- Carnival masks – Two types are sold: classical (containing characters of Pantalone’s comedy del arte, Harlequin and Dottore) and contemporary fiction. They are sold at street stands, in-store galleries and special artisan workshops.Prices depend both on appearance and material. Masks made of clay and plaster are relatively cheap ($2-$20). The ones made of papier-mвchй are more expensive and are light and fragile. Masks made of leather, like the one wore by Casanova, can be found exclusively in galleries or antique establishments.
- Expensive and exquisite glassware can be purchased at the birthplace of Venetian glass - on the island of Murano.The production of Venetian lamps and gilded bronze mirrors is a very laborious process, nowadays is undertaken by few. Among these is the famous master Roberto de Rossi. His studio and shop are located in one of the lanes off of Fondamenta Nuove (Canagerio, Fondamenta Nuove, 5045 / F). Lamps can be purchased in the San Marco area, in a store called Rigattieri (San Marco, 3532). Venetian chandeliers can cost from $200 to thousand dollars.
- Stationary - (beautiful quill pens, leather folders, envelope bearing emblems or patterned embossed paper) – Sold by artisans on Mercheria street.
- Lace from the island of Burano - Blouses with embroidered lace collars as well as napkins, tablecloths, clothes, parasols made of lace.
- Olive oil in Venetian glass bottles.
- Expensive and exquisite glassware can be purchased not only at the birthplace of Venetian glass - on the island Murano, but across all Venice also. It is needed to beware of imitations. It can be distinguished on weight (original glass is heavier and more durable).
- Wall clock, which has been produced in Venice only. Their shapes remind the oval and are done with an effect of molten material. It as though "flows down". Are for sale in souvenir shops.
- In the Coliseum, keep an eye out for to ancient Roman coins (these will be copies), figurines and maiella gladiators. You will also find here famous porcelain statuettes from the porcelain factory Capo di Monte inSorrento.
- If you happen to be in the Vatican, have a look at the Vatican stamps.
- Decorations such as inwardly gold plated bijouterie and costume jewellery made of the Murano glass can be purchased across all centre of the Rome. It cost inexpensively (10-30 euro for ear-rings and an pendant) and looks very much "in Italian".
Sicilian ceramics can be found practically everywhere, marionettes, puppets and so forth - in Agrigento (Girgenti in Sicilian).
There are figurines of the Pinocchio, puppets of the traditional Sicilian theatre.
A model of Sicilian festive coach can be given as a keepsake to friends and members of own household. Such celebratory carriage looks lovely.
In the district of Syracuse the papyrus can be found.
- There are figurines of character of famous theatre "Burattini" – Pulchinella.
- And there is still a very typical gift - here on Christmas each family performs the Presepe (presepio, presepi in Italian), it is the scene of the birth of the Christ; where there are Maria, her spouse, the child, animals in a shed, barn and so on. There are similarly figures of a dressmaker, fisherman, shepherd, shoemaker et cetera. The presepe is more bright and colourful, the more there are these characters. And so in the ancient part of Naples there is a narrow small street of masters, which make these figures and right then on the spot it has been sold. There are also moving figurines. Even simply to roam there around and to take a look at it is very interesting. There are similarly for sale some ancient figures too, but such age-old items are certainly cost expensively.
- On this small street painted, decorated tambourines have been sold too, it because Naples and all south are the motherland of the very beautiful national folk dance Tarantella.
- There are "chilli hot peppers" (horns of a devil). This is an Italian horn amulet - good luck symbols and characters of success. The chilli peppers nevertheless probably are closer to Calabria (Latin: Bruttium). Italians are very fond of the red chilli and in Naples it is called Corno - a horn. The cornuto, corno, or cornicello is the amulet of ancient origin. Cornicello means "little horn", these names refers to a long, gently twisted horn-shaped amulet worn in Italy to protect against the evil eye. Cornicelli are usually carved out of red coral or made of gold or silver. It is alike as the cayenne by shape and helps against all troubles just as, for example, a hunchbacked old man brings good luck and fortune if he is smoothed over and petted on his hump. The type of horn they are intended to copy is not a curled-over sheep horn or goat horn but rather like the twisted horn of an African eland or something similar. Over the years they have become rather stylized and now look less like a natural animal horn than they once did.
Chilli hot peppers itself that also can be Cayenne hot pepper; chilly pepper piccante de cayenne is very prolific, easy to grow Italian Cayenne variety.
