What can be brought as a gift from Italy, except for commonplace magnets and plates? Italy for me is, of course, the most delicious and high-quality products in the world, which are an excellent souvenir.
I present to you my personal rating of original gifts.
A piece of Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano) weighing 250 grams, costs about 7 euros - this is a sign of attention and a great proven gift from which most of my friends are thrilled. I myself love this cheese and gladly fill it with a suitcase on a trip.
Parmesan can be different, the taste and price depends on aging - most often in grocery stores it occurs from 12 to 36 months, but sometimes you can find 48 or even 60 months. If your friends have never been to Italy, then they will be delighted with the basic 12-month-old Parmesan. My favorite is 24 months old.
In any Italian grocery store you will find more than 20 cheeses to choose from, and in large supermarkets there are more than 100 types of cheese! To navigate the variety of Italian cheeses, check out our special guide.
In Turin, Milan, Genoa, Rome, Bologna, Florence there are huge supermarkets Eataly specializing only in Italian delicacies.
I bring wine from Italy to friends quite rarely, since it takes up a lot of space in a suitcase, and we drink quite a lot and there is no sense in 1-2 bottles. Plus, due to the flight, good wine can go bad.
But still, if there is a special occasion or a good friend with whom “just give me a reason”, I’ll bring a bottle of good seasoned grappa.
I advise you to buy Grappa in specialized stores (enoteca). A bottle of quality grappa costs from 25 euros, an average of about 40 euros, but there are more expensive versions.
I recommend enoteki:
- In Rome - Enoteca Trastevere | Bernabei dal 1933, Via di S. Francesco a Ripa, 48, 00153. Website www.bernabei.it
- In Milan - Grappa Store Milano, Via Marghera, 14, 20149. Website www.mazzetti.it
If you buy grappa in a supermarket, then in no case do not buy it for less than 10 euros, value your health.
Pesto sauce is one of my favorite pasta seasonings; many friends love it too.
A jar of 160-180 grams costs 2-3 euros. I take as much as I can take.
Prosciutto and Sausages
What can be tastier than real Parma ham (Prosciutto di Parma), which you can buy at any supermarket?
The cost is from 20 to 35 euros per kg. I advise you to buy in the meat department to be cut with you. Just tell the butcher: "Vorrei trecento grammi di prosciutto. Può metterlo sotto vuoto per favore? ”(300 grams of prosciutto in a vacuum please).
I usually buy 3-4 packages of 250-300 grams.
For gourmets, as a gift, a bottle of balsamic vinegar will go well. Just do not buy the cheapest for 3 euros.
A 500 ml bottle of genuine IGP quality Modena balsamic from the Emilia-Romagna region should cost about 7 euros.
I rarely bring olive oil to my friends because of the weight, but still sometimes I decide on such a feat.
The cost of a liter of quality olive oil in a supermarket starts at 10 euros per liter. In no case do not buy oil cheaper, as there is no good and useful product below the indicated price.
What besides food?
If I did not live in Italy permanently, then perhaps my view of souvenirs was different. Having tried to look at the question through the eyes of a tourist who first arrived in Italy and combined my experience with my readers, the following list of interesting souvenirs is obtained:
- Send a greeting card to yourself, family and friends. In our digital age, such a token delivered by traditional mail is a very original gift. On my author’s excursion to the Vatican at dawn, we will certainly send postcards from the dome of St. Peter’s Cathedral. On the postcard is the Vatican's mail stamp.
- Buy a magnet with a landmark. Surprisingly, it is a fact, but very many still collect them and hang refrigerators. A magnet, as a gift, is more suitable for your parents or grandmothers - my mother will definitely not refuse them.
- Antiques and small souvenirs-trinkets. Sometimes at Italian flea markets you can buy completely original things for little money. Books, records, magazines, women's jewelry. In Rome, I advise you to visit the Porta Portese Sunday flea market. In Milan, the antique market arrives on the last Sunday of the month in the Navigli area.
If a teenager is fond of history, then the book “Restored Rome” will be an excellent gift. Sold in newsstands and specialized gift shops at museums, costs 14 euros.
The book shows the main attractions of Ancient Rome - the Colosseum, Forums, Pantheon, Angel Castle in the format of 2000 years ago and today. The drawing restored by archaeologists is superimposed on the photograph of the attraction - it is very interesting to compare. Cognitive annotations are given to the images.
My fellow guides use the same book on sightseeing tours for visualization. Many of our customers then buy for their children.
If a teenage child is indifferent to history, then bring him a souvenir from the Ferrari Store. Brand stores are in Bologna, Turin, Milan, Venice, Naples and Rome.
Usually they are located in the city center, for example, in Rome there is such a store next to the Pantheon in Piazza della Minerva. A branded Ferrari shirt costs 45 euros, a jacket from 110 euros, a cap of 35 euros, a watch of 60 euros.
And what do you usually bring from Italy? Share your ideas and experiences in the comments.