Gifts for relatives in Italy

Old Mar 28th, 2010, 11:41 AM
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Gifts for relatives in Italy

We are going to Italy for 2 weeks this May. We will be staying with family most of the time. For some reason my father always feels that we need to bring gifts. In the past we have brought crystal in the shape of Empire State building and Statue of Liberty, (they collect crystal), dish towels, maple syrup, I made homemade cookies.
We are running out of ideas.
I have done a search and have found some good suggestion but all the suggestions are 3+ years old. Can anyone tell us if the following is now common to find in Italy:
Oil misters
Chilling sleeves for wine
American made wines and after dinner liquors
Salt water taffy (we ar e from NJ)
Jelly Belly's
Macadamia nuts/Pecan

Just don't want to bring anything over that they can get easily there. I am sure with the Internet most can be bought. But my 1 cousin and aunt are not connected and my other cousin doesn't do all that much on it. Thanks for any ideas
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Old Mar 28th, 2010, 12:16 PM
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More and more Italy and I imagine most of Europe have products that we have here in the US dvg, so bringing gifts is getting more difficult to figure out. When I have had Italians visit with me they have always brought a gift. Everything from scarves to a leather purse to books about the city they live in to a lovely leather box with a champagne holder and opener to small sterling silver items etc.

All my friends in Italy love California wines but of course now you would have to put it in your checkin bag as liquids are not allowed in carryon. You listed fudge, two Italian fellows always have had me take them to the supermarket so that they could take back to Italy various boxes of fudge mix as their families love them. But no doubt they can buy them in Italy now too since there are so many supermarkets that now carry American products. Jelly Belly's are manufactured in my area. I do not think they are available in Italy, so that might be a fun present. Maybe that and some of your NJ salt water taffy?

Out of desperation I brought a lovely pair of a US made salt and pepper set for a family that has everything. I knew what their kitchen looked like. They were thrilled which amazed me. So one never knows. I also have brought small hand made decorative bowls (that can be used for nuts or candy etc.) made by a glass blowing company in our area. Even though all the people I gave them to live just an hour or so from Venice they were very pleased and commented that they had no idea we had any glass blowing factories.

I always take people out to dinner also whether I am staying with them or nor as they all always have me to their homes for lovely homecook meals.and wine of course.

I am not much help I know. I have found that wondering around a few stores with an open mind means I finally come across items that seem appropriate for gifts. And again, all Italians that I know love California wines so if you pack them properly in your checkin luggage that will probably be an appreciated hostess gift. Oh, btw, if you know your relatives eating habits and IF they like spicy food Tabasco Sauce is good to take to them.

Best wishes and have a lovely time in Italy and with your Italian family!
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Old Mar 28th, 2010, 02:21 PM
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We gave a pound of pure Kona coffee a couple of years ago to someone who had spent time researching and showing us some properties over two visits. Meeting and talking over coffee in both the morning and afternon had been part of our routine, so we knew he was a real coffee lover, and he told us later he shared the coffee with only his closest family and friends who would, in his words, "appreciate how good it is." I was able to buy it near my home, but it's available online.
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Old Mar 29th, 2010, 07:41 AM
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I've almost given up as is SO difficult since everything can now be bought anywhere anyway!

This year, I'm bringing perfume and cologne...probably Donna Karen "New York" (I'm also in NJ) or something else "American" - perfume is very expensive in Europe compared to here and it's easy for me to'll see how if goes over. (A Parisian friend of mine has brought me Channel perfume when visiting, even though I can get it here, it was much appreciated and thoughtful I thought.)

I also like to bring CDs (Jazz, Broadway,etc.)- but it's really difficult if you don't know personal tastes.

For younger Europeans, (I'd say anyone under 28or so)I've had good luck with anything Abercrombie and Fitch or Hollister - the bigger the logo, the better really.
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