- The south is a birthplace of Italian Pasta; there are many producing it factories in the province of Naples. There is pasta of large shape, big cockleshells, large bows and so on. And varicoloured is also available, i.e. into dough are added powders of basil, tomatoes et cetera.
From Reggio Calabria
- There are alcoholic beverages on the basis of the bergamot. The bergamot is a citrus reminding by something a green orange, but possessing absolutely incomparable taste and aroma. The Reggio Calabria region is a unique place where this wondrous fruits have been cultivated and grown up.
- Reproductions of statues "Bronzi di Riace" that are bronze statues dated an approximate 5 century B.C., ideally remained and being a masterpiece of the ancient art.
There are statuettes of two towers, which have become a characteristic symbol of Bologna. Torre di Asinelli and Torre Garisenda had been constructed in the 12-century.
From Fabriano (a province Ancona)
Very interesting watermarked paper is manufactured in Fabriano (a province Ancona); Fabriano is the paper centre of Italy. Paper for money has been done here and supplied for the export in many countries.
From Fabriano (a province Ancona)
- Very interesting watermarked paper is manufactured in Fabriano (a province Ancona); Fabriano is the paper centre of Italy. Paper for money has been done here and supplied for the export in many countries
- Statuettes made of frozen lava.
Wine and alcoholic beverages
Recommended wines: the famous "Chianti" (best bought in Tuscany), "Montepulciano d'Abruzzo" (chief souvenir from Abruzzo), "Nero d'Avola" (favourite drink of the Sicilians), "Moscato" (Piedmont), as well as "Brunello di Montalchino"," Amaro Montenegro "," Barolo "," Barbera "," Grignolino " and " Barbaresco ".
There are also Bianco della Valdichiana, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Nobile di Moltepulciano, Galestro and so on.
From region Veneto (or Venetia) can be brought well known for the whole world wines – Bardolino that is an Italian red wine produced along the chain of morainic hills in the province of Verona to the east of Lake Garda, Soave that is a dry white wine from the Veneto region, principally around the city of Verona, Valpolichella. Valpolicella is a red wine created from corvina, molinara, and rondinella grapes in the Veneto region too. Regular Valpolicella has 11% alcohol and no more than 70% corvina. Valpolicella Superiore is created with at least a year of aging, and must be 12% alcohol or more.
The traditional center of Valpolicella production uses the name 'Valpolicella Classico' - about half of all Valpolicella falls into this category.
From Verona can be brought also Amarone that is well known all over the world very strong dry wine for the second meat dishes.
For fans of fish there are dry white wines Soave or Custoza
Prosecco Durello, which has a very soft and delicate taste, can be recommended as an aperitif or being served with a snack or some light meal.
For a dessert there is red or white Reciotto.
Wine of type of champagne that in general is named Prosecco can be found in the region of Venice as well as at almost any shop across all Italy, it is the popular everywhere national product being very light and pleasant drink - though as an aperitif, though served during a meal.
There can be got a domestic wine too.
From Sardinia there are local dark digestive liquor "Mirto" and a red wine “Perdera Monica di Sardegna”.
There is "Limonchello di Sorrento" Liquor (said to be the tastiest liquor found on the Amalfi coast).
In regard to the Limoncello it is especially desirable to mention pleasing Cream based Limoncello (i.e. the same lemon liqueur, only with addition of creams that does the taste softer).
There is also Almond Liqueur "Disaronno Amaretto" (1L from 12 euros and upwards), the legendary drink of love, dating from 1525.
Liqueur "Montenegro " is very delicious and exclusively Italian.
From Reggio Calabria can be brought alcoholic beverages on the basis of the bergamot
Grappa is grape vodka that can have soft or more expressed taste. Without it gifts from the Italy will not be complete.
"Noccino" is a nut tincture.
Coffee and coffee makers
The best brands of coffee are Lavazza and Illy.
The original coffee makers are manufactured only in Italy. There are well-known coffeepots "Bialetti" (Italians name them machinetta per kafe). They are made of non-rusting corrosion-proof metal. It possesses a fine design, looks very elegantly and actually taste of the coffee is exclusively exceptional.
Confectionery products and sweets
Tuscan almond biscuits "Amarettini" with chocolate - this dessert will be remembered by anyone who has tried it at least once. These macaroons are so amazing.
