8 Unique Gift Ideas to Bring Home From Florence, Italy

Hand Painted Ceramics, Mark Goebel, Flikr
Hand Painted Ceramics, Mark Goebel, Flikr
Nikki Crowell

On your next trip to Florence, why not skip the touristy souvenir carts with the figurines and t-shirts, and bring home something authentically Tuscan that everyone will love. Here’s our pick of the best.

Tuscan Wine

Tuscan wine is easy to come by anywhere in the city, but be aware of a mark up for tourists in the city centre. Surprisingly, you don’t have to break the bank for a bottle. You can easily pay under €10 for a decent wine and under €20 for a good wine. If you’re buying for someone who knows a thing or two about wine or someone who plans to keep it for some time, be sure to get a red Reserva. You can also find some good wines at the local grocery stores. Most bars and enotecas offer wine tastings, so you can try before you buy. Why not do a tasting and grab a sandwich at Il Panino del Chianti. If you want something a bit fancier, try Borgo Sapori Toscana in the San Lorenzo neighbourhood. Keep in mind though, that most airlines won’t allow you to travel with more than two bottles per person. Be sure to wrap them well, or ask the store if they can wrap them for you.

Wine at Figtree

Balsamic Vinegar

Something you don’t realise before shopping for balsamic vinegar (aceto di balsamico) is how many different types, flavours, and options there are. There’s a type for bread dipping, a type for salads (and different types for sweet or savoury salads), another type for desserts (like strawberries), and so on. It really is amazing how much there is to learn about something so seemingly basic. The balsamic vinegar’s city of origin also determines how much you should pay and the quality. If you want something basic, check the local grocery store, Conad, if not, go to Borgo Sapori Toscana where you can learn all about it and what is best for your (or the gift receiver’s) needs.

Balsamic Vinegar, Matteo Paciotti, Flikr


Tuscany is so famous for its leather, even Drake named a song after it. In all seriousness, there are pelleterias all over the city from generations of leather workers who sell amazing quality bags, jackets, belts and wallets but prices can definitely run high. If you want to stay within budget, opt for small leather goods such as wallets, belts, or even a nice leather keychain as a token of thought for co-workers or friends. Most of the time you can find things at the San Lorenzo leather market surrounding Mercato Centrale, or also in Mercato Porcellino. If you’re ready to splurge on an Italian leather souvenir for yourself that will last a lifetime, locals know where to go for the real deal. Try Benheart, Bemporad, or Giorgio 1966 (they also have a stand at Mercato Porcellino), for guaranteed, handmade, Italian quality.

Italian Leather, Jennifer Firmenich, Flikr


Although Italy is not famous for its chocolate like Switzerland or Belgium, you can still impress people back home with real Italian chocolate. If you want to stick to finding great prices at the local grocery stores, Novi is a good brand that is made in Italy and will cost you under €2 per bar. If you want something more elegant, you can find amazing chocolates from small Florentine confectionaries such as Caffetteria La Loggia, Galleria, or Coccole Cioccolato. Venchi is a bigger Italian chocolatier, and they are also famous for their decadent gelato made with the same care and quality.

Venchi Chocolate, Daniel Dionne, Flikr


For the chefs in your life, give them something they will love. After all, Italy is known all around the world for its food, so you have quite a few options. Spices are a great place to start. Find herbs and spices at Mercato Centrale, as well as dried porcini mushrooms, garlic, peppers and truffle oil, but keep in mind your airline’s (and country of origin’s) border customs. Another idea is an olive wood cooking spoon or cutting board (although it can be heavy in your baggage). These are always a hit with people who love to cook, since it’s a gift that keeps on giving. They’ll think of you every time they use it and the olive wood only gets better with time. Search for the tiny store, La Bottega Del Chianti for olive wood and many more kitchen gifts. Another idea is an Italian cook book. You can find modern ones with classic recipes in English at RED Bookstore, or you can pick up one up with authentic Tuscan recipes (in many languages) at Trattoria Zaza.

Olive Wood, [Alan], Flikr

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