What to send Italian relatives?

Old Feb 7th, 2002, 12:17 PM
  #1  
Linda
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What to send Italian relatives?

Recently we stayed with relatives in Capoliveri on the Island of Elba. They own a very posh resort on Punto Marconi near the beach. They literally want for nothing.

My cousins are in their early 60's. Food is iffy because he has diabetes and is really watching his diet. Plus, sending them candy or wine would seem silly since they have some of the best in Italy. She used to own a boutique and has access to all the outlets in Florence.

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I already checked into sending them french bread, but, Boudin's doesn't ship internationally.

Any ideas?
 
Old Feb 7th, 2002, 12:35 PM
  #2  
TheTraveler
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Linda, Hi! We have relatives in Europe, many of which have visited us. We usually exchange or give gifts to them, and it can be difficult. What we usually try to do is give them something that is very American or native to the area where we live. Do they have any interest in sports? We have given items relating to baseball, because that is so American. We live in Minnesota, so have given numerous Minnesota Twins things..even small baseball hats, gloves and bats for the children. We have given items with our University emblem or books and info on the state of Minnesota. They have always been very appreciative. We will be visiting in June, so I will have to be creative once again..Try and think of things that would remind them of you or the USA! TheTraveler
 
Old Feb 7th, 2002, 12:37 PM
  #3  
Christina
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I don't really know as this seems just a general gift question unrelated to travel, really. Also, you don't state your budget but since you were going to send them French bread, I guess it doesn't have to be that much. I thought Italians had good bread, also.

Ok, if you are going for some theme having to do with your residence, how about SF sourdough bread? I guess somebody will ship it, maybe not, but you thought they'd like bread and that's sort of unique. I myself always like to get small rather unique pieces of pottery, vases, etc as housegifts, or a nice unusual candle in a special candle holder. I know they have some nice potters up in your area, can you find something special there? If not, flowers are always welcome and in good taste, and you don't have to worry about them already having them. I imagine you can always order flowers anywhere in the world.
 
Old Feb 7th, 2002, 12:39 PM
  #4  
mimi taylor
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I believe Poilane mails their bread.
 
Old Feb 7th, 2002, 12:43 PM
  #5  
Donna
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FYI, Linda, the postal system in Italy is notorious for being slow and unreliable. If your family members are on Elba, whatever you send will take especially long to reach them. In my experiences, sending packages to relatives in Italy has been a bad idea--things reach them no less than 3 or 4 months after sending, if at all. The larger the package, the worse it is. Consider taking the negatives of some photos you took while visiting them and having them blown up--then send them those (framed or unframed as you see fit). Everyone loves photos, and they go with all decor and diet restrictions!
 
Old Feb 7th, 2002, 12:43 PM
  #6  
mimi taylor
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Linda, type in Poilane, there is a site.
also [email protected]
this is the best bread in Paris
 
Old Feb 7th, 2002, 12:43 PM
  #7  
xxx
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How about shipping them some oranges from California? Shipping to Italy can be very expensive, so think before you buy.

DId you take photos while you were there? Maybe you could send a special photo of you guys as a group in a nice frame, or make up a special album to send to them.
 
Old Feb 7th, 2002, 01:13 PM
  #8  
xxx
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How about a nice calendar of San Francisco or perhaps a picture book of SF/Northern California? Are there any magazines focused on SF that you could give a gift subscription to?
 
Old Feb 7th, 2002, 01:23 PM
  #9  
amy
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To Christina and the others---
Regarding Linda's mention of bread....clearly none of you are from the Bay area. She mentioned Boudin's because it is THE most famous sourdough bread and is the one food most associated with the Bay area. It's not French bread-it's sourdough. Even the pronounciation is not French-
say Bo-deen.

Okay, having cleared that up-I do have a suggestion for you, Linda. We, too stayed with relatives-they were on the Amalfi coast and treated us very well. As a parting gift, we went to the local florist and bought a huge bouquet. I also took the florist's card in case we want to send them flowers for the holidays, etc. I would suggest using the internet to find a local florist in their area. If this seems too difficult, I have very good friends who are Italian and could ask them to find one from an Italian website if you like.
 