In Tuscany (Italian: Toscana) there are also special cookies "Cantucci" (Cantucci Tuscan Almond Biscotti, a sort of sweet rusks with almonds), which are served and eaten traditionally with a special sweet wine Vinsanto (Vin Santo), where they are dipped into. Vin Santo (holy wine) is an Italian dessert wine. This traditional Tuscan wine is made from Trebbiano and Malvasia grapes, and is typically very sweet. Biscotti in Italian means cooked twice, just the way these cookies are prepared. The word was later extended as a generic word for any kind of cookie.
Sienese biscuits Ricciarelli (Ricciarelli di Siena) are also a kind of light baking from almonds that very suitable for digestion. Ricciarelli are classic orange-laced almond paste cookies that were once a Christmas delight, but are now enjoyed year-round. They closely resemble soft Amaretti. They are preferable for buying in a pasticceria (pastry shop) in Siena - will be fresh and most delicious.
To gastronomic novelties can be added Panettone genovese. It reminds a bit in some way the “Capital fruitcake”.
There are many types of pastries and cakes in the Naples. “Baba” is one among them.
It is inconvenient for carrying during transportation, but it can be found as a following variant - small baba are contained in a jar and filled up with the liquor Limoncello (the baba soaks up the Limoncello syrup really well and is very light) or on rum base (Rum babа dessert cake). Baba, the rum-soaked cake, reigns in every pastry shop.
From Sardinia there are Dolci Sardi (Sweets of Sardinia) - Amaretti, Ciccioneddas, Galletteddas, Guelfos, Papassine, Sospiri, Le Pardulas.
“Ferrero Rocher” are spherical chocolate sweets made by Ferrero SpA. The sweets consist of a whole roasted hazelnut encased in a thin wafer shell filled with nutella/hazelnut cream or with coffee or cherry liqueur and covered in milk chocolate and chopped hazelnuts and walnuts. The sweets are individually packaged inside a gold-coloured wrapper.
Caramels "Dietorelle" contained into pretty small boxes are for sale everywhere. These sugar-free caramels with fruit juice are very tasty.
Special sweets on Christmas and Easter
Torrone is a variety of Christmas sweets, otherwise also known as nougat. It can be prepared from almonds or walnuts, chocolate, praline, marzipan, honey, well-whipped egg whites, vanilla etc; it is an ancient sweet that requires considerable skill and care to make well, and in the past was also a great favourite among pastry chefs because it can be used as a building material for making fanciful cakes and other such delights. It is made throughout Italy, and Sicily's is especially renowned. There are plenty of variations - with nuts, candied fruits, chocolate, almond, pistachios and so on.
Cookies Cavallucci are chewy anise cookies, which translates approximately as "little horses"; those sold today are a gentrified version of a pastry which were originally served to servants who worked in the stables of rich Italian aristocrats. This perhaps is where the name comes from. Though Siena is best known for Panforte, a rich Christmas pastry, the town's cooks have also been making these solid, chewy anise cookies called cavallucci since at least the 16th century.
Panforte comes from Siena and also goes by the name Siena Cake. Bite into a slice of Panforte and you may be surprised to find how chewy it is. This chewy texture comes from mixing almonds, spices, flour, raisin, starch and candied fruits with a boiled syrup made from sugar and honey. This honey syrup, along with the addition of melted chocolate and cocoa powder, gives this Christmas cake an almost candy-like texture and flavor.
In the period of Christmas holidays it is impossible to forget about Pandoro and Panettone - Christmas sweet dishes, which are prepared for all Italy and whole world only in Verona and its province. Pandoro, as well as its counterpart Panettone, is the traditional Italian sweet yeast bread. Typically a Veronese product, Pandoro is traditionally shaped like a frustum with an eight pointed-star section. Panettone (Milanese: panetton classical orthography, panetщn other orthography) is a typical bread of Milan, usually prepared and enjoyed for Christmas and New Year around Italy, and one of the symbols of the city. This traditional bread is suited for dessert, afternoon tea or breakfast.
During the Easter can be purchased a chocolate egg (type of "kinder" but ten times bigger at the size).
Pastierra or Holiday Pie is a cake baked with pearl barley, whole milk cottage cheese, sugar, beaten eggs, a teaspoon of orange or lemon juice, or anise extract, semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped maraschino cherry, candied citron peel, which served and eaten on the Easter.
