12 Sure Bet Italian Gift Ideas (+ 2 Things to Avoid)

Looking to give a friend, family member or colleague a taste of Italy? We researched over 300 Italy-themed gift ideas and identified 12 that are sure garner a big “grazie.” If you’re feeling hungry, also check out our list of favorite Italian gift baskets.

1. Bocce Set – Bocce ball is a fun lawn sport that involves throwing Bocce balls to get a close to the target ball as possible. Simple to play yet addictive, it’s great for families and parties. You’ll need about 16 ft of flat lawn space to play.

2. Italian language lessons – Whether you’re looking to brush up or learn a few key phrases, Italian lessons are a fun way to stay culturally connected and work you mind at the same time. We recommend the Living Language edition for its well-received teaching methods.

3. Bialetti “Espresso” maker – These distinctive Italian espresso maker originated in the 1950s. Add cold water and course-ground coffee beans for a cultured variation on the typical espresso. In fact in Italy it is called a moka pot, not espresso.

4. Lazzaroni Amaretti cookies –
Imported from Italy, these deliciously crunchy cookies blend almond and spice. Go great with ice cream, coffee or tea. Each cookie is individually wrapped with an Italian writing.

5. Laudemio olive oil – This authentic Italian olive oil is a real treat, with a wonderfully fresh olive taste you won’t find at the supermarket. A good gift for housewarming parties.

6. Italian leather driving gloves – Maybe you don’t drive a classic Ferrari, but why not look the part with a pair of stylish leather driving gloves? Great for winter driving, these are a cut above the typical glove in style and comfort. Our recommended pair comes with either wool or cashmere lining.

7. Italian leather handbag – Yes you can find the typical big name Italian brands at any Macy’s, but why not go for something a little more authentic, understated and original? We recommend the Floto Taormina Leather Bag, made from Italian calf skin, which is great for use as a purse or to carry a smaller laptop.

8. Replica Old World Globe Bar – If you’re seeking a gift for the home that’s truly unique, consider a globe wine/cocktail server. The beautifully decorated 16th-century replica globe opens up to house a set of glasses and bottles. Supported by hard wood legs, owners say it is great quality for the money.

9. Stainless Steel Pasta Maker – Get in the authentic Italian cooking spirit with an adjustable steel pasta maker. You can make fettuccine, spaghetti and tagliolini to varying levels of thickness. Impress dinner guests with your home made noodles.

10. Rome: The Complete Series – This HBO series chronicles the drama, intrigue and passion of ancient Rome. Full of colorful characters and surprise, you’ll be hooked through all three seasons.

11. Italia hoodie – Show your Italian pride with this sharp-looking Italia hoodie, available in 6 colors. Soft and comfy.

12. Italianissimo: The Quintessential Guide to What Italians Do Best – Get inside the Italian mindset with this fun book that answers questions ranging from where to find the best find balsamic vinegar to why red underwear shows up in Italian shops around the New Year.

Now what should you avoid giving?

1. Mafia-themed gifts. Italians hate the Mafia stereotype – so no mafia movies or swag.
2. Olive Garden gift certificate. While the Olive Garden might have some good eats, it also screams inauthentic – something Italians abhore.

Don’t see anything you want? Check out our Italian gift basket recommendations.