Sorrento is splendid for souvenirs
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Detroit Free Press (MCT) - If you're shopping for a million-dollar Bulgari necklace, Rome is the place .
But my favorite souvenir spot in southern Italy is Sorrento, especially during the uncrowded spring or fall.
Sorrento, 30 miles south of Naples on the Amalfi Coast, is perched precariously on a cliff, the azure Mediterranean sloshing below.
Its cobblestone-paved, walkable shopping district _ small enough to enjoy in a couple of hours _ is just off the main square, Piazza Tasso.
Stroll down the narrow shopping streets with names like Via San Cesareo and Via de Maio . See signature marquetry work _ intricate wood-inlay jewelry boxes, music boxes and furniture. There's a shop that makes cameos and another creates jewelry out of red coral. You can buy local embroidery and lace.
At a shop or the city-owned lemon grove, buy the local liqueur called limoncello, a bitters the color of a smoky sun made of lemon peels.
My favorite purchases were purses I bought for my four daughters in a little shop that had only the English word "Gloves" out front. They were made of smooth Italian leather, quite inexpensive ( about $20 each) _ one tan, one red, one black, one white _ and the shopkeeper carefully wrapped each in a fabric drawstring bag.
I lugged them from Italy all the way home in a big shopping bag, stuffing them into the overhead on the plane. Four years later, those purses still get compliments.
For additional information, see the Sorrento Tourism Office Web site: www.sorrentotourism.com.
© 2009, Detroit Free Press.
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