Foodstuff and Italian cuisine dishes
Cheese - The famous "Parmesan"(Parmigiano), the most popular biggest-selling food souvenir. Cheese Parmigiano-Reggiano is adopted in honour of cities - Parma and Reggio Emilia whence it has originated almost 1000 years ago at will of monks Benedictines. And until these days it has been done here at the first-rate quality. In it no preservatives are used, it is maintained during a period from a year to two for reception of a unique taste. And annually at international competitions it gets the gold medal. Not without reason Parmesan is endowed with the title "King of cheeses". Parmigiano is simply the Italian adjective for Parma; the French version, Parmesan, is used in the English language. The term Parmesan is also loosely used as a common term for cheeses imitating true Parmesan cheese.
Other cheese similar to the Parmesan is Grana Padano. It possesses softer taste. Similarity of these two types of cheese is their consistence. Both of them are firm - "pasta dura". Like, Parmigiano-Reggiano, the Grana Padano is a semi-fat hard cheese, which is cooked and ripened slowly (for up to 18 months). Grana Padano is one of the most popular “Denominazione di Origine Controllata” cheeses of Italy. The name comes from the noun grana (‘grain’), which refers to the distinctively grainy texture of the cheese, and the adjective Padano, which refers to the valley Pianura Padana.
Gorgonzola is a veined Italian blue cheese with mould, made from full-cream cow's milk. It can be buttery or firm, crumbly and quite salty, with a 'bite' from its blue veining. It has been made since the early Middle Ages, but only became marbled with greenish-blue mould in the eleventh century. It is frequently used in Italian cooking. The name comes from Gorgonzola, a small town near Milan, where the cheese was reportedly first made; however, other towns dispute this claim of geographical origin. Most Gorgonzola is actually produced in the province of Novara, but the production zone also includes such provinces as Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Cuneo, Lecco, Lodi, Milan, Pavia, Varese, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, and Vercelli, as well as a number of communes in the area of Casale Monferrato (province of Alessandria).
There are sheep cheeses such as Pecorino, Пьенцы and Rustico Peperoncino. Sheep's or ewe's (the female sheep) milk cheese is a cheese more typically found in mountainous areas where cow rearing is difficult or impossible. It has a slightly sweet taste and is high in calcium and zinc. Sheep cheese can fall into many different categories, such as fresh, soft, veined and pressed, so the selection is incredibly varied.
Pecorino is the name of a family of hard Italian cheeses made from sheep milk. The word “pecora”, from which the name derives, means “sheep”. Pecorino Romano is probably the best, known outside Italy. Most Pecorino Romano is produced on the island of Sardinia, though its production is also allowed in Lazio and in the Tuscan Province of Grosseto. Romano is the name given to cheeses from the Rome area; Pecorino Sardo is from Sardinia, Pecorino Siciliano from Sicily. It is traditional, creamery, hard, drum-shaped cheese.
Rustico Peperoncino is sheep's milk semi soft cheese with red pepper from the countryside of Rome. The cheese strikes a perfect balance between cheese and pepper and is very versatile. Try melted on pizza, shaved over vegetables or in a salad.
There are some more popular cheeses: Bel Paese, Caciotta, Fontina Val d’Aosta, Mascarpone, Mozzarella, Provolone, Ricotta and so on.
“Mortadella” is an Italian analogue of sausage or cold cut (salume), product of Bologna, reminding by something so-called “Amateur sausage” of Russian origin, made of finely hashed heat-cured pork sausage, which incorporates at least 15% small cubes of pork fat (principally the hard fat from the neck of the pig). It is delicately flavoured with spices, including whole or ground black pepper, myrtle berries, nutmeg, coriander and pistachios. Among the many pork sausage products made in this region it is this one that is the most celebrated. Mortadella has been made for at least five hundred years but may have origins in Roman times. A favourite sausage of the Romans was called “farcimen mirtatum” and was flavoured with myrtle berries and prepared by using a mortar and pestle. The name for mortadella originates from the Latin words for myrtle (mirtatum) and mortar (mortario) and the sausage was made the same way up until the Middle Ages. Today the preparation and ingredients are a little different, as Italian culinary life has evolved over the centuries.
Ventricina is a type of very spicy sausage consisting of dried meat, seasoned by cayenne; it is 100% meat product. Ventricina is traditional sausage from Crognaleto, Teramo, Abruzzo cuisine - richly spiced prosciutto.
Prosciutto crudo is a crude dry-cured pork ham that often contained in packing as cut thin slices. It is spiced Italian gammon that is usually sliced and served raw. In Italian, however it is paramount to distinguish between "prosciutto crudo" (raw) and "prosciutto cotto" (cooked - which instead identifies the wet cured ham). The most renowned and pricey legs of "prosciutto" come from central and northern Italy (Tuscany and Emilia in particular), such as “Prosciutto crudo di Parma” that is considered as the best quality, and those of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, such as “Prosciutto di San Daniele”.
