By Lisa Harvey
I walk down Via dell’Ariento in Florence with my head on a swivel. Furs hang above my head, watches are held out as I walk by, and bags of every color grace the carts of the San Lorenzo Leather Market. This is one of the many markets of Florence, and one of the most famous. Markets are some of the best places to find those last minute souvenirs you need before you head home, whether they are for yourself or Christmas presents for your family. When thinking of gift giving, get something that doesn’t come so easily at home: leather in Florence, religious pendants from the Vatican in Rome, Swiss Army Knives in Interlaken, or a bottle of Limoncello from the Amalfi Coast. It’s something that, when you unwrap it, it’s foreign enough that someone will treasure it.
Though the things I have mentioned have probably crossed your mind already, you can also go off the beaten path to get something completely original. Stroll into an antique shop to get original pieces of jewelry. Actually look at the street artists and picture the paintings hung on your wall at home, most of them are actually more beautiful than they appear – plus, they’re easy to pack. Take old wine bottles and turn them into candle holders, collect black sand off the beaches you’ve visited, or print out your own pictures and frame them for a perfect memory that’s more unique than one you can grab on a postcard.
Regardless if you get ceramics, bottles of wine, Swiss chocolate, or a Parisian scarf from underneath the Eiffel tower, make sure that when you buy something, you appreciate it and know that it’ll be something you’ll treasure forever.
Oh, and P.S. – if you want to join the clan that is the Bus2alps crew, the Florence office has our token blue t-shirts for only five Euro. Perfect for stocking stuffers 😉