|Vacation time is just around the corner. No matter where you go, you will surely come home with a souvenir. These little trinkets serve to remind us of the good times we had with loved ones, a visit to a far-away place and maybe even new friends we made. Sometimes they hold a special meaning only to us that no one else can see. That seashell, while a beautiful object of nature in itself, may take us back to that romantic walk on a far-away beach with someone special.|
Photos are probably the most popular way to remember our experiences. What tourist doesn’t have a camera pressed to their face when visiting places like the Coliseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa or Milan’s Duomo?
Photos provide us with the ability to freeze a moment in time and preserve that moment forever. Years later, you can look at them and relive the experience, sometimes recalling even the sounds and smells. Video cameras provide extended moments in time, with the actual sounds and are perfect for capturing someone’s voice or laughter or their comments about what they are seeing.
You can even make a documentary of your trip. Smartphones now have camera and video capabilities of high enough quality that they are all you need to carry.
The senses of taste and smell are potent memory triggers, so food is a great way to bring home a bit of Italy. Maybe some limoncello from the Amalfi Coast or panforte from Siena. Maybe a peppery olive oil from a mill you visited. Definitely some pasta, since it is light weight, an important consideration when traveling. Each region of Italy has specialties that are only available locally; so if you really like something, don’t wait to buy it. You may not get a second chance.
In addition to food, I always take home a Christmas ornament. By December, my vacation seems vague and far away, like a ship disappearing into the fog. As I unwrap each ornament and unveil a memory, I am instantly transported back to that special time and place. Pinocchio, a gondola, my angels and the others, all come out to celebrate the holiday with me. Too soon, though, they get wrapped up and put away in the attic until the next year.
Over the years, I saved many things: maps, brochures and ticket stubs. Italy’s museum tickets are pretty and colorful.
Tucked away in bags they had been forgotten until I put them together with travel tickets and made a collage for a glass-topped table.
No matter what items you choose as mementos, the most important thing you take home are your experiences. They become part of you and stay with you forever. I like having souvenirs to remind me that I really was there.
What are your favorite souvenirs that you have taken home from your Italy travels?