As Christmas rolls around, here is a Christmas gift guide for anyone looking for a few ideas for Milan and/or Italy enthusiasts in general. In case you need some help checking them off your list, here are twelve Christmas gift ideas. Sometimes it can be difficult topping last year’s gift, especially if you got your recipient a custom made puzzle from your photo collection, but fingers crossed these ideas should work for you!
1. Anything Peck: Whether its hor d’ oeuvres or panettone, an item or two from this venerated gourmet institution always has a place on pretty much every Milanese Christmas table. In addition, there are many items to give as gifts from tea to olive oil to wines to pastries to of course their panettone. The new flavor for 2017 is pistachio, white chocolate, and coffee, and it’s delicious. Check out the Christmas catalog here.
2. Pellegrino Wines: Anyone who loves wine will enjoy the nectar of the gods produced by Cantine Pellegrin0 on Pantelleria, an island south of Sicily. The Passito and Moscato wines, as well as the Marsala Rubino, are perfect to enjoy after Christmas dinner or to keep in the house for a special occasion. You can buy them online here.
3. Amaretti from Panificio Carrosio The perfectly dreamy amaretti from Panificio Carrosio in Piedmont’s Voltaggio are the ultimate Christmas cookie, and there’s no better place to get them than from somewhere that’s been doing this for four generations and counting. They can ship anywhere in the world and need about a week to ship everything in time.
4. Christmas tea from Dammann Frères If anyone knows how to do Christmas tea, it’s Dammann Frères. They don’t have just one Christmas tea, but several! And I’m not talking about just white Christmas tea or Green Christmas tea, but varieties name after certain cities. The Vienna has hints of chocolate while you’ll find traces of lime in the Venice one. It’s amazing and a thoughtful gift for the wanderlust addicted tea lover in your life. This French teamaker has a shop in Milan on Piazza Venticinque Aprile and you can also shop their products online.
5. Truffle lovers: The Savini family has been truffle hunting for 70 years and they offer plenty of options for the truffle lovers in your life to enjoy this exquisite funghi year-round. From truffle-potato chips (which I love!) to sauces, olive oil and condiments to truffle pasta and even panettone, you’ll find something for the truffle lover in your life. Shop their catalog here.
6. Dream of Venice books: JoAnn Locktov’s books are a must for anyone who loves Venice, anyone who dreams of visiting Venice or a travel book collector. You can read more about them here.
7. Birreria Menabrea’s Christmas Beer: I once visited this brewery in Piedmont and they’ve been making craft beer since 1846. Every Christmas, they make a special beer for the holidays. It’s light and red-hued, refreshing with just the right amount of winter spice. Order yours here.
8. Storie in Italy Jewelry: This amazing jewelry line is sold at Bottega dell’Arte in Vernazza in Cinque Terre as well as online. The beautiful pieces encompass upcycled old things (I love me some old things) like rosary beads, saint medals, cameos, vintage accessories and more. I own several pieces and my collection keeps growing! Check them out here.
9. Prime Uve Grappa: Also on the beverage front, there’s nothing quite so Italian as grappa, and I’m a fan of Prime Uve made at the Bonavventrua Maschio Distillery in Treviso. They have four varieties, Bianco (made from white grapes), Nero (made from red grapes), Oro (made from special white grapes harvested on the hillside) and q.b. (to which salt from Ravenna’s Cervia saltern has been added). Shop their products here.
10. Pavè baked goods: My favorite breakfast place in Milan, Pavè makes probably my favorite pastries. Via their online shop, you can order goods that they’ll ship all over Europe, so you can have their standard and/or chocolate panettone and other delights like panforte and brambilla delivered to your doorstep in just a few clicks. In addition, there are teas, jams, chocolate bars, cookies and more. Shop here.
11. Pasticceria Marchesi confections: If you know me or follow me on the social networks, you’ll know that I love, love, love, Pasticerria Marchesi. I wish I was staying local this Christmas if only to wake up to some of their delights on Christmas morning. They’re quite famous for their panettone and pan d’oro. Check out their goodies here.
12. Zaini: This 103-year-old artisan chocolate shops sells my favorite chocolate. They have a number of bars wrapped in charming holiday-themed old-fashioned packaging; little chocolate Santa Claus figures; a gellee nativity, and more. Check out their website. They don’t seem to ship, unfortunately for non-locals, Zaini is for locals only.
Cover photo: Annie Spratt via Unsplash