Stuck on the inspiration front for gifts?
Here’s The Florentine’s pick of the presents this holiday season for the Florence lovers in your life.
Play’s a plenty this Christmas thanks to Giochi Briosi, Florentine experts in board games since 2000. Present a challenge to the Tuscany lover in your life (who said Boxing Day should be easy?) with the I Toscanacci (Qubo) game (16.90 euro): collect the cards to assemble seven famous Tuscan families from Dante to Puccini, Galileo to Leonardo. Delve into the contemporary with 2 by Clet (14.90 euro), a race through the French artist’s ironic street signs found throughout Florence.
Dreoni Giocattoli, via Camillo Cavour 31/33R, Florence
Fancy up your footwear
Cross over the bridge for shoe lover’s perfect gift. Fun and fabulous, Sara Amrhein’s handmade shoe clips (35 euro) are crafted in light yet durable polymer clay. A metal fastening on the back of each flower clips on to most shoe styles, or could even be used on hats, bags or coats. Available in all shades of the rainbow and customizable to fit any outfit or occasion. While at Sara’s studio, stock up on colorful handmade jewelry for your girlfriends.
All your gifts will be perfectly wrapped and ready to give.
Sara Amrhein, via dello Sprone 9R, Florence
Ultimate 2018 makeover
Whether you need guidance with your professional image, a sprucing-up of your weekend wear or a complete wardrobe makeover, let Italian-American fashion designer Jennifer Tattanelli and her team of stylists assist in redefining your look in a way that flatters your figure, reflects your personality and gives you the confidence and expertise you need. Just arrived on time for Christmas: a new leather collection for women and men (items start at 99 euro).
Jennifer Tattanelli, piazza Pitti 31R, Florence
Amble over to affordable international designers New Kid for your holiday party wear. Slip on Claude Form black-and-gold glitter patent loafers (155 euro) for an immediate upgrade to your winter woolies. Grab a pink pony zip-up crossbody with contrasting black calfskin strap (80 euro) as a sweetener to dark clothing and top off your look with a green wool beret vaunting a fabulous beige fur pom-pom (20 euro). Got specific shoes in mind? Rachel and Letizia provide a Made to Order service.
Shoes and More, via del Ghirlandaio 18, Florence
Right on time
See in the New Year down to the last second with this Christmas Time watch pendant (125 euro) by Angela Caputi. Staying true to the Florentine artist’s trademark chunky style, the versatile snap hook in synthetic resin clips onto your favourite bag or serves as a signature keyring that’s simple to locate while rummaging through your purse on those chilly winter days. A touch of Hollywood glamour with a practical edge, keeping you on time this Christmastime.
Angela Caputi, via Santo Spirito 58R, Florence; borgo SS. Apostoli 44/46, Florence
Bags of ethics
For the adventurer on your gift list, pick up the Monte Carrara Duffle Bag (200 euro) by The Packing Man. Focused on the mindset of a man on the move, this spacious classic easily contains your necessities for a weekend getaway. Handcrafted in Perugia, the multi-functional quality design and bold colour scheme will win a seal of approval from your recipient. The Oltrarno studio might entice you into purchasing a piece for yourself too with its Indonesian and Nepalese collections handmade in Florence using traditional textiles imported for the purpose.
The Packing Man, via Santo Spirito 11, Florence
Batten down the hatches and treat yourself to truffles on a cold Christmas Day. Savini Tartufi brings scent and seduction to your door with Cena delle Feste (77.96 euro), a heavenly hamper of truffled tagliolini pasta, summer truffle butter, Parmigiano Reggiano and truffle cream, and an utterly exquisite white chocolate and truffle panettone. The truffle hunter in your life will go crazy for Il Giovanotto (32.21 euro), a camouflage rucksack loaded with truffle snacks, truffle-flavoured tiny peaches and a truffle sauce.
Savini Tartufi at Mercato Centrale Firenze
Pressed to impress
Impress even the most imperious relative with this Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Tasting Kit (59 euro) from Dievole. Six diverse expressions of Italy in 250ml bottles presented in a purposely olive green box. Begin your Christmas lunch with a tasting of DOP Chianti Classico, IGP Toscano, 100% Italiano Blend, 100% Italiano Monocultivar Coratina, 100% Italiano Monocultivar Nocellara, and even Chianti Classico vinegar. Whenever you are for the holidays, your taste buds will stay in Italy. To purchase the exclusive set, sign up online to become a Dievole D’Wine Club member.
Here’s an idea: an oversized bag of chocolate cookies made in Quarrata, Tuscany. It’s only normal to want to keep Fratelli Lunardi’s one-kilo sack of cantucci al cioccolato (25 euro) under lock and key this Christmas—but embrace the seasonal spirit and share these biscuits boasting actual blocks of dark chocolate with friends and family. Travellers can opt for the lighter 200g (5.50 euro) or 400g (9.60 euro) bags. The ultimate stocking filler: choose the two-cookie (2 euro) sachet.
Sottarno, via Maggio 53R
The gift of nothingness
Rejoice in relaxation with a Relax Firenze signature gift card (starting at 50 euro). Perched over piazza della Repubblica, this central Florence oasis channels natural health needs, letting you and your loved one feel rejuvenated this winter. Special Christmas offers include halotherapy in the zen Himalayan salt room; group or private yoga, Pilates, mindfulness and meditation lessons, as well as EMS personal training, massages, wellness rituals and organic skin care.
Relax Firenze, via Strozzi 2, Florence
Florence in fiction
For lovers of books and Italy (and books set in Italy), pick up a copy of Jessie Chaffee’s debut novel Florence in Ecstasy (14.33 euro) for fiction that takes you deep into the heart and soul of Florence. An American art historian flees from Boston to Florence, where she is drawn into the city’s vibrant present and is rapt by the ecstatic, visionary women of its past. Girl in Florence calls it “visceral, haunting… one of the best books I’ve read this year”.
Paperback Exchange, via delle Oche 4R, Florence
With its six short stories and poetry in Italian and English, TheFLR – The Florentine Literary Review editions one and two (10 euro each) is the perfect cultural crossover gift: for your mum or dad, that Italian uncle who “speaks” English or that cousin in Calabria. For translators, poets and romantics. For everyone. Unwind over a glass of natural wine at Todo Modo—while reading this December’s The Florentine, of course. Have you renewed your subscription yet?!
Todo Modo, via dei Fossi 15R, Florence
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
“Life begins after coffee” is the motto at JT Caffè (piazza Pitti 32-33R) and a sage and sumptuous start to holiday gift shopping in the Oltrarno. Grab a JT Martini Cappuccino (3.50 euro stood up / 6 euro with table service) with a brioche or two, a quick and tasty escape from the cold weather.
On the north side of the Arno, nor far from Mercato Centrale Firenze and the Duomo, please your pancia with lampredotto panini (4 euro) and homemade schiacciate (5 euro) stuffed with all things pork at Old West-style SimBIOsi Organic Street Food (via de’ Ginori 43R).
Further east, a cork’s throw from piazza Beccaria, mingle with locals at historic hangout Caffè Pasticceria Serafini (via Gioberti 168R), whose aperitivo spread is legendary, holiday sweet gifts abound and bignè must be bitten into.