Spek (also known as smoked prosciutto) is alike as prosciutto, only drier and very spicy dry-cured meat.
Salami is the dried sausage; can be referred to “Specialitа Italiano”.
Soppressa Veneta is a kind of salami that is one of the specialty products from Veneto.
This salami is made traditionally with chopped pork meats, including prosciutto, shoulder and capocollo. The meat is grinded roughly and seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and other natural herbs and spices. The final result is a bright red mix with evenly distributed fat streaks. Then, mixture is put into cow sausage skin that assumes the typical curved big bean shape when filled. It is smaller at the beginning and widens at the end. It weights about 3 Kg. (6.6 pounds). At this point, in the traditional preparation, the salami is immersed into hot water and massaged by hand until it smooth and compact, then it was tight with a string and hung up to dry and mature for 5 to 6 days. It is aged for about two months before consumption. Traditionally, it was stored in special very moist, damp stone cellars for a few months, where mould and stones help it’s ripening until it developed a gray mildew on the outside
In Italy has been served very delicious roasted piglings that are named Porchetta. It is a savoury, fatty, and moist boneless pork roast of Italian culinary tradition. Porchetta produced in Lacio (on Italian: Lazio y en latнn, Latium) in the 20 km from Rome in a small town Ariccia in the area Castelli Romani ("Castles of Rome"). There’s its birthplace, from where it is conveyed across all Italy and has been sold at some celebrations, functions or fairs. The body of a pig is gutted; bones are removed from a pigling and then carefully arranged with layers of stuffing, meat, fat, and skin, then rolled, spitted and wholly roasted in a stove or furnace, traditionally over wood. Then it is cut as sausage, only slightly wider. Porchetta is usually heavily salted in addition to being stuffed with garlic, rosemary, fennel or some other herbs. It is very tasty.
Tortellini is a variety of ring-shaped small meat dumplings (in regard to it also can be used a general term “pasta”) that are typically stuffed with a mix of meat (pork loin, prosciutto crudo and mortadella). Originally from the Italian region of Emila (in particular Bologna and Modera), they are usually served in broth, with sour cream, or sometimes with a ragu. But, actually, tortellini is delicious when fresh. They are for sale both in the hermetic airtight packing and as a kind of dried variant – certainly, taste is differs, but due to impossibility "to travel" as fresh served meal, can be purchased in packing. Packed, refrigerated or frozen tortellini and tortelloni (similar but larger) appear in many locations around the world, especially where Italian communities have a certain relief. Tortellini and tortelloni are made in special industrial lines supplied, all over the world, by Italian companies such as Arienti & Cattaneo, Ima, Ostoni, Zamboni, etc.; "fresh" packed tortellini have usually 7 weeks of shelf-life.
There is delicious liver pate "Pate di Toscana". No festive Tuscan meal would be complete without chicken liver crostini, thin slices of toasted bread spread with a tasty chicken liver pate that even makes converts out of liver haters.
There is a dish Pisan tower (Pizan tower, on Italian: Torre Pisana), Fiorentina that is prepared from the beef of local breeds, has a height in a few fingers, served up as half- crude under-cooked meal and almost melts into the mouth. The Florentine Steak (Bistecca alla Fiorentina) is traditionally made using T-bone steaks, but it can also be done using ordinary, very thick-cut rump, sirloin, or even fillet steak as well. As long as the meat is of a very high quality, it will taste delicious.
South is the motherland of pasta, in the province of Naples there are many producing it factories. The pasta (Italian word for "dough") is a generic term for Italian variants of noodles, food made from dough of flow, water and/or eggs that is boiled. The word can also denote dishes in which pasta products are the primary ingredient, served with sauce or seasonings. There are approximately 350 different shapes of pasta. There is pasta of big size, large cockleshells, big bows et cetera. There is multi-coloured too, i.e. in dough added powder of basil, tomatoes and so on. Such varicoloured macaronis can be also btought as a fine gift. Examples include spaghetti (solid, thin cylinders), maccherony (tubes or hollow cylinders), fusilli (swirls), and lasagne (sheets). Two other noodles, gnocchi and spatzle, are sometimes defined as pasta. They are both traditional in parts of Italy too. Pasta is categorized in two basic styles: dried and fresh. Dried pasta made without eggs can be stored for up to two years under ideal conditions, while fresh pasta will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator. Pasta is generally boiled to soften it before being eaten.
