Friday, 28 February 2014

Souvenirs from a Western Mediterranean Cruise

A bright and cheerful souvenir shop at Olbia, Sardinia
What do you bring back from your travels? I tend to buy small things like earrings or a book or something relevant to the places I've been that won't contribute to any baggage overload! On this last cruise we visited ports in France, Spain and Italy. Here are some suggestions for unique souvenirs I found.

Beautifully packaged lavender products from St Tropez
St Tropez, France:  the lavender of Provence is famous and at the market in St Tropez, I bought several lavender sachets and drawer liners, all beautifully packaged.

Hand-painted ceramic tiles from Palma
Palma de Mallorca, Spain:  Hand-painted ceramics and tiles are beautiful. I bought these for our letterbox from the cathedral shop. Also ceramics (dinner sets, platters and vases) painted with a design of red coral for a fresh, modern look. And pearls - necklaces and earrings - are famous from this part of the Med.

Local delicacies at Mahon

Mao (Mahon), Minorca, Spain: Flat leather sandals are locally made and hard-wearing. Pastries made into coils called ensaimada are delicious. Other beautifully packaged foodstuffs make nice gifts.

Distinctive ceramics and cork are souvenirs of Olbia
Olbia, Sardinia, Italy:  Cork, cork and more cork, the best in the world (so I was told!) made into various souvenirs such as coasters and bookmarks. These are great as they are extremely light and unusual to give to folks at home. Also ceramics in this distinctive colour and artisanal cheeses are locally produced.

Citrus from the Amalfi coast at Pompeii
Pompeii, Italy: Lemons in limoncello liqueur, or ices, or gelato or fresh juice in the forecourt of Pompeii. Cameo jewellery carved from shell is also a popular souvenir. And red coral necklaces, earrings and bracelets are prevalent in the souvenir stalls here too.

Aprons and tea towels make lightweight souvenirs
Genoa, Italy:  For an interesting, lightweight souvenir that won't add to your excess luggage, there are a variety of aprons and tea towel sets for sale in Genoa that make nice gifts for friends back home.

I hope these examples have given you a few ideas of what you'd like to buy on a Western Mediterranean cruise.

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