It’s Black Friday and nothing says Christmas like leftover turkey sandwiches, shopping lists and Christmas-season bargains … yes, even here in southern Italy. No, no, our Thanksgiving was quiet this year … just a small lunch with a couple of friends, and with any luck by the time you read this post, I’ll be at the centro commerciale celebrating Black Friday. If you are anxious to start shopping, here are 10 Italian-themed gift ideas-and a giveaway … to help you get started.
1. Baci Chocolates: These delicious chocolate kisses are perfect for any holiday and are one of my favorite things to stuff in stockings. You can find them online using the link above or look in your local gourmet food stores … I used to see them all of the time in Marshall’s back home.
2. Pocket Coffee: For many Italophiles, no other candy compares to Ferrero’s marriage of rich chocolate and Italian coffee. Although they aren’t my personal favorite, they are uniquely Italian and make a great addition to any holiday gift.
3. Mini-Nutella Packs: The dessert / snack that needs no introduction, Nutella is to Italians what peanut butter is to Americans. Here in Italy you can find Nutella ornaments to hang on your tree, but in lieu of that, try these mini-Nutella packs. They are the perfect size for stockings.
More Food for the Thoughtful Gift Giver
4. Lavazza Coffee: I was hooked on Lavazza when I lived in the US and every package my now-husband sent over included a few months supply of this creamy caffeine in a can.
5. Spicy Calabrian Olive Oil: This olive oil with a kick isn’t just for Calabrians … in fact, the cherished red pepper is a staple in most southern Italian homes and is gaining in popularity throughout the country. There is a selection of other Calabria products, so choose your favorites and put together your own Calabrian Cuisine gift basket.
6. Italian Wine: You can find Italian wine in your local supermarkets or specialty liquor store, so buy your favorite Italophile two bottles … one to share with them and another for them to enjoy post-holidays.
Casa Dolce Casa
7. Moka Express Coffee Maker: Any coffee-loving Italophile will tell you that nothing beats waking up to your very own Italian caffè and while, yes, the coffee listed above is nice, having their very own Moka is essential.
I used the Bialetti Moka Express that used to just come in the standard steel but is now available in a variety of colors. Still, the Italians I know prefer the old model … why change a good thing, right?
8. Espresso Set: What better way to complete your Italian coffee gift than with a set of espresso cups and saucers?
The hanging cups showed above are everywhere here in southern Italy and make a cute decoration when they aren’t in use. In fact, I’ve bought a similar set for both my grandmother and an aunt and I have two sets of them at my house here in Calabria.
9. “I Love” Apron: Ok, so yes, I’m biased here and made the link point to the “I Love Calabria” apron at the Italian Things store but check out that site … they also have “I Love Lazio, Liguria, Lombardia … etc, etc, etc …, including “I Love Italian Boys,” and “I Love Limoncello,” which yes, I do. To both of them.
10. Calabria Tote: Designed by the same guy as the aprons, this Calabria tote is a great gift idea for Italophiles addicted to Italy’s deep south. As visitors to this area will tell you, finding Calabria-themed souvenirs can be a challenge, so any of these items would make a great gift.
*** and now for the giveaway ***
Daryll Capparelli, the creative force behind the Italian Things store at Zazzle is helping one My Bella Vita reader kick off their Christmas season with a $25 gift certificate that can be used in any Zazzle store. Here are the details:
1. Join the Italian Things Fan Club on Zazzle (it takes about 30 seconds to register) – AND – leave a comment on this post telling me you did by Friday, December 10 at noon, Italy time.
2. For an additional entry, post this on Facebook and leave a separate comment telling me you did.
3. Same goes for Twitter. Be sure to leave me a comment here so I’ll add an extra entry for you.
And … that’s it!
Have fun shopping today and in bocca al lupo with the contest!
Are you heading to southern Italy? Click here to see how I can help you plan your trip.