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Gift Ideas For Your Italy-loving Friend or Relative

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Vinegar.

A ridiculously long post about vinegar recommendations crossed my feed just now. It got me thinking about how much I like food gifts, especially ones from Italy. It also prompted me to think:

What kinds of things would I, an Italy-loving person, like as a gift? And what would I give?

Here are my picks:

Italian Toiletries

Italian toiletries are usually high quality, come in beautiful packaging, and smell terrific.

Some ideas for Italian toiletry gifts include Marvis toothpaste; a wide array of scents from Acqua di Parma, famous for its handsome yellow box; soaps and potions from Santa Maria Novella, the famous Florentine pharmacy in the church of the same name; and Sicilian brand Ortigia.

There are so many fun and fragrant toiletry brands based in Italy. They have fun makeup brands, too.

Perfumes and Candles

Yes, perfumes and candles belong to the toiletries category above. But they are a special category unto themselves. Only give perfume to those you’re close to, like a spouse or your mom. But you know that.

Italy is all about perfumes. So many Italian designers have perfumes —Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana—and there are lots of alternative and specialty local scents (e.g., small-batch Tuscan lavender oil). Go upscale with a special edition Acqua di Parma candle on a holder of Carrara marble?

Mosaics, Ceramics, Tiles

Your mother-in-law will love the colorful Amalfitana scenes or Deruta patterns baked into these terracotta slabs. These are the kinds of things people—moms, aunts, cooks, your sister, Derek— admire but never buy for themselves. So surprise them with something small, decorative, and tasteful.

Serie A Gear

If your friend loves Italian club soccer—Serie A—then a piece of official team gear is always a good idea for a casual gift. Make sure you know which team they support. If you’re not sure, Italy national team gear is a safer bet.

The best place to purchase Serie A and Italian National Team football gear is from the individual team stores (team links here). Some, but not all, of them may ship outside of Italy. Amazon’s Italy store has a ton of official Serie A and Serie B gear and will usually ship anywhere if you’re willing to pay the shipping costs.

By the way, the teams with the best-looking gear this year are SSC Napoli, with its Maradona homage jerseys; AS Roma, which did a cool sneaker collab with sponsor New Balance; Venezia FC, called “just a fashion brand” by other clubs; and Inter Milan, with its reptile-print kits.

Books

Ah, yes, the forever gift. Perfect for anyone. Doesn’t have to send a signal, it can just be a nice gesture.

Coffee table books are always cool—a photo book of Rome, an atlas, an art catalog. The better the acquaintance, the heftier you can go with the book. New ones are always coming out.

Italian Food and Beverage Gifts

And, that brings us back to vinegar. Red wine vinegars and balsamic vinegars can be thoughtful gifts to give the foodies in your life. Find them in gourmet groceries or even on Etsy.

Other Italian food gifts include coffee and espresso sets; wine, including wine sets, and prosecco; sausage; or even a whole wheel of cheese. Go crazy. Everyone loves food gifts, especially Italian food gifts.


P.S. The featured image is the thing I am coveting now: a Dolce and Gabbana design collab with SMEG toaster.

I mean, look at this thing. It’s incredible. SMEG makes great toasters. I have a beautiful, non-D&G SMEG toaster that I can’t currently use because the voltage is wrong. So I want one for this side of the pond, too.

Last updated on July 2nd, 2023

Post first published on December 3, 2021

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