Search for a place or activity

5 Unique Souvenirs To Bring Home From Rome

Where to find a gift for virtually anyone while visiting Rome.
Hi, I'm Erica!

Erica is an experienced travel and lifestyle journalist, author, content strategist, and podcaster based in Rome. Italian and American, Erica seeks out real-time, authentic stories for Ciao Bella and Ciao Bella podcast. Additionally, she is the editor of content of ISSIMO, an Italy-focused lifestyle platform; contributing editor to Fathom; and a regular contributor to The Washington Post, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, BBC Travel, The Guardian, and more, covering travel, art, design, culture, hotels, food, and wine. As an author, she has penned more than a dozen travel books for Fodor’s, Insight Guides, and Lonely Planet. Check out her recent work, and find all of her articles on Contently.

Souvenir hunting in Rome is a bit like understanding the city itself—you have to have a lot of patience, tenacity, and a great sense of humor. The Eternal City is overloaded with souvenir shops, stands, and kiosks selling pocket-sized mementos and over-the-top accessories. You’ll find anatomically exaggerated David aprons, customizable wooden Pinocchios, pint-sized gladiator costumes, and Italy baseball caps. Finding the perfect souvenir that recalls the Rome you love—whether unique or kitsch, traditional or innovative—is definitely worth all the footwork, but we’ve made it a little bit easier.

1. Browse specialty food markets

The selection at L'Angolo Divino Wine Bar in Rome
The selection at L'Angolo Divino Wine Bar in Rome.Photo Credit: Zoe Vincente / Viator

It may not last very long, but it's a fan favorite.

A food souvenir is probably what best defines the Eternal City, as most Romans will tell you. There's nothing more quintessentially Roman than a half kilo of Pecorino Romano (the cheese used in cacio e pepe pasta); olive oil from the nearby region of Sabina; or a bottle of Cesanese Rosato, a wine homegrown in Olevano Romano, a small town southeast of the city. It's best to avoid supermarkets and cliches (balsamic vinegar is from a different region), and instead seek out true Roman products from food and wine specialty stores and markets. Pro tip: Look out for DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) labels on packaging.

Where: Oleificio Dei Fiori Societa' A ResponsabIlita' Limitata, Volpetti, Buccone, Enoteca Costantini.

Best for: foodies, cooks, friends, and partners.

2. Bring back a sip of Rome

Coffee beans at Tazzo Doro Coffee Shop
Buy traditional bulk coffees for espresso at Tazzo Doro Coffee Shop.Photo Credit: Zoe Vincente / Viator

Recreate the aroma of Italian cafés.

Romans love the morning espresso, and the city is peppered with iconic and unforgettable stand-up coffee bars selling the perfect shot. Not only does a kilo bag of coffee—cicchi (beans) or maccinato (ground)—bring a smile to your face with its enchanting smell, some of Rome’s coffee shops also sell collectable tins with early 20th-century designs, along with other coffee accessories.

Where: Sant Eustachio Il Caffe, Tazzo Doro Coffee Shop, Giolitti, Mondicaffè.

Best for: bloggers, caffeine lovers, coworkers, and family.

3. Find special, one of a kind pieces

Artists making traditional Italian mosaics at La Grotta di Pinta.
Artists making traditional Italian mosaics at La Grotta di Pinta.Photo Credit: Zoe Vincente / Viator

Handmade souvenirs are extra special.

Italians are artists of all kinds, and the craftiest are those who continue to produce unique and inimitable works of art that are also functional. Rome’s local designers and independent artisans are quietly creating an artsy army, coming together to showcase their one-of-kind, only-in-Rome clothing, handbags, jewelry, accessories, and more. Talk to them—these are the souvenirs that tell stories you can wear.

Where: Webag, La Sella, Anna Retico's Laboratory.

Best for: hipsters, fashionistas, aunts, and teens.

4. Don't forget the knick-knacks

A souvenir stand outside of Rome's Pantheon.
A souvenir stand outside of Rome's Pantheon.Photo Credit: Zoe Vincente / Viator

Tiny tokens of "remember when..."

Pick any major piazza or monument and you’ll find souvenir stands filled with tchotchke—you know, those random flags, postcards, and statuettes. But don’t walk away, you’ll want to peruse the stand for bobble heads, in particular Pope and Totti figures, the two main gods of Rome. And if you’re lucky, you’ll find the coveted "Popener," a bottle opener with the Pope’s portrait.

Where: Ferrante Souvenir, Sottobosco, Souvenir Roma, Imperivm Souvenir Snc.

Best for: friends, in-laws, teens, and coworkers.

5. Consider antiquity-themed souvenirs

Gladiator helmets hang on the wall of a souvenir shop in Rome.
Bring home a Roman gladiator helmet.Photo Credit: Zoe Vincente / Viator

Reproductions of your favorite Roman classics.

Admit it. You love a gladiator costume and you can’t get enough of the Cave Canem (Beware of the Dog) mosaic simulation. Rome is elbow-to-elbow with antiquity-themed souvenir shops, so the trick is finding boutiques that focus on actual mosaics and mosaic making, and souvenir shops with viable reproductions of Roman finds—from games and swords to Roman-inspired homewares.

Where: Viterbo Ceramics, Campo de' Fiori, Arkeos.

Best for: friends, kids, family, and partners.

More ways to explore Rome

1 / 3

Keep reading

1 / 5
Do more with Viator
One site, 300,000+ travel experiences you'll remember—direct to your inbox.
Stay in the know