ITALY, PRODUCTS, TRAVEL

Best Gifts from Italy for the Italian Lover

best-gifts-from-italy-for-italian-lover

What it is about Italy? Whenever I bring back gifts from Italy, my friends are always over the moon. There is so much about a thoughtful gift from Italy that inspires people: Italian fashion, Italian leather goods, jewelry, cooking, travel – you name it. As soon as I say I have a gift from Italy, their faces lights up. And if you’ve ever traveled to Italy and hit any one of their daily markets, like the markets I’ve mentioned in Liguria, you know there are things you wished you would have brought back, but simply forgot.

I have to admit, I’m a pretty good gift buyer, and shopping in Italy, or for items that come from Italy, has to be one of the easiest ways to ensure I’ve found a fantastic gift. These are some of the best gifts from Italy that are sure to please.

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Gifts for Italy Lovers

Recently, I picked up a 3-Days in Italy gift experience for friends. We have shops all over France where you choose an experience based on the amount you want to spend. It could be something like driving your choice of a Ferrari, a 3-night stay in Italy, a romantic weekend in Europe, a cooking class in Italy, a spa experience… The list goes on. These gifts are quite reasonable, and are really cool gift ideas. Your friend is given a booklet with hotels or experiences to choose from all over Italy and then they book online and go. They won’t know what you’ve paid and they have control over where they go and what they see. Win-win! In the UK, the company to go to is BuyaGift, and in France and much of Europe, it’s Smartbox.



Anyway, buying an experience is one thought. But if you are looking for some great gifts from Italy, I’ve put together a list of some options to consider. Your friends who love Italy will be oohing and aahing in no time… And all of these gifts from Italy are just that… Made in Italy. And even if you aren’t traveling to, or haven’t traveled to, Italy, it doesn’t mean that you can’t pick up a thoughtful gift from Italy for the Italian junkie in your life. Happy shopping!

 

FLORENTIA DOUBLE NOTE CARDS AND ENVELOPES

These beautiful note cards are designed and printed in Italy. The double note card is perfect for any occasion and they have a hefty feel about them – Meaning not chintzy. It’s a unique gift idea from Italy for someone who still appreciates the art of hand writing a card.

 

FLORENTINE WRITING CARD SET WITH 22k GOLDLEAF ACCENTS

It seems no one writes notes any more, but who can resist these lovely 22k goldleaf-accented cards. These remind me of the stationery stores in Florence that offer nothing but paper items in a variety of Florentine designs. If you love notebooks, cards, and wrapping paper, you’ll be lost in there for hours!

These cards come from Florence and are made in the Medici design. The paper and envelopes immediately say, ‘quality’ and are the perfect gift from Italy, that is inexpensive and a lovely reminder of Italy.

 

HAND PAINTED CRUET SET – OIL, VINEGAR, SALT AND PEPPER

This beautiful set is manufactured by Parrinni in Tuscany. They are lead free and come with a certificate of authentication. You can put them in the dishwasher and microwave, though I’m not sure why you’d want to put any of these in the microwave… They are a great addition to any table. Pieces are handmade and considered to be unique. Your friends will raving about their one-of-a-kind pieces!

 

OLIVE OIL DIPPING BOWLS (Set of 6)

These hand-painted dipping bowls are great for olive oil or any other condiment you have on the table. They are great for everyday use and again, come from the Florence area of Italy. It’s a great Italian gift for those who like to show off at the dinner table. I have similar ones at home and I use them for any of my sauces. These would be a great addition to your Italian gift basket because they are light and easy to tuck in.

 

ITALIAN WHITE TRUFFLE EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL – CHEMICAL FREE AND NO ARTIFICIAL AROMA

Dig into this healthy olive oil infused with white truffles! It’s a great gift idea for those trying out their Mediterranean diet recipes. All natural ingredients and the flavor of truffles will add a subtle flavor to all your dishes.

 

DERUTA CERAMIC VASE

Some of the most famous ceramics in Italy come from the Umbrian town of Deruta. There are more than 200 ceramic workshops in this town of around 10,000 people, and they’ve been making maiolica, or hand-painted ceramics, for several hundred years! The traditional motif is, ‘Raffallesco,’ inspired by the works of the famous Italian painter, Raffael. This particular vase is made to order, so expect to receive it in about a month. It’s well worth the wait to have this unique piece of art sent directly from Italy.