Pici (kind of noodles) is an unusual and delicious cut of semolina pasta. It is well known in Italy in the regions of Siena, Tuscany and Venice. In Siena it is known as Pici, while in Venice it is known as Bigoli. It is also referred to 'pinci' in the Montalcino area. Its producers are proud to let you know that this cut of pasta never overcooks. Pici cooks for about twenty minutes and its glutinous consistency is perfect for serving with a meat sauce. Although it can be eaten with a variety of sauces particularly “Alle briciole” (with breadcrumbs), “All'aglione” (spicy garlicky tomato sauce), “Alla boscaiola” (with porcini) or “Al ragщ” ("bolognaise"). But it is probably best eaten with sauces containing game meat such as “Al cinghiale” (wild boar), “Alla leper” (hare) or “All'anatrа” (duck).
Botargo, also called bottarga (Italian), poutargue or boutargue (French), botarga (Spanish), batarekh (Arabic) or avgotaraho (Greek) is a Mediterranean delicacy of cured fish caviar. Bottarga is the roe pouch of tuna or grey mullet, or sometimes swordfish. It is massaged by hand to eliminate air pockets, then dried and cured in sea salt for a few weeks. The result is a dry hard slab, which is coated in beeswax for keeping. It is usually used sliced thinly or grated. In Italy, it is best known in Sicilian and Sardinian cuisine; its culinary properties can be compared to those of dry anchovies, though it is much more expensive. Bottarga is often served with lemon juice as an appetizer or used in pasta dishes.
Ravioli is a type of filled pasta composed of a filling sealed between two layers of thin pasta dough. The word ravioli is reminiscent of the Italian verb ravvolgere ("to wrap"), though the two words are not etymologically connected. The filling may be meat-based (either red or poultry), fish-based, or cheese-based. Ravioli can be rectangular, triangular, half-moon or circular in shape. Other traditional Italian filings include ricotta mixed with grated cheese and vegetables such as spinach, nettles, Swiss chard; or they may be a puree made of potatoes, mushrooms, pumpkin, chestnut or artichokes. The Italian dumplings that stuffed with spinach and cottage cheese is named in general Ravioli Maremmani.
There are various vegetables in oil (that specially preserved).
Green sauce on the basis of a basil and the Parmesan with adding of garlic, nuts, olive oil and the most important ingredient - pinoli (something that looks alike as cedar nutlets, but in reality is pine nuts), is called pesto; Italians flavour with it spaghetti. Pinoli or "pine nuts" are gathered by mustering through leaves on the ground near pine trees, around August or September - they are found inside huge pinecones and embedded within their hard oblong foliage. It is in these layers of the pinecone where, the tender nuts are housed - nestled in between its flaps and encased within a shell. The pine nut's outer shell is dusted with a thin black magical powder and a delicate golden skin. As it was mention, they are essential to Italian cooking and highly prized for making a mix of olive oil and Parmigiano cheese. They are also abundant in many Italian dessert recipes, and especially used on biscotti-cookies.
There are white truffles - tartufo or trifole. It is a mushroom, whose underground life classifies it as belonging to the family of the tuber. There are diversified varieties, but the three principal types considered by gastronomes are "Tuber Magnatum Pico", the white tartufo from Alba (near Turin), "Tuber melanosporum", or black tartufo from Norcia and the French district of Perigord, and the off-white "Tuber Albinum" slightly less tasty than the others. The reason for the tartufo's rarity is that it does not grow everywhere. The white tartufo, for example, grows only in the Langhe, Valpadana and small zones of Tuscany, the Marche, and Umbria. It grows in symbiosis with roots of willow, oak, poplar, and linden trees, and reaches maturity from October to December. A risotto made with white truffles, especially the Tartufo Bianco of the Langhe, will be just the thing for a very special occasion.
The Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), also called the sunroot or sunchoke or earth apple (pear) or topinambur, is a species of sunflower native to the eastern United States, from Maine west to North Dakota, and south to northern Florida and Texas. It is also cultivated widely across the temperate world for its tuber, which is used as a root.
