Home italy 10 Italian Gift Ideas (That Are Not Snow Globes)

10 Italian Gift Ideas (That Are Not Snow Globes)

written by M.E. Evans August 11, 2017

If you’re anything like me, you like little keepsakes that remind you of the places you’ve been. In Italy, it can be a little hard to find gifts that aren’t’ ridiculously overpriced or just really lame. I mean, how many snow globes can one person own? And who needs to spend 40 euros on a 1 oz boot-shaped bottle of lemon liquor. So, here’s a list of awesome stuff you can gift your friends, family, or yourself that will stir up so much nostalgia.

  1. Alcohol. On every trip that I take, regardless of where it is, I bring back something for my bar. In Italy, you have a ton of options from a bottle of Chianti, Brunello Di Montepulciano, Limoncello, Fernet Blanc, or my husband’s favorite Grappa. I generally go with the Brunello and Francesco usually gifts our baffled friends a bottle of Grappa. And they’re like, why does this taste like burning? Pro Tip: Skip the novelty stores that sell Limoncello in a boot-shaped bottle and head to the grocery store.
  2. Truffles. Truffle products are delicious and expensive but you can find amazing truffle products in Italy for a good price. My favorite product is truffle honey but you can also find truffle salts, pate, and truffle oil. I serve truffle honey at parties and guests go crazy for the stuff. Pro tip: Just like with alcohol, skip the novelty shops and head for the grocery store. Coop has a decent selection of truffle products that are cheap and high quality.
  3. Art. Italy is full of talented artists and you can practically trip and fall on a future genius. While on your trip, check out some local shows and take home something badass, unique and made in Italy. I personally know a ton of local talent and am more than happy to connect you with some talented people if you just write and ask.
  4. Map prints. I’m not huge on scenic photos unless I take them myself and they’re personally meaningful but I love map prints. I just got this map of Florence and I absolutely love it because it goes with our mid-century modern/Scandinavian decor and reminds me of the city I love so much. It’s seriously perfect for people like me who love Florence but also prefer modern decor over giant paintings of the Duomo. The maps come in red, black and white and make a super rad gift for friends and family. I have the black one and as soon as I hang it up I’ll update this post with pic of it all up and cute.
  5. Shoes. Italy is famous for shoes and the country is packed with beautiful shoes that will last you a lifetime (with good care and maybe a small repair every once in a while) Splurge on a pair and I promise you will not regret it. Pro tip: Look for shoes that are made-in-Italy with quality stitching and materials. Like the rest of the world, Italy is becoming increasingly full of cheap products that were made in China.
  6. Bialetti Moka Percolator. At our wedding, we gifted the little single serve ones to our guests and they loved them. They’re inexpensive in Italy and make the best espresso. Pro-Tip: Watch a youtube video before using it. And don’t forget to put water in it. Sounds really obvious but I’ve done that-twice.
  7. Books. The Divine Comedy by Dante in its original Florentine is a great gift for all of the lit nerds out there (like me). Even if you can’t read the poems without Google translate, there’s something really great about having a classic in its original form. When I travel, I collect my favorite foreign books in its original language. Among my favorites: The Divine Comedy and The Unbearable Lightness of Being in its original Czech.
  8. Antiques. There are vintage fairs and flea markets all over the country and you can find some incredible things from lamps to hand-knitted lace table clothes. You can find the daily flea market in Piazza CiompiEvery 3rd Sunday of the month this explodes into surrounding streets.
  9. Cookbooks. While you might not be able to read them, it’s worth taking the time to translate the recipes because you won’t find these Italian recipes in Italian cookbooks at home.
  10. Your own pictures. I know, this isn’t technically a gift but it’s my go-to keepsake for trips. I take a bunch of pics, choose the best ones, and order a little book from Artifact Uprising. Their books are super high quality, they use a classy Matte paper, and you can add whatever text you want (like a little blurb about the trip such as, I fell three minutes later because of too much wine. Italy, 2017).

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