 

MARCATO ATLAS PASTA MAKER

If you want to buy an authentic Italian pasta making machine, the Marcato Atlas is thee maker to buy. This maker comes standard with a crank handle and attachments for a couple types of pasta, but you can also automate things by getting a power drive and buying additional attachments to create even more pasta shapes. This is thee pasta maker to buy if you want to be serious about buying the real deal.

 

MAKING ARTISAN PASTA

This is a great resource for making artisan pasta. It’s a super gift if you are making a pasta-themed gift basket, along with your pasta maker and the drying rack below.

 

 

MARCATO TACAPASTA PASTA DRYING RACK

Along with your pasta maker, you are going to want to include a pasta drying rack, and this is a cool option. This ‘tacapasta’  can hold up to 4 lbs of pasta along it’s 10 swivel arms. It comes in a few colors and is a must have if you are making homemade spaghetti and linguini.

 

NATURAL OLIVE WOOD DRY SPAGHETTI PASTA MEASURE

You have no idea how this has come in handy. I have something similar and it’s my go-to device for properly measuring out spaghetti. Otherwise, I make enough spaghetti for a family of ten. It’s another great Italian gift basket item that’s useful and unique. Perfect for spaghetti, fettuccini and linguini.

 

DERUTA PASTA SERVING BOWLS – 12″

This 12″ serving bowl is from the Umbria area of Italy and is made in Deruta style. Microwave and dishwasher safe, it makes for a great presentation of your pasta on the table. Again, another great item for your Italian-themed cooking gift basket.

 

THE ORIGINAL BIALETTI MOKA EXPRESSO MAKER – 6 Cup

For the espresso lover in your life, all you need is the original Bialetti. This easy-to-use espresso machine heats up on the stove to make authentic espresso. I guess you’d say this is the, ‘slow food’ of espresso makers because there’s no simple button to push, and no George Clooney to do it for you. You add the water into the base, add your espresso, tighten the lid and then heat it on the stove… then, wait a few minutes… Oh, sacrilege that you should wait for a proper espresso… This is a great Italian coffee gift.

 

ILLY EXPRESSO COFFEE

While we are on the topic of Italian coffee gifts, why not pick up some real Italian espresso to go with your espresso maker. Illy is a super brand of Italian coffee and once you are done, you have a cute container you can refill with more espresso. This is a super item to put in your Italian-themed gift basket.

 

STAINLESS STEEL CHEESE GRATER WITH OLIVE WOOD COLLECTOR

This is a handy Italian kitchen gift for this who love to putter in the kitchen. It’s perfect for grating cheese, but you can use it for anything, actually – lemon rind, chocolate, nuts – you choose. It’s stainless steel and oiled olive wood, and it’s very easy to clean. You just need to re-oil it occasionally so that it maintains its quality.

 

RECTANGULAR CUTTING BOARDS – set of 2

I’ve mentioned olive wood cutting boards that are manufactured in Liguria, Italy, well here is a set that is both useful as a chopping board as well as a presentation piece. These rough-cut, but smooth-to-the-touch pieces come from Southern Italy and are both useful and beautiful. Each piece is unique so they will differ from the pictures, but they are durable and elegant. You simply wash them in warm water and occasionally apply olive oil to maintain their beauty.

 

OLIVE OIL KITCHEN APRON

Take your pick of these kitchen aprons of olive oils, breads, wine or pasta with these whimsical designs. They wipe off easy and you can wash them in the washing machine. I have a variety of these at home, but they have scenes of Rome and Calabria. They are very handy and light – again, another great gift if you are putting together an Italian-themed gift basket.

 

SUPER SOFT PASHMINA SHAWL WRAP SCARF

If you’ve ever been to a market in Italy, you’ll remember the Pashmina shawls they sell all over the place. It becomes a bit over the top with how many Italian shawls are sold, but then that day will come when you’ll say… “I wish I would have bought that Italian Pashmina.” These come in 25 beautiful colors and are great for when you are traveling and want something extra over your shoulders. Can be worn as a wrap as well as a scarf.

 

CONVERTIBLE ITALIAN LEATHER BACKPACK

This super lightweight and sturdy bag/backpack is a great gift for women or men. Handmade in Florence, and comes in a variety of colors, including simply all black or brown. It has adjustable straps and you can pack quite a bit in there. It’s very smart and classy looking – like most Italian leather items.

