Last updated on November 27th, 2023
Are you looking for the perfect gift for an Italian food loving friend or relative?
Through years of working in the culinary field, I’ve carefully curated this list gifts for Italian food lovers.
These gifts, which I have given time and again, always hit the spot. I’ve included gift options at many price points, so you’re sure to find something special, not matter what your budget is.
All the gifts I am recommending here are things that I have either used, am very familiar with, or that I eat regularly, so I am confident in their ability to please others just as much as they please me and my family and friends!
Best for: Everyone, especially the coffee connoisseur
There is perhaps nothing more iconic to give than this Italian coffee pot, which you’ll find in every Italian household. The biggest reason I love to give these is because even if that particular person prefers other types of coffee, it’s very useful to have a moka pot around for when you are following a recipe that calls for espresso or for when you have guests who prefer espresso.
I like to give this 3-cup option because it’s the most practical size. And if you are afraid to use it, don’t be! Just follow our How To Make Coffee In A Moka Pot In 8 Easy Steps guide and you won’t go wrong.
Best for: The avid reader or Italian traveler
This book by Elizabeth David is for all the avid readers out there. It’s not only a compilation of recipes but also documents her travels and culinary adventures throughout the Italian regions. This is a book you can either read cover to cover or pick up and read bits and pieces as you like, which is why it makes it one of my favorite Italian cook books.
This is also a perfect gift to give to someone who you know is going to Italy soon.
Best for: Coffee drinkers with a small kitchen
Even though I am a coffee addict and enjoy a great cappuccino as the next, I am also a minimalist at heart which is why in our house we have this hand milk frother to make cappuccini. Not only is it a great solution to a pricy cappuccino machine that takes up way more counter space than I can afford, but it’s also great fun to use (for my kids too!).
Best for: The chocolate lover
Italian shop windows and grocery stores fill up with these hazelnut cream chocolates every year around the Christmas holidays – the traditional time to eat them here in Italy. Although you can get them year round, I still think of them as a festive chocolate – something special and luxurious – which is why I also love to give them. These are the types of chocolates that you won’t necessarily buy for yourself even though you love them, making them a well-received present every time!
Learn More: Read about The Most Popular Italian Chocolate – (Our Favorite Brands & Products).
Best for: Chocolate hounds
A sweet chocolate hazelnut cream is topped with a toasted hazelnut and covered in dark chocolate. What could be better?
We don’t live far from the Perugina factory in Perugia, so baci are gifts I can give and also tell a story about – how we visited the factory, explored Perugia, and then spent the car ride home eating baci. Even if you don’t have these stories to tell, baci make a great gift for anyone who loves chocolate, especially when it’s combined with hazelnuts.
Best for: Wine lovers
For all Italian wine lover’s out there who don’t actually need more Italian wine to drink, this is for you. I have a friend who has one of these in her guest bathroom and it’s something I actually notice and enjoy reading while using her facilities 🙂
Best for: Espresso lovers
We have all heard and most likely had Italy’s famous Illy coffee and while I cannot deny its top quality and rich flavor, I am most loyal to the Piedmont-born coffee brand Lavazza, which is one of Italy’s most popular coffees on the market. This is the coffee we use in our house so I can’t recommend it more to those who love Italian espresso. It’s authentic, reliable and smooth – everything you are hoping for in a rich sip of Italian espresso.
Best for: Luxury gift for cooks or someone who wants to learn to cook
Although this is not available on Amazon and more of a pricey gift item, this is for someone special who really loves to cook authentic Italian food or who is invested in learning to cook. Giada De Laurentiis has put together this gorgeous gift set with artisan Italian food products directly from Italy, including all the key ingredients you need to make some of the most authentic Italian dishes in your own kitchen. Check out her other boxes for options and prices.
Best for: Anyone
This is Puglia’s (and to be honest, one of Italy’s) favorite snacks and aperitivo pairings. These bite size ring-shaped crackers are made with lots of olive oil which makes them rich and flaky. Taralli make a great stocking stuffer or they can be paired with a bottle of your favorite Italian red or white wine for a more substantial gift.
Read More: A Traveler’s Guide to Italian Snacks.
Best for: Anyone
This is a must have liquor if you love Italian food… and drink for that matter. Aperol is essential for making cocktails in Italy including the infamous spritz. Every year, we pitch in to make each other’s stockings in my family and this or a bottle of Campari is always on top of my dad’s stocking (perfect for a negroni or a Campari spritz)!
Best for: Gourmet food lovers
Modica chocolate from Sicily is a specific type of chocolate made by processing the beans by hand in a stone bowl called a metate, exactly how the Aztecs used to make chocolate. The result is a rich chocolate with a gritty texture. In Italy, you can find various flavors (my favorite is arancia, orange chocolate) but if you are trying it for the first time it’s best to stick to the classic chocolate as to not take away from the texture/flavor experience of this one of a kind chocolate!
Best for: Nutella lovers
By now Nutella is sold globally but have you ever heard of Novi or Rigoni di Asiago crema di nocciola? They are smaller companies making a hazelnut cream but with a much higher ratio of hazelnuts to chocolate. They also use a much better quality chocolate than Nutella and are not full of extra ingredients to stabilize them.
We prefer Novi in our household and what I am about to say might actually offend some people but after eating it for so long, I actually don’t really like the taste of Nutella anymore! I never thought I would say this but there it is!
Best for: Bakers or dessert lovers
This is a southern Italian classic spin off of hazelnut cream but made with pistachios. It’s a sweet, bright green cream (actually a bit off putting at first) but the taste will soon allow you to overlook its abominable color. Spread it on bread or toast, use it on ice cream or fill desserts and cakes.
Best for: The gourmet cocktail drinker
We gave this book to my dad last year for his birthday and it was a hit. He went through an amaro stage for much longer than any of us could even think possible so we rode the wave. He has an embarrassing amount of amaro in his collection and now he has an excuse to use it all up by putting them to good use and making cocktails for everyone. This book not only goes through different amaro’s, their history and origin with plenty of recipes but it’s also a beautiful book to leaf through.
Best for: Anyone
Who doesn’t love a salad dressed in balsamic vinegar and olive oil but have you ever had the real stuff? Once you taste it, it’s like going first class – you just can’t go back to the cheap stuff. This is what we use in our household here in Tuscany and I always bring it back to my family when I travel back to the USA. When my mom runs out she gets it online.
Best for: The home decorator
This vintage tin poster is a great little item for those who like to play with home decor. It’s a great element to add to your walls or you can simply prop it up against some books on a bookshelf.
Best for: The cocktail enthusiast
This is one of those books I had on my wish list from the moment it hit the bookshelves and it still sits on my kitchen bookshelf (which is reserved for only my most precious and beloved cookbooks that I use daily) above my workstation. This book is a collection of cocktail recipes based on the classic Italian cocktail but also a book to read with stories and history about this timeless aperitivo.
Best for: Anyone, especially those who like to decorate their home with simple art
This is a great little print to hang in an Italian lover’s kitchen. It’s well drawn, accurate and adds a splash of color to any room. When I buy prints like these for friends and family I also like to include it already framed, even if it’s a simple one like this, to ensure the person actually gets around to hanging it instead of it sitting in a pile of papers for months.
Best for: The sweet tooth
Torrone is an Italian classic, nougat candy dotted with pistachios and almonds and flavored with things like citrus or vanilla. This gift option is great because it comes in beautiful packaging, a Renaissance themed tin with three flavors – lemon, orange and vanilla – to try.