I am here to encourage you to just say no that that Olive Garden gift card when you are doing your Christmas present planning. If you are shopping for someone who loves Italy and Italian food, then there are plenty of more creative presents to wrap up to put under the tree. I have put together my favorite Italian food gifts for a cheery and delicious 2019 holiday season. UPDATED DECEMBER 2021
Italian Foodie Gifts
- Keep things flowing smoothly with plenty of free-flowing spritz cocktails. I love the design of Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with Recipes, as well as the suggested twists they have on the ultimate Italian cocktail. This is what I gave my brother-in-law last year and it is still a hit!
- Keeping with that festive feeling, I am in love with these tortellini keychains from Double Trouble Bologna. They are handmade and so much fun. I have them on my Italian keys!
- If you are in Rome, I highly recommend stopping by Sempre Natale. The Christmas store has the best Italian food ornaments. If you can’t shop in Rome, then you can find some online like this spaghetti ornament or these adorable coffee ornaments from MoMA (including a Moka pot for the tree that is at the top of my wish list!)
- The best Italian cooking starts with high-quality ingredients, and the most essential are going to be great pasta and olive oil. The estate olive oil from Bona Furtuna in Sicily was some of the best I tried this year. (For drizzling! Not for cooking!)
- PSA: fresh pasta is not always better than dried pasta! They are simply for different recipes. But fresh pasta can be a lot of fun to make, especially during those long winter nights. For the truly ambitious, this pasta drying rack will hold up to 4 lbs of pasta once you get the hang of that new pasta maker.
- Want to upgrade your tools? qb cucina has the most beautifully curated shop, including Italian phrase plates that I’m in love with. You can also order these from Flake’s in Trastevere in Rome!.
- After moving to Italy, a simple hand blender was the best investment I ever made in my kitchen utensils. It is perfect for lots of tasks, but particularly for making vellutata, which are “velvety” Italian soups.
- For a delicious journey through the regional specialty foods of Italy, I really recommend Elizabeth Minchilli’s book Eating My Way Through Italy (or Eating Rome which is currently on sale, for less than $17). From truffle hunting to the secrets behind tortellini and why Parmigiano-Reggiano is so special, this book is a chapter-by-chapter look at the foods of Italy, with easy-to-recreate recipes. If you want more suggestions and want to purchase from a local independent bookstore, here are my favorite books about Italian food. Some are cookbooks, others are culinary history, and a few memoirs are thrown in.
- Ok, ok, it doesn’t really compare to heading to your favorite Milanese bakery and picking up a fresh panettone, but if you want to spread the holiday cheer, this is one of the best-known brands for traditional Italian Christmas cake and is a tasty addition to any dessert table.
- Do you have a wine lover on your list? You can keep the giving going all year by getting them into Rimessa Roscioli’s wine club. Or snap up a cute wine cool/wine holder from Uashmama – a sustainable brand that is made in Tuscany.
- Do you know a baby foodie? Or a gourmet friend with a little one? Pezzi Roma makes the cutest onesies and shirts for toddlers. They are inspired by Rome and by food. I love the P for Prosciutto shirt best of all.
- Want to benefit from the food gift? Give a friend an online cooking course with Carla Tomasi (my favorite cookery teacher in Rome!) and ask that they make you some of her famous focaccia in return. Email her at cookingwithcarla(at)virgilio.it — obviously just replace that (at) with a @
- And for the best stocking stuffers – Negroni lip balm!
As a bonus – if you are coming to Rome in person, you can surprise your favorite foodie with a Taste of Testaccio Tour. That’s my neighborhood, and so obviously I think it is the absolute best place to eat in the entire city!
Is there anything else on your Italian food gift list?
P.S. for more shopping ideas, these are my favorite books about Rome.
Note: Many of the links above are affiliate links which generates no additional cost for you, but means that I may earn a small commission if you choose to make a purchase. You are under no obligation to do so!