 

BIFOLD LONG WALLET – Made in Italy

Here’s a super smooth Italian leather wallet that has space for 16 cards, not that you’d want to put that many in there. It’s 6.97″H x 3.5″W, which means you can also slide one cover of your passport in there and keep it handy. I love that you can slide bills in there without bending them, and again, it’s unisex. Reminds me of the numerous leather products you find in any of Italy’s city markets.

 

MURANO GLASS ORNAMENT

Murano, Italy is synonymous with glass blowing, and there you’ll find any and everything made of glass. This lovely ornament is a perfect gift any time of the year, and not just for Christmas, but I think it would look great on any tree. They will all look slightly different since they are hand blown, and would make a lovely housewarming gift that you can also use as a table decoration.

 

PURE SAFFRON IN A HANDMADE MURANO GLASS JAR

This is killing two birds with one stone! Anyone who cooks with saffron knows you only need a little, and what a great way to present this spice than in a hand blown Murano glass jar from Italy. This is a great piece for kitchen decoration and useful for the chef in the house.

 

COBALT BLUE BEVERAGE GLASS – 9 OZ, SET OF 4 – BORMIOLI ROCCO

These Murano glass drinking glasses are modern and sturdy, and are a great addition to your table. You can buy other pieces to create a set if you love the design. Again, as these are unique pieces, they will all look a bit different.

 

6-Pc WINE SET WITH WINE CARAFE – Luigi Bormioli

Remember sitting in that lovely restaurant on the piazza where you ordered a carafe of house wine? Well, this is probably what they served it in. This elegant Italian wine gift will have your friends dreaming of a return to Italy to once again sip the delicious bacchus. The wine stems are reinforced and the carafe holds a standard bottle of wine. Make sure you bring a bottle of wine with this gift. I mean, you have to try it out!

 

HAND-PAINTED JAR WITH LEMONCELLO FROM SORRENTO

Most Italian restaurants will offer you a digestif at the end of your meal. Sometimes it’s grappa, but more often it’s Lemoncello. This lovely hand-painted jug comes filled with Lemoncello from the heart of the Limoncello region, Sorrento. This comes with 2 glasses and is a lovely reminder of Sorrento, Capri and the Amalfi Coast.

 

SAPONIFICIO ARTIGINALE FIORENTINO HANDMADE SOAP – BERGAMOT

I love getting and giving soap, but someone once told me that by giving soap as a gift I was subtly telling them they stink! These handmade bars of soap come in Bergamot, Rose and Olive Oil scents and are not a ‘stinker’ of a gift. The thing I love about Italian gifts is the gift wrapping. Italians know how to make the simplest thing look luxurious and these soaps will not disappoint.

 

VERACE COLLECTION MEN’S MEDUSA POOL SLIDES

Need I say any more? They’re Versace, they’re pool slippers, and while simple, they reek of distinction!  This is a great luxury items from Italy that will be recognized worldwide. The only question will be, ‘Are they real?’ And you will know that they are!

 

ALLMYGOLD JEWELERS – STERLING SILVER SLIP-ON BRACELET

This beautiful .925 sterling silver bracelet also comes in rhodium plated, gold plated and rose gold plated sterling silver. It’s a very elegant piece that you can wear every day. I have a similar one made with a clear elastic band that I love. They are very easy to clean with soap and water, and avoid getting perfume on them. As always, Made in Italy.

 

 

BRIC’S LUGGAGE LIFE 21″ ULTRA LIGHT SPINNER

Bric’s is a super brand, and I have one of these but in a different fabric. This is a super, Made-in-Italy carry on bag that’s great for a weekend or a week depending on how you pack. It’s extremely durable and the zips are solid. This is a good quality piece of luggage.

 

GENUINE LEATHER TROLLEY TRAVEL BAG

The thing I love about these trolley bags is that you can shove a lot in them due to the wide opening on the top. Either carry it via the leather handles, or pull it with the extension handle. They come in black or brown, are made from Tuscan leather, and are unisex. It’s a nice quality bag that is a super carry on.

 

SALVATORE FERRAGAMO MEN’S GANCINI BACKPACK

Your traveler will love this new solid, waterproof, nylon and leather bag from Salvatore Ferragamo. It has a cover flap that closes with clasps and adjustable backpack straps. It is lined and there are extra zip pockets on the outside.

 

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Life On The Mediterranean

US expat living the life on the Mediterranean in the South of France. I regularly travel to Spain, Italy, Greece and other intriguing locations around the Mediterranean. Former Hyatt Corp Marketing Manager, student accommodation director and hotel photoshoot art director.

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