One of the best parts of visiting the Amalfi Coast this time of year is eperiencing the holiday atmosphere leading up to Natale (Christmas) and Capodanno (New Year’s). The little towns – with their small shops, Christmas decorations and colorful christmas lights – are festive spots for holiday shopping. If you’ll be visiting Amalfi this Christmas season and looking for souvenirs for yourself or gifts for the upcoming holidays, there are a few iconic items that should be on your shopping list.
Amalfi is known first and foremost for its fine handmade paper. It’s a centuries old tradition, which you can learn all about in the town’s Museo della Carta. You’ll find many shops selling Amalfi’s handmade paper, which makes a wonderful keepsake or holiday gift. From bookmarks and stationary sets to handbound leather journals and notebooks, you’ll find something for every budget. The shops with the best selection of paper are Arte e Carta and La Scuderia del Duca, which are both located in the center of town.
Limoncello, a liqueur made with lemons, is another traditional product of Amalfi and the entire Sorrento Peninsula. In Amalfi you’ll find shops with colorful displays selling locally made limoncello. After enjoying it at the end of meals in restaurants, many visitors bring home a bottle of limoncello as a reminder of the vivid flavors and colors of the Amalfi Coast.
If you’re looking for a sweet treat, stop by the Cioccolato Andrea Pansa on Amalfi’s main street just steps from the Piazza Duomo, which sells artisan chocolate and candies made in Amalfi. Inside this cute and tiny shop you’ll find a variety of chocolate as well as candied lemon, mandarin and orange peels dipped in chocolate. The chocolates from Pansa make wonderful and affordable gifts for the holidays. Everyone I have ever given this chocolate to has requested it again and again!
The Amalfi Coast is also famous for the production of ceramics, and you’ll find beautiful shops wherever you stop. Amalfi and Ravello both have many fine shops with colorful displays of handmade ceramics. For an excellent selection of handmade ceramics by artists on the Amalfi Coast, stop by Milleunaceramica on Amalfi’s main shopping street. For something truly distinct to the Amalfi Coast, look for the little green ceramics donkeys called “Il ciucciariello.” The tradition of the ceramic donkey started in the town of Vietri sul Mare, which has been producing ceramics since the 15th century. The donkey is one of the symbols of Vietri, but now you’ll find it in shops all over the Amalfi Coast. These little guys usually costs around €10 or less, depending on the size, and make a unique and fun souvenir or gift from the Amalfi Coast.
You don’t have to break your budget to bring home iconic reminders of your visit to the Amalfi Coast. A bottle of limoncello or selection of chocolates or lemon candies will cost you €10 or less. Consider picking out a handmade ceramic mug, which is a wonderful and lasting souvenir. I have a colorful ceramic mug that I bought at my favorite ceramic shop in Ravello for €12. I use it every day and it never fails to make me smile! Sometimes it’s not the amount you buy, but the memories your purchases invoke. I have a bookmark made of Amalfi’s handmade paper engraved with an elegant letter “L” that I bought at La Scuderia del Duca on my first visit to Amalfi. Even though I live here now, it’s still a treasured reminder of how I felt that first time I shopped and walked along the streets of Amalfi.
Arte e Carta, Via P. Capuano 30, 84011 Amalfi (SA), Tel: 089 87 1954
La Scuderia del Duca, Largo Cesareo Console 8, 84011 Amalfi (SA), Tel: 089 87 2976
Antichi Sapori d’Amalfi, Piazza Duomo 39, 84011 Amalfi (SA), Tel: 089 87 2062
Cioccolato Andrea Pansa, Via Lorenzo d’Amalfi 9, 84011 Amalfi (SA), Tel: 089 97 3282
Milleunaceramica, Via Pietro Capuano 36, 84011 Amalfi (SA), Tel: 089 87 2670