Old Feb 7th, 2002, 01:50 PM
  #10  
Lynn
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A photo is definitely the way to go. Flowers die. Bread gets eaten (which I think is a bad idea all around anyway). Send it in a unique frame from a local artist.
 
Old Feb 7th, 2002, 03:39 PM
  #11  
Faina
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Linda, check out the gift shop by the Golden Gate bridge, it will give you lots of ideas, I always go there to buy gifts for people outside USA. Lots of them are unbreakable if you don't want to bother with bubble wrapping. I always get lots of thanks, Italy including.
 
Old Feb 7th, 2002, 04:15 PM
  #12  
mimi taylor
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Thank you, Amy ,for clearing that up, I thought maybe she knew her relatives liked French bread so tried to help.
 
Old Feb 7th, 2002, 04:46 PM
  #13  
gail
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I agree most with second post - try sending something unique to the area in which you live - with SF, that should be easy. Forget food - most decent food ships poorly. Forget oranges, etc. - there are strict regulations on importing plant products. Same with wine. We live in New England and have given gifts of maple syrup, Red Sox merchandise, and American Revolution stuff to taunt friends in England.
 
Old Feb 8th, 2002, 10:54 AM
  #14  
Christina
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No, I didn't know that about Boudins, but how come Linda didn't know what kind of bread Boudin was -- she was the one who said it was French bread?
 
Old Feb 15th, 2002, 07:33 AM
  #15  
linda
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Hi,
Thanks for all your suggestions. For the record: To answer Christina's question as to why I called it French bread - We, native San Franciscans, call all sourdough bread "french bread". We also call danish pastry "snails". Go figure.

Linda
 
Old Feb 16th, 2002, 12:02 AM
  #16  
Rosemarie
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The "french" bread of San Francisco is often made here in Oakland, I wanted to send "American" gifts. While there I gave candy and wine but wanted to give them something unique to USA. Disney for the kids..HA NO ITALIAN versions and I checked the big Disney store in Rome and e mailed the European main office in London. Harry Potter while admitally (sp?) English was also no go as even tho it is out in Spanish, French German and even Latin..no Italian. I complained to Scholastic Books to no avail.Since my family there seemed enthralled by cowboys (my hubby wears a cowboy hat in Europe as he is tired of being given the German version of tourist things,,,and by the way the hat is a GREAT ice breaker) and Native Americans are also of great interest. I have sent Southwestern turtle fetish necklaces, a cowboy hat,sports and collage tee shirts (the Oakland Raiders are popular).I also sent Sacajawea(now I KNOW that I've not spelled that correctly) coins.Also Jazz cassette.Photos are a wonderful idea.Prior to my visit I had had family research done and made a copy for them.Last Easter they sent us a ceramic bowl and lots of great candy and cheese.Abruzzi 2000 web site has a gift section tho I have not personally used it.
 
Old Feb 16th, 2002, 05:33 AM
  #17  
Carol
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Suggestions:

A pile of postcards with a variety of views of your state, including some that are NOT what they'd expect the USA to look like (This is what my cousins seemed to like best and it stimulated further discussion in letters.)

A calendar with pictures of California or San Francisco

A picture book of California or San Francisco, with not too much writing unless they read English, or, if hey do read English pretty well, a book with pictures and historical or other info about California (or San Francisco) or about some aspect of the USA that you know might interest them (e.g., immigration? Ellis Island? California cooking? national parks? wildflowers? Indian crafts?)

For a more expensive gift: a well-made item from a local American craftsman who produces high quality work in a style that's original and not imitative of European traditional work

Sending packages to Italy IS expensive, but I have found that it's pretty fast (e.g., less than 2 weeks to a little town in Sicily)

Maybe I didn't read carefully enough to catch the reason, but I don't understand why people are suggestiong that someone in California USA send bread from France to a diabetic living in an Italian island that's pretty close to France.
 

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