Despite its name, the Jerusalem artichoke has no relation to Jerusalem, and it is not a type of artichoke, though they are in the same family. The name Jerusalem is due to folk; when the Jerusalem artichoke was first discovered by Europeans it was called Girasole, the Italian word for sunflower. The Jerusalem artichoke is a type of sunflower, in the same genus as the garden sunflower (Helianthus annuus). Over time the name Girasole transformed into Jerusalem, and to avoid confusion some people have recently started to refer to it as sunchoke or sunroot. The artichoke part of the Jerusalem artichoke's name comes from the taste of its edible tuber.
Ribollita is Tuscan vegetable and bread soup us cuisine is famous for giving new life to leftovers. This dish is a perfect example. An icon of Tuscan cuisine, ribollita literally means, “reboiled.” It is difficult to find an authentic ribolitta because it takes 3 days to prepare. Minestrone is made the first day and eaten as is. The second day the leftover soup is layered with thin slices of bread (or toasted bread rubbed with garlic) and baked with thin slices of red onion on top. The third day the leftovers are reboiled. It can be served cold as well as hot; earlier it was a dinner for poor, now considered as the traditional soup. Recipes for minestrone vary from region to region, restaurant to restaurant, and household to household. Most recipes are based upon regional produce. The most important ingredient of Tuscan minestrone is cavolo nero, or a winter black cabbage. Its leaves range in color from dark green to almost black.
There is also Tuscan bread without salt. Black Tuscan Crostini neri is a kind of browned off bread on which a sauce made from liver and spleen is traditionally to be spread over.
Pane Carasau and Pane Guttiau are thin crisp kinds of bread (with salt and olive oil).
“Pane carasau”, or “carta da musica”, is traditional bread from Sardinia. It is thin and crisp, usually in the form of a dish half a meter wide. Taking baked flat bread then separating it into two sheets, which are baked again, is the way of making it. The recipe is very ancient and was conceived for shepherds, who used to stay far from home for months at a time. “Pane carasau” can last up to one year if it is kept dry. The bread can be eaten either dry or wet with water, wine or sauces. Sardinia also produces an ancient delicacy called " Pane Guttiau ", made of thin and crispy sheets of dough. The process entails the use of an ancient traditional method that links the sun, the earth and the wheat. This high quality process uses premium spring water, local organic flour and genuine extra-virgin olive oil, to provide an authentic, unique and natural taste, the taste of Guttiau Bread. The product is subject to a light, natural weight loss.
There are very tasty dried or semi-dried tomatoes.
There are many types of olive pate (or olive verdi), for example, “Green olive pate” by San Matteo. San Matteo green olive pate is made exclusively with Nocellara del Belice variety, and a few drops of the same olive oil. This bright green pate will delight you with a very intense pungent olive flavor. It is a natural on bruschetta, a powerful addition to pasta sauce creations and for salads as a savory dressing.
Balsamic vinegar (Italian: aceto balsamico) is original traditional product, made from a reduction of cooked grape juice and not the vinegar in the usual sense, has been made in Modena and Reggio Emilia, since the middle ages. Balsamic vinegar is mainly used in salad dressings, marinades, reductions and sauces.
A colourful book with photos about the Italian cuisine can be got and given as a keepsake to friends and relatives. There are great varieties of such books with excellent illustrations!
Italians seldom leave tip (at any rate in the own country) and take away all handed over balance to the last cent.
There is available olive oil in a glass protuberant Venetian bottle.
Green olive oil (best if bought from a Tuscan village in, in a special metal container) - (1L - from 6 euros and upwards). Olive oil is better to be bought cold pressed. There is feasibility to bring olive oil from any area, for example, from Liguria, which made from Ligurian olives and bought from local producers.
Extra-virgin olive oil comes from cold pressing of the olives, contains no more than 0.8% acidity, and is judged to have a superior taste. Extra-virgin and virgin olive oil may not contain refined oil.
Virgin olive oil has acidity less than 2%, and is judged to have a good taste.
Pure olive oil - oils labelled as “Pure olive oil” or “Olive oil” is usually a blend of refined and virgin or extra-virgin oil.
Olive oil is a blend of virgin oil and refined oil, of no more than 1.5% acidity. It commonly lacks a strong flavour.
Olive-pomace oil is a blend of refined pomace olive oil and possibly some virgin oil. It is fit for consumption, but may not be described simply as olive oil. Olive-pomace oil is rarely sold at retail; it is often used for certain kinds of cooking in restaurants.
Lampante oil is olive oil not suitable as food; lampante comes from olive oil's long-standing use in oil-burning lamps. Lampante oil is mostly used in the industrial market.
