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Women Worldwide Share Gift Shopping Tips...

 

IRELAND...


Dublin

Music is such an important part of the Irish culture. I think a wonderful gift would be a CD by an Irish singer or musician of your choice. A few years back I bought a compilation of music by Irish women for friends in the USA. They simply loved it and asked me to send more so they could give them as gifts for their friends!
Evelyn, Toronto, Canada



ITALY...

Florence

I have two gifts to recommend from this part of the world. If you want to splurge on a present, Florence is the perfect place to buy leather gloves. I always buy several pairs to keep in my present drawer -- they're so soft, so stylish and come in so many beautiful colors. I have my favorite shop, too. It's Roberta's, a small leather shop located on Borgo S. Jacapo 78r (a tiny street that runs parallel to the Arno between Ponte Vecchio and Ponte S. Trinita ) Website: www.robertafirenze.com.

Next I recommend small bottles of really good balsamic vinegar for your friends who love to cook. A little goes a very long way and you can find what you need in most local groceries.
Evelyn, Toronto, Canada

Rome

I am a reader from Rome, Italy. When you come in Rome, you have to by a bottle of white wine from Frascati and some biscuits called Tozzetti or Brutti Buoni, that you can eat when drinking some wine. Enjoy yourself!
Simona, Rome, Italy

Venice

I live in Venice, Italy and although I work as a Personal Shopper and Image Consultant I never tire of shopping even for myself.

Everyone knows what the most typical things in Venice are -- the glass items, of course! But it has unfortunately become a stereotype. What not many people know is that the Venetian cuisine has a very long tradition of sweets. Yes, we do have a sweet tooth in Venice. So, if you happen to come here, don't forget to buy a package of BAICOLI, the typical Venetian biscuits. They're a catch at about 1,50 euros a package. And you can find them at the supermarket, at the bakery or at the pastry shop. Regards to all the other JourneyWomen.
Cinzia, Venice, Italy

In Venice I suggest bringing back little earrings made of Venetian crystals. They are very inexpensive (under $20) and make a lovely accessory.
Arrianna, Venice, Italy

My absolute favorite shop in Venice, Italy is Color Casa. They offer the finest and best priced Italian fabrics, purses, ties and articles for the home. Most of the fabrics are hand stamped velvet and dress up a home magnificently.I've been buying from this store for more than ten years and love the folks there.Ask for Giorgio or Sandra and say Melody sent them. Here is their contact information: Address:San Polo 1990,30125 Venice. Tel:041 5242 166
Melody, San Francisco, USA



JAPAN...


Tokyo

I always pick up Japanese versions of Snickers, Kit-Kat chocolate bars, and whatever else with Japanese characters written on the packaging. I also take home a collection of purely Japanese treats because my pals get a kick out of the really bizarre English names that most treats have. For example, a new chocolate on the market comes in a small box with each chocolate individually wrapped and labelled with "Melty Kiss".
Jennifer, Tokyo

For souvenir shopping, hit the 100 yen shops. Everything in the store is 100 yen ($1) and there is an amazing assortment to chose from! Some shops, Harajuku, Shinjuku, Ikebukero are multi-levels and the items are divided into sections – kitchen, home, beauty, etc. The selection is endless – dishes, napkins, chopsticks, washi paper, snacks, charms, hair accessories, slippers, etc. This is the place to pick up things for your travelling pals – travel-size shampoo bottles, extra toothbrushes, mesh bags for dirty laundry, socks, locks for backpacks, and also places for souvenirs/gifts – funny stationary with 'Engrish' on it, kimono print notebooks, lanterns, etc. You can go crazy inside – everything is a dollar!
Laura, Tokyo/Singapore



MALAYSIA...


Kuala Lumpur

A really great gift from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia would be the Batik. A piece of beautifully drawn fabric, usually sold in pre-cut lengths of three meters and generally inexpensive not to mention easily sought out almost anywhere in Kuala Lumpur. It plays an integral part of the Malay culture as it’s so versatile and you can get it in a variety of designs, colors, quality and prices.

Excerpted from asia-art.net:
The technique of making Batik involves process of dyeing fabric by making use of a resist technique; covering areas of cloth with a dye-resistant substance to prevent them absorbing colors…. Batik has become a very central means of artistic expression for many of the areas of Asia and a deeply integrated facet of Asian culture.

Much of the popularity of Batik can be tied to the fact that the batik technique offers immense possibilities for artistic freedom as patterns are applied by actual drawing rather than by weaving with thread. Another factor in its popularity is the fact that it is so durable. The colors in Batik are much more resistant to wear than those of painted or printed fabrics because the cloth is completely immersed in dye and the areas not protected by resist are allowed to absorb hues to the extent that the colors will not easily fade.”

The wonderful thing about Batik is that you can use it in a 1001 ways and still find new and exciting uses for it. Traditionally, both men and women wear it as a daily sort of outfit, but some of the more stunning designs on better quality materials would be worn for special occasions such as weddings. Nowadays, you can find batik on almost anything from tablecloths to photo albums, from laid back beach sarong to high couture fashion frocks! Definitely a great souvenir, don’t you think? Thanks for reading and best regards!
Murni, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



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