would pay a large dollar amount to make it happen. You can’t bring home the beautiful surroundings, the charming local culture or the relaxed, slower pace of life. We can however choose to reflect on what we learned from our travels and if possible, live vicariously through the memories.
Thankfully, for the most part, we can bring home a piece (or ten) of all the things Italy is known for! We tried to purchase little things here and there throughout the entire trip, but had to keep in mind how we were getting them home. We stuck to smaller items that could fit in our luggage and some of the things we opted to have shipped home where they would be waiting upon our arrival.
Of course, we wouldn’t come home without the traditional olive oil and balsamic vinegar. With the hillsides full of olive trees and them marinating under the tuscan sun, it produces something unlike anything I’ve ever had. While in Italy we dipped our bread in this combination on a daily basis, I’m going to have to get more creative while back in the U.S. because (A) gluten-free bread just isn’t as fluffy as Italian bread and (B) I really shouldn’t be eating that much carbs!
We also grabbed a seasoning packet from a little market stand for bruschetta. I’m here to tell you, the tomatoes in Italy are the most delicious tasting and therefore make the BEST bruschetta. We’re hoping this seasoning will help get us even get half way back to all those flavors!
While in Italy, there weren’t many days that we didn’t order a charcuterie board to start a meal. You will never taste better meats and cheeses than you will while visiting a small village in the Tuscan countryside. To top it off, they always serve it with one or two marmalades. These are TO DIE FOR. We ended up coming home with a sweet onion jam and of course, my favorite, a fig marmalade.
The Limoncello. Oh the Limoncello.
We had many of days were we topped off our dinner while sipping the sweet, decadent lemony tastes of Limoncello. The best place was in the Cinque Terre where they are known for growing the best tasting lemons and have practiced the art of making it for hundreds of years. This will remain chilled in the freezer and brought out for special occasions.
Do I need to say anything more about the pesto? It’s hands down life-changing. I went into Italy not really liking pesto and came out a crazed fanatic. We came home with 5-6 jars of assorted pestos and are down to our final one (picture me shedding a tear). The Italians love to put it on caprese, bruschetta, pasta and pizzas. You name it, it works!
Of course you didn’t think we would return home without the coveted Italian wines! Honestly, I could have and would have dropped a mini fortune on shipping us home every wine we tasted. Thank goodness most times it went late into the night and I couldn’t buy any because I certainly would have. When we sat down for an apertivo of wine and a charcuterie plate in Castiglione de Lago, we ended up ordering an assorted case of red & white wines that we had shipped to the house. Included in the box was marmalades and 3 cheese wheels.
Yep, you heard me right… 3 Pecorino cheese wheels came home with us! Unfortunately, we dived into the cheese before I could ever take a picture. Here’s the thing for some of you who may be confused as to why I’m eating cheese when I’ve been dairy free for over a year now. My sources told me that numerous people who have gluten and dairy problems here in the U.S. do not experience them while in Italy. So I gave it a go and VERY happily, I didn’t have a single reaction to either of them. It’s just simply produced so differently over there and they really don’t believe in the mass production of goods so it’s not full of additives, pasteurization, etc. So yes, I ate LOTS of cheese because I knew upon arrival in the U.S. it was all over for me except for my cheese wheels!
I brought home some keepsake olive wood kitchen utensils that are so darn beautiful I haven’t been able to use them yet. I could keep them out on display, but I actually want to use them in my daily routine as a way of connecting back to the Italian culture. I’ve just got to read up on what they told me to do for preserving the quality of the olive wood!
Last, but not least, are my gorgeous handmade wallet and purse. We’ve all heard how amazing the Italian leather is and craftsmanship of goods dates back for hundreds and hundreds of year. I wasn’t coming home without a little treat that could be carried on my arm day in and day out. These were purchased at a little shop, Voltaia, in Montepulciano that was run by two women. I ended up grabbing this sleek, simple black crossbody bag and these insanely adorable and ultra soft little wallets. No joke, I’ve used them almost everyday since I’ve been back!
Between the countless photos, these blog posts and the keepsake goodies we brought home, we’ll never forget what an incredible trip we had to Italy. We promised each other that we would be back again someday and I eagerly await the chance.
If you didn’t get a chance to read our entire Italy Travel Log, you can do so by clicking on each of the areas we visited!
Keep Living a Stylized Life.