When I'm traveling I love to bring home things that are special to the area, particularly food. I would have left my clothes and shoes in Italy to get some of these things home! I also pack bubble wrap, ziplock bags, and heat protectant bags, to make sure everything gets home in one piece. It would be a nightmare to retrieve your luggage from the baggage claim and find it dripping with olive oil or wine!
From Cinque Terre:
(all the items are handmade in that region)
Cinque Terre White Wine Sassarni
Trofie Artigianali- Pasta unique to that region
Olive Wood Pestle
I so wanted to bring home a beautiful marble mortar too but it would of been too heavy to carry.
Cantucinni Alle Mandorle (Biscotti)
I'm now on the hunt to find an online source for this biscotti which is so much better than the Italian imitations sold here.
Olives (a gift from my mom)
Sugar from the Gucci Cafe
Leather Boots and Shoes
This toothpaste has a cult following and who can resist the cool vintage packaging and flavors like jasmin, licorice, and ginger.
A Rosary (a gift from my mom)
Part of the fun of traveling is bringing your treasures back home. I'm enjoying putting together little vignettes all over the house. This travel wall in our master bedroom is one example of that. Another is a tray in the kitchen with things like mustard, sel grey, pesto, and olive oil from Paris & Italy. I have my candle from Notre Dame next to my Bible and a painting from our favorite place in Oregon over the fireplace.
Also in Rome we shopped at Zara. We do have Zara's here in the U.S. but I've found that I prefer the European line- it's less boho and more tailored and it fits really well. Probably one advantage to being average height in Europe. Most Europeans are smaller than Americans so their clothes seem to fit me well.
I also shopped at Zara in Paris and I tried to purchase something online from the U.S. site that I 'd seen there... only to discover they are different. So, I basically just bought everything I knew I really loved while in Rome.
And finally, a 17 year anniversary gift from my husband. On our last day, he said he really wanted to buy me something special, that I would have for a lifetime. I'd looked at Louis Vuitton in Paris (it's a Parisian brand) and I didn't have the courage to spend the money. Back in Italy, you see women riding bikes with Louis' in their front baskets. To me it's iconic European and it reminds me of our time there.
So, from the Louis Vuitton Florence and my very generous husband, I now have a beautiful handbag and memories that I will carry for the rest of my life.