Garments, footwear and concomitant accessories
Cap, as Harlequin (Arlecchino in Italian, Arlequin in French) has been wearing.
Shirts and vests in a strip as at gondoliers.
Kitchen aprons with images of great sculptors bared statues with masculine "by sights" can be advised as a souvenir, which will not stand on a shelf, but will be useful for a house keeping. They also can be found across all Italy.
Aprons for a kitchen can be bought not only with masculine dignities, but with recipes of the pasta also. Maybe it looks not so excitingly, but there is some benefit and advantage.
There is fine footwear, especially for summer season. It is not so expensive, but having high quality and good value.
There are lovely figurines of the character of famous theatre "burattini" – Pilcinella. Pulcinella, often called Punch or Punchinello in English, Polichinelle in French, is a classical character that originated in the Commedia dell’arte of the 17th century and became a stock character in Neapolitan puppetry. It is considered that the Pulcinella was born in a small town Acerra. Here is a museum dedicated to him, as well as related souvenirs.
Other fine souvenir is Buratino (Pinocchio). There are available wonderful small figurines-trinkets, as well as traditional puppets. Carved from a piece of pine by a woodcarver named Geppetto in a small Italian village, Pinocchio was created as a wooden puppet, but dreamt of becoming a real boy. The name Pinocchio is a Tuscan word meaning "pine nut" (the standard Italian term is “pinolo”, a compound of Italian “pino” meaning "pine" and “occhio” meaning "eye". Buratino is the main character of the book “The Golden Key, or the Adventures of Buratino” (1936) by Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy. A loose Russian adaptation of Pinocchio (from the 1883 book by the Italian author C. Collodi), Buratino originated as a character in the commedia dell’arte (play of professional artists). The name Buratino is derived from the Italian “burattino”, which means wooden puppet or doll. The book was published in 1936, and Buratino quickly became hugely popular among children in the Soviet Union, and remains so to this day.
A model of a gondola - the traditional Venetian rowing boat, is also a charming gift.
There are souvenirs from one of the biggest in Europe aquarium of Genoa that is also known as “Wonders of the Sea”. The Genoa Aquarium is the largest Italian aquarium and the second in Europe, after the aquarium in Valencia, Spain. It is located on Ponte Spinola, an antique port in Genoa. It was opened in 1992 as an event to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Discovery of the Americas. Afterwards, the aquarium has been under several building extensions.
Calendars with landscapes and sceneries of flora and fauna representing the nature that is typical for the each particular region or with historical sights are premium presentations.
For football players do not forget to get soccer attributes - Milan, Inter, Juventus.
Souvenirs connected with the Ferrari, i.e. memorable models of the “Formula 1” have been brought from Milan. The shop is located on area Piazza Liberty, in the centre of Milan, near to Duomo (Italian: Duomo di Milano; Milanese: Domm de Milan) - the main cathedral of the city.
There is a statuette of Romeo and Juliet from Verona, where situated the Juliet’s balcony, known in the whole world.
In a small town Capodimonte (Capo di Monte) near Vesuvius have been produced statuettes made of porcelain, nosegays of lovely flowers in a miniature, different figurines of fairy-tale characters and so on.
Italians are very pious and religious. For example, can be offered a statuette of Madonna (Madonna di Pompei) or a rosary (rosario) - beads with a cross.
Can be brought a small mandolin or its miniature copy.
Well, if someone wishes to give to own house the Mediterranean touch, there can not be avoided terracotta pots. And a small model of such pot - vase with a flower, lying on a side, will certainly remind about Italy!
There are bags that not so expensive, but possessing high quality and value.
Wares made from crystal and glass
Beautiful wares made from crystal have been done at a factory in Colle Val d'Elsa.
Valuable, elegant and expensive glassware can be purchased not only at the homeland of the Venetian glass – on the island Murano, but also across all Venice. It is needed to be careful of fakes. They can be distinguished on weight (original glass heavier and more durable).
There is also glass that represented as glasses, decorations, table vases for which can be added glass fruits (pear, grapes, apple, cherries etc). Glass fruits available as large and small variations of size.
Decorations and bijouterie
Decorations - inwardly gold plated bijouterie made from Murano glass can be bought across whole centre of Rome. It costs inexpensively (10-30 euro for ear-rings and a pendant) and looks in a very traditional Italian way.
There are also bijouteries, costume jewelleries made from glass, cockleshells, silver, ceramics et cetera.