When it comes to once-in-a-lifetime vacations, few beat a Carnival® cruise to dreamy destinations like Naples, Italy, located on the Bay of Naples near Mount Vesuvius.
While you’re getting to know this picturesque port city and experiencing our fun shore excursions, make sure to shop for a few mementos to take home with you. If you’re wondering what to buy in Naples, you can’t go wrong with these 15 ideas.
For centuries, Italians have expressed themselves artistically by making beautiful pottery. When you’re looking for colorful kitchen items, ceramic artisans in Naples deliver. From plates and bowls to pitchers and mugs, you can find household ceramics painted in every color of the rainbow.
In addition to gold jewelry, you can find beautiful cameos in Naples. Cameos are intricate designs carved from shells, which are then incorporated into pendants. The best place to find cameos is in the coastal community of Torre del Greco, situated southeast of central Naples at the base of Mt. Vesuvius.
3. Leather Products
Italy is well known for its fine leather products like handbags, wallets, gloves and belts. In Naples, the Centro Storico (Historic Center) neighborhood is the place to be if you’re looking for these beautiful products. A number of leather shops dot the area, so there is something for every shopper.
4. Designer Clothing
If you’re looking for high fashion in Naples, you’ll find it in the Chiaia district, particularly along Via Chiaia, a pedestrian-only street. This stylish thoroughfare promises plenty of elegant stores and boutiques selling clothing created by some of the world’s top designers.
5. Nativity Scenes
Few cities around the world celebrate Christmastime like Naples, Italy. Take a walk down Via San Gregorio Armeno located in Centro Storico, and you will find several small shops featuring handmade nativity scenes. While these stores are open year-round, the best time to visit is in early fall, just as shopkeepers are beginning to prepare for the holidays.
6. Music Boxes
Not far from Christmas Alley along Via San Biagio dei Librai, you can find shops selling charming music boxes made from all kinds of materials. Look for wooden music boxes featuring painted scenes or mother of pearl inlay, or find music boxes made from porcelain, paper or terracotta to bring back home to your friends
7. Christmas Ornaments
Travelers don’t call Via San Gregorio Armeno “Christmas Alley” for nothing! In addition to nativity scenes, you can also find lots of handmade Christmas ornaments here throughout the year. Purchase a pretty paper snowflake, a tin Santa or a porcelain angel to hang on your holiday tree.
8. Pulcinella Products
Pulcinella is a goofy but lovable Neapolitan character that originated in Commedia dell’Arte, improvisational comedy that was popular from the 16th to the 18th centuries in Italy. These days, you can find Pulcinella at shops all over Naples in the form of figurines, necklaces, Christmas ornaments and key chains. You can even buy a replica of Pulcinella’s infamous black mask with the long, hooked nose.
9. Masquerade Masks
The wearing of masquerade masks is an age-old tradition in Italy. From the 12th to the 17th centuries, masks were worn to hide people’s identities when gambling, attending parties or going to the theater. These days, masquerade masks can be found in souvenir shops throughout Italy. Depending on your preference, you can find full or half masks made from materials like paper-mâché or leather in a plain or highly-decorative design.
10. Handmade Neckties
Italians take great pride in making things by hand, and neckties are no exception. Naples has a long-standing tradition for some of the best tailoring in the world, so it’s not surprising that you can also find gorgeous neckties around the city. Some shops allow customers to choose from a variety of fabrics like silk, cashmere or jacquard and have a tie made to order within hours.
Of all the things to eat in Naples, consider putting chocolate at the top of your list. Neapolitan chocolate artisans use all-natural ingredients to create sweets you just can’t get anywhere else. Chocolate bars made with roasted Piedmont hazelnuts, boxes filled with chocolate bonbons or jars of spreadable chocolate cream make great gifts to bring back home to your friends and family.
12. Gold Jewelry
Just south of Centro Storico, not far from the water, you can find the Borgo Orefici district, which translates to the village of goldsmiths. If you’re looking for gold, this is the place to purchase some beautiful gold jewelry. Throughout Naples, you will find modern jewelry stores and studio-shops selling gold rings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants and more.
Not far from Naples along the Amalfi coast are communities that grow some of the finest lemons in the world. These lemons provide the base for a popular Italian liqueur called limoncello, which you can sip or add to cocktails. To find the best limoncello in Naples, visit wine shops or gourmet food stores. Remember that cruise shoppers are entitled to one duty-free bottle of alcohol per adult, and any alcohol purchased will be stored safely with your Carnival crew until the end of your voyage.
14. Vintage Goods
Throughout the Spanish Quarter, Centro Storico and the Chiaia neighborhood of Naples, vintage shops offer all kinds of second-hand items including clothing, jewelry, shoes, handbags, housewares, books and vinyl records. With a focus on selling quality goods, most vintage merchandise in Naples is carefully curated. Make sure to pick up one of these items for a lasting memory of your trip!
15. Packaged Italian Foods
If you’re a foodie, you can find lots of tasty souvenirs to bring home at markets and grocery stores across Naples. Think cold-pressed Italian olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried pasta or risotto, tubes of tomato paste or things in small jars like sun-dried tomatoes, truffles or porcini mushrooms. Just make sure any food you bring onboard is packaged and sealed until you reach your home port.
If you’re taking a Carnival cruise around Europe, Naples, Italy is a wonderful place to buy some great mementoes to make the trip last a lifetime. This centuries-old seaport offers all kinds of wonderful treasures, from colorful ceramics and handmade neckties to locally-made lemon liqueur. While you’re shopping, you’ll enjoy getting acquainted with this historic city and its many friendly residents.